Monday, April 15, 2024

Mark Bellamy Takes Over as Interim York County Administrator

Mark Bellamy is the Interim County Administrator for York County (York County)

YORK COUNTY — Mark Bellamy has taken over as Interim York County Administrator following Neil Morgan’s retirement at the end of 2023, and he is already working to see through existing projects, as well as a few of his own.

Bellamy, a Poquoson High School graduate, has lived most of his life in York County. His father retired from Fort Eustis after a career in the U.S. Army. After graduating from Poquoson, Bellamy went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Wesleyan University and a master’s degree from Averett University, both in business.

Starting his career with York County after a 20-year career in the automotive industry, he began as the fleet manager in 2001. After 10 years, he was promoted to Director of General Services. He then went on to become the Director of Public Works.

“I am serving as the Interim County Administrator until the Board of Supervisors decide what their pleasure is. They could decide that they want me in the job, they could decide they want to do interviews and a search for a candidate, they could do a lot of different things. Right now, especially with the new board members, we’re kind of letting them feel their way out and try to understand the landscape and what it takes to do this kind of work,” Bellamy explained.

Working alongside the Board of Supervisors, Bellamy summed up his role as York County Administrator in one sentence.

“The board’s function is to create policy and my function is to execute that policy,” Bellamy said.

Building Projects

Before Morgan retired, he had begun a series of new building projects, and it is a goal for Bellamy to see them through. The county has recently replaced Fire Station 1, which, according to Bellamy, was one of the first new buildings the county has put up in over 20 years.

“The face and demographics of the county had changed quite a bit during that time period. We were really due for some change to provide services,” Bellamy said.

Since the construction of Fire Station 1, the county has also added Fire Station 7 and a library renovation. Also currently underway are renovations and upgrades to the law enforcement building. Currently, the sheriff’s office is located at the public safety building, which is shared by the fire department, sheriff, and social services.

“When we did a space study, one of the obvious answers was that it seemed like the sheriff’s office ought to have their own building. It’s been a little over a year that we’ve been working on that project. The space is really needed and will be really key in providing service to the residents of the county,” Bellamy said.

The new law enforcement building, located on Goodwin Neck Road, is almost finished, with a planned opening for March 2024.

After the law enforcement building is opened and operational, York County plans to take a look at the planning and development services building for renovations.

Issues facing the county

Bellamy was quick to note that there are three major issues facing York County: Princess Cruises, roads, and drainage. In light of those issues, he is highly encouraging citizens to attend a Board of Supervisors meeting and get involved in the fiscal year 2025 budget process.

“We are trying to get more public input in our budget process. We were challenged by the board last year to get more input from our citizens. We started off the budget process for the year by doing a presentation on the last 10 years of the budget and what the trends look like and what we’re spending money on and what we’re not spending money on,” Bellamy explained.

The board and Bellamy’s office are currently soliciting comments from the public.

“It really seems like people are interested in offering their opinion on the budget. With social media and technology, they don’t necessarily have to show up in person. We’re trying to adapt some of our ways to allow that to happen,” Bellamy said.

According to Bellamy, as of mid-January, there have been more than 30 comments about the budget, which is an increase from previous years.

Goals

Bellamy has several goals of his own as he takes over from Morgan. In addition to seeing Morgan’s building plans to fruition, Bellamy also hopes to continue efforts toward a merger with James City County on a new 911 Center.

“The new 911 Center is still a work in progress that seems to be going very well. It’s still something we are working on and trying to realign the staff to reflect the new mission is an ongoing goal,” Bellamy said.

Bellamy’s office is also continuing to work towards the next steps of the Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority.

Communication

Bellamy and his team are always looking to discuss items with the public. A common misconception, however, is that roads and drainage are something that York County is responsible for.

“The roads are not ours, they belong to VDOT. While we have some modest influence with VDOT, they are the final authority. We don’t get to decide when roads get paved. Any roadside ditch that runs parallel to the road is the responsibility of VDOT, while anything that runs perpendicular to the road, they are usually the responsibility of the county,” Bellamy said.

According to Bellamy, interacting and communicating with the public are the most important parts of his job.

“We’re here to serve, but we have to know about it to help you,” Bellamy said.

To reach the York County Administrator, visit yorkcounty.gov/157/Administration.

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