‘Twas the night before Henrico’s Christmas
(Written by Henrico County Public Relations & Media Services Director Tamra McKinney and presented by County Manager Virgil Hazelett during the Henrico Business Leaders' breakfast meeting Dec. 12.)
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
the full moon was bright,
I hadn’t slept much the previous night.
I kept thinking about the budget spreadsheet,
And the reality that the ends did not meet.
The staff was exhausted but kept up the pace,
When trying to put this budget in place.
We knew we would solve it, someway or somehow,
But we’d hoped this recession would be over by now.
I kept thinking about better days gone by,
When the market was up and earnings were high.
Real estate was a solid investment back then,
And I believe in my heart it will be again.
All of us here now are in the same boat,
The bottom line is we either sink or we float.
With the right combination of good luck and skill,
We’ll get through this together, I know that we will.
In Henrico we have good reason to boast,
With a business community stronger than most.
These times have been tough, but the things that you’ve done
In this year alone are second to none.
SnagAJob! Fareva! Wells Fargo! PPD!
Bank of America! QTS! Capital One and G.E.!
You’ve all added jobs, weren’t afraid to expand,
And you gave our economy a big helping hand.
Our small businesses play an essential role too,
The strength of Henrico’s due largely to you.
We’re one solid county, and our history is long,
Four-hundred and counting, we’re old but we’re strong.
In August more good news came our way,
When our bond rating was reaffirmed triple, triple-A.
Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and of course Fitch,
All agreed we belonged in this elite niche.
Henrico’s not really in such a bad place,
Considering what other localities face.
The services you expect, we’ll continue to give,
To make this the best place to work and to live.
Looking at the big picture made me smile,
And that hadn’t happened for quite a while.
Relatively speaking, everything was really all right,
So I had one final call to make that night.
I grabbed my phone and punched the number in quick,
His voice mail picked up, he said “I’m not here,
It’s Christmas Eve and I’m busy, call back next year!”
“Santa, it’s Virgil,” I said after the tone,
“If you’re there, please, pick up the phone.”
With that, the phone beeped once again and went dead,
So I sent him an instant text message instead.
“Santa, it’s me again, I just wanted to say,
Merry Christmas from all of us in Henrico, V-A.”
Within moments I received a reply from S. Claus,
And I anxiously read every word without pause.
“Virgil bear with me, I’m trying to fly,
It’s not easy to text from a sleigh in the sky.
I’m glad you’ve come to your senses and see
That Henrico’s the best place in the world you could be!”
As I see all of your faces today in this crowd,
I am very humbled, and so very proud.
And I hope you all know I am truly sincere,
When I say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Citizen Staff Reports 12/16/2013
A decline in blood donations is typical during the winter months as people become busy with holiday activities and travel. Patient needs remain steady, however, making it important for people to visit a VBS donor site or mobile drive to give blood. > Read more.
In Varina, one of the most anticipated events of the season is approaching. The 19th Annual Big Toy Parade will return on Dec 14, offering a “homey,” small-town feel that helps elicit holiday spirit among participants and spectators alike.
The parade, which begins at 3 p.m., is sponsored by the Battlefield Ruritans and Henrico County Parks and Recreation and is held in conjunction with the James River Boat Parade. It is led by a grand marshal along Old Osborne Turnpike and ends at the Osborne Boat Landing, where hundreds of community members gather to await nightfall and the arrival of lighted boats, concluding a festive holiday celebration. > Read more.
Citizen Staff Reports 12/03/2013
Slated to begin play in the fall of 2014, Richmond United will field U13/14, U15/16 and U17/18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. The teams will train and play home games at two of the top soccer specific complexes in the nation, Ukrop Park and Striker Park. > Read more.
Estilo charms, with a stylish twist, in Henrico’s Near West End
If you're looking for something a little different from the standard, ho-hum restaurant experience, look no further than The Village shopping center. Among the recent success stories to put down roots in The Village is Estilo, created by the owners of the gastropub Toast (featured in a Feb. 21 review in the Citizen), only a few steps away.
Estilo – which translates to style – offers a taste of Peru, Chile and Bolivia, among other countries, and a menu that rotates regularly through the rest of Central and South America. > Read more.
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