Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

September 16, 2012

Childress tapped to fill seat on Tazewell County Board of Supervisors:

TAZEWELL, Va. — A Pocahontas, Va., resident has been appointed to an interim seat on the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.

The board of supervisors has appointed Thomas Burns Childress, 60, to fill the Northern District seat vacated by Dr. Tom Brewster, who resigned after accepting the position of superintendent of schools for Pulaski County.

The Northern District seat was filled with a vote of three “yes” and one abstention by Supervisor Seth White.

“We interviewed three candidates publicly: Mr. Childress, Mr. David Woodard, and Ms. Maggie Asbury,” Mike Hymes, chairman of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, said after the vote Thursday. “All were outstanding applicants for the seat and did an excellent job handling questions which they had never seen.”

“I applied for the position because a number of people in the Northern District wanted me to apply for it,” Childress said Friday. “I’ve been involved in politics my entire adult life. I’ve been a member of the Tazewell County Democratic Committee since 1974, and except for two years, since there’s been a Northern District in 1987, I’ve been the chairman of the Northern District Democratic Committee.”

Childress said he has run for the county board of supervisors twice. He has worked in several appointed positions in the county’s government.

“Back in the 70s and the early 80s, I was on the Tazewell County Transportation Safety Committee, and since 2000, I’ve been a member of the Tazewell County Planning Commission. The members of that commission are appointed by the board of supervisors, and for the past six years, I’ve been the chairman of the planning commission,” Childress said.

Childress added that he has been a member of the Tazewell County Tourism Committee for the last 11 years. Much of his work history has involved public service.

“From 1973 to 76, I was a juvenile probation and parole officer in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Tazewell,” he said. “And I was away for a year in law school; and then I returned to that position in September 1977 and stayed until September 1980.”

In 1982, Childress was assigned to the Common-wealth’s Attorney in Tazewell County under Virginia’s third-year practice rule. The rule allows third-year law students to practice law under supervision.

Childress said he was not sure how long his appointment to the county board of supervisors would last. He did plan to run for the board if he is able to do so in November 2013.

“From 1984 until the present, I’ve been teaching off-campus classes for Southwest Virginia Community College,” he said. “I teach history, government and business law in Buchanan County and Tazewell County.”

Childress stated that he would be resigning from the board of directors of the Historic Pocahontas and as chairman of that organization’s grant and property committee.

“I will remain a member, but I won’t be involved in making decisions concerning policy,” he said.

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