Tuckahoe’s Patricia O’Bannon elected chairman of Board of Supervisors

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank Thornton to serve as vice chairman in 2022

Tuckahoe District Supervisor Patricia S. O’Bannon will lead the Henrico County Board of Supervisors as its chairman in 2022, with Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton serving as vice chairman.

In remarks at the board’s annual organizational meeting Tuesday, O’Bannon reflected on the past two years and recalled the opening line of the Charles Dickens novel “A Tale of Two Cities”: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”

“But this past year, grateful was my operative word,” O’Bannon added, acknowledging her board colleagues as well as County Manager John A. Vithoulkas, public safety workers, teachers and other employees across agencies and departments.

“Strength comes from dealing with harsh circumstances,” she said, referring to the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and we are very strong.”

O’Bannon noted how Henrico closed its most recent budget with a record surplus and now plans to provide a dividend equal to 2 cents on the real estate tax rate followed by a real estate tax rate reduction of 2 cents.

“Let’s think positively and act cautiously,” she said, “and we’ll make it through one more year. … I’m grateful for the year to come, so let’s begin.”

O’Bannon is serving as the board’s chairman for the sixth time. She and Thornton are serving their seventh terms as supervisors, having joined the board in 1996. They are the longest-serving active members of Henrico’s board.

In addition to her work as supervisor, O’Bannon’s service on other boards includes the Greater Richmond Partnership Board of Directors, Richmond Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RRTPO) and other local, state and national boards and commissions.

O’Bannon earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Virginia Commonwealth University, studied at the University of Oxford, England and is a certified planning commissioner from Virginia Tech. She previously worked as an English teacher, news editor and development associate.

Thornton also serves as chairman of the Central Virginia Transportation Authority and also is a member of the RRTPO, the Capital Region Collaborative Organizing Council, the Maymont Foundation Board of Directors and other local, state and national boards and commissions. He is a graduate of Virginia Union University (VUU) and The American University and is a retired professor of French at VUU.

The Board of Supervisors regularly meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings usually are not scheduled for the fourth Tuesday in August and December. Meetings are held in the Board Room at the Henrico County Government Center, 4301 E. Parham Road, and are livestreamed. Agendas and video of past meetings also are available via the webpage.

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