This organization, the Joint Industrial Development Authority, is but one illustration of the cooperation local governments undertake regularly here in Wythe County. The County of Wythe partners with the Town of Wytheville and Town of Rural Retreat in funding a shared effort in economic development.
Founded in 1789, Wythe County is a place rich with cultural and commercial heritage. For centuries, people have passed through these valleys as they made their way west into what was once the frontier.
In time, a strong agricultural economy developed that exists to this day. Wythe County remains among Virginia’s most prolific counties in agricultural products.
Over the past two centuries, Wythe County has grown to be an important commercial center in Western Virginia with a diverse economic base. From manufacturing to beverage production and from automotive components to product packaging, the array of products produced here is broad.
Wythe County has two towns inside its boundaries, Wytheville and Rural Retreat, and a number of smaller communities throughout.
Wythe County Government
Wythe County is governed by a seven-member Board of Supervisors and the County is run on a day-to-day basis by a County Administrator and staff. Wythe County recently underwent a regular revision of the document designed to guide the future of the area, the comprehensive plan.
Currently, the Board of Supervisors is led by Chairman Brian Vaught and Wythe County’s Administrator is Stephen Bear.
Other elected officials also govern Wythe County and are prescribed in the Virginia Constitution.
Clerk of Circuit Court
The Clerk of Circuit Court is responsible for over 800 individual duties in the Code of Virginia. Ranging from Probate Judge to Custodian of Court Cases and Land Records, this office has a broad bearing in each Virginia county. The current Clerk of Circuit Court is Jeremiah Musser.
Commissioner of Revenue
The Commissioner of Revenue is the chief local official charged with assessing property and administering revenue laws. Property, tools, machinery, and more, are assessed under the auspices of the Commissioner of Revenue. Kathy Vaught is the current Commissioner of Revenue for Wythe County.
In Virginia, the Treasurer in a given county is in charge of receiving, accounting for, and disbursing money. This involves tax collections, the fiduciary care of revenue and cash assets, and ultimately the use of those moneys. Lori Guynn is Wythe County’s Treasurer.
Virginia’s Sheriffs are the only elected law enforcement officers in the state. Their duties range generally from law enforcement (patrol, traffic, investigations, etc.), court service (security and civil process), and (in some jurisdictions) administration of a jail. Currently Wythe County’s Sheriff is Charles W. Foster.
Each county and independent city in Virginia elects a constitutional officer called the Commonwealth’s Attorney. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is responsible prosecuting crimes within the given jurisdiction. Mike Jones serves as Wythe County’s current Commonwealth’s Attorney.
TOWN OF WYTHEVILLE
Founded as Evansham in 1792, the county seat of Wytheville has fast become an important regional commercial center. Its highly developed service industry caters especially well to travelers. Rich in history and beauty, Wytheville serves as an important crossroads both literally and figuratively. It’s a gateway between many population centers and also has been a historic stop-off for the weary traveler. Wytheville’s Downtown is currently undergoing a thriving revitalization project.
Wytheville is governed by a Council-Manager form of government with five elected members of the Wytheville Town Council. The Council employs a Town Manager and staff who then carry out all the duties required to administer the Town government and the services it provides.
Wytheville’s Mayor is Beth Taylor and the Town Manager is Brian Freeman.
Originally known as Mount Airy, Rural Retreat was a frontier town settled primarily by Germans. Once known as the world’s cabbage capital, Rural Retreat has long been a center for agricultural products and their distribution via rail. Rural Retreat, like Wytheville, has recently undertaken major Downtown revitalization efforts, the centerpiece of which is the restoration of its historic rail depot. Incidentally, One of O. Winston Link’s most famous photographs was taken at the depot in Downtown Rural Retreat.
Rural Retreat is governed by a seven-member Town Council and the Council employees a Town Manager. Currently, the mayor is Tim Litz and the Town Manager is Jason Childers.
The JIDA of Wythe County proudly represents these communities in economic development matters. Please let us know if we can provide any additional information about our communities.