Prince George DSS Director Douglas abruptly resigns

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: June 2, 2020 | 10:15 a.m.

Second senior-level departure in recent weeks from county workforce

Shel Bolyard-Douglas (right)

PRINCE GEORGE – Shel Bolyard-Douglas, the county’s longtime social services director, is no longer employed with the county after her sudden resignation from the position Monday.

According to County Attorney Daniel Whitten, Douglas resigned Monday but when asked, he declined to disclose any details related to her exit as the county’s social services department lead, citing personnel privacy protections.

Per county officials, Douglas served as director of Prince George Social Services for nearly ten years.

Mary “Libby” Vinsh has been appointed to serve as interim director until the county can find a full-time replacement. By Monday evening, the county’s website for social services had been updated to list Vinsh as interim director.

As COVID-19 continues to impact Prince George, demand on social services continues to increase as more residents seek out support programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP and Medicaid, among others. When asked if Douglas’ departure will have any impacts of the department’s ability to provide services, County Attorney Whitten, speaking on behalf of the county, said residents shouldn’t be concerned.

“There shouldn’t be any impacts,” he remarked. “Mary Vinsh had served as deputy [social services] director until her retirement last year and she is very comfortable serving in a leadership role so, there shouldn’t be any difference in services provided when she takes over.”

“I think we have people in positions who can provide the same level of services. There shouldn’t be any concerns for citizens,” Whitten added.

This is the second senior-level departure from Prince George County’s workforce in less than a month. In early May, Brad Owens, the county’s former fire and EMS director left the position but county representatives did not share if he resigned or was terminated. Since his exit, the county approved a contract with Mauger and Associates that will see the organization act as the county’s interim director while the county pursues a full-time replacement.

Whitten was asked if the county and its leaders are concerned about the recent exits of senior staff members.

“I don’t believe there is a concern,” he said. “We are not having a large amount of turnover within our operations or departments.” Whitten further said the timing of Douglas and Owens’ departures are “coincidental” and because of the staffing in place within each department, their operations have been unaffected by the personnel changes.

According to Whitten, the county will begin searching for a full-time director in the coming days with the hope of finding a suitable candidate in the next “60 to 90 days.”

Copyright 2020 Womack Publishing

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