Monday, May 16, 2011

Delegate Bill Cleaveland retires – Delegate Habeeb’s statement

Delegate Bill Cleaveland

UPDATE 3:10 p.m.: Governor McDonnell’s statement on Cleaveland’s retirement:

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today following news that Delegate Bill Cleaveland has decided not to run for re-election to the General Assembly.

“Bill has been a force for good as a leader in the Roanoke community and in his time representing the 17th District of the House of Delegates in the Virginia General Assembly. As he departs the House of Delegates, the role he played in the passage of important transportation, public safety and education legislation will continue to be felt throughout the Commonwealth for years to come.

“I wish Bill the best in his future endeavors. I know he will enjoy spending more time with his wife Deborah and the rest of his family, and I commend him for his service to the people of the Commonwealth.”


Botetourt County’s first term Republican Delegate Bill Cleaveland who represents Roanoke County and part of Roanoke City will not seek reelection this year. He won election two years ago with 62% of the vote and a challenge from then Roanoke City Council member Gwen Mason.

With a heavy workload as an attorney and family care demands he says he is not able to give the time to his constituents that they deserve. His hard work at the 2011 session of the General Assembly resulted in a successful bill to allow Roanoke City Schools to open prior to Labor Day.

At a legislative meeting with Roanoke City council and the school board in November 2010 Cleaveland said he had a workaround for RCPS that he would take to the 2011 session of the General Assembly. Cleaveland was new to the legislature but smart and he thought then that he could engineer a way to usher in a bill that would add an exemption fitting Roanoke City only.

The naysayers kept telling him they had tried without success in previous sessions and the tourism lobby was just too strong. He bucked heavy hitter Democrat Senator Dick Saslaw who was solidly funded by the tourism lobby.

Cleaveland even lobbied Governor Bob McDonnell who wanted $3.6 million of additional funding to promote tourism in the state. He didn’t give up though. His argument was convincing and the Governor signed Cleaveland’s bill.

Delegate Greg Habeeb statement:

SALEM – Delegate Greg Habeeb (R-Salem) made the following statement Monday on the decision of Delegate Bill Cleaveland (R-Roanoke County) to retire:

“I am sad to hear Delegate Cleaveland will not seek another term in the Virginia House of Delegates. He has served his community and the Roanoke Valley effectively and with dedication.

“It was an honor to work closely with Bill during my first session in Richmond and I appreciate all that he has done for me and for our region.

“Delegate Cleveland worked tirelessly this past session to gain passage of a bill that gives local schools control over their calendars. His work on this bill was just one example of his dedication to the Roanoke Valley and its citizens. Bill always put people before politics.

“I know I speak for many people here and in Richmond when I express my thanks to Delegate Cleveland for his service. We will miss him going forward.”

Pre-Labor Day school opening is complicated

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2011, Elections, Politics, State Politics

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