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McGrady, commissioners exchange thank yous

Chuck McGrady Chuck McGrady

In a valedictory before the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, state Rep. Chuck McGrady thanked the members of the board he served on for six years and said his service in Raleigh benefited from the relationship he had with local government.

“The relationship has been a model one,” he said. “I’ve stayed well informed. I never took action that was going to affect Henderson County without talking to Steve and the commissioners. Moreover, on a personal basis all have become friends."

A former Flat Rock Village Council member, McGrady served on the Board of Commissioners from 2004 until 2010, when he was elected to the state House. After he was appointed to the N.C. Board of Transportation in July, he announced that he would resign from the state House to begin serving.

He noted that Commisssioner Michael Edney, who chaired Wednesday's meeting in the absence of Chairman Grady Hawkins and Vice Chairman Bill Lapsley, was serving as chair when he first moved to Flat Rock in the early 1990s.

“Charlie Messer — I miss his being here," McGrady said. "Truth be known, he’s the only public official I got into almost a physical altercation with. I think Steve called a deputy in to step between us. And Charlie and I within a few weeks were back to our normal relationship.” He did not elaborate on what the dispute was about.

McGrady first won election to the board when he defeated Grady Hawkins in a Republican primary in 2004.

“He and I did not have a lot to agree upon early in our career but as we both are about to leave the stage that has really changed," he said. "Any number of people have noticed that these things have a way of working out."

He praised the working relationship he had with County Manager Steve Wyatt.

“At every point you’ve given me really solid advice," McGrady said. "It’s been a pretty successful five terms because I’ve stayed close to local government, particularly this one. So thank you for making me and helping me be successful and I look forward to my new role in working for Henderson County and Western North Carolina."

Commissioners in turn thanked McGrady for his 10 years of service in the General Assembly.

"You’ve been an inspiration to me," Edney said. “You’ve been a great leader for this community. You’ve done well for the county, you’ve always been there for us.”

“Any time I picked up the phone and called you, you were there to answer a question and always willing to be there," Rebecca McCall said. "I appreciate the efforts you made to try to help the camps get back open. I really appreciate your passion for that.” Ten years, she said, is “a long time to drive back and forth to Raleigh.”

“I appreciate your demeanor and your approach," said Daniel Andreotta, who served in the Rotary Club with McGrady. "You’re approachable. You are an asset and resource and I’m glad you’re still around.”

 Wyatt noted that McGrady had influenced many positive changes in the county both as a county commissioner and state House member.

“The building we’re in now is one example of Chuck McGrady’s leadership and the difference he’s made in this county,” he said. “You can go around this county and there are fingerprints of Chuck McGrady. We’ve had some very serious times and we’ve had some very light-hearted times. I really appreciate not only your service and impact you’ve had but your friendship.”