During the past 55 years, throughout five states, I have served on many and varied committees and boards, including community, school, church and government.

I first met Douglas P. Stanley when he was a zoning administrator, and I was on the Warren County Board of Zoning Appeals. I was able to observe how Doug dealt with the board and the people who needed to make an appeal. With the exception of one case, all the cases over five years were settled amicably thanks to Doug’s guidance.

In January 2000, the new Board of Supervisors declared the position of county administrator open. Having observed Doug in the zoning office, and how he organized moving county offices from several different buildings to one new government center, the Board of Supervisors chairman and I lobbied him for several weeks to convince Doug to become county administrator.

Finally, he opted to “give it a try.” As it turned out, his “try” was a good move! Doug is a good listener, who learned to hear many sides of a problem and then make good-sense decisions. He guided the various boards of supervisors through the most progressive time in the history of Warren County. Consider: a new 1,500 student high school; a middle school; two volunteer fire stations; a public service building housing the Sheriff’s Office and fire and rescue departments; a new enlarged public library; a $2 billion electricity-producing plant; two shopping centers to increase property and sales tax revenues and to enable most Warren County citizens to purchase locally much of what they need to buy; a state-of-the-art soccerplex and skate park; the purchase of Fishnet properties to be used for a several-hundred-acre park.

Doug was also involved in the remodeling of the following: the former Warren County High School into Skyline Middle School; an existing middle school into Warren County High School; the upgrading of two elementary schools; the former town library into a community center; a total makeover of Bing Crosby Stadium for home-field use by our two high schools and by Babe Ruth League and Valley Baseball League.

There are many more completed projects, but I list only these.

Additionally, Doug was active in the community, working for many years with the Warren County Educational Endowment, eventually serving as president. The same is true of his membership in the Front Royal Rotary, where he serves as president.

Every organization, whether a town council, board of supervisors, state assembly, or the United States Congress, makes mistakes. The current Warren County Board of Supervisors will make more mistakes before terms expire, but none greater than the one made on July 8. It is inexcusable that a man with an exemplary record, who gave a quarter of a century service (a full 50% of his life) to Warren County was “involuntarily separated” with only two months severance pay. Warren County can do better than this! Shame on us!

A native of northwest Iowa, John E. Vance has been active in Warren County and area governance for 35 years. He owned and operated Vance Nursery and Garden Center in the Bethel area.