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November 30, 2017

Meade named community development asst. director

Contributed Photo
“I felt, logically, it was the next step in my career,” says Holly Meade, who joined the community development department 22 years ago.
I’ve worked with Holly over the years and found her to be knowledgeable, competent and hardworking.
— Ike Broaddus
Holly Meade
• Age: 47

• Home: Near Flint Hill, Rappahannock County.

• Job: Assistant director, Fauquier County Community Development Department, effective Tuesday, Nov. 21.

• Salary: $105,000 per year.

• Experience: Planning chief, Fauquier County Community Development, 2014 to November 2017; assistant planning chief, 2012-14; senior planner, 2004-12; planner, 2000-04; office manager, 1997 to 2000; zoning office technician, 1995-97; Culpeper Wood Preservers, various positions, 1988-95.

• Education: Master’s degree, organizational leadership, Shenandoah University, 2011; bachelor’s degree, business management, Liberty University, 2005; Culpeper High School, 1988.

• Family: Husband Todd Atkins.
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Staff Journalist
For the veteran Fauquier County government land planner, seeking the community development department’s number two job seemed like an obvious move.

“I felt, logically, it was the next step in my career,” explained Holly Meade, whose appointment to the newly created assistant director’s job took effect Tuesday. “You can see from my resume, I have had increased responsibility” since joining the department 22 years ago.

Hired as a zoning office technician in 1995, Ms. Meade over the years eventually became the office manager, a senior planner, assistant planning chief and planning chief – the job she held until this week’s promotion.

“My dedication and my drive is what got me here,” she said of her steady ascension to assistant director.

Ms. Meade earns $105,000, said department Director Kimberley Fogle, who made the final call to hire her, with “input” from a five-member selection panel.

Recent and impending turnover among senior staff also figured into her decision to apply for the post, Ms. Meade said.

In August, long-time Zoning Administrator Kim Johnson retired. Mrs. Fogle, 63, expects to retire in 2019.

Under the department's succession plan, whoever would fill the assistant director's job would be groomed to follow Mrs. Fogle.

In light of that, “people started talking” to her about helping to fill the leadership void, Ms. Meade suggested.

“I care about the department and what happens to it,” she said.

Her specific responsibilities for now remain undefined, said the Rappahannock resident who serves on that county’s planning commission.

But Ms. Meade, 47, planned to meet with Mrs. Fogle on Thursday to discuss the “logistics of how we will transition this — what I will take over,” she said. “Because it’s a new position, we don’t know at this stage.”

But, overall Ms. Meade hopes to “improve our processes and just help the board of supervisors reach their goals. That’s kind of our role here.”

The community development department handles a range of land-use, transportation, environmental, historic preservation and zoning matters. Among other things, it processes special exception and special permit, rezoning, comprehensive plan amendment and administrative permit applications.

The department has 42 full- and part-time employees and an annual budget of $3.6 million.

Thirty-two people applied for the assistant director’s job, including Ms. Meade and two other community development department employees.

The selection panel interviewed five finalists. Of the three county employees who applied for job, only Ms. Meade got interviewed, according to Mrs. Fogle.

“Holly really has an extensive (planning and zoning) background and is extremely knowledgeable and extremely well organized,” Mrs. Fogle said. “She has a good rapport with (county and state) agencies and others in the county.”

All of that will allow Ms. Meade to “hit the ground running,” the director added.

Until then, Ms. Meade “has a lot to learn,” including “the big picture,” said Mrs. Fogle who joined the department 12 years ago as assistant to Director Rick Carr. “It’s providing leadership; just trying to figure out what would be in the best interest of the county.

“She’ll do an excellent job.”

Mrs. Fogel, who earns $124,161 per year, got appointed director about six years ago.

The county eliminated the assistant director’s position after Mrs. Fogle got the top job.

Board of supervisors Vice Chairman Chris Butler (Lee District) served on the selection panel.

While Mr. Butler spoke well of the five finalists, he favored Ms. Meade because of extensive planning knowledge, experience and understanding of the community.

“She’s climbed the ladder,” the supervisor said. “And I don’t think we can send a better message than if you work hard, you can get promoted” and continue a career with county government.

Ike Broaddus, who with his wife Julie and Charles King owns Old Bust Head Brewing Co. at Vint Hill, also served on the selection panel.

“I’ve worked with Holly over the years and found her to be knowledgeable, competent and hardworking,” said Mr. Broaddus, who worked as the executive director and a member of the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority from 2007 to 2012. “I look forward how she will handle the position.”

The selection committee also included County Administrator Paul McCulla and Human Resources Director Janelle Downes.
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Freedom warrior · November 30, 2017 at 9:01 pm
“just help the board of supervisors reach their goals. That’s kind of our role here.” Really?? The position does not serve at the pleasure of the Board, at least as far as one can tell by the article - she’s a public servant, a hired professional. As a taxpayer, it’s a bit frustrating to hear that an entire department exists to help the elected officials reach their goals. Where’s the sense of public service to the community and its citizens?? So if the Board doesn’t like a proposal, does that mean staff opposes it? Are there not standards, rules, regulations?

The more I read about the town and county, the more baffling it all seems. I think both desperately need a change in leadership - and in all areas - elected, appointed and professional.
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