Everett named interim Drewryville District supervisor

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors voted Sept. 27 to appoint David B. Everett to serve as the interim Drewryville District supervisor until a special election is held.

The board also voted to petition the Southampton Circuit Court to issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy.

It is unclear how long Everett may be called upon to serve in the seat as the interim supervisor.

“At the end of the day, the judge is going to have to determine the date of a special election or whether it goes to December of next year,” Southampton County Administrator Brian S. Thrower said.

Jones, who passed away Sept. 11, had been reelected to a term that will expire Dec. 31, 2023.

Everett ran against Jones in the latest election for the Drewryville District seat, and he said Jones defeated him by 24 votes.

Newsoms District Supervisor Lynda T. Updike nominated Everett to be the interim supervisor based on the level of support he had received from Drewryville voters.

“He got 48% of the votes,” she said.

GREENE SEEKS APPOINTMENT

During the public comment period of the Sept. 27 board meeting, Emory L. Greene Jr. spoke, seeking the board’s support for his appointment to the Drewryville District seat. He shared a short resumé, and said that a long one is available if supervisors desire it.

“I’ve been serving for my government ever since I was 19 years old, but I served on a different level than at the local level,” he said, noting that he performed civil service for the government in the Army.

He said he has experience as a board member, having sat on many boards for the military, in the country and out of the country, he has served on the county’s equalization board and also on church boards.

“I think I’m qualified because I am open-minded, flexible,” he said, and he highlighted his multicultural experience as well. “Of the 50 states, I’ve been in about 48, and I’ve been overseas several times in my other position working for the Army. I’m a consensus builder.”

Expressing his desire to make a positive difference somewhere on the local level, he said, “I think I’m well-qualified to do the job, willing to do the job.”

REDISTRICTING COULD IMPACT APPOINTEE

Later in the meeting, the board voted, under state requirement, to approve a redistricting ordinance that transitioned Southampton County from having seven districts to having five.

Supervisors noted that this change moves the Newsoms District into the Boykins District territory and the Drewryville District into the Capron District territory.

Speaking to County Attorney Richard Railey, Capron District Supervisor and Board Vice Chair William Hart Gillette said, “In this new structure with five districts, an appointee would serve the Drewryville district at present, but in a year, that’s done away with. Would that negate that individual from running in the new district that is part of his residency?”

“I’m inclined to agree with you,” Railey said as he consulted the Code of Virginia, indicating that whoever is appointed as the interim supervisor would be eligible for later elections but probably not the most immediate one.

Green and Everett were asked if they were still interested in the appointment with those terms.

“I’m OK with the way that the statute is structured,” Green said. “I’m just concerning myself on this year. I’m not ready to look into next year at this point. But I’m concerned with just doing what I can do to serve the people of the Drewryville District.”

Everett said the inability to run in the next election did not matter to him.

“If that’s the way it is, (the appointment is) just a year and a couple months, then however I can serve the county is what I want to do,” he said.

Depending on the timing of a special election, the appointment could be even briefer than the length of time Everett specified.

SUPERVISORS SHARE SUPPORT AND VOTE

Boykins District Supervisor Carl J. Faison said he has known Green for a lot of years, “and he certainly has my support.”

Jerusalem District Supervisor and Board Chair Dr. Alan W. Edwards echoed Updike’s thoughts on Everett being the most ideal candidate for the appointment.

“The only thing I can say is I’ve thought about this a lot too,” he said. “I’ve felt that maybe Mr. Everett was the most appropriate candidate. He got almost half the votes in that district. I don’t know if anybody else is more qualified than that.”

Faison said, “I don’t see how we can make the comparison between Mr. Everett and Mr. Green when Mr. Green didn’t run, so we don’t know what his percentage would have been.”

Separate votes were taken for each candidate, with Green receiving three votes and Everett receiving four to clinch the appointment.

Berlin/Ivor District Supervisor Christopher D. Cornwell Sr. explained why he voted for Everett.

“Mr. Green, I appreciate you being here and sharing your resumé with us and introducing yourself to us,” he said. “And the reason I voted the way I did is based on the last election and the percentage of the people of that district that did support Mr. Everett.”

EVERETT HIGHLIGHTS QUALIFICATIONS

In a Friday, Sept. 30, interview, Everett noted that he has lived in the Drewryville District since 1984, and he has dedicated his life to public service.

“You get a whole lot more with helping others than you do by helping your own self,” he said.

He served in the Army out of high school, worked for the Virginia Department of Corrections for 35 years and also served as a pastor for five years. He retired right when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

In his career with corrections, he started as a correctional officer in 1979 and educated himself, working his way up, he noted.

“I’ve been an executive with the state,” he said. “I was a warden, and then I was regional director where all the wardens and all the probation and parole chiefs in this third of the state reported to me. I used to manage a $300 million budget.”

As one of Virginia’s three regional operations chiefs, he oversaw 14 probation and parole districts and 10 prisons.