Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin has been elected to serve as president of the Virginia Local Government Managers Association.
County administrators and town and city managers gathered for the VLGMA annual conference elected its slate of officers for 2019-20 with Ervin poised to lead the organization after serving the past year as president-elect. Ervin succeeds Chesterfield County Administrator Dr. Joe Casey.
Ervin has served as Rocky Mount’s town manager since January 2007, when he was promoted after six months as the assistant town manager. Prior to working in Rocky Mount, Ervin led the IT department, among other duties, for then-city of Bedford. He started his Virginia local government service in 1989 after working for the Supreme Court of Florida.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science from Florida State University, earned a graduate certificate in Local Government Management from Virginia Tech in 2010 and was the University of Virginia Wallerstein Fellow in 2011.
“We’ve got to stay centered and stay focused on leadership,” Ervin told the assembled managers. “We’ve got to remember that higher moral purpose of our calling as we perform the duties of these jobs that are often viewed as impossible.”
In the wake of the recent employee shooting at Virginia Beach, Ervin called on fellow managers to be mindful of their staffs, to provide the support, outreach and tools necessary to do their jobs, reminding employees that they are the most valuable assets of their communities.
“In your locality, I guarantee you it’s easier to build an animal shelter than a homeless shelter,” said Ervin. “That’s a leadership problem. Our challenge is to keep government functioning in these turbulent times, figuring out how to work with our bodies and boards to get to ‘yes.’”
The Virginia Local Government Manager’s Association was formed in 1947 and has 400 members from local governments across Virginia. Its mission is to sustain professional and effective local government management in Virginia.