Board of Supervisors elects Onizuk as new chair

WYDaily.com is your source for free news and information in Williamsburg, James City & York Counties.

Kevin Onizuk was elected chair and Ruth Larson vice-chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
Kevin Onizuk was elected chair and Ruth Larson vice-chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors Tuesday. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

James City County’s Board of Supervisors will be led by a new chairman in 2017.

Supervisor Kevin Onizuk of the Jamestown District was elected chair of the board at a meeting Tuesday. He was nominated by Stonehouse Supervisor Sue Sadler and the vote was unanimous in his favor.

“It’s an exciting opportunity. I look forward to working with the other board members and [county] staff to lead James City County into 2017,” said Onizuk.  “We have a lot on our agenda for the year.”

Onizuk said that his focus will continue to be promoting tourism as a means to stimulate the county’s economy. Funding education and maintaining supplies of potable water will also remain top priorities for the new chairman.

“One of the most important things is water,” Onizuk said. “That was our top priority from our strategic planning process and the DEQ [Virginia Department of Environmental Quality].”

In the short term, Onizuk said he would like to renew the county’s water permit with the DEQ, and in the long run he hopes to find an alternate source of water.  The county currently draws water from an underground aquifer.

Michael Hipple had been the board’s chair in 2015 and 2016, and will continue to represent the Powhatan District on the board.

Berkeley District Supervisor Ruth Larson was elected vice-chair and was also elected unanimously.

The board also voted to begin all Board of Supervisor business meetings at 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. The 5 p.m. meeting schedule will begin Feb. 14.