With less than two weeks until the May 3rd local elections it’s time to dig into the Norfolk SuperWard races.
SuperWard 6 is outlined in green on the map below, and there are three candidates vying for the position, including the incumbent. I sent out messages to all of the candidates telling them I was working on the article and asked them if their website content was acceptable for inclusion in the piece.
Responses were overall enthusiastic and most of the candidates were very helpful in making sure I had their top issues. Of note it must be said that due to word limitations there were many things cut from the article, but the good news is you can see the full text of what the candidates say by clicking on the links provided below.
This article doesn’t openly support any one of the candidates and is intended to serve as an informative piece so you the voters can decide which candidate you’d like to support. I urge you to get informed and be proactive. Send the candidates emails if you have further questions; all of their email addresses are under their website links. Please check out our NFK Voter Turnout Project on Facebook and get involved by getting others to join you at the polls on 3 May.
Norfolk City Council SuperWard 6, General Election, 2016
Candidates (In alphabetical order by last name)
Retrieved from: Andriafornorfolk.com/andrias-vision
Norfolk Public Schools
- More accountability for our School Board. If elected, I promise to revisit this issue and work to ensure we have citywide accountability in future school board elections.
- Hold quarterly joint-work sessions between City Council and Norfolk Public School Board to support and address issues in a timely manner.
- Create a strategic community engagement plan to better utilize local talent to improve our schools and provide better support for our teachers and principals.
- Activate a “Senior Corps” which trains our vibrant retiree community to assist and support our teachers and students.
- Identify space for a teachers’ supply warehouse, where local businesses and organizations can donate school supplies.
- Ensure our teaching staff is properly trained to best utilize 21st century online education tools in the classroom.
- Launch a state-of-the-art regional career technical school.
- Enhance our communication efforts and provide online payment systems for parents and online classroom tools for teachers.
Transparency & Access
- Expand the televised/recorded portion of the city council meetings to include all of the meeting and comments.
- Implement the practice of regular office hours. I will be available to meet with citizens on a defined, regular basis in a rotating schedule that hits all points of the Superward.
- Make it easier and more straight-forward to access agendas, minutes and city information and services through a re-vamped city website and creation of new apps.
- Encourage entrepreneurial competitions to utilize government open data to create private-sector solutions to our public-sector problems.
- Better coordinate our city departments to ensure the process of starting and/or expanding a business is a seamless one. Our businesses should have a concierge experience from the start, with one point of contact leading them through the entire process.
- Review our online portal for businesses. Let’s look at other cities who are doing this well.
- Ensure we have the proper infrastructure and workforce to expand current and attract new business. We need gigabit broadband across the city, and we need to continue to advance technical and vocational education options.
- Diversify our economy – There’s an opportunity to leverage the international ties that are so strong in Norfolk and throughout the region. I would also like to better tap into the skill sets of military retirees
- Support enhanced convention and tourism business. The increased supply of hotel rooms from The Main with an appropriate increase in the Norfolk Convention & Tourist Bureau’s budget to allow for additional marketing of Norfolk as a convention and tourist destination.
Our city and our citizens deserve safe neighborhoods, safe streets and safe schools.
- Prioritize funding and staffing our police force. Our police department is understaffed and overworked, and we need to work to ensure is has the resources it needs to attract and retain top talent in Norfolk.
- Developing community engagement initiatives in partnership with our police department. City Council should be working with our police department to promote community engagement tools and to create and promote programs that allow for more positive community interaction.
- Safe schools are a must. Teachers, parents and students must all feel safe in order to create an effective educational environment.
- Expand the NPD Gang Suppression Unit, which is charged with investigating all crimes in Norfolk Public Schools.
- Safety includes going to and from school, as well. Norfolk Public Schools is one of the only school systems in the region without GPS on our school buses. We should be able to have an app and online interface that lets parents and educators know where our students – and their buses — are.
Norfolk must actively address this issue now.
It is important that we are actively working with our regional, state and federal partners to identify outside funding.
Continue to educate and provide economic incentives on how to create a more “sponge-like” environment, through the use of pervious pavement, green roofs, rain barrels and rain gardens.
- Mandate the use of these flood-mitigation technologies when constructing/renovating municipal buildings in Norfolk.
- Create and encourage opportunities for flooding-mitigation entrepreneurship.
Quality of Life
I am eager to work with our city staff and citizens to ensure we continue to protect and enhance our diverse neighborhoods, cultural offerings, historic buildings, pets, green spaces, bike-paths and waterways.
- We need to spread our capital resources to all areas of the city to make them even more vibrant.
- I look forward to finding more ways to encourage cultural investments throughout the entire city.
- Encourage historic preservation, which is an economic-development driver for the city. Expanding the pool of possible historic properties available for redevelopment is not only a good thing to protect the unique quality of life in Norfolk, it is also provides a great economic engine and important revenue stream for our city.
- Let’s better activate our waterways and protect our beaches! Let’s encourage more dining and recreation along the waterways and beachfront that surround so much of our city.
- Create a kayak trail around Norfolk and look at opportunities for more public access points for kayak/canoe/stand-up-paddle board launches.
- Cleaner beaches with easier access and more to do:
- Create a volunteer committee that helps our city keep our beaches clean and keeps a well-trained eye on activities taking place.
- Install bike racks at the public access points (#biketothebeach)
- Consider a special weekend HRT beach shuttle that operates from other parts of the city and brings our residents to and from Ocean View.
- Ensure that parking is easy to find, easy to use and easy on the pocketbook.
- Make our parks and recreation a priority.
- Ensure we are protecting the four-legged citizens of Norfolk.
- We need to continue to enhance our biking initiative with more coordinated bicycle education in our public schools, with our motorists and with our public safety officials
- It’s critical for a thriving economy that we promote and support regional transportation initiatives, including: the widening of I-64; a third crossing; expanded “multi-modal” transit (higher speed rail, expanded Amtrak service in Norfolk and more flights at ORF); and, limit future tolling.
- We must ensure that we keep one of the strongest economic engines of Norfolk, the Port of Virginia, competitive, and support container traffic, as well as exporting bulk commodities, while balancing the needs of our local traffic lanes.
- I am in support of the expansion of light rail, beyond our starter line, to include service to our Naval Base, the airport and ODU. Light rail will spur economic development, particularly in the area of Military Circle/Military Highway, which is in a prime location for redevelopment.
I want to see Norfolk working towards a goal to offer the most technologically-advanced city services and school system in the region in order to offer better, more efficient and more effective services and education to our citizens, businesses and students.
- Create a Technology Advisory Board, which should be comprised of citizens, businesses and government agencies that identify opportunities for better use of technology.
We must work together with our sister cities in a cooperative regional effort to grow our jobs, reduce flooding, increase transit options and improve public safety.
- Regionalism can also be a cost reduction exercise, allowing our municipalities to obtain better pricing of goods and services through a larger purchasing pool.
Retrieved from: Friendsofwarrenstewart.com/home.html
Working Hard to Serve You
Save City Money
Emphasize Police Salaries
Renew Educational Commitment
Visit Neighborhoods Regularly
Explain Council Decisions
Barclay Winn (Incumbent)
Retrieved from: Barclaywinnfornorfolk.com/issues/
Providing an excellent school system for the families of Norfolk is critical. Our schools must be safe, healthy places where our future generations receive a first-class education and the opportunity to grow as individuals. Our schools must not only prepare students for college, but also provide non-college-bound students the skills to progress in the trades that do not require a college education.
As sea levels rise and hurricanes continue to pose an ominous threat to the Eastern Seaboard, Norfolk City Council remains dedicated to resolving the city’s vulnerability to storm surge and tidal flooding. I promise that Norfolk will continue to be at the forefront in flood prevention and planning.
Safe streets require a commitment bigger than just putting officers on the street. While I wholeheartedly support maintaining a full complement of sworn police officers who are competitively paid commiserate with other similar-sized cities, I also understand the importance of community-police department relationships.
I support the Norfolk Police Department’s efforts to respond to and work with the community by attending neighborhood watch and civic league meetings, utilizing community resource officers and fostering partnerships to solve problems and prevent crimes.
TRANSPORTATION AND TRAFFIC
I support efforts to address existing congestion at entry points to the City through the development of additional bridges and tunnels, including the expansion of the Midtown Tunnel and construction of the Patriots Crossing.
This will divert traffic from, and reduce congestion, at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. These projects will eventually lead to the construction of a larger Third Crossing that will help alleviate congestion and provide additional hurricane evacuation routes in cases of emergency.
On the traffic side, I pledge my commitment to work to eliminate through tractor-trailer traffic on Hampton Boulevard. Even though the automobile is expected to continue as the primary means of commuting, implementing and planning for other modes of transportation, including an expansion of Norfolk’s Light Rail system, are key.
I also support growing our bicycle and pedestrian paths. We need to keep connecting Norfolk and its Elizabeth River Trail with other cities, including Suffolk and the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. We want to continue our bona fide quest to become an official “bicycle-friendly community.”
Norfolk’s neighborhoods must be maintained. The City must continue to repair and replace drainage, curbs, gutters and lighting to keep our communities safe and up-to-date.
GREEN SPACE AND PARK DEVELOPMENT
I want to continue planting trees throughout Norfolk, beautifying biking and walking trails, and improving parks like Bay Oaks in Ocean View. But, I also want to look at new opportunities to grow our green space and enrich the quality of our parks, playgrounds, beaches, urban forests and city-owned cemeteries.
Next I’ll dig into the SuperWard 7 race, where four candidates are vying for the seat. #VOTENFK
Thank you to the generous sponsor of this project, Rose & Womble.
Rose & Womble Realty Co. was born and bred in Hampton Roads – our owners live and work here in the Seven Cities. We are a family-owned and operated business – with multiple generations working at all levels, from agents to managers.The leadership within the company is LOCAL – not out of state – but right here in Hampton Roads.