Buck Golding’s retirement brought out many comments from those who served with him in county government.
• Van Tucker said he first got to know Buck back when he ran for county commissioner the first time in 1994.
“Buck’s approach to leadership has always been as a steady hand at the wheel,” said Tucker. “He doesn’t have knee-jerk reactions – and in our job that’s easy to do.”
“He always voted his conscious with a sense of calm … but he’s also got a big heart,” said Tucker. “He’s the first to tackle what might turn out to be a controversial item; he never ducked out of those things, and there’s always plenty of issues to go around. He showed a lot of courage.
“He’s been a mentor to me on the board. I will miss his calm leadership, but I’ll wish him the best in all his pursuits and interests. He will be sorely missed.”
One thing that Tucker didn’t realize until he himself joined the board is how much time can be taken up by the position.
“He’s been a tremendous servant to the citizens of Surry County,” Tucker said of Golding, who spent countless hours on committees and boards. “He will be hard to replace because of his dedication to the job.”
• Larry Johnson has been on the county board a little less than two years. When he joined the county, Johnson looked to his senior commissioner as a role model for the job.
“From Buck, I have learned what’s expected to be a county commissioner,” he said. From watching Buck’s dedication, Johnson said he learn how much effort is put into doing the job properly.
“He and I had a good sense of humor; we could laugh about things,” he said. Johnson said he learned from Golding about how much stronger the county is financially now than it was a decade ago.
“He told me I had a big heart, and I took it as a compliment,” he said. Then Golding joked that Johnson shouldn’t let that kind heart lead him into spending all the fund balance the board had managed to save.
At the end of the meeting Monday, Johnson said, “I gave him a good hug, and I meant it.”
• Former commissioner Jimmy Miller spent a decade on the board with Golding.
While the two sometimes butted heads on issues, Miller said he has fond memories of the many things they accomplished together as a unit.
Last fall, Miller was inducted into the Surry County Sports Hall of Fame’s Ring of Honor for his many efforts to improve sports and recreation in the county. Miller played a pivotal role in founding Fisher River Park and improving the Lowgap Recreational Center, the White Plains Youth Foundation and Franklin ball fields.
Miller understands that those things would not have been possible without the support of the rest of the county board, regardless of personal beliefs or party affiliations.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.