Charles Bopp – who has represented the Robinson District on the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors since first being elected in 2007 – announced Monday night he is retiring from the board.
‘Since I was first elected to the Board of Supervisors from the Robinson District in 2007, it has been my honor, my privilege and my duty to serve the good folks of my district and the county,” said Bopp at the close of Monday night’s board meeting.
“I have always taken this responsibility very seriously to do the best job I can as your representative and as a county official. I have never been a person who disregards a responsibility, but rather a person who gives my all to anything I’ve said I will do.
“It was my intention when I ran for re-election in 2019 to serve my entire four-year term. It is with sadness that I tell you I am unable to continue to serve in this role due to health issues and I will soon be resigning from the Board of Supervisors,” Bopp stated.
The veteran supervisor said he had not made his decision lightly.
“If I felt my health was going to allow me to complete my term, then I would continue to serve,” he said, disclosing that earlier this year he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
“At first, I thought the effects it would have on me would not affect my service or prevent me from completing my term in office. But, as the weeks and months have gone on, I realize that the disease is weighing heavily on me, and I regretfully can no longer perform this job at the level it deserves.”
Bopp said his retirement from the board will help relieve him of a “burden of duty and will allow me and my family to concentrate on my health and well-being.”
Bopp said it is his plan to serve through the organizational meeting of the board set for January 4.
“I have told Chairman Guthrie that it is my desire before I resign to nominate him for another term as Chair because I appreciate his leadership and the fine work he does as Chair.
“It is also my desire to attend tonight’s meeting and add my ‘yes’ vote to the renewing of Mr. (Jonathan) Sweet’s contract. I want to add my voice of confidence in Mr. Sweet and the fine work he is doing for the county. It is very important to keep Jonathan here working for us. We appreciate all he has done and look forward to what he will continue to do here,” Bopp said.
Earlier in the meeting, the board voted unanimously to renew Sweet’s contract as County Administrator for another four years.
Noting he has enjoyed working with his fellow board members, Bopp – who also serves as Vice Chairman of the board – said he also looks back fondly on serving with all the other board members he has served with over the years. “I will cherish these memories,” he said.
“I will also look with pride at the many accomplishments the Board of Supervisors and our county staff have done over the time I have been a member of the Board. We have made Pulaski County a better place to live, work, play, raise a family, and retire,” he said.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all the folks in the Robinson District for voting for me four times, and for giving me your confidence and your trust to be your supervisor. Everything I did in this office I did with what I thought was best for you and your families.
“Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my family and especially my wife Kathy for all your love and support for me. I could not have done this job without you being there for me and by my side every step of the way.
“Pulaski County will always be my home. I was happy that I was able for 14 years to help make it a better place for all of us to call our home. Now I will step aside to allow someone else to carry on that legacy of success so I can devote my time and attention to my health and to my family.
“Thank you and God Bless Pulaski County,” Bopp said.
Each supervisor offered statements of thanks to Bopp for his years of service.
Massie Supervisor John Travis said Bopp had done a superb job and has always been faithful to the different organizational boards he had served with.
“I thank Mr. Bopp for his dedication and service to the citizens of Pulaski County and the Robinson District, and for all his help to me as a new board member,” said Ingles District Supervisor Laura Walters. “Most of all, I thank him for his kindness and friendship. He will be missed on the Board of Supervisors. Now it is time for him to take care of himself and his family. We wish him the best.”
Draper District Supervisor Dirk Compton said Bopp had taught him a lot.
“He did this (serve as a supervisor) for the right reasons. His main focus has been to take care of the people of the Robinson District, and I really appreciate that. I’ve always valued his advice and counsel, and he will be missed,” said Compton.
“On behalf of my fellow members of the Board of Supervisors and the people of Pulaski County, I want to thank Mr. Bopp for all the time and work he has given to the county during his 14 years of elected service on the board,” stated Board Chairman Joe Guthrie. “While we wish he could finish his term, we are supportive of the decision he has made that his retirement from the board is best for him, his health, and his family. He has contributed much to his community, and we will be forever grateful to him for all he has done as a supervisor.”
Bopp is in the middle of his fourth term on the board, which was due to end when the entire board of supervisors is up for election in 2023.
In his four campaigns for supervisor, Bopp won two elections by comfortable margins and was unopposed in two others.
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot
Statement on Appointment Process Following Mr. Bopp’s Retirement
There is a process in state law for how to go about replacing Mr. Bopp on the board. Following Mr. Bopp’s official resignation, the process as stated by County Attorney Tim Kirtner is as follows:
“When Mr. Bopp’s seat becomes vacant, the BOS will initially appoint someone from the Robinson District to serve. That person will serve until a new supervisor is seated through a special election. Within 15 days of the vacancy, we will need to petition the Circuit Court for a writ of election to hold a special election to fill the seat. Unless we request an earlier date, that special election would be held on the date of the next general election in November.”
The first step in this process begins with the Board of Supervisors appointing a person from the Robinson District to fill the immediate vacancy. The Board of Supervisors will do this through an open and fair process. Any eligible person who is qualified to vote in the Robinson District and has an interest in being considered may make their interest known to the Board of Supervisors by completing a simple one-page application form. Contact Cheryl Farris in the County Administrator’s Office during business hours at 540-994-7705 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications are available through the close of business day on Thursday, December 30th other than when the office is closed December 23rd through 26th. Applications will be due to be back to the County Administration office no later than the close of the business day on Monday, January 3rd, 2022. The Board of Supervisors will then begin reviewing the applications and scheduling interviews with a goal of having the appointment made in time for the new member to begin serving on the board at the regular January 24th, 2022 meeting.
Also, during the first 15 days following Mr. Bopp’s retirement in early January, County Attorney Tim Kirtner will petition the circuit court for a writ of election to hold a special election to fill the vacancy. In consulting with the other members of the board, I believe the consensus is that the special election will be on the date of the next general election, November 8, 2022. We will plan to vote at the organizational meeting in January, which will be the date of Mr. Bopp’s retirement, to give the County Attorney the direction as to the petition he is to file seeking the writ of election. All the regular filing requirements and deadlines for being on the ballot will apply to this special election. That election will determine who will fill the seat on the board until the term ends following the general election in November 2023.
The person appointed to fill the vacancy might or might not choose to run in the special election and there might or might not be opposition. The winner of the special election will serve for one year, 2023, which will be all that will remain of this term. So, there will be a regular election in Robinson District as there will be in all five Magisterial Districts in November 2023 for a new 4-year term which begins January 1, 2024.
Questions regarding the process can be directed to the contact information above for the County Administration Office. If needed, your question will be directed to Mr. Jonathan Sweet the County Administrator or Mr. Kirtner the County Attorney.
Applications for Appointment
The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors is seeking applications for the appointment of Board of Supervisor to the Robinson District.
Interested candidates must reside within the Robinson District and fill out the application form, which can be submitted with a resume and supporting documentation via email to Cheryl Farris, Administration Office Manager, at: email@example.com. Applicants may choose to return the application and supporting documentation by mail or in person to:
Cheryl Farris, Administration Office Manager, Pulaski County
143 Third Street N.W.
Pulaski, VA 24301
Note: All applications must be received in the office on or before close of business (5:00 P.M.), on Monday, January 3, 2022.
Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to Jonathan D. Sweet, ICMA-CM, Pulaski County Administrator, by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: (540) 980-7705.