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Month: October 2021

Pennington Gap represented at VML annual conference, Vice-Mayor Carson installed as VML President-Elect

For Immediate Release: Oct. 28, 2021 Contact: Rob Bullington,

The Virginia Municipal League (VML) held its annual conference October 3rd-5th in Leesburg. This was the first in-person conference for VML in two years. Over 500 people from across the Commonwealth, including officials and staff from VML member local governments, attended the event. The Town of Pennington Gap was represented by Town Manager Keith Harless, Assistant Town Manager Brian Skidmore, and Councilmember Gary McElyea who were on hand to approve the election of Pennington Gap Vice-Mayor Jill Carson to the position of VML PresidentElect during the league’s annual business meeting held on the second day of the conference. Ms. Carson was previously VML’s Vice President.

Also approved during the meeting was the 2022 Legislative Program which outlines the needs of local governments to be prioritized during the coming year of VML lobbying during legislative sessions. The 2022 Legislative Program is available on VML’s website here.

The Town of Pennington Gap was also highlighted at the conference with an exhibition table staffed by Lee Theater manager Tony Lawson and volunteer Jennifer Lawson who promoted the town to conference attendees. Mrs. Lawson also participated in a discussion recorded for an upcoming episode of the league’s podcast, The VML Voice (to be aired in November). As part of the exhibit package, the town will receive a full-page promotional advertisement in an upcoming issue of VML’s magazine, Virginia Town & City. During the conference, the Pennington Gap cohort benefited from dozens of educational sessions that covered a range of topics relevant to local governments. These included topics ranging from the permitted uses of the American Rescue Plan funds to the proper way to handle disagreements during council meetings. The full schedule of offerings is available here. While in Leesburg, Councilmember McElyea participated in a post-conference golf event with VML Executive Director Michelle Gowdy during which his wife, Betsy, took home the door-prize!

More information about the benefits of VML membership are available on the league’s website here. To learn more about the Virginia Municipal League, visit

Halloween Trick or Treat

will be observed in the town from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, Saturday, October 30. Lee Theatre will have two free movies. Children’s movie Addam’s Family (2019) (PG) will be Thursday, October 28, 7 PM, sponsored by Charly’s Restaurant and on Saturday, October 30 at 8 PM, Halloween (2018) (R) sponsored by WSWV will show. Charly’s will be giving out free children’s meal coupons at Thursday’s movie.