ASHE COUNTY —The Ashe County Department of Social Services Board of Directors will begin their search for a new director beginning in the new year.
That’s according to Judy Poe, a member of the DSS Board of Directors, who says that the board is currently working out the extensive details for the job posting.
Where it all started
The need for a new director follows the retirement of Donna Weaver, who made her decision to leave the department after two public hearings were hosted by Ashe County commissioners in early November as they considered dissolving the agency’s five member board of directors.
A 2012 law, H.B. 438, grants county commissioners the authority to abolish the county’s DSS board and assume it’s basic responsibilities. A few neighboring counties, including Watauga County in May 2013 and Wilkes County in July 2015, have already taken that step.
The Ashe County Board of Commissioners had attempted the takeover on one other occasion in early 2013, but voted not to approve the measure by a 4-1 vote.
Although commissioners ultimately decided to table any vote regarding the board’s future, Weaver, who had been with the agency since 1978, said in a letter addressed to the DSS Board of Directors that she was choosing to retire as the past two years had been “unnecessarily difficult.”
A retirement party was held for Weaver on Nov. 20 at the Ashe County Courthouse where she announced her plan to run for Ashe County Commissioner in 2016.
No rush to hire
Poe said that the board hopes to hire a new director within the next six or seven months, but are not rushing the process.
“We know it’s going to take a while and we’re not really in any hurry. We’ve got someone really good to take over as interim director, so time is not a major consideration for us,” Poe said. “We feel like we’ve got someone who can handle it for the next six to nine months with no problem.”
Randy Revis, an adult services social worker, was named interim Director of Ashe County DSS on Nov. 16, and took over Weaver’s duties on Dec. 1 as the board searches for her full-time replacement.
Revis has been with DSS since July 1, 2010 and has worked with the Developmental Evaluation Center and spent many years working in mental health.
According to Revis, his transition into the interim position is going well so far.
“I can definitely say there’s a good, strong team in place,” Revis said. “Everyone has worked very well and have been very supportive of me. It’s still challenging but it’s made the job doable because of the folks that I work with.”
Revis said he isn’t sure yet if he will be in the running for the permanent director position since the job hasn’t been posted just yet.
“I could be, but we’ll see,” Revis said.
According to Poe, the board is considering all options including the possibility of hiring within the agency or bringing in an outside hire.
On Monday, the board officially established the position’s salary range at $60,000 to $82,716. Poe said the board will continue to work on the position’s job descriptions and qualifications in an attempt to get it posted by the board’s January meeting.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.