Chris Martino.jpg

Prince William County Executive Chris Martino, in this July file photo, has announced he will retire at the end of 2021, according to the Office of Communications.

Prince William County Executive Chris Martino announced Tuesday that he will retire effective Dec. 31.

The announcement came during Tuesday's Board of County Supervisors meeting and caught Chair Ann Wheeler "by surprise," though she called the decision understandable.

“It’s Prince William County’s loss,” she said.

Wheeler commended Martino’s handling of county government during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly through emergency response and cutting the fiscal 2021 budget to anticipate revenue losses.

Wheeler said the next steps in finding an administrative head for the county will be hiring a recruitment firm and conducting a nationwide search. She said another candidate likely won’t be selected by the end of the year, so an interim county executive will be needed.

Martino has been County Executive since 2016. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy County Executive for General Government and Director of Finance. He has been with Prince William County government for 26 years.

“Prince William County is a very special community, a community in which I have lived and raised my family. It has been my distinct privilege to serve in this role, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished during my tenure,” Martino said in a county-issued news release. “This is not an easy decision by any means.

"I love this organization and the people who work here. However, after close to 40 years of public service, 26 with Prince William County, it is time. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this organization. I am thankful to the staff and the Board of County Supervisors, past and present, for their leadership and support as we have all worked together to accomplish our vision and to make Prince William County a community of choice.”

When asked what Martino is most proud of, he mentioned changing the organization’s culture to empower employees and focus on the Board of County Supervisors goals; aligning the county’s personnel policies, procedures and practices; completing and implementing classification and compensation studies to help with recruitment and retention of county employees; overseeing the creation of Chapter 9.2 and a single combination fire and rescue system; and maintaining the board’s principles of sound financial management and triple AAA bond rating status, just to name a few.

“It is the work of our employees, however, that makes me the most proud,” he said.

Martino will continue to serve as County Executive through the end of the calendar year. The Board of County Supervisors will start a national search for a replacement as soon as possible.

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(1) comment

Tom Fitzpatrick

The most notable aspect of Chris Martino's tenure is that most people have no idea who he is.

This is as it should be for a bureaucrat. The bureucrat's mission is to realize the wishes of the citizenry, as expressed in their election of officials who represent them, no matter what their agenda, so long as it is legal.

Enjoy your well earned retirement.

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