VIRGINIA BEACH — Vice Mayor Jim Wood, who has served on the City Council for 19 years, announced this morning that he is resigning from his Lynnhaven District seat.
During an interview, Wood said he has accepted a position in the private sector that will require travel through the Mid-Atlantic region. He will have the opportunity to work with local governments and school systems in his new role, but it would be hard to fulfill his duties on the council.
“There’s just no way I can do both jobs,” he said.
Wood announced his resignation in a letter to his colleagues on the City Council. His last day in office will be Wednesday, Sept. 1.
“It has been my distinct honor to serve as a member of the Virginia Beach City Council,” Wood wrote in his letter. “While I will no longer be a member of the body, I will always be an unabashed champion of Virginia Beach.
“Obviously,” his letter continued, “this has been a difficult decision, but after 19 years on council I need to pause and prioritize the needs of my family.”
Wood’s announcement follows the Friday, July 2, resignation of former City Councilmember Jessica Abbott from the Kempsville District seat.
Abbott resigned due to a medical issue, and the council appointed City Councilmember Rocky Holcomb, a former state delegate and the chief deputy of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, to temporarily fill the Kempsville seat until the result of a special election is determined next year. Holcomb intends to run to keep the seat.
“Jim has been nothing but a friend and a colleague,” said Mayor Bobby Dyer this afternoon during a meeting at City Hall. “And the one thing I know about Jim Wood, he’ll always think about family first and doing the right thing.”
Wood, speaking during the meeting, said he appreciated the chance to serve the city.
“It’s been a great time,” he said. “I would underscore this because my mom says, ‘Please tell everybody you’re not leaving because you’re sick,’ And, no, that’s not it. I’m also not leaving because the FBI is two steps behind me or anything like that.
“It’s strictly related to a job opportunity that came up completely unsolicited,” Wood continued, “and I just felt I couldn’t pass it up. As much as I would like to try to do both jobs at the same time, I just can’t do justice.”
Dyer noted that he and Wood became mayor and vice mayor, respectively, roughly at the same time in 2018.
“What Jim has done over the last couple of years, you know, he really did an exemplary job,” the mayor said.
Dyer said Wood navigated budgets, mentored new members of the council and built bridges over the past two years. Dyer discussed how he and the vice mayor divided duties following the May 31, 2019, tragedy at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, among other challenges, and then they tacked the effects of the pandemic along with their colleagues on the City Council.
The mayor and the vice mayor shook hands after Dyer’s remarks.
Wood, serving in his fifth term, was first elected in 2002, according to his city biography. He is a former city police officer, and he is a businessperson who owns companies in the contracting and property management fields.
Ed. – Updated at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24, with information from the afternoon City Council meeting and some biographical information. This is a developing story and will be updated.
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