By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: January 16, 2020 | 1:45 p.m.
DINWIDDIE – With the 2020 year now underway, Dinwiddie County joined localities around the Commonwealth in going through its annual organizational exercises, capped by the election of the board of supervisors’ chairman and vice-chair for the calendar year, with last year’s vice-chair Daniel Lee assuming the chairmanship and Supervisor Brenda Ebron-Bonner moving into the vice-chair role for the year.
Last Tuesday, supervisors gathered in the community room of the Dinwiddie County Government Center for their organizational meeting as repairs from water damage after a restroom gasket failed continue in the county boardroom and surrounding offices.
The room was filled with members of Lee’s family as the District 4 supervisor was unanimously elected as chairman for 2020 after serving as the board’s vice-chair alongside fellow supervisor and outgoing chairman William Chavis last year, who was also honored with a plaque and ceremonial gavel in honor of his year of service to the board in the role.
After being appointed by the board, Lee shared a few words as he prepared for his second stint as Dinwiddie supervisors chairman after having served in the position in 2015.
“I thank this board for the show of confidence in me and I am honored and proud to be the chairman of the board of supervisors in Dinwiddie County for the year 2020,” he remarked. “It was 2015 the last time I was chairman and to say a lot has happened in that five years is truly an understatement. I have always had my family’s support and I am sad that some aren’t here with us that were here five years ago but, I am truly happy that there are four more happy faces to go with the one granddaughter that was here five years ago,” thanking his wife and others for their support throughout his time as supervisor.
After the board concluded their meeting, Lee opened up about returning to the chairmanship in 2020, saying he feels he is coming into this role with a better understanding this time around after having been chair in 2015 and he is excited to build on many of the successes Dinwiddie saw last year, ranging from economic development to broadband expansion.
The family of Chairman Daniel Lee gather for photos following last week’s organizational meeting. (Michael Campbell)
“There is a little bit of uncertainty because we finished some projects, but we do have broadband, which we hope will be one of the things that we get done in 2020 along with the new radio system we are working on, which will help with public safety,” he remarked. “So, we do have some things we are working on.”
For Lee, one of the topics he plans to target during 2020 is trash and litter in the county. Last year, supervisors and the sheriff’s department expressed concern about an uptick in litter in the county along with illegal dumping, with Sheriff D.T. Adams saying those caught littering or illegally dumping will be held accountable.
“Trash is one of the things that I would like to see us work on,” he detailed. “When you ride around Dinwiddie, trash is really a problem, so we might try to put a committee together or at least work on some initiatives to deal with trash.”
He added that maintaining a healthy balance of growth while keeping the county’s rural character is important, as well.
“We want to make sure Dinwiddie is listening to their concerns and making sure if we grow, the rural sector isn’t hurt by some of this growth,” Lee shared. “Farmers being able to farm, being able to travel roads without high speed and making sure the rural character is kept because it is important to have a mix of both.”
Joining Lee for 2020 is District 5 Supervisor Ebron-Bonner, who was also elected to the vice-chair role unanimously. In an interview, she said she was looking forward to beginning her service in the position.
“I am looking forward to doing some great things, looking at our budget, along with looking at what we can do for our county employees and our constituents,” the supervisor shared, adding she is also interested in looking into and addressing drainage issues in the county, which has been a challenge in parts of her district and elsewhere in Dinwiddie.
She continued, “I also hear about affordable housing and what we can do about that for our seniors and young people who are looking for somewhere appropriate and good to live, along with seeing what 2020 is going to bring us. We also want to keep our faith-based community engaged and helping with everyone, that seems to be doing really well because they want to play a big part in our community.”
“I look forward to working with our citizens and what they would like for us to do and moving the county forward,” Ebron-Bonner shared.
Ebron-Bonner and Lee conduct business during their organizational meeting last week, held in the community meeting space as repairs to the county boardroom are ongoing after slight water damage days earlier. (Michael Campbell)
One of the unique features of the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors is their tradition of rotating chairman and vice-chairmanship between the five board members, affording all supervisors the opportunity to serve in a leadership role. When asked, both Lee and Ebron-Bonner said the idea serves as an example of the board’s continued unity.
“It gives you experience,” Ebron-Bonner said. “Some boards don’t do that but we decided, why don’t we just rotate it? If the person doesn’t want to do it, that’s one thing but, rotating helps because it gives everyone a chance to see what it is like because there is a difference rather than just being on the board. When you are chair and vice-chair, anything that comes up that you have to be part of, you need to know what is going on in the county at all times and know how the county works.”
“We talk to other boards and it’s unfortunate when you can’t work together. We agree to disagree. No one is going to be right or wrong all the time but, at least we respect each other as far as your decision and what you want to say or do,” she added.
Echoing the sentiments of Vice-Chair Bonner, Chairman Lee added the rotation also allows the board to share the load of the role’s additional responsibilities.
“Since the chairman has more responsibilities, not being chair every five years helps you to spread the workload out and it gives all board members a chance to be involved,” he remarked. “We get along so well anyway, so it is a natural fit the way we do it.”
With their leaders now established, supervisors will return to the government building on Jan. 21 for their first regular business meeting of 2020. According to County Administrator Kevin Massengill, they expect to hold the meeting inside the boardroom as usual as repairs following water damage should be complete in time.
Copyright 2020 by Womack Publishing
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