The passing of Ned Creasey, District 3 Supervisor on March 10 is a sad day for Goochland County. Since taking office in 2008, after handily winning a three person electoral contest, Ned began the arduous task of turning the ship of Goochland government from a course toward the rapids of dysfunction into the calm seas of excellence.
|Ned Creasey celebtating on election night 2007|
Ned was an unassuming presence and a man of few, but important, words. He listened, watched, and was unafraid to ask embarrassing questions. Those who underestimated him did so at their peril.
He lived a life of service. First in the United States Navy, then as a police officer before going into construction. After moving to Goochland with his wife Diana and five children, Ned devoted his spare time to saving lives as a fire-rescue volunteer. His devotion to and respect for those who leave the safety of home and hearth to go in harm’s way to help others was evident in his time in elected office. He understood the challenges faced by those who work in public safety to service the public and pay bills with often limited income.
Two of Ned’s sons, Shawn and Steven, have been Goochland deputies for many years.
In addition to his fire-rescue and American Legion Post 215 affiliations, Ned was an enthusiastic amateur radio operator. He insisted that the new county emergency communications center have dedicated space for the Goochland Amateur Radio Team. Ned knew that when the fan turns brown, ham radio operators save the bacon.
|Ned took great pride in his Goochland Volunteer Fire-Rescue life member status of Courthouse Company 5|
Goochland County government has changed so much since Ned first took office that it is difficult to remember the bad old days.
Ned ran for office because he believed that Goochland was a jewel and could be the best jurisdiction in the Commonwealth if only local government served the people, instead of the other way around. He was appalled at the way citizens were treated when they interacted with the county.
When he first took office, Ned was the odd man out on a Board of Supervisors that had been running things a certain way for years. He demanded accountability for uncashed checks discovered in the drawers of the utility department and insisted that “as built” diagrams of the locations of the pipes in the Tuckahoe Creek Service District be made.
Honesty and common sense coupled with hard work and a determination to do the right thing were among Ned’s prized values. He contended that “if you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember what you said.”
Ned never understood why the county seemed unable to do things right the first time and lurched from crisis to crisis instead of planning for the future. He voted to approve the 25 year capital improvement plan, a long term spending plan for Goochland County at one of his last meetings as a supervisor.
After four years of being a lonely voice in the wilderness, voters gave Ned the support he needed to transform county government in 2011 when the other four supervisors and entire school board were replaced by new faces.
The new board worked as a team, each bringing differing gifts and backgrounds to the task of solving the county’s problems. An unprecedented era of collaboration between the supervisors and the school board replaced decades of contention for the benefit of all.
When he announced his intention to run for reelection in 2011, Ned disclosed that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He did not let illness keep him down, and in recent months, participated in Board meetings electronically from a hospital bed.
In spite of daunting circumstances, including embezzlement of public funds by a former county treasurer and severe decline in county revenues due to the economic downturn, Goochland earned a AAA bond rating in 2015, virtually unheard of for a county of our size. The accolades and accomplishments of county government since 2012 are too numerous to mention here.
Ned had faith in the intelligence of Goochland citizens and believed that government should operate in the open. “Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant,” he would often say to ensure that county matters were discussed in public forums instead of behind closed doors whenever possible. He was an early advocate for putting the county—and later the school—checkbook and credit card statements online for all to see, and question.
Ned leaves behind a Goochland County that is far, far better than it has ever been and a moral obligation for those who follow to build on those improvements.
Goochland owes thanks to Ned for his service and to the entire Creasey family for sharing him with us.
Rest in peace Ned in the eternal sunshine of a job well done.
(Visitation - Thursday March 15 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 at Salem Baptist Church, 1701 Cardwell Rd, Crozier
Funeral Service - Saturday, March 17 10:00 at Goochland High School followed by procession to Greenwood Cemetery.)