The Virginian-Pilot endorsed Councilman Barclay Winn for another 4 year term while refusing to endorse Councilwoman Daun Hester for some of the following reasons:
Hester was named vice-mayor by her colleagues and then ousted, has cast a series of dubious votes, and exhibited at least one troubling ethical lapse.
When she threw her support to her friend Alphonso Albert for a high-profile city job, her colleagues were unaware that he was once a violent felon before turning his life around. The result was an unnecessarily polarizing embarrassment for everyone, including Albert, who deserved better.
She lost the confidence of her colleagues on City Council, and her position as vice-mayor, after trying to scuttle the long-delayed plan for the direct election of mayor, something citizens had demanded for years.
Hester seems, even after so many years in office, insensitive to the obvious potential conflicts of representing a company trying to do business with the Norfolk Public Schools.
The Virginian-Pilot was not impressed by Hester’s opponent enough to throw him their support; therefore, they endorsed no one in Ward 7 for council.
Barclay Winn was endorsed by the Virginian-Pilot for these reasons:
Winn has been asking hard questions about why commercial assessments haven’t kept pace with soaring residential real estate values and what can be done about it. That disparity, over the past few years, has essentially shifted a heavier portion of the tax burden onto homeowners. In other words, where other politicians talk about taxes, Winn digs into the system and figures out how to make it more responsive.
If Wards Corner has not been transformed by the series of changes fostered by Winn and his allies, it has been changed in dozens of little ways over years, one storefront, one apartment complex, one piece of infrastructure at a time.
He has been a strenuous supporter of Norfolk’s downtown revitalization, although not a blind one, and has brought smart business sense to the council’s work. Winn has earned re-election.
It is very interesting that the editorial staff of the Pilot mentioned Wards Corner twice in its endorsement. Councilman Winn represents dozens of neighborhoods from Downtown to Ocean View. Maybe our work in the Partnership is paying off.