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December 03, 2009

County water official to step down

Reader comments (0) DailyProgress By Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gary-fern Gary Fern appearing before the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors
Gary Fern, the executive director of the Albemarle County Service Authority since March 2006, will publicly announce his resignation today.

A special meeting of the ACSA Board of Directors will be held this morning to discuss establishing a search committee to find his replacement.

Fern will continue as the ACSA’s director through the end of February.

The search for a replacement will be directed by Katrina Thraves, the Authority’s human resources manager. Thraves was also in charge of the committee that selected Fern to replace Bill Brent, who had held the position since February 1980.

Fern’s resignation is not the only change that will come to the ACSA. The terms of three members of the Board of Directors expire at the end of this year. Each newly elected Supervisor will choose if those members will be reappointed or replaced. Supervisor Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett) said in an interview with Charlottesville Tomorrow that he will retain Richard Carter in the position. Carter was appointed to fill the expired term of Robert Humphris who retired earlier this year.

Supervisor-elect Duane Snow (Samuel Miller) and Supervisor-elect Rodney Thomas (Rio) have instructed county clerks to publicly advertise the position. Liz Palmer said she will apply but has not yet spoken with Snow. Snow said he has not yet seen any applications, but would consider reappointing Palmer.  Thomas said he is considering three candidates for the position, one of whom is Don Wagner, the current Chairman.

Wagner worked with both Fern and Brent, and said Fern brought an engineer’s knowledge to the position. He added that Fern’s expertise has come in useful at a time when the ACSA is planning several capital projects.

“Gary is an experienced engineer who had run a business, so he brought both backgrounds to the position,” Wagner said. “If we can do as good a job hiring someone this time as we did last time, we’ve done well.”

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