Phillips endures a tough week — more work ahead

It was a turbulent few days for Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips last week.

Things began with an alleged dispute between Phillips and Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher at the county’s GOP headquarters in Georgetown last Wednesday. Christopher ultimately filed a complaint with the Georgetown Police Department, and there were multiple reports that a notebook was thrown by Phillips at Christopher.

The two have publicly sparred over budget issues and job responsibilities within the sheriff’s department over the past year, with Christopher seeking more money and training for his officers, while Phillips says Christopher has been trying to change the duties of the department.

But that was not the worst part of the week for Phillips.

Phillips reportedly sustained a shattered T12 vertebrae while attempting to land an experimental hang glider-like aircraft at a private airstrip in Amherst County, Va., early Sunday evening. He was listed initially in serious condition, according to county officials, but that was upgraded to “fair” on Tuesday.
Chip Guy, the chief of public information for Sussex County, said that Phillips underwent back surgery and has limited feeling and movement in his legs. Doctors were “cautiously optimistic” about his recovery, according to Guy, and they were expecting him to remain in the hospital for at least a week before returning home to perform his rehabilitation.

We’ve gotten to know Phillips pretty well over the years, and know how much he’d like to fight these allegations against him. We’re certain he will. But we also know how hard he’ll fight to recover fully from this landing incident. He has not backed down from anything during his time on council, and we’re sure he won’t back down from this tough test.

We hope you’ll join us in wishing Phillips a full and speedy recovery as he fights through this tough time. Get well soon, Vance.