Altavista town manager Waverly Coggsdale will be stepping down from his role with the town on August 6 to accept a position as town manager of Strasburg, VA.
During his time as town manager of Altavista, Coggsdale worked to improve water and sewer lines, add amenities to parks and aid local economic development. With just weeks left before he is to start his new job, he speaks fondly of the place where he raised his family.
“It’s still Altavista,” he said. “It’s still that small, close-knit, great small town.”
Evidently it’s a feeling Coggsdale had since he first came to Altavista to become town manager 16 years ago. He started with the town on April 4, 2005. Two days later the Altavista Journal ran a story introducing the 40-year-old Southampton County Native to the community. At the time he was still waiting for his family to join him in town while they moved from Courtland, VA.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the community,” Coggsdale told the paper. “We know a good thing when we see it.”
Coggsdale had worked previously as the assistant county administrator for Southampton County. Rudy Burgess was the mayor of Altavista at the time of Coggsdale’s hiring. Coggsdale took over for Morgan Allen, the town’s treasurer at the time, who had been serving as interim town manager.
“I personally feel like in our search, we were looking for someone that was interested in a small town and was a family man,” Burgess told the Altavista Journal in 2005.
Coggsdale, whose three sons each graduated from Altavista High School, fit the bill. Since then, he’s worked on countless projects. Two recent projects Coggsdale said he is especially proud of include bringing English Park and Dearing Ford Business and Manufacturing Center, in his words, “under the town’s umbrella.” Both had previously been under the jurisdiction of Campbell County.
“There’s just so many,” Coggsdale said. “And that’s because we’ve really become project-oriented in the last seven to eight years.”
While Coggsdale worked with the town his wife, Heather, a teacher at Yellow Branch Elementary School and Altavista Elementary School for years, spent her time in the area educating countless local children.
“A lot of people are going to miss her more than they miss me,” Coggsdale said.
For that matter, Coggsdale said they will both miss Altavista.
“This place is special to us,” he said.
Assistant town manager Amie Owens, who also plans to leave her post soon, has agreed to stay on with the town until a new town manager is named to ensure a smooth transition.