An Interview With County Administrator: Clarence Monday

Amherst County Guidebook (ACG) 9/30/12

ACG: Have you been able to move your family from Martinsville up to Amherst yet?

Monday: Martinsville ranks at or near the top for the highest unemployment rate in the state, and unfortunately, our house has not sold yet with the large inventory of houses on the market. I currently live in the Clifford community, and the rest of the family comes here on weekends and during mid-week breaks. This has allowed a gradual acclimation to the community. My family recently started the search for our permanent Amherst County home. We look forward to our house selling soon so we are all again under one roof.

ACG: Besides the much larger population of Amherst County (about 32,000 to Martinsville’s 14,000) how would you describe any differences between the people of these two areas?

Monday: Similar. People make a community. I have found the people of Amherst to be open, friendly, and welcoming. The community has a nice feel with folks that are down to earth and willing to engage in conversations as if they have known you all along.

ACG: What do you see as the most challenging issues now confronting Amherst County?

Monday: Amherst County is like many other localities across Virginia, and the nation for that matter. The recession of 2008 still impacts our revenue, and business/industry is hesitant to invest as they did in the past. This results in flat County revenue and limits funding for County services and programs.

ACG: What do you think of the Old Train Depot becoming a Visitor’s Center and office for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce? What has to be done before improvements and construction take place?

Monday: I have heard and respect that the Train Depot Project is of varying opinions with some supporting renovations and other opposing County involvement. Whatever path is chosen going forward, it must be right for the County, Chamber, and community. This could have a positive impact for our County, and if done collaboratively, I see great potential with this property whether a visitor’s center and/or in other roles. This of course is a policy decision of the Board of Supervisors, and the staff will support such decisions. Once VDOT grants final approval, construction will begin soon for this second phase of the project, and funds must be sought for the final and third leg of the project.

ACG: You probably noticed, before you took this job, that there have been several County Administrators that have come and gone in recent years…do you plan to stay a long time?

Monday: Since starting my career in local government in 1984, I have only worked for two employers prior to coming to Amherst County. Changing jobs and relocating is challenging, and my plan is to stay here for the long haul.

ACG: What are a couple of long-term goals you would like to see attained while you are here in Amherst County?

Monday: I do not want to be labeled as another County Administrator that comes and goes so I have already been thinking about long-term County goals including enhancing our tourism and economic development efforts, maintaining up to date strategic and capital improvement plans, further professional development of the County staff, and ensuring that Amherst County is known as a top-notch County of choice for people to live in central Virginia.

ACG: I see that you are a marathon runner. How often do you run them, and what is your best time so far?

Monday: I started running when I was 20 and did not start running marathons until 2006. Since that time, I have completed six marathons with a personal best time of four hours, ten minutes. My goal is to run at least four more and get my time under four hours.

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