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Henrico, Hanover boards select new leadership

Varina Supervisor Tyrone Nelson is sworn in as the Chairman for the Henrico County Board of Supervisor
Henrico County
Varina District Supervisor Tyrone Nelson is sworn in as chairperson of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors by Tanya Brackett, the county's deputy clerk and administrative assistant to board.

Supervisors said the new makeup won’t affect the style of local governance.

This week, both Henrico and Hanover counties started the new year with new faces on their respective governing boards and new leadership at the helm.

On Tuesday, Henrico’s Board of Supervisors unanimously selected the Varina District’s Tyrone Nelson to serve as chairperson. Nelson’s been tapped several times to lead the board, previously serving in the position in 2016 and 2019. He also was elected vice chairperson in 2023.

The Brookland District’s Dan Schmitt — who also led the board back in 2021 — will serve as vice chairperson.

After the departure of longtime supervisors Frank Thornton and Pat O’Bannon, Schmitt and Nelson are the longest serving board members. First-term supervisors include Jody Rogish, Misty Whitehead and Roscoe Cooper.

Nelson begins his fourth term after having first been elected in 2012; Schmitt commences his second full-term since winning a 2018 special election.

On Tuesday, Nelson thanked board members for the opportunity to again lead the panel.

“With three new supervisors, we will undoubtedly have fresh perspectives, strategies, thoughts and new ideas for how to best serve our community,” Nelson said. “I would urge us, all of us — as supervisors, staff and community — to embrace the moment that we have and take the time to listen, understand and appreciate what each of us brings to the table.”

Likewise, Schmitt told VPM News he’s looking forward to helping and mentoring his new colleagues.

Nelson and Schmitt are in the unique position of leading a transformed board after last November’s election flipped the 3–2 Republican majority to a 4–1 Democratic majority.

Schmitt, now the single Republican representative, said the board’s new makeup won’t impact the way he or other members govern.

“Board members, historically, have been very supportive of putting what’s good for the county first," he said. “And when you do that, you'll see results that this county has seen for decades. I don't imagine anything different.”

Hanover supervisors

On Wednesday, Hanover’s Board of Supervisors also selected new leadership, as Sue Dibble, of the South Anna District, was elected to be the board’s chairperson. Michael Herzberg, of the Cold Harbor District, was chosen as its vice chairperson.

Both Dibble and Herzberg are starting their second terms.

Unlike Henrico, Hanover’s board retained its conservative 6-1 majority after November’s election, despite the departure of longtime supervisors Canova Peterson and Angela Kelly-Wiecek. They were both first elected in 2011.

The board also welcomed three freshmen supervisors to its Wednesday meeting: Ryan Hudson, Jeff Stoneman and Danielle G. Floyd.

Dibble told VPM News she’s looking forward to working with both her new and old colleagues.

“I think the best part of this particular board that is seated here right now, is I'm 100% confident that we're all here for the right reason,” Dibble said. “We’re all rooting for Team Hanover, and I truly believe it in my heart. As the leader, I'll do my best to make sure that we remain a team.”

As for how the board’s conservative-leaning majority will affect its style of governing, Dibble said the board’s decision making has little to do with party allegiances.

“Once you’re seated on the Board of Supervisors, you need to forget if you have a ‘D’ or ‘R’ behind your name,” said Dibble. “I believe that all of our constituents are represented, because we have a representative for each district. I represent every person in South Anna; it's not like I only represent Republicans.”

Lyndon German covers Henrico and Hanover counties for VPM News.