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Wagoner named new deputy county administrator
Says creating jobs will be main focus
Henry County Public Safety Director Dale Wagoner has been named the new deputy county administrator and assistant general manager of the Henry County Public Service Authority. Wagoner will begin his new roles within the county Monday. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Friday, September 7, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Henry County Public Safety Director Dale Wagoner was selected from among five applicants to fill two top slots in the county’s government, according to County Administrator Tim Hall.
Wagoner, 41, on Thursday was named the deputy county administrator and assistant general manager of the Henry County Public Service Authority.
Wagoner has worked for the county for 20 years.
“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Henry County,” Wagoner said. “I look forward to working with the remarkable staff and to serving our community in this broader role.”
While the new roles represent “a major change from what I’m doing now,” he said his core goals of working to improve the quality of life for county residents remain the same, albeit with an expanded focus.
“Our goals are to help create jobs and improve the economic situation in Henry County,” Wagoner said. “Everything we do will be geared to that mission.”
Hall said he and Susan Reynolds, the county’s human resources director, interviewed the applicants Tuesday.
“This was not an easy choice,” he said. “All of the candidates interviewed well, and they all have their strengths.”
The interview process included questions and “a couple of writing scenarios” because writing press releases will be one of the responsibilities of the positions, Hall said.
Wagoner will assume the dual roles Monday and will be paid $85,000 annually, Hall said.
“Dale is a great choice because of his depth of experience,” Hall said. “Obviously in public safety, he had to deal with a lot of different things” as well as dealing with the public, the media and “keeping calm while everything was going a little crazy at times.”
“Dale Wagoner is dedicated to our community. His education and experience will be valuable assets as we all work together to move Henry County forward,” Hall added.
Both the Henry County Board of Supervisors and the Henry County PSA Board were briefed on Hall’s decision to promote Wagoner, “and are completely supportive of it,” Hall said. “We are very fortunate to have a terrific staff here, and I think it’s very important to show that if they work hard,” they will be rewarded.
Hall said the dual roles are a promotion for Wagoner, 41, who has been the public safety director since 2007.
A search to fill that position will begin immediately, according to Hall and Wagoner.
The vacancy will be posted internally for 10 days, and then interviews will be conducted, Wagoner said.
Wagoner and Reynolds “will take the lead” on filling the vacancy, Hall said. “I will be here to help them as I need to.”
An interim director will not be named, Wagoner said. He added that he will continue to serve in that capacity as well until his successor is named.
Wagoner began working for the county in 1992 as a college intern. Later that year, he was hired as the Emergency Medical Services training coordinator, and since then, has worked his way up, later serving as interim human resources director and deputy director of public safety.
A 1989 graduate of Bassett High School and a 1993 graduate of Ferrum College with a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science, Wagoner earned a master’s in public administration from Virginia Tech in 2002, according to a county news release on his appointment.
He also completed The Rocky Mountain Program for state and local executives at the University of Colorado-Denver in 2000 and the LEAD Virginia program in 2011. Wagoner recently received the “Excellence in EMS” award from the Western Virginia EMS Council, making him an automatic nominee for a governor’s award in the same category, the release stated.