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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Planning Director, Mitchell resigns

Colonial Beach is currently looking for a Planning Director to fill the shoes of Gary Mitchell, who is resigning to take another job in Richmond. Mitchell said his decision to leave is “strictly based on quality of life.”

The new job will reduce his present 2 ½ hours commute time. The move to his new job will give him more time to spend with his family. “My children are growing up, and I am missing their childhood.”

He will not only have more time to be with his family, he will also save money on gas, and wear and tear on his car. Mitchell says, “Additionally, the cost of gasoline is an important aspect in my decision. The position within the City of Richmond has the same pay rate/benefits as what I have here in Colonial Beach. During the past 5 years, I have put 150K miles on my car.”

Planning Department accomplishments under Gary Mitchell
• Over $1.4 million in grants
• The establishment of an enterprise zone, technology zone, tourism zone and an arts & culture district in town
• A re-vamping of the Town website
• Linkage to regional and statewide tourism efforts
• Τηε Safe Routes to School Program
• 2 Planning Awards – one for the 2029 Comprehensive Plan and one for the Business Revitalization Plan
• 4 addendums to the Comprehensive Plan to keep the plan current and up to date
• The development of multiple public educational brochures
• The holding of an annual contractor’s meeting (2014 meeting will be this fall.)
• The development of a standard operating procedures manual for department staff
• Α  complete rewrite, update and adoption of the subdivision ordinance
• Α complete rewrite, update and adoption of the zoning ordinance


The decision to leave was not easy for Mitchell, “I want to say that in over 20 years working in local government, I have never had a supervisor as good as the current Town Manager!” He said also of  the Town Manager, Val Foulds, “She is an excellent supervisor, and it was a hard decision for me to make – mostly because of her excellent leadership!”

Foulds stated that filling Mitchell’s position would not be simple. Mitchell’s experience as a Planning Director is essential to executing the recently awarded Revitalization Grant.

Foulds said that the job originally was filled by a building and zoning director, but Mitchell’s experiences as a planner has added another dimension to the position, and the experience as a planning director is needed to help implement the recently awarded Revitalization Grant and others currently in process.

Mitchell said that it has been a pleasure to work with other town employees. He said, “It seems that Town staff has been brought together in a real sense of TEAM.” This, he credits to Foulds’ leadership.
Although there have been many accomplishments in the planning department over the last five years, Mitchell said, “While much work is still to be accomplished, I believe that with the award of the revitalization grant, the Town is on the right path to become THE Revitalized Commercial Center of the Northern Neck. I can only wish everyone success in the future.”

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