Pablo Cuevas announced Wednesday that he will resign from his post as Rockingham County District 1 supervisor effective Jan. 1, ending a 30-year reign on the board.
“It has been a long ride, and I have been able to work with some great folks,” Cuevas, 79, of Broadway, told the board. “I hope I give you enough time to search for someone to fill small shoes.”
Cuevas cited health and family reasons in his decision.
County Attorney Thomas Miller said the county would follow the same process of finding a replacement as when Fred Eberly stepped down in March 2018.
Cuevas, a Shenandoah College and Madison College graduate, was first elected in 1990, representing the towns of Broadway and Timberville and Fulks Run, Bergton, Criders, Lacey Spring and Tenth Legion.
Cuevas, who immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the 1950s, thanked board members and staff, saying he hopes they find a good replacement.
“I thank many of you who made my 30 years on board a unique experience for someone of my background,” Cuevas said.
Chairman Mike Breeden, who has been serving alongside Cuevas since 1999, told him “your footprint is all over Rockingham County.”
Supervisor Bill Kyger, the only member of the board who has served longer than Cuevas, was emotional as Cuevas announced his resignation and declined to comment Wednesday.
County Administrator Stephen King said the county has its work cut out for it in replacing Cuevas.
“He will be a difficult person to replace,” King said. “He is the type of person you can’t really replace.”
King first started working for the county 19 years ago in the Public Works Department, the beginning of his relationship with Cuevas.
“I have been with the county for 19 years, and he has been a big part in the direction of the county in the last 20 years,” King said.
King said Cuevas “added value and provided good guidance and decision making.”
Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said Cuevas is synonymous with the Board of Supervisors.
“When you think of the Board of Supervisors, you think of Pablo,” Hutcheson said. “He is truly one of a kind and a unique individual who will be missed.”
Hutcheson said Cuevas always had a hardworking approach and desire to help, adding that his decision to step down is “a huge thing.”
“He has been with them for so long,” Hutcheson said.
Cuevas has served on various board committees, including finance, public works, city and county liaison, school board liaison, towns and county liaison, chamber of commerce and the community criminal justice board. Cuevas also serves as the second vice president of the Virginia Association of Counties board of directors.
His public service stretches beyond his time on the board. He has also served on Broadway’s Town Council and Planning Commission and the Rockingham County Planning Commission.
He also served on the board of visitors of James Madison University and the Rockingham County Schools Foundation.
He is retired from Riddleberger Bros., where he worked as a business manager and retired as the executive vice president.
“There is no other Pablo,” Hutcheson said.