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Ring announces retirement

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — It's been a rumor for some time now, but Thursday night it was made official — Grayson County will lose an employee of nearly 30 years when County Administrator Bill Ring retires next year.

Ring notified the Grayson Board of Supervisors during a two-hour closed session Thursday night that he would retire effective Jan. 31, 2009.

“After prayerful consideration and much thought, I respectfully notify you of my intent to retire,” Ring's  letter read.

His retirement will end more than 27 years of service in Grayson — four of those in his current position.

Ring asked to participate in the deferred retirement plan available to employees who were employed prior to Jan. 1, 2007, and are eligible for retirement under the Virginia Retirement System.

Under the deferred retirement, Ring will not work the month of February and will return March 1 to finish his required time. Plans are for Ring to work until the end of May 2009 so he can help with the transition to the new county administrator and get the county through budget season.

In his letter, he thanked board members past and present for the opportunity to serve the county for so long. He thanked the people of the county, as well.

“Much has been accomplished, but there still remains much to do,” read the letter. “The completion of the prison, the school construction, the regional water system and the broadband initiative are a few of the important projects.”

Ring added that the position of county administrator is crucial in improving the quality of life for Grayson residents and he wishes the board well in their search for his successor.

No mention was made of a possible replacement for Ring. The county hired Mitch Smith this past summer as assistant county administrator.

Board members knew the decision was coming, and although they were reluctant to make it official, they thanked Ring for his service.

“Him giving his notice is not surprising,” said Supervisors' Chairman Mike Maynard. “But this does bring a finality to it... it's a sad time for us.”

Maynard added that the board would have several months to express their thanks and gratitude to Ring for his years of service and noted how fortunate Grayson was to have Ring serve for so long.

The motion to accept his retirement was made by Supervisor Larry Bartlett and seconded by Supervisor Doug Carrico. It passed unanimously.

“Again, thank you for the opportunity afforded me,” Ring's letter finished. “I shall always cherish the time spent in public service.”