Davidson Commissioner Laurie Venzon was praised on Tuesday for having the courage of her convictions, and for helping to improve town government by “always questioning the status quo.”
Those were among the many words of thanks in a proclamation read at Tuesday night’s Davidson Town Board meeting, which was Venzon’s last. Her departure from the board comes as the family moves to Kansas City, where husband John Venzon has taken a new job.
Mayor John Woods read the proclamation thanking Venzon for her service. And the board gave her a framed watercolor of Main Street, painted by local artist Virginia Quillen.
A former Bank of America executive, Venzon has advocated improvements in the town budget process. She has fought to make sure the town maintains facilities and streets before spending on new projects. And she has helped overhaul governance and management of MI-Connection Communications System, the town-owned cable TV and internet network. While the system is still losing money, revenues are growing again and its board now includes members with financial, telecommunications and marketing expertise.
“She tackled the most complicated problems without fear or hesitation, but with dedication, passionate advocacy and unbounded energy,” Woods said Tuesday. “She went straight into the heart of dilemmas to find solutions.”
Venzon, who was the first town commissioner from the River Run neighborhood on Davidson’s east side, thanked the mayor for encouraging her to get involved. And she praised her colleagues for their collaboration.
“You did a good job of being very civil in our discourse … it does make a huge difference in getting work done,” she said.
And she joked about her persistent questioning: “You guys get the gold star, the medal of honor, for surviving all my questions.”
Town officials have not said anything about replacing Venzon. Filing for this fall’s Town Board elections begins in three weeks, and it’s possible the board may decide not to fill the seat.
SIX YEARS ON BOARD
Venzon has served six years on the Town Board, and served a term before that on the Davidson Planning Board.
She and husband John Venzon have lived more than two decades in River Run. They’re moving to Kansas City, where he has taken a job as an executive running the internet and mobile banking division at Jack Henry & Associates, a top provider of software and technology services to the banking industry.
They announced their plans in February, saying it came with a mix of sadness at departing and excitement about the new opportunity for Venzon.
John Venzon has already started his new job, but he will be keeping one foot in Davidson, as chair of the town-owned MI-Connections Communications System, which he has helped to lead in recent years. (See more about that in our Town Board report.)
CORRECTION: The name of the artist who painted the watercolor of downtown Davidson was incorrect. She is Virginia Quillen.