What I believe in and what I will continue to do for Portsmouth.
- Remain responsive to the concerns of Portsmouth residents
- Support improving the quality of education and developing a funding plan for schools
- Support ramping up Economic Development Efforts
- Support ramping up Tourism.
- Support protecting our AA bond rating
- Support funding for a Work Force Training Facility
- Support Community Engagement
- Support implementation of a strategic plan to connect to a regional broadband network
- Support expanding transparency in government
- Support renovating our City Park
- Support keeping our Public Safety pay competitive within the region
The litmus test for a candidate for office is based on whether the promises they make will come to fruition. As a member of a city council consisting of just 7 members, it is necessary to get 3 additional members to support your ideas in order for them to come to fruition. For an incumbent running for reelection, the litmus test is more precise. The test is “what have you done?” and “what have you tried to do?” Below are the items I have supported and items that have come to fruition during my tenure.
When elected to council our school system was losing way too many teachers to other cities. Most were leaving because our pay was the lowest in the region. I joined with Council Members Marlene Randall & Charles Whitehurst and others to devise a 3-year plan to make teacher’s salaries competitive with the region. Today, I am proud to say our teacher’s salaries are near the top in the region! I support keeping the salaries of our teachers competitive with the region.
New & Renovated Schools
Since I’ve been on council the following new schools have been built: John Tyler, Brighton, and Simonsdale. Many others have been modernized. I also voted to fund the planning phase for a new middle school in the 2018/2019 Budget. I was also supportive of funding improvements to many of our existing schools.
Tidewater Community College
I was an enthusiastic supporter for paving the way to bringing Tidewater Community College to the former Fairwood Homes site. For years citizens of Portsmouth had to explain why the TCC Campus was located in Suffolk. There is no explanation needed now and the TCC Campus represented a 40 million dollar investment.
On Economic Development
Bringing Businesses Back To Portsmouth
As the former Chair of the Portsmouth Division of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, and former Vice-President of Sales of Doughtie’s Barbecue, I know the value of bringing businesses to Portsmouth. The tax revenue generated by their sales lessens the tax burden on our citizens. Here are just a few of the businesses that I’ve supported bringing to Portsmouth.
Mid Town Development
During my first campaign for council, my main focus was “let’s bring retail back to Portsmouth by revitalizing MidCity Shopping Center”. I joined with former Councilman Cameron Pitts and others in voting to take control of a practically vacant MidCity and turning it into Portsmouth’s first Walmart and many other revenue producing businesses.
Kroger Market Place
Voted to support the building of a 25 million dollar Kroger Market Place on property that was not generating any tax revenue.
Lowe’s Home Improvement at Victory Crossing
I was a major supporter of demolishing Tower Mall and building a new retail center. Today we have Lowe’s, Ruby Tuesdays, Dollar Store, and many others businesses contributing to our tax base.
Along with Councilman Charles Whitehurst, we literally had to wage a fight to bring Portsmouth’s first IHOP to fruition. Today IHOP is contributing over $300,000 to Portsmouth’s tax revenue.
I supported bringing a first class hotel to Portsmouth where a closed restaurant and vacant field stood. Today the Renaissance is host to military functions, weddings, conventions, family reunions, and many other first class events.
As an early supporter of building an amphitheater, I was tired of seeing our citizens have to travel to Virginia Beach to enjoy a concert. We now have a facility that many say if the best outdoor venue in the region. I was also the catalyst for bringing back a Portside Facility which is now under construction. We are waterfront community and should have venues that attract visitors to Portsmouth.
Redeveloped an old mostly vacant Churchland Plaza Shopping Center into a first-class Harris Teeter Grocery Store.
A partial list of projects that I successfully supported with my vote:
- Renaissance Hotel
- Hidden Cove Residential Community
- River Pointe Residential Community
- New Behavioral Healthcare Services Building
- Lowe’s Home Improvement
- Tidewater Community College
- WAWA Convenience Stores
- Royal Farm’s Convenience Stores
- Newport Port Homes Residential Community
- WAWA Convenience Stores
- Lake Shores Residential Community
- Legend’s Brewery
- MoMac Brewery
- Roses on Victory Blvd
On Public Safety/General Wage Workers
When I was elected to council our Public Safety Departments were experiencing severe and costly turnovers due to salaries that were not competitive within the region. I voted to support a Comprehensive Pay and Retention Plan to close the gap and put a halt to the costly turnover. Today I am pleased to say that our public safety salaries are competitive. I’ve also cast numerous votes in support of keeping our Police Officer’s & Firefighter’s well equipped to do their jobs. I also was the catalyst for eliminating the Social Security Off-Set that was imposed on our retired Public Safety and General Wage Workers when they reached the age of 65. I’ve also been the driver to do right by our retirees by providing bonuses and working for permanent salary increases.
On Community Engagement
I am of the belief that strong vibrant communities are the basis of a prosperous city. In my view, one broken window is an invitation for the bad guys to come on in. I have supported beefed-up code enforcement that keeps our communities looking good and uninviting to those who wish us ill. I also believe code enforcement should apply to the city and state properties as well. I was instrumental in condemning the former Fairwood Homes and opening the property up for development where Newport Homes and Tidewater Community College now stand. I also served as Chair of a Blue Ribbon Mosquito Task Force that significantly ramped up Portsmouth’s Mosquito Control Program and got the Army Corps of Engineers and the Navy to agree to treat their facilities for mosquitos.