“Believe it or not, we were at a soccer game and I heard about the job,” said William Jackson Hall, Chase City’s new interim Town Manager. “I put in an application and was called the next day. I have a lot of experience in site plans and planning and zoning, pretty much a lot of the same things I’ve been doing.”
Originally from Charlotte County, between Keysville and Drakes Branch, Hall graduated from Randolph-Henry. after which he went to work for his step father as a builder.
“I noticed that was getting hard on my body quick so I started school to become an engineer. I got my associates degree in engineering and that worked for awhile but when I got further along, especially on my last job with the portland cement association, they wanted me to have a bachelors degree so I went to Old Dominion. I became very familiar with building codes while I was with the Portland Cement Association.”
Hall has also worked as a plan reviewer and building inspector in Hanover County, was a building official with Prince George County, and Deputy with the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Hall had worked out of Richmond but moved back to Charlotte County about seven years ago, explaining that he had been able to work from his home thanks to the Internet.
“I’m excited,” said Hall. “I think my skill set will allow me to come back and give to the community. My family roots are in Chase City. We only live about nine miles away and do all our shopping in Chase City.”
Hall said that he had learned a lot about the growing importance of the tourism market in the area during the Bailey meeting on Tuesday night.
“I hadn’t realized what a large industry it actually is. There’s a lot of history here and that’s already a draw and I want to add to it. How we do that remains to be seen,” said Hall.
Hall did add quickly that the appearance of the town will have a lot to do with bringing people in.
“I think in order to attract anybody we’ve got to have attractive storefronts and you’ve got to have an attractive Main Street. Nobody wants to come into a place that looks dilapidated. We’ve got these historical grants and low interest loans.
We have to combine with that the willingness of the town to help. The people have to want this as much as the local government does,” said Hall. “I hope to get in touch with our youth because I don’t want to see them leave. I want to see them stay here and prosper. In order to do that you have to train them. You have to provide something tangible they can do. We have to give them a reason to stay.”
Hall said he was interested to see how the town would decide to use the $500,000 donation from Mac Bailey. “That is not the town’s money,” said Hall. “He’s giving it to the people. I’d like to see that money used to the most bang for the buck. With that money, bank loans and determined people, we can turn things around in Chase City.”