He’s done a great job
According to news accounts, Nottoway County Administrator Ronnie Roark is preparing to retire.
Roark is the longest-serving county administrator in Virginia, and he’s approaching 46 years in office. Those of us who have had reason to work with Mr. Roark can easily understand why he has held his position for so long.
Mr. Roark has fulfilled the duties of his office with dedication and concern for the citizens of this county. He has been “tight” with County funds, saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
Ronnie Roark is a country boy -- born on a farm in Halifax County, where he learned to make do with what he had. He wasn’t always looking for things on which to spend County money.
He often guided Supervisors around unnecessary expenditures that some departments felt were necessary but would not have benefitted taxpayers. He understood that “bells and whistles” were luxuries that weren’t needed to get the job done.
One important reason why Mr. Roark has held his position for so long was his ability to work with his “bosses” -- all five of them.
Mr. Roark works with, and at the pleasure of, the Board of Supervisors. Those bosses would occasionally change every few years. Mr. Roark had to break them in. He must have done a good job because there has never been any effort by any Supervisor to show him the door.
Mr. Roark had no “office hours.” Like the late Dave Maben, who was Blackstone Town Manager for many years, he sees what needs to be done and takes care of it, no matter the hour. He spends a major part of his life attending meetings of one kind or another.
Mr. Roark goes out of his way to avoid any hint of impropriety associated with this county or his office. If he has personal business with anyone or even needs to stop at a store, and he passes that place on his way home from the courthouse, he will drive home in the County car, get his personal vehicle, and then drive back to the place he needs to visit.
It would be impossible to enumerate all the major accomplishments of Mr. Roark over the past 46 years.
Suffice it to say that he has conducted this county’s business in an honest and dignified manner, always putting the County first and often ahead of his personal feelings.
Nottoway County has been blessed to have a man like Ronnie Roark at the helm while this county navigated some tricky waters.
As is so often the case, he won’t really be missed until the day comes when instead of heading for the courthouse, he’ll be leaving home to check on his cows and perhaps bale them some hay.
However Mr. Roark spends his time, the citizens of this county should wish him well. He has earned the gratitude of county residents. .