By Randy Arrington
LURAY, Jan. 26 — The Luray Council unanimously appointed Stephanie Lillard to its ranks during a special meeting Tuesday night.
The appointment fills a position left vacant when former councilman Jerry Dofflemyer won the mayor’s seat in November. Dofflemyer’s council term extends through Dec. 31, 2022.
During the council’s Jan. 11 meeting, the town attorney reported to council that a writ had been filed with the Page County Circuit Court to allow the town to hold a special election on Nov. 2 to fill the remainder of the term. Tuesday’s appointment expires Dec. 31, 2021.
The deadline for candidates to file for the Nov. 2 special election is June 8.
“The Town of Luray appreciates the interest of our citizens in serving the community,” read a statement in the council’s agenda packet. “Town Council received several applications from very qualified candidates. The individual meetings with the candidates revealed that each brought a breadth of experience and knowledge, as well as deep community spirit. The Town Council hopes that those candidates not selected continue to advance Luray through their service and will consider assisting the Town through other opportunities available in the Town’s governance.”
Lillard was chosen among a field of four applicants, who were interviewed by council members during two closed session held Saturday, Jan. 16 and Wednesday, Jan. 20.
Since Oct. 4, 2017, Lillard has served as a Development Specialist with the Richmond-based Virginia Tourism Corporation. In 2013, Page County hired Lillard as Director of Community and Economic Development — a position that had laid dormant for four years prior to Lillard’s arrival.
During her tenure with the county, the lifelong resident:
- Worked with the Page County Economic Development Authority, serving as treasurer and the District 2 representative;
- Helped create both a Technology and Enterprise Zone within Page County to attract new business;
- Revitalized the EDA’s small business loan program;
- Launched the Page Valley Artisans Trail;
- Helped coordinate the inaugural Farm2Fork event;
- Served on the Steering Committee for the Shenandoah Vision Team for the Town of Shenandoah;
- Served as secretary and treasurer on the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors;
- Served in officer roles on the Page County United Way’s Board of Directors.
“All of our candidates were very well qualified,” Mayor Dofflemyer said during Tuesday’s special meeting, which preceded a scheduled work session.
“I thought each candidate was well qualified,” newly elected Councilman Ligon Webb stated. “We had four candidates, and I think we could have picked a name out of a hat and we would still be okay.”
Webb then proceeded to make a motion to appoint Lillard to the vacant council seat. Councilman Ron Vickers seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously.
While working for VTC, Lillard has maintained close contact and continued to work with local officials in the county. Fellow council members hope she joins their ranks with the same sentiment that she stated in September 2017, as she was preparing to transition from the county to VTC.
“I will always be a champion for our community.”