Boyce Town Council Approves Book Deal and Hires New CEO

As the town of Boyce, Virginia prepares for its centennial celebration, Tuesday’s town council meeting reviewed plans to mark the celebration with a craft fair and publication of a comprehensive history. The town council also approved hiring a new code enforcement officer to replace outgoing officer David Tollett.

According to “History of Clarke County”, originally published in 1914 by Thomas Gold, “The town of Boyce was incorporated by the Circuit Court for the County of Clarke on the 28th day of November, 1910, with a recorded population of 312.”

Boyce Town Council (l-r) Richard Campbell, Mayor Franklin Roberts, Erika Kelble, Town Recorder Tamara Myer, Billie Hott, (Carol Everly not pictured.) - Photo Edward Leonard

Now a more recent history of Boyce will be captured in a new book by John Hudson to be released later this year. The publication is a joint venture between the Town of Boyce and the Bank of Clarke County.

Hudson told the town council that the book is ready to go to press and is expected to be 96 pages in length. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be divided equally between the Town of Boyce and the Bank of Clarke County.

“At this moment I believe that I’m the foremost expert on Boyce, Virginia” Hudson told the town council. “This has been a thrilling research project for me.”

Hudson said that he has spent three and a half years doing research, collecting stories and writing the book.

“The book begins with Daniel Morgan moving a road so that he could have a straight line between his mill and Winchester. The book covers Colonel Boyce as well as lots of businesses and people who have been important to Boyce over the years.”

Hudson said that the effort was his personal gift to Boyce. The new book will be printed in mid-August and available for sale at Boyce’s planned October 2nd Centennial Celebration. Hudson said that he will be on hand at the event to sign and sell copies of the book.

At last night’s meeting the town council also unanimously approved hiring James Sager as Boyce’s new code enforcement officer. Sager will replace David Tollett who is leaving after two years to accept a seat on the Berryville Town Council.

Tollett said that he decided to leave the Boyce position to avoid any possible appearance of a conflict of interest with his elected seat on the Berryville town Council.

Tollett, a Berryville resident, served for 13 years International Association of Chiefs of Police as director of the State and Provincial  Police Division and as liaison to the Aviation Committee since its inception in the 1990s. He is a retired Virginia State Police officer and helicopter pilot with 28 years of service. Tollett commanded the Virginia State Police aviation program.

Tollett’s service was commended by Mayor Roberts. “Mr. Tollett has done an excellent job for Boyce, he’s shown an excellent attitude and his efforts are greatly appreciated.”

Tollett commended the Town Council for being excellent public servants to the people of Boyce. “I think that we have accomplished good things working together” Tollett said. “I appreciate the effort that each and every one of you make on behalf of the citizens of Boyce and I am very proud to have been a part of your team.”

As code enforcement officer Tollett implemented a formal citation process to help cure violations of Boyce town ordinances. Tollett said that he recommended a “ticket book” approach because the town needed a little stronger approach for dealing with violations that include problems like unregistered vehicles and unsightly property.

According to Tollett, Boyce’s new code enforcement program was implemented about three months ago and is working very well. Town residents in violation of a code receive town citation and a courtesy letter and have up to thirty days to correct the cited issue. Unattended citation issues next receive a warning letter potentially a property lien if the problem is not corrected.

New code enforcement officer James Sager, a correctional officer and fire fighter, says that he will continue to use the citation system but will first seek compliance through positive communication and relationship building.

“I don’t have any ties to the Boyce community so there is no favoritism towards anyone on my part” Sager said. “I want to build a rapport with people here in Boyce. I think that approach will go further than issuing a ticket.”

In other business, the council unanimously approved appointment of town residents Rodney Bridge and Tommy Beard to the Boyce Planning Commission.