John McCarthy, Rappahannock County’s chief executive for the last 30 years, said this week that rumors of his impending retirement are premature.
“I have never said I wouldn’t be here through the term of my contract,” said the 53-year-old county administrator, whose current four-year contract doesn’t finish until June 30, 2016.
That said, McCarthy has made it clear in introductions at recent public meetings of Debbie Keyser, the assistant county administrator hired in February, that she is an essential part of his eventual exit strategy. He said the experience brought to the position by Keyser, most recently administrator of a significantly larger county government in West Virginia, would likely speed up the process of her appointment as deputy county administrator, probably by July of this year.
“Then there will be two of us,” said McCarthy, who is aware, if not painfully, that he’s already the county’s highest-paid employee ($155,400 annually in this year’s budget) — and that the deputy administrator position is likely to carry an annual salary of about $80,000. (The assistant administrator post was budgeted at about $50,000.)
In any case, McCarthy was apparently introduced at a private dinner last week for Frank Bossio, Culpeper County’s retiring administrator, as the “Rappahannock County administrator, who is also retiring this year.”
He rolls his eyes.
“It was a dinner for Frank, so I didn’t seem right to start off by speaking about my own stuff,” McCarthy said Tuesday, “so I just didn’t say anything.”