Caucus to be this Saturday for 100th District

January 29, 2014

It’s a never ending campaign cycle with all of the special elections this year.  Since Lynwood Lewis is moving up to the State Senate, his seat in the Virginia House is vacant.  The 100th House District covers all of the Eastern Shore and a portion of Norfolk.

The Democratic Party has scheduled a caucus for this Saturday, February 1, 2014 between 10 AM and 2 PM at Crossroads School.  Not all of the Wards Corner area is within the 100th district so please check at the State Board of Elections to determine in which district you reside.  The website: https://www.voterinfo.sbe.virginia.gov/PublicSite/Public/FT2/PublicPollingPlace.aspx

I have been contact by two candidates and here is the information I have received:

lalor

Peter Lalor for Delegate

I learned the importance of education from my parents, who never attended a day of high school, and my two sons graduated from local, public high schools. That is why I am focused on assuring better funding for our schools. Both sons served in the military (US Marine Corps and US Army Special Forces) so I know the importance of supporting our veterans.

I have a demonstrated commitment to community service and to making our community a better place to live, including my work with the Eastern Shore Broadband Authority to bring high speed Internet to rural communities, my work with community colleges expanding educational opportunities for our children, and my work with the hospitals to improve healthcare for all of our citizens.

VOTE THIS SATURDAY BETWEEN 10AM and 2PM
Voting Location: Cross Roads Elementary School, 8021 Old Ocean View Road

I will stand up to Richmond Republicans who want to control our lives. Individual choice in health care and other private matters must be protected from government interference.

We need to prevent outrageous tolling on the Midtown Tunnel, so that commuters are not forced to pay just to get to work.

Virginians must not be forced to send their hard earned money to support expanded medical care for residents of other states. Our money should be used to expand health care for Virginians where it can also help create good-paying jobs.

willie

Willie C. Randall
For the 100th District
Virginia House Delegates

Willie began his career in the financial services industry on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in 1997. His goal is to help individuals and businesses achieve their financial objectives using appropriate investment strategies.

Willie is serving or has served on the following boards: Northampton County Board of Supervisors; Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees; Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; Virginia State University Board of Visitors; Onancock Rotary Club; Accomack-Northampton Transportation Commission; Accomack-Northampton Planning District; and Eastern Shore Regional Jail Board. 

The focus of my campaign is on three areas:

1. Education
2. Jobs (Economic Development)
3. Helping military families

Education – I want Universal Pre-K similar to what we have in Northampton County. Our County was the test case for this concept. We proved that it could be done and I would like to see this opportunity for all children in our state.

Jobs – I want the state to adopt tax free zones for economically disadvantaged communities. We want to encourage companies to bring their businesses to communities like ours.

Reduce or eliminate state income tax on military retiree pensions – we are one of the largest military communities in the country and military retirees should be given more than a “thank you for your service.”the state to adopt tax free zones for economically disadvantaged communities. We want to encourage companies to bring their businesses to c
communities like ours.

Update: Mr. Hart’s campaign provided the following information:

Donald L. Hart, Jr.

I am a lifelong resident of the HD 100. My wife Beth and I raised our 4 children here. I retired from the Accomack county Public Schools after 30 years of service and have served on the Accomack County Board of Supervisors for the past 33 years where I have served as Chairmen 4 times. I currently reside in Keller VA. If you ever would like to contact me or ask a question about how I stand on a specific issue, please do not hesitate to give me a call (757) 787-7166.
Accomplishments I pledge to continue
 Defender of balanced budgets and keeping taxes low.
 Long time supporter of Public Education.
 Protector of agriculture through agricultural and forestry districts.
 Working to protect The Bay and our ground water.
 Working to expand Wallops Island and create new jobs.
 Strong supporter of our volunteer fire and rescue companies.
 Strong supporter of public safety and our police officers.
 Working to build a better relationship between Accomack and Northampton County.
 A strong and constant voice for the Eastern Shore at the state and federal level.
If elected Delegate I will Support
 Quality education for all students from early childhood through college.
 Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and our Ground water.
 Demand a balanced budget and no unfunded mandates.
 Never passing the buck to counties, towns and cities.
 Getting our fair share of transportation money for Accomack Northampton and Norfolk.
 Leaving zoning and planning requirements to the localities.
 Not adding additional regulatory burdens to our farmers and watermen.


In support of Paula Miller; Vote this Saturday, 11/16/13 10am-2pm @ Granby High

November 12, 2013

It seems as though we are never out of election season here in Norfolk.  When Ralph Northam was elected Lieutenant Governor last week his seat in the Virginia Senate was opened up.  A special election will be held but has not yet been scheduled.

The Democratic Party will be holding a caucus this Saturday, November 16, between 10am and 2pm at Granby High School.  Supporters need only show up, vote, and leave.  The Democratic candidates are: Paula MillerAndria McClellan, and Lynwood Lewis.

paula-miller-150hWhile all three of the Democratic candidates are smart, capable, and would do well in Richmond, Paula Miller would do best for Wards Corner.  Paula has been involved in the effort to revitalize Wards Corner for years.  I have met with her on many occasions where we would exchange ideas and discuss progress with our revitalization efforts.  Not only does Paula live a few miles from Wards Corner, but she often shops here as well.  I am supporting Paula Miller and I encourage you to show up this Saturday at  Granby High and support her as well.

On the Republican side, there will be a canvass held from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at the Masonic Temple.  The Republican candidates are: John Coggeshall, Wayne Coleman, and Richard Ottinger.

-Martin Thomas, Jr.


In support of Jim McDonnell

November 3, 2013

Below is a post from Jim English, the President of the Wards Corner Civic League.   It was originally posted on WardsCorner.com

Dear Neighbors,
It is rare that I openly endorse any candidate for public office.  As a fierce independent by nature I will let anyone know what I think (as many of you may know) but I don’t normally commit to endorsing anyone in writing.  That changes this year with Jim McDonnell who is running for Norfolk City Treasurer.  Recently the Virginian Pilot endorsed Jim McDonnell for Norfolk City Treasurer.

I am doing the same. I have worked side by side with Jim McDonnell for the past several years for the betterment of Wards Corner.  I consider him a friend and ally.  He is honest, ethical, open minded and hard working.  He knows the business and financial world better than most people I know.  He is the right choice for Norfolk City Treasurer.  He will work hard to bring respect to the office and break down the barrier between the Treasurers office and the Commissioner of the Revenues office.  A move that is long overdue.  In addition to my endorsement read what the Virginian Pilot and Louis Eisenberg (who I have also worked closely with) have said about Jim McDonnell.

On October 23rd the Virginian Pilot 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.

Louis Eisenberg wrote,

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.

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.

Thank you.
jimenglishsignature

 

 

 

 

 

 

President, Wards Corner Civic League.


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


June 11 Primary Election Open to All Voters

June 4, 2013

On June 11, 2013, any registered voter may vote in the Democratic Party’s primary for Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Norfolk Commissioner of the Revenue.  Polls will be open from 6:00 am until 7:00 pm.  Voting will be at the City’s usual polling precincts.

Office Juris. Ballot Name Party Web Site
Lt. Governor Statewide Aneesh Chopra Dem http://www.chopraforva.com
Lt. Governor Statewide Ralph S. Northam Dem http://www.northamforlg.com
Attny Gen Statewide Justin E. Fairfax Dem http://www.justinfairfax.com
Attny Gen Statewide Mark R. Herring Dem http://www.herringforag.com
Com. of Rev NORFOLK Sharon M. McDonald Dem http://www.sharonmcdonald.org
Com. of Rev NORFOLK C. Evans Poston, Jr. Dem http://www.evansposton.com

Voters must present one valid form of identification – generally a voter registration card, current driver’s license or other government- or employer-issued photo identification card, or one of a number of other state-approved non-photo IDs.  Important:  There will be no changes to Virginia’s existing voter ID requirements until 2014.  A newly enacted state law requiring photo identification will not take effect until July 1, 2014.

If you are not a registered voter but want to vote in the November 5, 2013 general election, you have until the 22nd day before that date to register.  Registering is a one-time event – once you are registered, you can vote in all future local, state, and federal elections.  You must be 18, a United States citizen, and a Virginia resident.  You have three ways to register, either by mail or in person:  1) you can pick up a Virginia Voter Application at any Norfolk library, DMV or social service agency; 2) you can go to the Norfolk General Registrar’s office, located in Room 808 of City Hall; or 3) you can download the application at the State Board of Elections website atwww.sbe.virginia.gov.

For further information on acceptable forms of identification, absentee voting, registering to vote, or any other questions about voting, call the Norfolk General Registrar’s office at 757-664-4353, or visit the website of the State Board of Elections at www.sbe.virginia.gov.

Article by Karen Mayne.


On Wednesday, Take Five Minutes to Vote for Wards Corner

October 15, 2012
Louis "Uncle Louie" Eisenberg

Louis “Uncle Louie” Eisenberg

By: Louis Eisenberg

On Wednesday, October 17th between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm at the Masonic Temple, 7001 Granby Street, the Democratic Party will be holding a primary to fill the 89 th District House of Delegates seat vacated by Kenny Alexander. (Anyone living in the 89th can vote) The winner of this primary most likely will be the new representative for the 89th District, because as of now, there is no Republican candidate announced for the Special Election.

You will have the choice of voting for Yvonne Allmond, Senior Vice President of Towne Bank, who is a friend of Wards Corner or former City Councilwoman Daun Hester, whose record for 14 years on Council showed her lack of interest in the Wards Corner Business District and our surrounding neighborhoods.

This Wednesday, take five minutes of your time to vote for Yvonne Allmond and Wards Corner.

Yvonne Allmond is endorsed by Mayor Paul Fraim, Senator Ralph Northam, Councilwoman Angelia Williams,  Commonwealth Attorney Greg Underwood and Sheriff Bob McCabe among other friends of Wards Corner. Food and refreshments will be served in the Masonic Temple parking lot.


Op-Ed: If You Care About Wards Corner, Vote for Yvonne Allmond on October 17th

October 9, 2012
Louis "Uncle Louie" Eisenberg

Louis “Uncle Louie” Eisenberg

By: Louis Eisenberg

Elections Matter

The 89th District of the House of Delegates was recently vacated by the former delegate Ken Alexander who replaced Yvonne Miller in the Virginia Senate.

There are three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination and no republicans or independents. The Democratic Party has scheduled a caucus for October 17, 2012 at the Masonic Temple, 7001 Granby Street. Voting will take place between 5:30pm and 8:30pm and anyone can vote regardless of party, and again, the Republicans most likely will not enter a candidate. Voting in a caucus is easy; just show up, vote and leave.

Since it seems that there will be no opposition in the December Special Election, the next representative for the 89th district will be the winner of the October 17, 2012 caucus so it is important that you show up at the caucus and vote.

For those of us that live and work in the Greater Wards Corner area, we are excited to see the redevelopment of two shopping centers, the addition of new businesses and a new cultural center being built in our business district.  Today, the redevelopment is underway on the northeast and southeast corners of Granby Street and Little Creek Road.  Norfolk Collegiate is constructing a beautiful fine arts addition to its campus which will bring many new cultural activities to the Greater Wards Corner area.  Also, two crime ridden apartment complexes have been demolished.

The rebirth of Wards Corner did not happen by accident. It took Citizen Voters that cared about Wards Corner and the 2010 reelection of Wards Corner advocate Mayor Paul Fraim and the election of attorney Andy Protogyrou to City Council to set the stage for redevelopment. However; the major break for Wards Corner came in a special election which was held on November 2, 2010 to replace Councilwoman Daun Hester who lost against Mayor Fraim in the May election of 2010. Angelia Williams, a Realtor and businesswoman, won that special election in November, 2010. That special election ended Daun Hester’s fourteen year reign of obstruction to many redevelopment efforts in Wards Corner.

Who you vote for makes a difference

Before financial commitments for development to occur, it takes developer confidence in city leadership. The developers in Wards Corner needed to see the City make a real investment in the Wards Corner area. In 2011 and 2012, the City made the financial commitments that would ignite the explosive redevelopment of the Wards Corner Business District. The City agreed to buy two crime ridden apartment complexes; one on West Little Creek Road and one in Denby Park.  Councilman Andy Protogyrou attributes these real estate buys as the turning point for Wards Corner. It took the leadership of Mayor Fraim, Councilman Andy Protogyrou and Councilwoman Angelia Williams to make this happen. This opportunity was realized in less than two years of Council Members Protogyrou and Williams being voted into office. Both campaigned on being advocates for the Wards Corner area, and the results are obvious: their documented attendance records, half of the Wards Corner Business District being redeveloped and Denby Park housing density being reduced. In contrast when Daun Hester was on City Council, she would, in effect, be a one woman veto. She would attend a meeting here or there only to block the efforts of the Mayors Wards Corner Task Force when dealing with the crime infested apartment complexes in Denby Park. Members of the task force would be accused of trying to gentrify Denby Park and not caring about the tenants that would be relocated, even though Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority would be assisting the tenants with finding housing and paying up to $5000 per tenant to move.

The Greater Wards Corner civic and business interest are communicated to the City by our City Council representatives on the Mayor’s Wards Corner Task Force. Prior to 2010 City Council elections, the City Council representatives were Barclay Winn, Daun Hester, Theresa Whibley and Don Williams. Between May 8th, 2008 and May 13th, 2010. The Mayor’s Wards Corner Task Force had eighteen monthly meetings. Daun Hester attended only two of those eighteen meetings; an attendance record that could only show that Daun Hester did not care enough about Wards Corner to attend.

Daun Hester’s record on Wards Corner issues stands as a symbol of her lack of understanding of what economic development can do for a declining area. The economic development of Wards Corner made possible through the election of good representatives will give needed jobs to the unemployed and under-employed citizens of Norfolk, many of whom live in Denby Park. Those new jobs will help pay the rent and put food on the table so the children that live in Denby Park can have some stability in their lives. Please remember that the redevelopment of the Wards Corner Business District did not happen and could not happen as long as Daun Hester was on City Council.

The Case for Yvonne Allmond

Yvonne Allmond is a long time resident of the Colonial Place neighborhood in Norfolk. She is the only candidate that has lived in the 89th House District. Daun Hester and Lionel Spruill Jr. have recently moved to find places to live in the district to fulfill the state residency requirement. Like Mayor Fraim, Councilman Protogyrou and Councilwoman Williams, Yvonne is a professional and a proven leader. In fact, Yvonne Allmond knows Wards Corner’s potential. She was on Towne Bank’s Norfolk Location Search Committee; she was instrumental in Towne Bank’s decision to build a new major bank branch on the Southeast Corner of the Wards Corner Business District. She is already vested. She understands Wards Corner’s potential economic impact for growth for us and Norfolk.

Yvonne Allmond is a Senior Vice President of Private Banking in Towne Bank’s Norfolk Corporate Offices. She has over 25 years of financial experience to include serving as an Investment Associate with the Economic Development Finance Corporation in Washington, DC and an assessment auditor with the FDIC also in Washington, DC. Yvonne received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance Degree from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and graduated from the Hampton Roads Civic Leadership Institute in 2006. Yvonne conducts credit seminars and business financing seminars for many local churches and community groups, sharing the wealth of financial knowledge accumulated throughout her career. She is involved in many civic activities, community initiatives and organizations to include:

  • Governor Appointed Commissioner with the Virginia Housing and Development Authority Board of Commissioners. Chairman of the Board
  • Board member for the Board of Trustees, Chrysler Museum of Art
  • Board member, Norfolk State University Foundation Board (Immediate past President of the Board)
  • Advisory Board Member for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia
  • Vice Chair of the Board for the Old Dominion University Community Development Corporation
  • Board member for the Board of Trustees of the Norfolk Employees Retirement System
  • Vice Chair of the Board for The Norfolk NATO Festival (formerly the Azalea Festival)
  • Board member of the Town Scholarship Foundation

If You Care about Wards Corner

For those of you that live in the 89th House District on Wednesday, October 17th,   between 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm at the Masonic Temple, 7001 Granby Street, you can and will make a difference when you vote for Yvonne Allmond. (Link to 89th House District Map) Please put the above date on your calendar and in your smart phones. The five minutes it takes you to vote will make two years of difference.


Wards Corner Civic League to hold candidate forum

October 9, 2012

Jim English, the president of the Wards Corner Civic League, is extending an invitation to the entire Greater Wards Corner Community to attend the Civic League’s candidate forum.  The following candidates for the 89th District of the Virginia House of Delegates have been invited:

Towne Bank Senior Vice President, Yvonne Allmond
Former Norfolk City Councilwoman, Daun Hester
Lionell Spruill Jr., the son of Chesapeake Del. Lionell Spruill

The three candidates are all running for the Democratic nomination so the next representative of the 89th District will likely be the winner of the caucus scheduled for October 17, 2012 at the Masonic Temple between 5:30pm and 8:30pm.

The Candidate Forum details:
When:  Monday, October 15, 2012@ 6:45pm
Where: Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center


Caucus scheduled for 89th District of House of Delegates

October 2, 2012

The 89th District of the House of Delegates was recently vacated by the former delegate Ken Alexander who replaced Yvonne Miller in the Virginia Senate.

There are currently three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination and no republicans or independents.  The Democratic party has scheduled a caucus for October 17, 2012 at the Masonic Temple.  Voting will take place between 5:30pm and 8:30pm and anyone can vote.  The current candidates are Daun Hester, Lionell Spruill, Jr., and Yvonne Allmond.  It appears that the next representative for the 89th district will be the winner of the October 17, 2012 caucus so it is important that you show up at the caucus and vote.  The Governor has scheduled the election for December 18, 2012.

The 89th district does not include all of The Greater Wards Corner area.  You can view the district on a map here (PDF).  Additionally to determine which district you reside in, you can do a search on the State Board of Elections website here.


Andy Protogyrou wins Ward 1 seat on City Council

May 5, 2010
Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Congratulations to Andy Protogyrou on being elected to serve as the Ward 1 representative on City Council.  We look forward to working with Andy on making Wards Corner a better place.


In Support of Andy Protogyrou for City Council

April 26, 2010
Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Over the course of the last three months, four candidates running for Norfolk City Council for Ward 1 have been vying for the support and vote of Wards Corner residents in the May 4th election. Many of us have attended several of the candidate forums where the candidates have appeared and discussed the issues. Recently, those of us who live in Ward 1 have started receiving campaign literature from three of the four candidates.

We want to set the record straight.  The candidates, with the exception of one, have not indicated any real plan to revitalize Wards Corner.  Mr. Brewer and Mrs. Saunders tend to dance around that issue without offering any real ideas.  Mr. Brewer has repeatedly said, in the forums that we have attended, that putting more police officers and code enforcement inspectors will effect change. We, however, all agree that this approach is merely a temporary band-aid that has been tried over the past 10 years without any substantial results.

Let us be very clear. We, as active civic leaders of the Greater Wards Corner Area, support Andy Protogyrou for City Council as the only credible and viable candidate for Ward One. We encourage you to do the same.

The other two candidates have only recently positioned Wards Corner as a top priority due to the positive feedback and endorsements that Andy Protogyrou is receiving.

Andy Protogyrou lives in the Greater Wards Corner Area, has been a Civic League President, and demonstrates a resume that clearly puts him head and shoulders above the other candidates. He has what it takes to be our advocate and get the job done to revitalize Wards Corner and address the issues of Ward 1.

It was us, the undersigned, who approached Andy Protogyrou to run for City Council and NOT the downtown crowd as some have suggested.

Andy’s approach to revitalization is based on good business sense, proper economic development strategies, and a clear understanding that a healthy business district drives healthy neighborhoods.  More police and code inspectors, although important, don’t effect the necessary change.

Andy has said from the day he announced his candidacy that his focus will be on:
1.  The redevelopment and the economic prosperity of Wards Corner,
2.  The flooding of Mason Creek and Willoughby,
3.  Bringing a commonsense approach to City spending,
4.  Creating a good learning environment for our children, and
5.  Improving the quality of life for all.

We all believe that Andy Protogyrou possesses those qualities that are required and necessary to revitalize Wards Corner and be an effective advocate on City Council.   Several organizations agree, including the: Norfolk Professional Firefighters Local 68, Tidewater Builders Association, Eastern Virginia Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, Hampton Roads Realtors Association and United Black Firefighters.  This is perhaps the most important election to date for the citizens of Ward 1. We ask that you join us and vote for Andy Protogyrou.

Sincerely,

Jim English
Louis Eisenberg
Jim McDonnell
Dr. Brad Robinson
Martin Thomas Jr.
Update: The Virginian-Pilot agrees and has endorsed Andy as well!

Ward One Candidate Responses, Question #3

April 16, 2010

These candidate responses are being provided in three parts.  All three questions can be found in the article, Brewer, Protogyrou, and Saunders Questionnaire.  We thank the candidates for their willingness to run for office and for the time they took to answer our questions.

Question #3: Detail those items in the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan that you believe are incorrect or need to be changed and explain why you believe so.

Chuck Brewer’s Response: I called Mr. Brewer and he stated that he would not participate in this Candidate Questionnaire.

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou’s Response:  In examining the Wards Corner comprehensive plan, the greatest problem is its age. At this point the plan is six (6) years old and the actions that have resulted from it have been minimal.  I have been a proponent for bike paths from Ocean View down Granby Street. There is a consideration for a bike path along the railroad right-of-way as the railroad tracks go toward Diven Street along Terminal Boulevard and on to NIT. The issue of bike path and bike safety through the Wards Corner corridor must be addressed in a more comprehensive and safe manner.  This would include being able to bike from Hampton Boulevard to Wards Corner, and through the Titustown retail district.

The development of a hotel in the Texas streets area may prove difficult because of the interstate splitting that area of Wards Corner in two parts and keeping hotel guests away from the greater retail area. We may need to examine the additional use of hotel space with rooms on the west side of Interstate 64 to allow hotel guests to walk from their room into the retail sections of Wards Corner closer to the intersections of Granby and Little Creek Road.

The plan itself with the areas of Little Creek Road and Granby Street coming together should have more mid-box retail potential than what is being shown in the actual plan itself.

Lastly, a light rail station that links a “transportation hub” (the HRT transfer area) to downtown with light rail traveling along one of Granby Street’s lanes each way would link downtown’s commercial district with that of Wards Corner and then a true and unparalleled transportation link to most of the city’s population. It would allow for growth along the corridor which includes Ocean View, the new DePaul Hospital, Riverview, the Zoo, and 21st Street.

Andy’s website is www.andy-norfolk.com

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders’ Response:

  • The approach of tear down and rebuild rather than reinvent and repurpose what already exists.  Even in the best of times, there wasn’t enough money to successfully execute the plan.  That is why nothing has happened in the six years since the plan was published.
  • The presumption that Wards Corner can become a mid-box retail destination with merchants such as Best Buy or Old Navy, particularly in the emerging economy we now face.
  • The denial that much of Wards Corner is populated by young families and not meeting their market demands.  Almost 55% of Wards Corner’s residents are between the ages of 18 and 49 and 60% of the annual household income for the area is less than $35,000.
  • The national trend of an aging population is not a factor in Wards Corner.  Only 25% of the population is currently 45+, a demographic that includes the youngest baby boomer.  And given the competition for empty nesters in other redevelopment areas of the city, such as downtown and East Beach, it is unrealistic to think Wards Corner can be a destination for aging Yuppies.
  • The plan does not address, nor does it change the fact that Wards Corner is a place where young families begin.  We should embrace their energy and new ideas, not stifle their growth and development, and at the very least, we should stop wishing them away.

  • The importance of the stabilizing neighborhoods, many of which are in Ward 1. These communities are home to older, higher income residents who would contribute to the revitalization of Wards Corner as a shopping destination. Many of these residents may be transitioning to retirement and downsized residences.  Ensuring that Greater Wards Corner is a vibrant area that accommodates age diversity will allow the stable neighborhoods to enjoy a natural transition in ownership and the market will provide new housing opportunities for older residents who want to stay in the area.

Barbara’s website is www.barbara4ward1.com



Ward One Candidate Responses, Question #2

April 15, 2010

These candidate responses are being provided in three parts.  All three questions can be found in the article, Brewer, Protogyrou, and Saunders Questionnaire.  We thank the candidates for their willingness to run for office and for the time they took to answer our questions.

Question #2: Please explain in detail the solutions you intend to utilize to address the issues you identified in question #1, above.

Chuck Brewer’s Response: I called Mr. Brewer and he stated that he would not participate in this Candidate Questionnaire.

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou’s Response:  The solutions to the foregoing issue of marketing for redevelopment on the local, state, national and international level involves the use of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority Office.  It is this office that would market the location and the benefits that Wards Corner brings through its position geographically and demographically in the city.  This would involve traveling the United States and world to publish what Wards Corner is and what it can be once again.  Second, the marketing of Wards corner locally would be more on the scale of what we often see at Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg. How often do any of us watch television or listen to the radio and hear an advertisement for the merchants in the Colonial Capital combined together to bring economic dollars throughout the region to them?  Wards Corner can once again be in that position of marketing itself from Titustown to Southern Shopping Center and the Lafayette River to Johnson’s Corner.

On a short term, stepped up patrols and code enforcement by Norfolk Police is a solution.  A small police substation where officers use bikes and segways out of one of our current storefronts as a base of operation combined with one of the eleven city code enforcement officers allows greater access to the community and our citizens that are most at risk.
Also, linking of light rail to downtown from Wards Corner is imperative to our growth.

Andy’s website is www.andy-norfolk.com

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders’ Response: Norfolk has become a city of plans without action.  Whether it is the outdated Norfolk General Plan, the nine area plans listed on the city’s website or the dozens of neighborhood plans collecting dust at city hall, planning has gone from a best municipal practice to a political panacea.

Wards Corner has a Comprehensive Plan, filled with impressive maps and pretty pictures.  But it is expensive, unrealistic and now, after almost six years, irrelevant.  Even in 2004, when the plan was published, the authors’ wrote, “We don’t underestimate the difficulty and complexity of this plan….”

Even during prosperous times, when the plan was published, the Wards Corner Plan was based on the following model:  Move (mostly poor) people out, tear down what is there, build something new, move new (higher income) people back into new buildings.

  • Empty Retail Space:

The solutions can be found in the citizens who make the Wards Corner area their home.  Almost 35% of the residents in the Ward Corner area are between the ages of 18 and 24, young adults that comprise the largest segment of the population.  The second largest segment (25%) is children under the age of 18 and the third largest segment (24%) is between the ages of 35 and 54.  The smallest segment of the Wards Corner population is adults 55+ so we’ve got to stop talking about what Wards Corner used to be or what Wards Corner ought to be and begin to take action on what Wards Corner is.

  • With almost 60% of the residents of Wards Corner comprised of young and middle-aged adults, we need to encourage a creative class of merchants and service providers.
  • Working with ODU, Norfolk State and TCC, the city should facilitate entrepreneurial incentives for graduates of their business programs.
  • Rather than tear down and rebuild, we should recycle and reinvent the strip mall again encouraging new approaches that go beyond the big box and mid-box retailers. We could also renew the exterior appearance such as being done at the corner strip mall located at the intersection of E. Little Creek & Shore Drive.
  • Crime

Grime equals Crime and one of the most efficient means of addressing crime, particularly in blighted areas is to start with good housekeeping practices.

  • Collaborative programs between police and citizens are essential.  That means a return to community policing.
  • Renewed codes enforcement programs and a zero-tolerance policy for nuance codes infractions, particularly in high-density communities.

Perception:  Encouraging entrepreneurial investment in Wards Corner and developing programs with existing communities, not a ghost population, will bring about the changes Ward Corner needs and the new, revitalized perception of what is will prevail.

Barbara’s website is www.barbara4ward1.com



Ward One Candidate Responses, Question #1

April 14, 2010

These candidate responses are being provided in three parts.  All three questions can be found in the article, Brewer, Protogyrou, and Saunders Questionnaire.  We thank the candidates for their willingness to run for office and for the time they took to answer our questions.

Question #1: As you know, Wards Corner Now concerns itself with issues that directly affect the Greater Wards Corner Area.  Please list and describe those issues that are, in your opinion, the most pressing issues affecting the Greater Wards Corner Area.

Chuck Brewer’s Response: I called Mr. Brewer and he stated that he would not participate in this Candidate Questionnaire.

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Andy Protogyrou’s Response:  Wards Corner has been characterized as the Times Square of the south.  Like Times Square, which fell from grace and transformed itself, our own Times Square is in the beginning of its own renaissance.  Wards Corner is the economic engine of the city of Norfolk and sits at the gateway to the world’s largest naval base. It also provides the first impression of a business corridor when one enters Norfolk from the west.  Though the question seeks an answer of plural issues affecting Wards Corner, the main issue that Ward One cannot wait for any longer is prioritizing the redevelopment of the Wards Corner area.

Ironically, when one examines the Norfolk Redevelopment website, the Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan is one of the oldest plans that remains on the site. The performance over years involving the fruition of the plan’s vision has been anemic at best.
Redevelopment and prioritizing same involves the marketing of the Wards Corner area to local and out-of-town developers, assisting in current business growth and marketing it throughout the Hampton Roads area.  In general, the proper marketing for redevelopment assists in expanding the tax base to allow for better schools and creates jobs which reduces crime.

Andy’s website is www.andy-norfolk.com

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders, Candidate for City Council, Ward 1

Barbara Saunders’ Response: The Greater Wards Corner Area is challenged by being in two wards. The Ward 1 side, which is on the west side of Granby Street, is developed. We have Walgreen’s, Rite Aid along with a full set of tenants in the shopping strip.  But the past leadership for Ward 1 has made promises for upgrading the east side without effectively working with Ward 2 leadership, as well as, the owners of the two large privately owned properties. Now after eight years those promises seem as empty as the store fronts on the east side of Granby, where there are only a few shops that are still open and they are suffering. It is sad that we have to live in that area witnessing the decline of an area so full of potential. All that being said, I think the three issues that are most pressing for the Greater Wards Corner Area are:

  • Empty retail space
  • Crime
  • Public perception that the problem is too big.

Barbara’s website is www.barbara4ward1.com



Final Fridays with Fraim, April 16, 2010

April 13, 2010
Fridays with Fraim

Fridays with Fraim

This Friday is the final “Fridays with Fraim” at Mayor Fraim’s campaign headquarters in Wards Corner.

Come on over to the Campaign Headquarters to meet and mingle with Mayor Fraim and his campaign team! This is the last Friday with Fraim before the election on May 4th. We encourage you to bring friends and family along to enjoy the refreshments and good company. We look forward to seeing you there!

Date:  Friday, April 16, 2010
Time:  5:30pm – 7:30pm
Location:  Campaign Headquarters
Street: 7435 Granby Street


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