Supervisor Meg Bohmke was unanimously voted chairwoman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday after being nominated by fellow board member Wendy Maurer.
Bohmke, a Republican, represents the Falmouth District on the board.
“I just want to thank my colleagues,” Bohmke said. “I appreciate the confidence that you have in me to lead the county. I look forward to working with all of you. We have a lot of challenges on our plate in 2018 and a lot of great opportunities as well. I think we’re going to have a great year and I thank you for your support.”
Supervisor Gary Snellings, R-Hartwood, was unanimously voted vice-chairman of the board after fellow Supervisor Bob Thomas, R-George Washington, nominated him.
Thomas, who is leaving the board this week, was also recognized for his service to the board over the past six years.
“We are really going to miss your leadership on the board,” Bohmke told Thomas, pointing out that Thomas previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps and later started his own business, Capriccio Software, Inc. She further commented on his steady, calm demeanor and approach.
“He’s kind of like the heart surgeon that you want operating on you, doing very detailed work and he’s always very focused,” Bohmke said. “He takes everything into account before he makes a decision and he doesn’t let personalities get involved. I really like that about him.”
Thomas will be missed but he is on to bigger things, Bohmke said.
He was elected in November 2017 to represent the 28th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. Thomas will represent the district seat once held Bill Howell, who has served the house of delegates for 30 years and was House speaker for the past 15 years.
Snellings said of Thomas: “Of all of the supervisors I’ve worked with, this is the guy who is the most level-headed,” Snellings said. “He’s as cool as the center seed of a cucumber. This guy does not get upset about anything and he’s got the patience of Job.”
Thomas praised and thanked his current and former colleagues.
“It’s been a great honor representing the people of the George Washington District,” he said.
Stafford Sheriff David Decatur was also on hand to thank Thomas for his service on the board.
In discussing Thomas, supervisors alluded to a lawsuit that challenges the 28th District election, however, and means that Thomas’ stint as a delegate isn’t set in stone quite yet.
The lawsuit stems from a mistake in which hundreds of voters were assigned to the wrong district. Thomas’ opponent, Democrat Joshua Cole, lost by 73 votes and sought a new election.
The plaintiffs, which are four voters in the mix-up, along with Cole, will need to provide more evidence, a judge said last week.
New board members Mark Dudenhefer and Cindy Shelton, both Republicans, also attended the first board meeting of the year.
Dudenhefer, a former member of the board, most recently represented the 2nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. Dudenhefer served on the board of supervisors for six years.
He said that when he moved from being a supervisor to become a delegate, he felt that the board job served him well in his new position. Now, he said, he feels he’ll be a better supervisor having served as a delegate.
Shelton said that when she was campaigning, many of the citizen concerns she heard involved congestion, transparency, communication and a need for limited government. She said she plans to hold a monthly public roundtable on a Thursday at 7 p.m. at Stafford Hospital.