Loudoun Now: The Lovettsville Town Council voted unanimously Thursday night to appoint Jason L. Cournoyer as the next town manager.
Cournoyer was one of two finalists to replace Sam Finz, the town’s longtime management consultant and on-again, off-again town manager who will retire in October.
For the past seven years, Cournoyer has worked for the Town of Leesburg where he serves as the town’s management and budget officer.
Prior to serving in Leesburg, Cournoyer was a senior management analyst for Loudoun County government. He also has worked for Fairfax County, the North Carolina State Treasurer Department and the Wake County, NC Manager’s Office. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University.
Cournoyer said he is looking forward to new challenges when he takes over his new duties Sept. 27.
Cournoyer said he already has developed a close working relationship with Finz to ensure a smooth transition. He also has solid support network that includes Leesburg Town Manager Kaj Dentler, for whom Cournoyer was his first hire after being promoted to the post; Leesburg’s Deputy Town Manager Keith Markel, who is a former Lovettsville town manager; and Middleburg Town Manager Danny Davis, with whom he worked while at the county government.
“I’m pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished in our seven years together,” Cournoyer said of his time working for Dentler. “It’s a good run. This council, in particular, has been great to work for and there is a lot of encouraging stuff going on in Leesburg and I hope I can bring some of that to Lovettsville.”
“I’m really encouraged by this council in Lovettsville,” he said. “I really want to keep the momentum going for the capital improvements. I think that is a big thing for them in the near term.”
While he has ample experience in fiscal management and planning, he knows he’ll have to get quickly up to speed on the day-to-day demands of running a utility system—always a big responsibility in small towns.
In an email to his Town of Leesburg colleagues Friday morning,Cournoyer said he was looking forward to the new challenges.
“The appointment as Town Manager is a great honor for me, and I am excited about the opportunity and different challenges that the position will bring,” he wrote. “The decision to accept the position was made more difficult due to the quality of professionals and the great working environment at the Town of Leesburg.I know already how much I am going to miss working with all of you; but I am certain that our professional and personal relationships will continue.”
In Lovettsville,Cournoyer will be looking to bring stability to a government that has had seen high turnover in the town manager’s position in recent years.
Finz took over the position in November 2020 after the council voted to fire Rob Ritter, who had served two years in the post. Prior to Ritter, Larry Hughes served as interim town manager following an earlier retirement by Finz, who has served at town manager or interim town manager several times.
Finz’s work in Leesburg began when he helped then-mayor Elaine Walker and the Town Council hire their first town manager, Tim Faust, in 2005. When Faust left the town a year later, Finz again helped recruit Keith Markel for the position. In 2014, when Markel left to take a job as Leesburg’s deputy town manager, Finz returned to help recruit yet another town manager, Laszlo Palko.
Finz took on the role of interim town manager for a third time when Palko resigned in summer 2017 to become the city manager of Manassas Park. In December 2017, the Town Council appointed Finz as permanent town manager. He resigned July 6, 2018, for health-related reasons, and Ritter was hired.
Earlier this month, the Town Council named the recently expanded Town Hall complex in honor of Finz.
Published August 23, 2021, Photo Credit Loudoun Now.