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Fitzgerald not seeking another term as chairman

Halifax County Board of Supervisors Chairman William I. Fitzgerald said this week he will not seek another term as chairman of the board when its reorganizes Monday evening.

Fitzgerald has served as chairman for seven of his nine years on the board after first being elected in November 2001.

“Some other board members have stated they feel it’s time for a change, and I agree,” the board chairman said Tuesday.

He said he is hopeful ED-2 Supervisor Tom West will accept the chairmanship in the coming year.

Although he’s not campaigning for the position, West said if he is asked, he will accept the position of chairman.

West, who has never served in the lead position, said he served as vice-chairman during Joe Satterfield’s tenure as chairman of the board, and he currently holds the vice-chairman post.

Reflecting on his years as chairman of the board, Fitzgerald said, “It’s been a good seven years, and I think I’ve accomplished quite a bit.”

During his nine years on the board, Fitzgerald has helped contribute to the creation of a new animal shelter, regional landfill and transfer station, new computer systems, the formation of the Halifax County Service Authority to address water and sewage rates for county residents and the completion of numerous countywide recycling centers toward a goal of 15 centers.

In addition, he pointed to improvements made in the county school system with the addition of two new elementary schools and a renovated middle school.

Fitzgerald also has served on the Southside Planning District, Regional Landfill Authority, Halifax Education Foundation and the Workforce Investment Board.

He credits the county with accomplishing “a tremendous amount of positive initiatives” in recent years.

“The county is in a position to move forward with new industry and support behind the school system and Southern Virginia Higher Education Center,” Fitzgerald added.

He sees a bright future for the county crediting supervisors with being good stewards of taxpayers’ dollars.

“Our reserves in comparison to surrounding counties puts us in good shape,” Fitzgerald said.

Supervisors also have worked as a “united board” under Fitzgerald’s leadership.

“This board has been fairly united on most issues…those things important to county residents,” he said.

He predicted the coming year would prove to be a better year for jobs in Halifax County.

“Things are in place to bring jobs into the county. We are hopefully optimistic that we will begin seeing the fruits of our labor soon,” he added.

Looking back over his seven years serving as chairman, Fitzgerald reflected on the “tremendous commitment” it takes to serve in that capacity.

“It takes a lot of time, and I’ve given it my all in an effort to be a good chairman. It’s been a great ride, but it’s time to allow someone else to serve as chairman which will free me up to spend more time with my grandchildren who live in the Annapolis, Maryland area,” he concluded.

The board is expected to hold its reorganizational meeting on Monday when members will elect a chairman and vice-chairman to serve a two-year term.