Three Chopt District Supervisor Thomas M. Branin has picked up the gavel as chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors and is ready to dive into issues and priorities for the year.
In remarks following his unanimous election at the board’s Jan. 14 organizational meeting, Branin thanked his colleagues for their vote of confidence and said he’s ready to get to work. The board’s third-annual retreat with senior staff will be held Jan. 24 at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. The daylong meeting will cover a broad range of issues, including transportation, housing, public infrastructure needs, stormwater management, development and solid waste.
“It gives us an opportunity to sit with our full county and discuss how and why and where we want to be,” he said.
Branin is serving as chairman for the first time, after a term as vice chairman in 2019. First elected in 2015 and re-elected in November, he is beginning a second, four-year term as the board’s Three Chopt representative.
Branin cited the board’s record of listening to residents, being proactive on issues, maintaining or lowering taxes as well as supporting and reinvesting in education. He said he’s particularly proud of the board’s careful examination of plans for a new Highland Springs High School and a new J.R. Tucker High School, projects now under construction.
“The county’s moved forward at a high level on many fronts in 2019,” he said. “The board will build on its momentum in the 2020 year.”
In addition to his work as supervisor, Branin serves on the Henrico Self-Insurance Trustees Committee. He served on the Henrico Planning Commission from 2005 to 2015, including as chairman in 2007 and 2012. He also served on the former Cable Television Advisory Committee from 2002 to 2006 and the former Transportation Safety Commission from 2016 to 2017.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ferrum College after graduating from Douglas S. Freeman High School.
At its organizational meeting, the board also voted unanimously to elect Brookland District Supervisor Daniel J. Schmitt as its vice chairman for 2020.
Schmitt is holding a board leadership post for the first time and is beginning his first full term as its Brookland representative. He joined the board in November 2018 following a special election and was re-elected in November.
In remarks, Schmitt thanked his colleagues and Brookland voters for their support and said he would work closely with Branin. He said he looked forward to this year’s opening of the Henrico Aquatics Center, progress on an indoor sports and convocation center at Virginia Center Commons and continued growth of sports tourism.
He called businesses “the heartbeat of our local economy” and said their success leads to quality infrastructure, more public services and a higher quality of life for the community. Henrico’s board includes two Democrats and three Republicans, but Schmitt dismissed the significance of political affiliations.
“While none of us can predict the future, you can be certain that this Board of Supervisors will continue to act in the best interest of its constituents, continuing only to serve the party of Henrico,” Schmitt said.
His service on local and regional boards and commissions includes the Local Emergency Planning Committee, Richmond Region Tourism Board of Directors, Sports Backers Board of Directors, PlanRVA, the National Association of Counties’ Community, Economic and Workforce Development Steering Committee and the Virginia Association of Counties’ Economic Development and Planning Steering Committee. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.
The Board of Supervisors regularly meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings typically are not scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in August and December.
Meetings are held in the Board Room at the Henrico Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road, and are livestreamed at henrico.us/supervisors. Archived video of meetings and additional information are available from the website.