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Johnson to retire as county admin in June 2022

Longtime Southampton County Administrator Michael W. Johnson will be retiring from the position at the close of the fiscal year on June 30, 2022.

Michael W. Johnson

He shared his decision with the Southampton County Board of Supervisors in a closed session Sept. 28 and made it public Oct. 7 in a short board meeting during which he briefed the board on the process and timeline for recruiting the next county administrator.

Johnson, 61, is a native of Southampton who has been a county employee since August 1985, and he has held the county administrator position since January 1996. By his retirement date, he will have been a Southampton employee for nearly 37 years and will have served the county in the administrator role for 26 1/2 years.

“I just made the decision recently, but obviously, when you’ve been here as long as I have, you’re beginning to think about it for a while,” he said. “In the Virginia Retirement System, an employee is eligible to retire with 30 years of full service, so I’ve been eligible now for six years, so it was just a matter of looking at what the next step might be and what opportunities might be available, and the time was just right for me to make the move now.”

Johnson is not planning to enter full retirement, though.

“I already have a position lined up that I am looking forward to moving into,” he said, noting he will hold off sharing details about the new position for a later time.

The new job will not require him to move, though.

“I’ll be in the community,” he said.

The board voted unanimously to pass a motion to approve the recruitment timeline Johnson described, which starts this month, and to authorize him to issue the request for proposals from organizations providing outside executive search assistance.