Richmond County, with a population of 9,000 people, is definitely a rural county, according to County Administrator R. Morgan Quicke. Because he is faced with a number of different things pertaining to the County, he has had to learn a little about a lot of areas, but is not an expert in any of them. He stated his main strength lies in the area of finance. He mentioned that in dealing with County issues, the Board of Supervisors is a group of people who genuinely care about Richmond County. Quicke also commented how well they work together to solve whatever may arise.
A lack of major transportation venues, such as an interstate highway system or large, heavily traveled roads, in addition to the lack of airports or railroads cause Richmond County to be somewhat isolated. Quicke mentioned that building and property values in the County have remained steady for the last 10 to 20 years, as indicated by building reports and vehicle registration. Agriculture remains the main source of income for this area. Due to the lack of waterfront in the county, there has been little real estate developed for purely recreational purposes.
Commenting on the annual budget for the County, he said building a smart budget that will provide for the needs of the county as well as allowing them to plan for the future can be very difficult. He stated he has the arduous job of molding 15departments into one budget. Because Richmond County is not a tax and spend government, efficient spending is required to balance the budget utilizing a concept referred to as a trickle down of finances. Quicke stated that he has learned to do more with less, structuring the balance necessary by rating the importance of expenses to keep the County solvent and provide for the people of Richmond County within their means.
Read the full story in the January 25 edition of the Northern Neck News