Nicholson Leaves Round Hill, Becomes Purcellville’s Public Works Director

Add Round Hill to the list of Loudoun towns seeking a new government leader and Purcellville to the list of towns with a new department head.

Four days after Round Hill Town Administrator Amos “Buster” Nicholson submitted his resignation to the Town Council after serving five years as the town’s chief administrative officer, the Town of Purcellville announced that he has been hired as the town’s public works director.

Nicholson will replace Interim Public Works Director Dawn Ashbacher, who has held the position since February.

“Nicholson was an exceptional hire for our community and I am confident in my decision that we selected the best candidate to ensure proper management of our critical public infrastructure, sustainability of our water resources and judicial fiscal management of our bottom line,” said Purcellville Town Manager David Mekarski.

While the Round Hill Town Council will decide a transition plan at its Oct. 4 meeting, Nicholson will continue to serve in his post until Oct. 19. He will start work in Purcellville on Oct. 22, and manage the town’s largest department.

Negotiations on his salary are continuing. The last person to hold the public works director position was Alex Vanegas, who was paid $128,000 in fiscal year 2018.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser said that he is confident that the town’s public infrastructure “will be in good hands.”

Amos “Buster” Nicholson

Nicholson said he’s enjoyed working with Round Hill Mayor Scott Ramsey, the Town Council, residents and staff and that his career skills have “grown immensely” from collaborating with town staff and council members.

He said that he was impressed by the professionalism of the Purcellville staff and their “genuine care for serving the residents of Purcellville.”

“I am looking forward to working with them in continuing to make Purcellville a great place to live,” he said.

Ramsey said that the town would miss Nicholson and wishes him “a lot of success as his career progresses.”

Nicholson’s move to Purcellville comes 10 months after Rob Lohr was hired as Round Hill’s part-time project specialist—a role Lohr took on after retiring from his position as Purcellville’s town manager after 24 years.

Round Hill will now need to hire a new town administrator to manage planned upgrades to the town’s water system and a major sidewalk and trail project that is soon to go to construction.

“For a small town, we have a lot going on to challenge our next administrator,” Ramsey said.

The town is also looking for its own public works director, a position that will pay up to $95,000 annually and require supervision of the town’s utility and maintenance programs.

Additionally, the Lovettsville Town Council is working to develop a short list of applicants for its town manager post, following the retirement of Sam Finz. The Middelburg Town Council is also preparing to replace longtime Town Manager Martha Mason Semmes, who plans to retire at the end of this year.

Finz Steps Down in Lovettsville, Semmes Set to Retire in Middleburg in December

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