A majority of the Warren County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday that the county’s temporary administrator should stay on permanently.
Supervisors voted 4-1 at a special meeting to hire Daley as the next county administrator. Chairwoman Cheryl L. Cullers, Vice Chairman Archie A. Fox and supervisors Walter J. Mabe and Delores R. Oates voted in favor of the motion to hire Daley effective immediately, at an annual salary of $163,000. Supervisor Tony F. Carter voted against the motion.
The board appointed Daley as the interim county administrator in July. Daley replaced longtime County Administrator Douglas Stanley after the board voted to not renew his contract. Daley stepped down as chairman of the board of directors for the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority to take the administrative position. Daley previously worked as city manager for Winchester and Hopewell before coming to Warren County.
The board did not hire a consulting firm to search for a full-time county administrator. Not all local governing bodies conduct such searches.
Oates made the motion to hire Daley as the county administrator. Mabe seconded the motion. Cullers called for the roll call vote, but Carter interjected because the chairwoman had not asked if any member wanted to discuss the motion before they took action, per the board’s rules.
Carter then gave his reasons for opposing the motion.
“I’m not gonna support this, and I think part of it is I believe we’re better served by going out there and searching and finding somebody else to do this,” Carter said. “I think it’s a great deal for Dr. Daley and I don’t think it’s that great of a deal for the county.”
Oates gave her reasons for supporting Daley’s hiring.
“I would just like to say that Mr. Daley has done a tremendous job under the circumstances,” Oates said. “He came into the county with an embezzlement and a lack of trust in the community and a pandemic and he’s navigated an (information technology) problem and crash and so, for those reasons, I totally support hiring Mr. Daley as a full-time employee or full-time administrator.”
Carter interjected: “Don’t forget about the wonderful job he did with the transfer station.” Carter was referring to the investigation — approved by Cullers, Daley and pursued by Sheriff Mark A. Butler — into claims that Front Royal employees were illegally dumping sludge at the Warren County transfer station in Bentonville. The investigation, now closed, resulted in no violations found by state inspectors nor charges placed by the Sheriff’s Office. Front Royal officials have said that the dispute further hurt relations between the town and the county and that Daley could have contacted the town manager to avoid a conflict.
Oates responded: “Mr. Carter. That’s unprofessional.”
Cullers echoed Oates’ comments about Daley.
“I think he’s proven himself,” Cullers said. “He works wonderful with our staff and he’s righting a ship that was sinking, so I agree with this motion wholeheartedly.”
Supervisors first met in closed session to discuss the matter of Daley’s contract. They convened in open session to take action.