County seeks sanitary district manager again

FRONT ROYAL – Warren County will try again to fill a job that requires a high school education, experience with road maintenance and pays $48,000-$73,000.

The county seeks applicants to serve as the manager of the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District. The position has remained vacant for about three or four years, Deputy County Administrator Robert Childress said Tuesday. The county advertises the job opening every six months or so and posted the vacancy on its website in early August.

“It’s a very important, very critical position for the county to try to fill but in the past we haven’t received the number and skill set (in the) applications we’re looking for,” Childress said. “We’re looking for someone that has not only administrative skills that can prepare budget documents and administer contracts and develop budgets for the sanitary district but also has strong public relations skills that can deal and report to not only the Board of Supervisors and the (property owners of Shenandoah Farms) advisory board but also the thousands of citizens that live out there.”

A successful applicant also needs field experience in road construction and maintenance and can work with county staff and contractors, Childress said.

“It’s gonna take a unique individual that has a well-rounded set of skills to do that,” Childress added.

But the county has yet to fill the position and, meanwhile, Childress pulls “double duty” by overseeing the operation and maintenance of not just the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District but also the county’s other sanitary districts.

“As more sanitary districts are established here in Warren County, I find that more and more of my time is spent providing technical advice … helping those sanitary districts with their day-to-day operations,” Childress said.

County officials haven’t talked about the possibility of rethinking the sanitary district manager position to attract more qualified applicants.

“But I think at some point in time in the future we’re going to have to re-evaluate and take a look at do we hire someone exclusively for Shenandoah Farms or maybe it’s a position that … has the ability and the time to provide the technical advice to some of these other sanitary districts as they need help with their operations,” Childress said.

Salary didn’t appear to discourage most applicants or play a major role in their decision not to accept the position, Childress noted.

“The bottom line is we have had very few applicants during the several times we advertised and then, again, the skill set of those applicants just wasn’t what we were looking for,” Childress said. “That’s been the primary obstacle in our inability to fill the position.”

The full-time position comes with a salary range of $48,216 to $73,366 plus benefits. The position falls under the supervision of the deputy county administrator and the employee performs skilled technical and administrative work that includes supervising employees and participation in the management, operation and maintenance of the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District.

Duties include coordinating, overseeing and maintaining operations of various contractors hired to perform road maintenance; inspecting the condition of roads, ditches and other improvements; coordinating and enforcing recommendations of the Sanitary District Advisory Committee; preparing requests for proposals, bid documents, purchase order requests and overseeing contracts in accordance with procurement practices; supervising and directing subordinate employees in the operation of equipment and management of the office; preparing reports and making presentations to the committee, the Board of Supervisors and other groups.

The county requires applicants have any combination of education and experience equal to graduation from high school. However, the county requires candidates have considerable experience with heavy equipment and in management of personnel. Successful candidates must possess knowledge of construction and roadway maintenance; the ability to prepare budgets, work plans and reports; and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with officials, associates and the public.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com