Just three weeks after submitting her resignation, citing insufficient focus by county officials on tourism, Sandra Maskas was persuaded by interim county administrator Brenda Garton to remain in her post as manager of the Rappahannock County Visitors Center.
“Brenda Garton . . . and I spent some time at the Visitors Center working through some solutions and compromises to the space use and flow of the building, and I felt these resolutions to sharing the space with county administration and guest traffic can work for both,” Maskas informs the Rappahannock News.
“I personally love greeting and assisting visitors with information, maps, and helping them with their travel planning by making suggestions of places they can visit and activities in the area they can explore. I also feel a strong connection to our local business community and Rappahannock County.”
Maskas has manned the county owned Visitors Center on Rt. 211 since it opened in September 2010. She had announced her resignation effective Nov. 6, complaining that ongoing renovations to the building had minimized the Visitors Center space.
“They are shrinking the Visitors Center to one room of the building,” she revealed. “They cut our space by more than half.”
The renovations, which got underway last month, are to provide sorely needed meeting and office space for Rappahannock County officials.
Maskas says Businesses of Rappahannock president Theresa Wood was also on hand to help work out solutions to the new visitors’ space.
Wood said this week that Maskas “is an invaluable asset to our county and I am delighted she has decided to stay on as the manager of the Visitor Center. Sandra, along with several dedicated volunteers, works weekends and holidays to ensure that the thousands of visitors to our county have a pleasant stay. Her love of Rappahannock is boundless and her unbridled enthusiasm for local businesses is simply contagious. You can see it on the faces of the visitors as they leave the center. She’s amazing.”
Wood added: “Sandra took a stand for all the businesses of Rappahannock by putting her job on the line and the county heard her concerns — as well as those expressed by Businesses of Rappahannock — loud and clear. We applaud her commitment to the businesses that make tourism a viable revenue stream for this county.
“Also, I would like to thank Brenda Garton . . . and the board of supervisors for their commitment to keeping Sandra at the [center] and returning use of the center to all the people of Rappahannock — businesses, residents, and visitors.”
Maskas most recently has worked as a paid part-time county employee, albeit without benefits. For six-plus years she had managed the center as a subcontractor and self-employed contractor.