HANOVER -- Retiring South Anna Supervisor Wayne Hazzard sat in the back of the room and watched patiently as his former colleagues and newly-elected representatives took their oaths of office last Wednesday at the historic Hanover County Courthouse.
Hazzard is wrapping up two terms on the panel, and said leaving a post he loves won’t be easy.
“I have mixed emotions,” Hazzard said. “All of these folks have become like family to me and I will miss all of them.”
He admitted his tenure on the board had become a familiar routine after decades of service, and the South Anna rep said he wasn’t sure what his first days of life as a private citizen might entail.
“I’m worried about waking up on Jan. 1 and wondering what do I do now,” he joked.
Hanover Circuit Court Judge J. Overton Harris presided over a special session of the court on Dec. 18, and individually administered the oath to Hanover’s recently- elected Constitutional officers and board of supervisors.
The significance of the venue and ceremony was not lost on Michael Herzberg, the newly-elected Cold Harbor representative who took the oath for the first time at last week’s ceremony.
“It’s a little overwhelming to be here in this building where there is so much history. I was more nervous today than I was during the whole campaign season,” Herzberg said.
He said he’s gaining an immediate respect for the responsibility of the position even before his term officially begins Jan. 1.
“People have been calling or writing, asking me my positions on certain things in the district. I’m looking forward to doing the work,” Herzberg, who replaces newly-elected 9th District Del. Scott Wyatt on the board, said.
“We’ve got some great people living in this district and I’m looking forward to serving them. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
Herzberg said maintaining and supporting Hanover County’s schools and acquiring broadband for underserved areas are just a sampling of issues he expects to face in the coming months.
Sue Dibble took the oath of office representing the South Anna District and replacing Hazzard. She vacates a seat on the Hanover County School Board to assume those duties.
She also noted the significance of the historic setting as she embarks on her new assignment.
“Tonight’s swearing in ceremony was a very special moment for me,” Dibble said. “Being in the historic courthouse was such an honor. Thinking of those famous persons who stood where I was standing and made such a profound difference in our world really caused my heart to pause.”
Being able to share that special moment with the people closest to her also made an impression on Dibble.
“Also, having my family close by meant the world to me. Their love and support allow me to serve.”
It was not Beaverdam Supervisor Aubrey “Bucky” Stanley’s first rodeo when it comes to swearing-ins. In fact, it was his 10th time on the receiving end of the oath.
More than three and a half decades since his first election in 1983, Stanley said he could never have predicted his longevity as an elected official, but the endorsement of his constituents proved otherwise.
“I didn’t know if I would win,” he laughed.
Stanley’s margin of victory has increased with each passing election, but that’s not what motivates him.
“I think it all comes down to a love of helping people. If I can help someone by my actions on this board, that’s what it’s all about,” Stanley said following last week’s ceremony.
He also has another more poignant inspiration for continuing to serve.
The recently-widowed Stanley said his wife never encouraged him to run in his many campaigns, until shortly before her death.
“You need to run because you like helping people,” she said to him. “That’s probably the real reason I ran,” Stanley said.
Participants, families and guests retired to the Coach House at Hanover Tavern for a reception following the swearing in.
Those sworn in last week included Soil and Water Conservations Director Donald L. Wells and Constitutional Officers Treasurer M. Scott Miller, Sheriff David Hines, Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramon (Trip) Chalkley and Commissioner of Revenue T. Scott Harris.
In addition to first-term Supervisors Dibble and Herzberg, incumbents Faye Prichard, Bucky Stanley, Angela Kelly-Wiecek, Sean Davis and Canova Peterson also were sworn in.