BOTETOURT – Kathleen Guzi didn’t have to go far to find a new county administrator’s job.
Friday afternoon, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to hire her to be this county’s next administrator.
Earlier this year, she resigned from the administrator’s job in neighboring Bedford County, a position she’d held since 2005.
She assumes the position that Jerry Burgess held for nearly 20 years before his retirement this month. Burgess will be briefing Guzi about some county activities on Monday when she’ll also meet with department heads.
Board members welcomed her after voting to accept an employment contract that followed a brief executive session. She will be paid an annual salary of $132,500.
She thanked the members of the board for their support. “Botetourt is a wonderful community and I’m truly privileged…it’s truly an honor, and I’m thrilled to be here,” she told the board.
Guzi began career in Bedford County, rose through the ranks serving as finance director, assistant county administrator, deputy county administrator and finally county administrator, a post she held for seven years.
A veteran of 25 years in local government management, Guzi becomes Botetourt’s third County Administrator since the 1985.
County residents will have a chance to meet Guzi at Tuesday’s regular Board of Supervisors meeting and at Tuesday night’s public meeting at Lord Botetourt High School. That meeting is to take public input on a $3.6 million shortfall in the county’s proposed 2012-13 budget.
In Bedford, she served a county that saw significant economic and population growth in recent years. During her tenure in Bedford, Guzi prepared and managed the county’s annual operating and capital budgets, which included several special funds. She served on numerous boards and commissions, such as the Region 2000 Economic Development Council and the Regional Local Government Council, and was the county’s representative to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority.
Board of Supervisor’s Chairman Stephen Clinton said, “We are delighted to have obtained a new administrator with Kathleen’s experience and accomplishments. She will be an excellent fit as our county builds on the successes of the recent past, and responds to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Clinton noted in a news release that the county received 53 applications for the position of county administrator and, over the past four months, interviewed five prospects. The five finalist candidates spent considerable time in Botetourt being interviewed by the board, providing written commentary on how they would deal with issues facing the county, and touring the area.
The initial series of interviews reduced the finalist pool to three and the candidates spent additional time with the Board of Supervisors discussing their experience, philosophies and approach to managing county governments.
Candidates were also required to undergo significant reference checks and background investigations of their academic credentials, driving, criminal and credit histories by an independent investigator.
“We had an outstanding group of well-qualified applicants and the selection process was difficult for all of us. However, in the end, we believe Kathleen Guzi will bring the kind of outstanding leadership and experience Botetourt needs for the challenges we as a Board see ahead,” added Clinton.
A past president of the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA), which consists of over 300 county administrators, city and town managers and associated members statewide, Guzi is also a member of the International City County Management Association (ICCMA) and has been appointed to several statewide committees and task forces by the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo).
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Mary Washington College and is a candidate for a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University.
Guzi will move to Botetourt as soon as she and her husband sell their home in Bedford.
Her actual term begins on March 26.