Bill Henry will resign as a Lincoln County commissioner Thursday, 15 months before completing his second County Board term.
The 82-year-old District 3 commissioner traced his decision to a series of health problems, including but not limited to serious bouts with COVID-19 last November by both himself and his second wife, Sharron.
“I regret it, but I can’t take another year like this,” Henry told The Telegraph on Friday. “I’ve done a lot of painful soul-searching and prayerful time these last several weeks, and I’ve got to get out. I really do.”
Henry’s four County Board colleagues will decide whether to accept his resignation during Monday’s regular meeting.
A reception for Henry will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the commissioners’ room in the North Platte courthouse.
Henry was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 to represent District 3, which covered western Lincoln County until just after he won re-election.
Voters in 2018 also expanded the County Board from three members to five. That forced commissioners to shrink District 3 to just the county’s southwest portion, stretching into extreme south and south central North Platte.
“We made a world of difference together,” Henry said of his service alongside current or former colleagues Joe Hewgley, Duane Deterding, Kent Weems, Walt Johnson, Jerry Woodruff and Chris Bruns.
“I think we ran this county pretty darn good the past seven years.”
County Clerk Becky Rossell, County Attorney Rebecca Harling and newly appointed County Treasurer Alex Gurciullo will have until mid-November to decide who will finish Henry’s term, which expires in January 2023.
Commissioners fill vacancies for other elected county officials. State law specifies that the county clerk, treasurer and attorney serve as a committee to fill County Board vacancies.
Before winning election to the County Board, Henry had served 13 years as president of the county’s former Sioux Lookout school board.
He put in 23 years as a board member of All-Points Co-op in Gothenburg and its predecessors and has served 32 years on the Dawson Public Power District board.
Henry said he’ll finish his current term on the Dawson board, which expires at the end of 2022. He doesn’t know what he’ll do next, but “I’ve had the rare and unusual privilege of living several lives.”
Henry succeeded his father, Art, as owner and operator of Henry Feedlot on Interstate 80’s south side halfway between North Platte and Maxwell. He also founded the Henry Transportation trucking company and DOM LLC, a forage harvest company.
Henry sold all three after his first wife, Sandy, and his mother, Grace, were killed in a 1996 automobile accident. His son, Mike, has owned and run the feedlot for 25 years.