As per our invitation, we are presenting op-eds from the candidates for the May 1 local elections in Norfolk, Newport News, Williamsburg, Chesapeake and Hampton. The articles will appear in the order in which they are received and exactly as they were sent to us.
It has been my privilege to serve the citizens of our wonderful city for almost 12 years.
As your councilman, I have learned that my job is never complete but is a work in progress.
My priorities remain to improve the quality of life for all of Norfolk’s population. I will continue to concentrate on our schools (as no community is any stronger than its public school system), public safety, flooding issues throughout the city, transportation (including mass transit, pushing for a better business solution for the midtown tunnel, traffic concerns, and passenger rail), code enforcement, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and regional cooperation.
The numerous other issues that daily affect our lives will be dealt with effectively and efficiently.
I am proud of our city and what we have accomplished in the last decade. Among highlights are the following:
- Our population has increased by about 4% reversing a 30-year downward trend.
- Real estate assessments have grown from 9 billion to almost 18 billion.
- Our real estate tax rate has decreased $ .29 – the largest drop of any city in the region.
- Our crime statistics have dropped significantly.
- The number of our citizens below the poverty line has dropped by 34%.
- The bond rating agencies have re-affirmed our excellent credit status – this despite the worst economic downturn in my lifetime.
I am a lifelong citizen of Norfolk who has been involved in civic and charitable activities all of my adult life.
As a business owner, I have helped guide a successful Norfolk based business through good as well as turbulent economic times for over 40 years.
I understand the challenges of city government, as well as how to deal effectively with these challenges.
My record of integrity and proven leadership speaks for itself.
Barclay Winn represents Ward 6.