DOBSON — Larry Johnson will get a head start in his duties as a county commissioner.
After a unanimous vote of the Surry County Board of Commissioners Wednesday evening, Johnson will fill the unexpired term of long-time Commissioner Jimmy Miller.
Miller resigned his post, which he had held for nearly 28 years, as a Mount Airy District commissioner on the county board in March.
Johnson beat Miller and three others in the March Republican primary election for the seat, and with no opposition in the general election, Johnson was set to assume the role at the beginning of 2017.
In resigning, Miller said he felt Johnson was more than ready for the job. The veteran commissioner opted to give up his seat in hopes Johnson would be afforded the opportunity to hit the ground running as the county prepares the next fiscal year’s operating budget.
The four remaining commissioners did just that at a budget workshop at the county government center Wednesday evening.
“I have received an email from Republican Party Chairman Dan Kiger,” Golding told the board before reading the email in which Kiger stated Johnson was the recommendation of the party.
Throughout the workshop Johnson sat as an unofficial member, even chiming in with questions and contributing to conversation at times.
He said that’s because he’s ready to serve.
“I’m really excited and thankful the people of Surry County and the board have given me this opportunity. I have been very blessed,” remarked Johnson. “I intend to hit the ground running.”
Board Chairman Buck Golding said he’s happy to have Johnson on board.
“He’s certainly eager and worthy of the appointment,” said Golding. “We welcome him onto the board and look forward to it.”
“We will load him up with work.”
Johnson said he’s been very happy to see so many people, including the local Republican Party, stand behind him. However, the process of getting up to speed on what’s going on in Surry County government is already a little arduous.
“This has been eye-opening,” remarked Johnson.
Commissioner Van Tucker, who was appointed to the board in January, recently went through the same process.
He said it’s hard to know how much is involved until one assumes the role.
“This board, county and its employees has a heavy load to lift,” said Tucker. “We need as many lifters on board as we can get.”
“I welcome Larry (Johnson) to the board.”
The 2016 election was Johnson’s first run for public office. The 64-year-old is now retired from the business he founded in 2007, Johnson Granite, and say he’s ready to roll.
“I’m ready to get to work,” remarked Johnson after receiving the appointment.
According to Golding, Johnson will be administered the oath of office and officially begin work as a county commissioner at the board’s next meeting on Monday at 6 p.m. at Elkin High School.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.