Vithoulkas sworn in as county manager
JAN. 16, 7:50 P.M. – As one era in the history of Henrico County ended today, another began.
John Vithoulkas, a 16-year-county employee and nearly lifelong county resident, was sworn in as Henrico's eighth county manager, replacing Virgil Hazelett, whose retirement took effect today after his 21 years in the position and more than 40 with the county.
Vithoulkas' financial knowledge and work as Henrico's director of finance is credited with helping the county maintain its fiscal edge through the recent recession.
During an address to elected officials, family members, business leaders and others during an investiture ceremony at the western government center, Vithoulkas said that he would enter his new role with a "profound sense of humility and excitement."
He vowed to continue the "Henrico way," a dedication to customer service that he said has defined the county for years.
"This is what sets us apart," he said.
Vithoulkas also said he would work to enhance the strong business climate the county enjoys and to attract more corporations to Henrico, while finding ways to fund the county's critical needs – including education and public safety.
"We will meet the near-term economic challenges that are before us – I can assure you of that," he said. "We will leave a better future for the generation that follows us."
Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Kaechele said that the county would be in good hands moving forward.
"Unlike the federal government, John knows how to balance a budget," Kaechele joked, turning to Vithoulkas. "I know you will try to squeeze blood from a turnip – or better yet, dollars from the General Assembly."
Hazelett received a standing ovation as Henrico Circuit Court Chief Judge L.A. Harris, who presided over the ceremony, recognized him during the event. Hazelett praised Vithoulkas as a dedicated public servant who would adapt to his new role well.
"John's potential as a leader was evident to me," Hazelett said. He told Vithoulkas: "You will face many, many challenges in the months and years ahead, but you will undoubtedly enjoy many, many successes."
Vithoulkas thanked Hazelett for providing him with guidance and friendship through the years.
"You have been a mentor to me, and you will always be a friend," Vithoulkas said. He praised Hazelett's wisdom and willingness to give advice, as well as his intense work ethic.
"Many nights, I'd leave [the government center] thinking I was the last one there, but then I'd see Virgil's office light still on," Vithoulkas said.
Citizen Staff Reports 10/12/2015
HandsOn Day 2015, which will feature 1200 volunteers serving more than 65 nonprofits in Greater Richmond, will take place Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the projects in Henrico or surrounding communities that need volunteers are: installing GardenFest lights Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, distribution center assistance at Feedmore, pumpkin carving with residents at SupportOne, work and play at Housing Families First, paint for independence at Heart Havens, spruce up the shelter and clean sweep at Harbor House at Safe Harbor, pinwheel project at REAP and Kidney Walk prep at National Kidney Foundation Serving VA. > Read more.
Citizen Staff Reports 10/12/2015
Virginians who want to plant beneficial plants for bees, butterflies and hummingbirds have a new resource at their fingertips. The online Virginia Native Plant Finder now lets users search for native plant species that benefit pollinators. The tool, which is managed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, is free and easy to use; searches can be completed on desktops, tablets or smartphones.
Native plants are those that grow where they evolved; they have traits that enable them to adapt to local conditions. The Virginia Native Plant Finder lets users create their own custom native plant lists by selecting from dropdown menus. > Read more.
Growlers to Go has opened its second area location – in Short Pump, next to Trader Joe's.
Unlike the flagship store on the Boulevard in Richmond, this location is equipped with a Tasting Room, offering customers the opportunity to drink pints or tasting wheels as well as order snacks on premises. > Read more.
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CalendarThe Short Pump Ruritan Club is seeking crafters for its 25th annual Short Pump Ruritan Craft Show on October 17 at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Rd. For… Full text