WOODSTOCK – County supervisors announced Thursday that Evan Vass, assistant county administrator, will take Mary Beth Price’s place as county administrator when she retires on April 1.
Vass has served as the assistant administrator since March 2014 when he left his role as town manager in New Market.
“I’ve been in local government administration for over 15 years,” Vass said. “I love the county. I’ve been a member of the Shenandoah County community in one form or another…since 2003. Other than college, this is the home I’ve known.”
Straight out of college, Vass took a job with the town of New Market, serving as town manager until a brief stint in the city of Harrisonburg. Vass returned to New Market in 2010 and served as town manager again until moving to the county government building to work as the assistant county administrator.
Supervisors unanimously approved Vass’ appointment, offering their full support for someone they’ve gotten to know well.
“I’ve known Evan now quite a few years,” Steve Baker, supervisor for District 2 said. “I’ve been very impressed with him from day one. I think he has a very bright future in county administration here.”
Conrad Helsley, chairman of the board and supervisor for District 7, said he has viewed Vass as a candidate for the top job for some time. Helsely said bringing Vass into county government was part of the process to see if he would be ready to take the next step when the time came.
Richard Walker, the supervisor for District 3, said he has been impressed with Vass’ work — commending his work ethic and efficiency.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with him, and I hope we look for a qualified assistant for him soon,” Walker said.
Before Thursday’s meeting, Price said the decision for picking a new administrator was out of her hands.
The board was responsible for picking a new administrator and for not advertising the vacant position. There was some speculation Vass would be appointed when the board met in multiple closed session meetings to discuss personnel matters but never advertised an opening for Price’s position.
Vass’ appointment follows in Price’s own footprints. Price served as Douglas Walker’s assistant supervisor before taking the top job when he left in 2013.
With lengthy experience behind him and a new opportunity ahead, Vass said he is looking forward to continue building relationships between and within local officials and constituents.
“I like building relationships internally to the organization and externally to the organization,” he said. “I think that relationship already exists, but I look forward to continuing.”