Your County, Your Board, Moving Forward Together.

Dr. James E. Baker

Dr. James E. Baker

Board Member

Odell Owens

Odell Owens

Board Member

Vernon L. Smith

Vernon L. Smith

Board Member

Cell: (276) 494-8179

Committees & Advisory Boards

The Washington County Board of Supervisors establishes and makes appointments to various Committees and Advisory Boards throughout the year.  Most Committees and Advisory Boards are established at the Board of Supervisors’ Annual Meeting held in early January (please refer to the Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Supervisors for their first January meeting of the current year for a listing of established Committees/Advisory Board for the year and appointments thereto).  Committees and Advisory Boards meet on a regular or as-needed basis, usually coordinated by County administrative personnel.  Committees of the Board of Supervisors are composed of two or three Board members, assisted by County administrative personnel and/or other persons appointed by Board Committee members.  Some Committees are constituted jointly with one or more other County boards, authorities or commissions and are referred to as Joint Committees.  Advisory Boards to the Board of Supervisors are composed of up to seven persons appointed by the Board of Supervisors, based on County Election Districts, organizations and/or at-large representation (no Board of Supervisors members serve on Advisory Boards). Committees and Advisory Boards are charged with a variety of responsibilities, usually to review and advise the Board of Supervisors and other bodies on specific matters or issues of interest to the County government.  Committees and Advisory Boards serve an important role in their ability to focus on specific matters in detail and render advice and recommendations for formal action by the Board of Supervisors and others. Meeting of Committees and Advisory Boards are posted to the website’s Calendar.


This is Who We Are. This is Where We Are Going.

Washington County distinguishes itself as the fastest growing, most progressive County in Southwest Virginia.  While always looking to the future, we value the preservation of our heritage and character and foster and support all the things that make us special as a people.  We want newcomers and natives alike to value and appreciate what makes us unique in character and to actively work to preserve our traditions and customs.  We have varied opportunities for past-time pursuits, employment, outdoor recreation, and choices in residential living.  We maintain and promote an effective mix of vocations to provide diversity in our employment base.  Of paramount importance is the protection of our natural beauty: our farmlands and mountains, breathtaking and serene rural landscapes and moderate seasonal climate.  We place special emphasis on culture and education, and work diligently to distinguish the County as a regional destination for recreation, cultural heritage, shopping, and as a hub of governmental activity and professional services.  We take great pride in our reputation as a role model for all counties in Southwest Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth. For the purpose of keeping our citizens informed, involved, and believing in what we are doing, the Board of Supervisors has articulated this Vision for Washington County which will be achieved through a focus on the following outcomes:

Land Use:

Rural, residential, retail, and industrial endeavors prosper throughout Washington County in a mutually respectful and non-invasive fashion. Washington County is a preserve of heritage and historical beauty.  A drive through the County provides opportunity for relaxation and enjoyment of natural environments including flowing rivers, mountains, lakes, creeks, hills, and pastures.  Historic landmarks are lovingly preserved and farmland and rural ambiance are protected and productive.  Residential neighborhoods are attractive, orderly, and serene with children playing safely in their yards.  Commercial and industrial developments prosper without interrupting the peace and quiet in residential and rural areas.  Visitors are delighted by the cleanliness of the County.  Nestled within the hills and valleys of the County, distinct rural communities add unique character to the County’s personality and create opportunity for socializing, entertainment, and grassroots involvement and education among local residents.


Washington County is a premier leisure and adventure destination. Washington County is the center of recreational diversity in Southwest Virginia.  Many hiking and biking trails crisscross our beautiful County, including the Appalachian Trail, Virginia Creeper Trail, Transcontinental Bike Trail, and Daniel Boone Memorial Trail.  The County offers many outdoor activities including camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing in the Jefferson National Forest, Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area, and nearby Mount Rogers National Recreation Area.  Our high mountain streams and South Holston Lake offer excellent canoeing, kayaking, pleasure boating, and trout and bass fishing.  The County is also the home of the Virginian Golf Course, a world-class golfing and gated residential community, along with many attractive public and private golf courses.  Close proximity to the Bristol Motor Speedway offers the best of NASCAR – the ultimate venue in motor sports racing.  Our regional sports complex accommodates all levels of field sport competition.  Visitors to Washington County enjoy a variety of options for accommodations and dining ranging from charming bed and breakfast inns to internationally recognized four-star hotels.

Arts, Culture & History:

Washington County is the champion of cultural heritage preservation and awareness. Washington County has a rich history of preserving and supporting its art, culture, and historical sites.  The historic Barter Theater, the State Theater of Virginia, along with the William King Regional Arts Center and the Abingdon Arts Depot and many fairs and festivals attract visitors from all 50 states and many foreign countries.  The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, runs through Washington County and Bristol, Virginia.  Round the Mountain is a Southwest Virginia organization that promotes local crafts, which are featured in the Southwest Virginia Regional Artisan Center.  Unique historic sites, colonial era architecture and a wealth of genealogical information attract many visitors to Washington County.  Art galleries, cultural events, and historic sites are visited by groups representing many ages and points of origin, including public school students, senior citizens, and tour groups.

Economic Development:

Washington County is the industrial, commercial, medical, and government service center for all of Southwest Virginia. Washington County has a robust and diverse economic base that provides employment for its citizens and Southwest Virginia as a whole.  The County’s long-standing commitment to creating wealth and employment opportunities is evident in the strategic investments that local and state government has made in industrial park development, high tech infrastructure, and training programs for new, expanding, and small businesses.  These investments have enabled the County to leverage significant levels of state and federal grant funds to improve local economic resources.  Easy access to interstate, rail, air service, and advanced telecommunications infrastructure allow citizens and businesses in Washington County to interact seamlessly in a global marketplace.  A wide variety of employment opportunities are available in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, government, professional services, tourism, education, and health care.  Commercial development offers a variety of nationally franchised and locally owned and operated restaurants and retail stores that attract shoppers from Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.  Johnston Memorial Hospital provides excellent medical care and well-trained health care professionals and operates a state of the art regional cancer center and outpatient surgery center.  Over 50 state and federal agencies, along with a federal courthouse, have regional offices in Washington County, making it a thriving center for legal, medical and professional specialties.

Infrastructure & Facilities:

Washington County citizens enjoy superior public water and sewer service, roads, and government facilities that create an enviable quality of life. Washington County has made wise investments in public infrastructure to promote orderly growth and development.  Centralization of County offices has proven beneficial and efficient in delivery of government services.  The County has successfully extended public water services to make it available to all areas of the County and works diligently to match this success with its provision of sewer service.  The County government has carefully developed a Capital Improvement Plan that provides an excellent framework for decision-making.  The County’s Service Authority maintains the best in water quality technology which results in national recognition of the purity of its product.


A diverse spectrum of educational resources complements our cultural and historic setting and creates a strong foundation for lifelong learning in Washington County. Washington County has long been a leader in providing high quality and innovative educational programs for all ages.  Our educators are dedicated to providing our children with academic and life skills to enhance their lives far beyond the classroom.  Cultural and historical assets of the County enrich the educational experience.  Our school system is careful to foster in our youth an appreciation of our region’s unique cultural heritage.  A broad range of higher educational opportunities complement basic educational foundations. These resources include Emory and Henry College, Virginia Highlands Community College, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and its College for Older Adults, County Adult Skills Center, and Neff Technical School.  The County’s dedication to its library system is evidenced by its catalog of titles and electronic resources, as well as its branch locations throughout the County.

Regional Cooperation:

Cooperation is the key to success, finding power in numbers through regional cooperation and standing together with our sister towns, cities, and counties. Washington County is an active partner in regional cooperation and planning.  This effort has resulted in greater efficiencies among local governments including the Small Business Incubator, Regional Jail, Southwest Virginia Regional Artisan Center, and the Smith Washington Regional Industrial Facility Authority.  Our County continues to take a leading role with the surrounding counties and cities to team together to speak in a strong and effective voice to our state legislators.  These regional efforts have brought transportation and telecommunication systems for Southwest Virginia to a level of quality that compares with the best in the country.  Southwest Virginia’s regional cooperation provides a model that communities throughout the Commonwealth aspire to achieve.  Additionally, the mutually supportive intergovernmental relations among the County and the Towns of Abingdon, Glade Spring, Saltville, and Damascus consistently benefit the citizens.


Information, professionalism, accessibility and involvement ensure that we have efficient, effective, and fair governance. Washington County is a progressive and friendly County.  Our citizens are well informed and can access information through a wide variety of sources including our website, Geographic Information System (GIS), and Annual Report.  We provide easy access to government offices through our County Complex facility, which provides “one-stop” services and assures citizens of efficient government.  We encourage and support our community centers and associations and promote the involvement of our citizens in their communities through volunteerism.  We take pride in our ability to provide our citizens with state-of-the-art police and fire protection, rescue, and jail facilities.  Our staff members are highly professional, friendly, competent, and willing to work with citizens for the overall County good.  We are very proud of the image of the County that we project to Southwest Virginia and the rest of the Commonwealth. Adopted by the Washington County Board of Supervisors March 27, 2007.

Frequently Asked Questions

How may I be placed on the Agenda of a Board of Superviors's meeting?

It depends on the nature of the matter that you wish to present to the Board of Supervisors.  The general rule is that the matter must be both germane and actionable by the Board.  “Germane” means that the matter is something that the Board as the governing body of the County has an official interest in.  “Actionable” means that the Board can legally do something about the matter through official action as the governing body of the County.  Not all matters that involve or effect Washington County, the County government or County residents in some way meet these general criteria.  The County Administrator at his discretion may determine what matters meet these general criteria and place persons or organizations on the Agenda to present their issue to the Board.  Likewise, individual Board members may place matters on the Agenda brought to their attention by resident-constituents of their Election Districts. Persons or organizations may also approach their Supervisor or the Chairman of the Board immediately prior to the start of a Board meeting and asked to be placed on the Agenda by way of Agenda amendment.  The Board must approve Agenda amendments. In many cases matters may be more readily addressable by County administrative personnel than by the Board of Supervisors. In other cases matters may be more effectively brought to the Board’s attention by way of correspondence to the Board, which may be directed by mail or fax to the Office of County Administrator. Generally speaking, expressions of opinions, comments, compliments or criticisms are best addressed to the Board by way of written correspondence. The Office of County Administrator will copy such correspondence to the Board. The Board provides for a Public Comment period at the beginning of its second regular monthly meeting Agenda (fourth Tuesday of each month). The period is limited to three (3) minutes per speaker and runs from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

How may I apply to receive funding from the County for my project or organization?

Funding for projects or organizations must be provided for within the County Operating Budget. Preparation of the County Operating Budget for the July 1 – June 30 fiscal year begins in February when the Department of Budget and Finance solicits budget requests for the coming fiscal year period. Persons or organizations interested in soliciting County funds should make a written request to the Department of Budget and Finance for a Budget Request Form prior to December 31 each year. Persons or organizations considering making a first-time request for County funds should contact the Department of Budget and Finance or the County Administrator to discuss their funding needs before requesting a Budget Request Form.