Supervisors Gordy and Chesser Depart Accomack Board of Supervisors

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Supervisors Gordy and Chesser Depart Accomack Board of Supervisors
Laura Belle Gordy, who represented District 7 for more than 30 years,
and Grayson Chesser, who served District 3 for 13 years, did not run
for re-election in 2019

By Carol Vaughn

Their colleagues on the Accomack County Board of Supervisors bid farewell to Supervisors Laura Belle Gordy and Grayson Chesser at the Dec. 18 board meeting.

Gordy and Chesser did not run for another term in office in the November election.

Gordy, who represented District 7, served on the board of supervisors since 1988, including as chairwoman five times.

She also was on the hospital board when plans were finalized to build the new hospital in Accomack County.

Supervisor Ron Wolff said of Gordy at her last meeting, “There wasn’t a meeting that she didn’t show up with a pin on her lapel.”

Supervisor Paul Muhly called her “a gracious lady, a lady of principle.” Chairman Donald L. Hart Jr. said he first met Gordy when he was two and she was working at a Keller bank.

“She was class then, and she is still class…I will miss you,” he said. Gordy was first elected to the board in 1988 and served two terms. After she was defeated by 17 votes in 1995, she was again elected in 2000 and has served on the board since then.

Additionally, Gordy served on the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission, the Accomack Social Services Board, the Eastern Shore Area Agency on Aging Community Action Board, Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission for which she was chairwoman for five years, the Solid Waste Management Committee, the Accomack Parks and Recreation Commission, the Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees, the Accomack County Agriculture and Forestal Committee, the Eastern Shore Community College Board, and the Eastern Shore Health Advisory Board.

She was chairwoman of the hospital charity ball for two years and a
member of the Executive Finance and Long-Range Planning Committee as chairwoman of Public Relations for Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.

Gordy volunteered as manager of the hospital’s gift shop for more than 15 years and was hospital auxiliary president.

She has served on committees of the Virginia Association of Counties and was appointed by the governor to serve on the Delmarva Advisory Council, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (six years), and the Chesapeake Bay Governor’s Board. She also was appointed a secretary of the Commonwealth Advisory Board and Regional Economic Development Advisory Council.

She was president of the Woman’s Club of Accomack County and has been a member of Temperanceville Chapter 88 Order of the Eastern Star (past worthy matron), Onancock Emblem Club 195, Friends of the Onancock School, Exmore Moose, Delmarva Firemen’s Ladies’ Auxiliary (past president), Virginia Federation of Business Professional Women’s Club (past president), and the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Board of Trustees (president).

Chesser, 72, who represented District 3, served 13 years on the board of supervisors.

He served as the supervisors’ liaison to the school board, chairman of the county Deer Dog Committee, member of the Eastern Shore Groundwater Committee, the Agri-Forestal Committee, the Joint Land-Use Study Committee, and is a former member of the Accomack-Northampton Planning
District Commission.

His colleagues recalled his penchant for storytelling and Supervisor Reneta Major called him “a true gentleman,” while Supervisor Harrison Phillips called Chesser “quick-witted.”

Supervisor Robert Crockett said Chesser’s storytelling reminded him of Abraham Lincoln, who also was known for telling stories to make his point.

“You don’t leave as associates; you leave as friends,” he said of the two departing officials.

In January, Howard “Jackie” Phillips will take the District 7 seat and Vanessa K. Johnson will represent District 3.

Accomack County Supervisor Grayson Chesser, left, sits on the dias during his last Accomack County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18. 2019 in Accomac. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
Accomack County Supervisor Laura Belle Gordy sits on the dias during her last Accomack County Board of Supervisors meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. Photo by Carol Vaughn.
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