By NATALIE MILLER
The Ashland Town Council appointed a new Town Council member and two new Ashland Planning Commissioners at their June 20 meeting.
Former Deputy County Administrator for Community Development John Hodges was appointed to Town Council, filling the seat which will soon be vacated by vice mayor James Murray. Murray is leaving Ashland in the next month to study law at Duke University, after serving on Town Council since 2014.
According to Murray, Hodges was a great pick for Town Council.
“I could not be happier,” Murray said of Hodge’s appointment to the council. “I don’t think it’d be possible to find a more qualified candidate to fill the remainder of the term.”
Hodges served Hanover for about 30 years before retiring at the end of 2010. He was the Director of Planning for Hanover in the 1980s and later became the Hanover County Deputy County Administrator for Community Development.
“It’ll be hard for him not to be a stellar member of council,” Murray said.
Town Council appointed Lynda Wright to fill Felix Stevens’s current position on the Ashland Planning Commission. Stevens is leaving his seat on the commission since he was hired as the Town’s new finance director.
Wright is an associate professor and Head of Technical Services at Randolph-Macon College’s McGraw-Page Library.
The council appointed Scott Rowe to fill Robert Brown’s seat when he retires from his position on the commission. Rowe is an employee of Hanover County Public Schools.
“It was wonderful and difficult, looking at the talent that’s in this town and the passion that’s out there to serve,” council member Steve Trivett said of the months-long interviewing and decision process.
“We just want to say hats off to the population of this town.”
In other news, Ashland Town Council recognized the 14 recent graduates of the Ashland Citizen Leadership Academy at their June 20 meeting. The academy includes monthly seminars that teach Ashland residents and workers how the Town operates.
Academy participants discuss local issues, and may prepare to serve on local boards and committees in the future.