Just moments after hearing on Wednesday that he had been appointed to Albemarle County’s Board of Supervisors, William B. “Petie” Craddock said he was “overwhelmed.”
“You get only so many opportunities in life to step up to the plate and I felt this was one of those times,” the independent candidate said in the foyer of the County Office Building.
Five weeks after former county supervisor Christopher J. Dumler’s abrupt resignation, the county’s five remaining supervisors appointed his replacement Wednesday in a 5-0 vote.
Dumler’s departure on June 5 came five months after the Scottsville supervisor pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery in January.
Craddock, a former planning commissioner said he hoped his appointment would mark a return to normalcy for the Scottsville District and a return to civility for the board.
“We don’t need rancor and everything else upsetting the applecart,” Craddock said. “I just want to get things on an even keel. That’s basically all I want to do.”
With that in mind, Craddock said he only plans to serve the board in the interim between now and a special election in November.
“That’s all I wanted to do and that’s all I asked to do,” Craddock said, “just to be the interim supervisor to get us from the previous supervisor and all that rough road to the next supervisor in November.”
A fourth-generation Albemarle County resident, Craddock attended Albemarle County public schools throughout his childhood and graduated from the University of Virginia in the 1975.
“I never left,” Craddock said.
The lifelong county resident said his considerable history with the county and its people would be his strongest asset as he prepares to assume office in the coming weeks.
“I feel like an old shoe,” Craddock told Supervisor Rodney S. Thomas.
Craddock has worked as a sales representative traveling across Central Virginia for the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical contract sales organization PDI, Inc. since 1998.
He served on the county’s planning commission from 2000 to 2008.
He has also served on the Riverbend Condominium Association Board, on the Board of Directors for the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company and as a member of the local Elks Lodge. Additionally, he is a recent appointee to the Village of Rivanna Advisory Council.
Craddock said in every endeavor he has sought to bring an objective perspective and an open mind, and he will continue to do so as Scottsville’s newest representative.
“I think the whole idea was to have someone who was a moderate, who was middle of the road, who could listen to both sides and not listen to partisan politics,” Craddock said.
Supervisors Wednesday heralded Craddock’s appointment as return to business as usual.
Out of the 10 candidates that applied for the position, Supervisor Kenneth C. Boyd said, Craddock was an obvious choice.
“Mr. Craddock has had some experience in the number of years that he was on the planning commission for the Scottsville District, so I think he’s the logical person that can step in and hit the pavement running,” Boyd said.
Chairwoman Ann H. Mallek agreed.
“We have a candidate with whom everyone had great confidence to jump in quickly due to his previous experience and local connections,” she said. “I think it’s huge. We’re feeling very positive about it.”
The next four months provide only a small window, even for a local politician, Mallek and Boyd said, but there will still be a considerable number of significant items on the county agenda in that time.
From the Comprehensive Plan to a proposed police firing range in the Scottsville District, supervisors said they trusted Craddock to be a fast learner who would take the time to listen to district residents and voice their concerns fairly before the board.
“My first goal is to get up to speed,” Craddock said.
County officials said Craddock is slated to join fellow supervisors in his new capacity for the first time at a joint Board of Supervisors-School Board retreat July 25.