Charlotte Court House adds their first town manager

Published 11:09 am Thursday, October 26, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Town of Charlotte Court House is trying something different. When their longtime clerk decided to retire after more than 20 years, the council didn’t fill the position. They changed it instead, creating an opening for a town manager. 

“Things are a bit more complex than they used to be,” Charlotte Court House Mayor David Watkins said. “Over the last few years especially, we have been finding out there are so many other duties involved with running a town than what a clerk handles. Since our clerk was looking to retire, the council decided now was a good time to hire a town manager.” 

And that’s what they did, posting the position and eventually filling it in September. On Thursday, Sept. 7, Sara Crawford officially took over as the town’s first manager, moving over from the town treasurer’s office, where she had spent the past seven years. 

A native of Charlotte County and a graduate of Randolph-Henry High, Crawford said she felt having those local connections definitely helps in a position like this. 

“I grew up in Charlotte County, I’ve been here my whole life,” Crawford said. “Being a local person, I think that helps because you kinda already know the background, who’s who and what’s going on.” 

It makes the adjustment easier, Crawford said, as she and the council figure out what her focus is going to be. That starts with developing a long-term plan. 

“Because the position is very new to the town, we’re just trying to identify what is the priority of needs for Charlotte Court House,” Crawford said. “It may even just be a desire, detailing what projects the council wants to work on. Then I create a plan, putting priorities first and then just make them happen. The town just wants to go to the next level and that means being involved more and seeing what opportunities are out there.”  

Charlotte Court House looks ahead

Part of that plan involves looking towards the town’s future. Mayor Watkins said it’s time for Charlotte Court House to let people know what they have to offer. While he acknowledges that the town is a bit full and may not bring in many more long-term residents, Watkins says the council sees plenty of potential as a tourism spot. 

“We’re just putting it out there, what a neat little town it is,” Watkins said. “Then there’s also the historical aspect. That might promote more tourism. We’re just coming up with some ideas to celebrate who we are and where we are.”

Watkins added that the idea of promotion is a bit new for Charlotte Court House, but much needed. He added that the council is looking forward to seeing how all of this goes. 

“It’s gonna be fun to see how it goes,” Watkins said. “I’ve been on council 38 years. We’ve had various mayors, various town clerks. We really haven’t reached out very much into promoting our town.” 

Watkins and Crawford both say it’s too early to know what that exactly looks like, as in what type of promotion the town will focus on or what projects in general. That will come together through discussions over the next month, as Crawford works on a long-term plan. But the new manager says she’s excited for the opportunity to help people here. 

“I’m excited to be a part of the town of Charlotte Court House, to serve the citizens,” Crawford said. “It’s a small town, yes, but small towns can do big things.”