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Two supervisors will bow out at term’s end

Two of three members of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors whose terms expire in November, William “Bill” Fitzgerald (ED-3) and Wayne Conner (ED-6), have announced they will not seek re-election to another term.

Fitzgerald confirmed Tuesday morning he would not seek a fourth term on the board.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have community support during my three terms, but I feel it’s time to move forward and give someone else the opportunity to serve the county,” said Fitzgerald, who served as chairman for six of his 12 years on the board.

“I thank the community for the support I’ve received during my three terms on the board, and I feel I’ve made a difference in the county since being elected.”

Fitzgerald cited the construction of a new animal shelter and two new elementary schools, as well as renovations to the middle school as board accomplishments during his tenure.

“I hope I helped get that done,” he said.

Fitzgerald also noted the improvement of King’s Village Trail as another accomplishment, with the support of former VDOT Resident Engineer Joe Barkley, who had set aside funds for the project years before, according to Fitzgerald.

“That was not an easy task,” he noted.

Somewhat disappointing has been job growth in the county despite the board’s support of The Prizery, Riverstone and Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, Fitzgerald added.

“Disappointing for me has been job growth, and that’s something the board had little control over,” said Fitzgerald referring to the recent economic downturn.

Another major challenge for the board going forward is the issue of courthouse renovations, which will cost between $9 and $11 million, Fitzgerald estimates.

“It’s a historic building, and the board has the challenge of renovating it and bringing it up to ADA standards. The board has to figure out how to get the funds to do that.

“I think the board is united today.  We can respect one another and still express our different views.” 

ED-6 Supervisor Wayne Conner confirmed Monday night he has no plans to seek re-election to the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.

In addition to Fitzgerald, Conner is one of the three supervisors whose terms expire in 2013, including board chairman Tom West.

Conner said Tuesday he personally believes that two terms (eight years) on the board is “sufficient.”

“Someone else should sit on it to bring a different perspective. Another person should have a turn representing the people,” he added.

Conner said he came onto the board of supervisors as the final contracts and financing for the new schools were being completed.

“I believe it has been very good for the county…closing the five old schools,” he said, “and opening the newer schools.”

“We have had some advancements, although not as many as we would have liked,” Conner said looking back at job growth during his tenure on the board.

Although it hasn’t been what I wanted it to be, Conner referred to advancements made with the location of call centers at Riverstone, expansion and retention of ABB and development of South Boston Energy plant.

During his two terms on the board, Conner said for him it has been a pleasure working with all the board members.

Looking toward his future, he said he plans to retire and spend more time at Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Meadows of Dan.

As of Tuesday afternoon, one potential candidate for the upcoming seat in ED-6 had picked up a packet, Lawrence “Larry” Giordano, according to Halifax County Registrar Judy Meeler.

Packets are due at the registrar’s office by 7 p.m. on June 11, Meeler said.

As of Tuesday, no one had picked up packets for a special election in South Boston in November.

A special election will be held in November to fill the remaining two and one-half year term of the late Mayor Carroll Thackston’s term and the remaining three years of former councilwoman Connie Manning’s term.

Morris Bryant was appointed to fill Manning’s seat until the November election, and former Vice-Mayor Ed Owens was appointed interim mayor serving until the November election.

Both terms will run through June 20, 2016.