In Support of One of Our Own; Jim McDonnell for Norfolk City Treasurer

October 24, 2013
Jim McDonnell, Candidate for Norfolk City Treasurer

Jim McDonnell, Candidate for Norfolk City Treasurer

Three and a half years ago in May, the voters in the Greater Wards Corner Area had the opportunity to elect an advocate for the interest of the citizenry of Wards Corner.  The voters choose wisely that May election day and Councilman Andy Protogyrou has become Wards Corner’s strongest advocate and voice.   Andy is “one of our own”.   And today, I am proud to say that Andy Protogyrou has been a stellar City Councilman.

On Tuesday, November 5th the voters of the Greater Wards Corner Area will once again have the opportunity to elect “one of our own”.   Jim McDonnell, the President of the Talbot Park Civic League, is on the ballot for the office of Norfolk City Treasurer. Jim McDonnell can be proud of his community leadership and involvement which includes:
• Director of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority
• Norfolk Criminal Justice Board Member
• Member of the Mayor’s Wards Corner Task Force
• Founding Member of Wards Corner Now
• Norfolk Community Development Block Grant Commission Board (2011)
• Norfolk Juror Commissioner (2009-2011)
• Vice-Chairman for Blessed Sacrament’s Parish Council (2007 – 2010)
• 11th Grade Confirmation Teacher for Blessed Sacrament

Jim McDonnell has worked tirelessly for the improvement of the Wards Corner Business District.  Today, we see the results of his unflinching and persistent efforts.  As part of Jim McDonnell’s platform for Norfolk City Treasurer, he has set as one of his top priorities the full restoration of Norfolk’s Senior Tax Relief Program.  This is very important to the Greater Wards Corner Area’s large senior population.

Being a trusted financial advisor, Jim McDonnell is the right choice to oversee how Norfolk Citizen’s tax dollars are invested. Yesterday, Jim McDonnell was endorsed by the Virginian-Pilot which wrote,

In 2010, this page was unable to recommend Anthony Burfoot’s re-election as a city councilman, in part because he was in a position both to collect taxes – as deputy treasurer – and to spend them as a city councilman.

Even though his election would end that conflict, we are left with too many doubts to endorse Burfoot as treasurer.

Instead, we recommend Republican Jim McDonnell, president of the Talbot Park Civic League and a member of the board of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority. McDonnell, a founder of Wards Corner Now, is a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch.

Like Poston, McDonnell has said that rapprochement between the commissioner of revenue and the treasurer is critical to smoothing the city’s financial functions.

“This is a key position in the city – collecting our tax dollars,” McDonnell said. “If you have a problem, that money is gone.”

McDonnell’s criticism of Burfoot centers on the city councilman’s selection by current Treasurer Tom Moss as his successor.

“No. 1, I’m a conservative business guy when it comes to the fiduciary duty of running the office,” McDonnell said. “The second thing is I’m doing this to serve, not to be served.”

McDonnell said he’d work to get senior tax relief completely restored and be more aggressive in collecting delinquent taxes. For his business background, his solid agenda and his lack of conflicts, McDonnell deserves election.

Jim McDonnell, “one of our own” has earned our vote for the job as Norfolk’s City Treasurer.
Please Vote Jim McDonnell, Tuesday, November 5th

-Louis Eisenberg


Taskforce moving to bimonthly meetings per City Council

October 10, 2013

City Council has decided that Task Force meetings across the city will move to either quarterly or a every-other-month schedule.  The Wards Corner Task Force will move to every-other-month with the next meeting to be held on December 12, 2013.  Other notes from today’s Task Force meeting are below.  Thanks as always to Karen Mayne for providing the notes. 


Greater Wards Corner Task Force Meeting – October 10, 2013

The meeting was led by Council member Andy Protogyrou.  Council members Terry Whibley and Barclay Winn were also present.

 Talbot Hall Update

 The non-profit Talbot Hall Foundation conducted a survey and determined that it is unlikely the Foundation can raise $4.25 million dollars to purchase the Talbot Hall property from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.  The Foundation is working with the Diocese and Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate to achieve residential development on part of the property while still preserving the historical and environmental values of the manor house and property.

 Police Report

 The Police Department has given out tickets for parking on the grass along the 100 to 600 blocks of West Little Creek Road.  The police have also asked the City’s codes compliance office to look into whether property owners have permits for the driveways.

 Department of Development Updates

 BP Gas Station Update – Nothing new to report.  The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station) for a 4000 square foot retail center.

 Wards Corner Shopping Center – The parking lot lights are manually turned off around 9 p.m.  Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m.  The lack of lighting is creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  Property owners will place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

 It was requested that the City prune the crepe myrtle trees along the section of Virginian Avenue between Louisiana and Little Creek.  Now that the new sidewalks in this area are complete, limbing up the overgrown trees will allow safe passage of pedestrians and the disabled.

 Denby Park Demolition

 The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

 Public Art Update – The Request for Proposals for the $150,000 public art for Wards Corner is out.  Proposals are due byOctober 31.


 Norfolk Christian – City Council has approved the closure of the portion of Seekel Street surrounded by Norfolk Christian Upper School.

 Norfolk Collegiate – The issue of parking on both sides of Suburban Parkway in the vicinity of the school was discussed.  Officer Odell Davis said he is recommending the removal of about five parking spaces at the western end of Suburban Parkway on both sides of the street in order to improve turn radiuses for buses and improve safety of pedestrians and vehicles.


 The issue of replacing the hanging traffic lights at East Little Creek Road in front of the Taco Bell with mast arm poles was discussed.  There are only two hanging traffic lights along Little Creek Road between Hampton Boulevard and Shore Drive, this light being one of them.  The Task Force has discussed this for at least six years as part of the beautification of the Wards Corner area.  A request was made that this be considered for future capital improvement funds.  No resolution on the matter since funding would be expensive and take away from the funds being used to acquire the blighted properties in Denby Park.  It was pointed out that a mast arm was not installed at this light due to long-term plans for redevelopment of the surrounding area.

 Another concern is the utility poles that have been on the ground in the area of Tucker House at Armfield and W. Little Creek. 

 New Business

 City Council has decided that the various community task force meetings around the City should happen either bi-monthly or quarterly in order to alleviate workload on City staff.  Interim communications between the face to face meetings would continue among the representatives on these task forces via e-mail.  The representatives of the Greater Wards Corner Task Force indicated they would like to meet bi-monthly.  The next meeting will be December 12, 2013.


Attend the W. C. Taskforce meeting on 10/10/2013

October 9, 2013

A few of the agenda items that we expect to discuss at the Taskforce meeting on October 10, 2013 are below.  The public, as always, is welcome to the meeting held at the Fitness and Wellness Center on Newport Ave at 8:30am.

The BP Gas Station at the corner of Granby and Little Creek:   The property is currently under contract and the developer is seeking an end user (not a gas station).

Parking lot lights at  the Wards Corner Shopping Center:  The owners were contacted about the lights being manually turned off around 9 p.m. Dollar Tree remains open until 10 p.m. The lack of lighting has been creating a safety concern for customers and employees.  The property owners have agreed to place the lights at the Wards Corner Shopping Center on an automatic timer.  Canopy lights were replaced.

City purchased properties in Denby Park:  The City acquired 308, 317, 319, 321 and 325 East Little Creek Road; 328, 334 and 338 Fort Worth in support of the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan.  Demolition is scheduled to begin on October 21st with a timeline of 30-60 days.

Norfolk seeks to commission an artist to design and create artwork for Wards Corner

October 3, 2013
Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1
The City of Norfolk, Virginia seeks to commission an artist to
design and create artwork for Wards Corner.
Revitalization of the once bustling Wards Corner shopping area is now underway.  What was once known as the
“Times Square of the South,” is being refurbished with a vibrant new mix of retail, entertainment and local services.
The Wards Corner Public Art Planning Committee seeks an artist to design and create artwork that is friendly and inviting and will cause viewers to pause and reflect.  The committee hopes the final artwork will unify and mark a cohesive neighborhood that honors
its history with a new playful point of view.  The final artwork should be eye-catching,
unique and bring color, fun and vibrancy to this urban threshold.
    Budget:     up to $150,000
Deadline for Submission:  2:00 PM EST, October 31, 2013
Project description:
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