Is retirement in the air in NoVa?

February 1, 2012

It might have been the beginning of the budget cycle or the unseasonably pleasant weather, but Northern Virginia had two fairly high-profile officials announce plans to step down Wednesday.

Manassas Superintendent Gail E. Pope and Virginia Railway Express Chief Executive Dale Zehner both said they would step aside June 30.

That’s just before the July 4 holiday and the dog days of August, when most officials get out of the region anyway. To be fair, that day was most likely chosen because it’s the end of the fiscal year, a date sacred on the calendar of government wonks, financial planners and maybe retirees.

Both officials have different reasons. Pope said she’d like to take advantage of some of the opportunities coming her way from nonprofits and other education-related associations.

Zehner, for his part, has no interest in work, though he said he would not be playing golf. “I don’t play golf, but yes, I’m retiring,” he said.

“This is the end of my working life,” he said definitively.

Meanwhile, no doubt there were countless others on the golf course today (do people in and outside of the hard-charging District ever play hooky?) pondering careers tending the flag stick.

It won’t last forever, though — the Capital Weather Gang seems sort of sure that it will rain tomorrow morning, sending us scurrying back to the cubicle and worrying about our retirement savings — or lack thereof. Keep an eye out for the end of the fiscal year.

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