Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. announced today that his last day in office will be April 30, 2018. He will be returning to private sector employment and to life as a private citizen. What follows is the full-length version of his statement.
For the past 30 years, it has been my privilege to serve the city that I love. I grew up here and raised my family here. And now my grandchildren also call Virginia Beach home. Over my lifetime, Virginia Beach has seen many changes, and I am proud to see that the City is continuing to make amazing improvements that will keep the city thriving for generations to come.
The Virginia Beach City Council has this City’s best interests at heart, and I am confident they will capitalize on the outstanding opportunities still ahead.
I am grateful to the citizens of Virginia Beach for entrusting me to serve as Mayor of the greatest city in the world. One of the reasons is because we have City employees and volunteers who work so diligently to carry out the vision of the City Council. To each of them, I offer my heartfelt thanks and admiration. You are the best of the best, and I know you will continue to deliver the highest quality services.
We have accomplished so much over the years. The City of Virginia Beach is as safe as it was in 1963, the year Virginia Beach and Princess Anne County merged. We have the lowest real estate property tax rate and the highest quality of life in the region. We survived the recession and we’re diversifying the economy.
I’m extremely proud of our superior schools, our AAA bond ratings, and our strong relationship with our military.
Since 1988, more than $9.2 billion have been invested in Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
Over the past three years, we allocated more than $156 million to fund roadway projects throughout Virginia Beach. Regional projects worth a total of $5 billion are currently underway.
I’m excited about the Entertainment District and all of the initiatives that will be included in the new budget.
I’m honored to have had a part in the development of so many projects that have moved this City forward — Big Beach and the hurricane protection program, Town Center, the Convention Center, the 31st Street project, and The Cavalier. New recreation centers, new libraries, The Lesner Bridge and the Housing Resource Center that will open this summer are just some of the projects that I will hold up as being among the very best Virginia Beach has to offer.
Political courage is our birthright in Virginia Beach. The same type of grit that enabled us to persevere during the battle to bring plentiful drinking water from Lake Gaston to Virginia Beach is what this City needs today.
To have had the career I’ve had… to have been able to serve my hometown as a member of the City Council and then as Mayor for more than half my adult life, I have to tell you, I am one lucky guy. Then, to have new opportunities presented to me, well, I am counting my blessings and leaving with the knowledge that this city is in very good hands.
As I embark on the next chapter in my life, I will remain Virginia Beach’s number-one fan. There is no one more proud to call this great city “home,” and I have great faith that this City will continue on the right path for the people who live in Virginia Beach and because of that, Virginia Beach will continue to be the greatest city in the world.