“Norfolk poised to buy parcels of land” – Virginian-Pilot headline

January 16, 2013

Jill Nolin at the Virginian-Pilot wrote an article that was published today, January 16, 2013, indicating that the City of Norfolk is preparing to purchase blighted properties in Wards Corner and Ocean View.

The city is poised to spend millions in the coming weeks as it buys the former Travelers Inn in Ocean View and more property in the Denby Park area of Wards Corner as part of plans to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

City officials were tight-lipped about the proposed Wards Corner deals, but Martin Thomas Jr., vice president of the Wards Corner Civic League and a member of the city’s planning commission, said residents have been pushing the city to focus on the 300 block of East Little Creek Road and the so-called “Texas streets” behind it.

. . .

In the current budget, city officials allocated $2 million for acquisitions in the Wards Corner area.

. . .

In Wards Corner, the city is looking to clean up the Denby Park area. The city has finished its negotiations, but a deal has not been completed, said Councilman Andy Protogyrou. He declined to comment further because of the “sensitivity of the process.”

Winn said city officials want to further reduce housing density in the area by targeting sites with apartment buildings. Last year, seven buildings in the 300 block of San Antonio Blvd. were torn down on property the city acquired for $2.7 million.

 


Wards Corner Taskforce meeting, Thursday December 8th

December 5, 2011

With economic revitalization and re-development preparing to happen at Wards Corner, now is a great time to come participate in the monthly Wards Corner Taskforce meetings with Councilpersons Protogyrou, Winn, Williams, & Whibley.  The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.

8:30 a.m. – Thursday, December 8, 2011 @ Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center

AGENDA:

1.  Development Activities – Development –Charles Rigney, Acting Director

2.  East Little Creek Road Traffic Plan – Department of Public Works –Alice Kelly, Assistance Director

3.  Landscape and Irrigation Update – Recreation Parks and Open Space – Shawn Krawetzki, Landscape Architect III

4. Reports

4A. City Departments: Written reports for the following topics were provided:
• NPD Crime Statistics
• Department of Development Update
• Department of Utilities Update

4B. Community Reports

5. New Business


Town Hall meeting to be held in Wards Corner area

February 10, 2011
Tivest Development and Construction

Tivest Development and Construction

According to the Virginian-Pilot article, Councilpersons Tommy Smigiel, Angelia Williams and Andy Protogyrou are holding a town hall meeting this Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 9a.m. at Granby High School in the greater Wards Corner Area.

A representative from Tivest Development has been invited to present on their plan for the Midtown Office Tower that would be built at Tidewater Drive and Virginia Beach Blvd.  The project is proposed to be subsidized by the City paying substantially more in rent than it is paying now.

Ann Abraham, a Wards Corner resident, was one of the first to write in about this meeting:

This is in reference to proposed town hall meeting at Granby high school Saturday Feb. 12 at 9 a.m. I think it will be an important meeting for  the Wards Corner Civic league to show their strength.

As you may have read in the newspaper, the city manager and staff along with mayor Fraim, councilmen Riddick and Burfoot are in favor of using city funds to support a private developer. The project is called midtown office building. There is no need for the city to develop every vacant lot in the city. Tax payers’ funds should be used throughout the community, not for handpicked private developers. These funds will be diverted from the redevelopment of wards corner. We need to voice our opposition to the needless output of taxpayers funds to benefit a private developer. This project doesn’t make sense. I don’t need to remind you that help for wards corner has been on the back burner. I think it would be equally important to get the word out to other civic leagues. Perhaps you can pass this message on.


Wards Corner Now meeting Saturday, 8:30am at Fitness and Wellness Center

September 14, 2010

Remember that Wards Corner Now is having our meeting this Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 8:30am at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  Please plan on attending.  The Agenda is below.

Agenda

A.  Presentation by Councilman Andy Protogyrou on the results of his meeting with various City departments regarding the redevelopment of Wards Corner.

B.  Other Business.


Protogyrou hits the ground running

July 18, 2010
Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Councilman Andy Protogyrou heavily campaigned on the promise that he would work to revitalize Wards Corner and he has wasted no time pushing the issue.

At the July 13, 2010 City Council meeting, Mr. Protogyrou made an oral and written request to the City Manager that there be a meeting scheduled with Mr. Protogyrou and a representative of NRHA, Economic Development, City Planning, and the City Attorney’s office.

The text of the request:

The Greater Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan (2004) is approximately 6 years old.  In that time, changes have resulted in demographics, the economy overall, and city finances in particular.

However, I believe opportunity still exists for major change in the plan area.

As we have a Wards Corner Task Force where stakeholders meet on a regular basis, I request a meeting of City Hall stakeholders as an educational tool for myself.

Therefore, I kindly request a meeting with NRHA, Economic Development, City Planning and perhaps the City Attorney’s Office to brief me and examine our past, present, and future in Wards Corner.

I would like to meet in the CIty Council Conference Room, and questions will be particularized for each department by me before they arrive to afford adequate time to prepare.

Mr. Protogyrou wants his constituents to know that if you need him, he can be contacted at andy.protogyrou@norfolk.gov or 633-6607.

The written request can be found here.


Pilot prints article on Wards Corner Now

May 23, 2010

The Compass section of the Virginian Pilot (May 23, 2010 edition) has an article on about Wards Corner Now and our group was created.  I cannot find the article posted online to link to.  Here are some notable portions of the article:

A new group, called Wards Corner now, formed in March with plans to supplant the partnership. Leaders of the new group said partnership leaders were too caustic in their criticism of the city.

The friction boiled over during a fractious meeting of Wards Corner leaders and city officials months ago that attorney Martin Thomas Jr., a Wards Corner resident, said was simply too toxic.

So Thomas joined civic league presidents Jim English and Jim McDonnell, realtor Louis Eisenberg, chiropractor Brad Robinson and others in leaving the partnership and forming Wards Corner Now.

“We don’t want to fight, we don’t want to bicker,” English said in explaining why he split from the partnership. “You don’t get anywhere that way and that’s where we were headed.”

Added Thomas: “There’s been a lot of negativity going on for about a year. City councilmen weren’t taking them seriously.”

Thomas and others established a website, held monthly meetings and injected themselves into City Council politics in a big way.

The group endorsed Andy Protogyrou in the Ward 1 council race. Protogyrou, a lawyer, defeated three opponents largely because of lopsided victories at Wards Corner area precincts.

“Wards Corner needs an advocate,” Eisenberg said, much like W. Randy Wright has been an advocate for Ocean View.

Wards Corner Now held its initial meeting in March and includes representatives of most Wards Corner civic leagues. Council members Theresa Whibley and Barclay C. Winn attended. Winn called the new group “a positive step for Wards Corner.”

Wards Corner Now: Positive Change for Wards Corner.


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!

WCN Meeting Recap: Crosswalks, Planters, Light Rail, etc.

April 19, 2010

Wards Corner Now had a meeting on April 17, 2010 at the Fitness and Wellness Center.  As is customary with WCN meetings, the facilitator of the meeting is rotated month-to-month.  Dr. Brad Robinson was nice enough to head this meeting.  Topics covered were: Mayor Fraim, Blessed Sacrament, DePaul Medical Center, Norfolk Collegiate, Crosswalks, Planters, Light Rail, Upcoming Elections, and the Agenda’s for the May and June meetings.  Mayor Fraim was present as were City Council candidates Barbara Saunders and Andy Protogyrou.  Below is a short summary, nothing is verbatim.

Mayor Paul Fraim:  The meeting started with Dr. Robinson recognizing Mayor Fraim and asking him to address those present.  The Mayor spoke briefly about his campaign and indicated that he looks forward to things happening soon at Wards Corner.

Blessed Sacrament:  Jim McDonnell reported that Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is undergoing a renovation and expansion of its social hall.  He expects this to be a nice addition to both the church and our neighborhood.

DePaul Medical Center:  The representative from DePaul declined to attend or provide any updates at this time as they are still in the conceptual phase.  It was reported that charette’s will be held and the surrounding residents will be invited.  The possibility of a traffic circle and a “medical campus” design were also reported by some of those present.

Norfolk Collegiate:  Mr. Kennedy, the headmaster of Norfolk Collegiate, was invited to attend the meeting and provide an update with regards to fundraising and construction of the new Arts center.  Unfortunately he had a prior engagement and he plans on being present at the May meeting.

Proposed Crosswalk at Granby Elementary

Proposed Crosswalk at Granby Elementary

Crosswalks:  Louis Eisenberg reported that he was approached by City Traffic Engineer, Guzin Akan, regarding the construction, or reconstruction, of crosswalks in and around the Wards Corner Business District as well as in front of Granby Elementary School.  He reported that a proposed crosswalk in front of Granby Elementary included “bump outs” where the road would be narrowed to two lanes.  The bumpouts are intended to slow traffic and to create an shorter and safer path for the children to cross.  This crosswalk is expected to cost $59,000.

Proposed Crosswalk Locations

Proposed Crosswalk Locations

In addition, Ms. Akan has identified seven (7) crosswalks in and around the Business District that either need to be added or reconstructed.  To reconstruct the crosswalks with the up-to-date resin product that would match what is located at the intersection of Granby and Little Creek Rd would cost $30,000 – $50,000 for each crosswalk.  The question posed by the City and by those present at the meeting:  Should the City spend money on the crosswalks now or later after construction has completed.  Some compromised solutions were discussed as well, such as just constructing some of the crosswalks now.

Example of "Resin" Crosswalk

Example of "Resin" Crosswalk

Guzin Akan will be at the Taskforce meeting on May 13 to further discuss her proposal.

Planters:  Joan Griffey offered a report on the planters that have been requested for the Business District.  She reported that the holdup is largely caused by the City Manager’s office.  She reported that the Mayor has agreed that we should receive the planters and that he does not believe residents should be required to sign a contract and maintain public planters.  The City Managers office, on the other had, is adamant that some person or group sign a contract to take care of the plants.

Light Rail:  Reference was made to the 2009 Hampton Roads Transit proposal running light rail through Wards Corner.  Both Barbara Saunders and Andy Protogyrou spoke about running light rail down Granby Street from downtown as a way to boost economic development in Riverview, at the zoo, etc.  Andy Protogryou suggested having someone from economic development come talk at the next meeting about the possible routes that light rail may take.

Upcoming Elections: Andy Protogryou and Barbara Saunders gave a short speech about their campaigns for City Council.  They will both be at the Wards Corner Civic League candidate forum on Monday, April 19, 2010 at the Fitness and Wellness Center at 6:45pm.  That will be the last forum scheduled forums for both of their campaigns.

May Meeting Agenda: The next councilperson for Ward 1, Representative from DePaul, Representative from Norfolk Collegiate, possible Guzin Akan.

June Meeting Agenda: Rick Henn?City Development to talk about Light Rail in Wards Corner.


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



Ward 1 candidate websites go live

April 7, 2010

The race for the Ward 1 seat on Norfolk City Council is heating up.  Two candidate websites have gone live during the last couple of weeks:

Chuck Brewer's website, justcallchuck.com

Chuck Brewer's website, justcallchuck.com

Chuck Brewer‘s website is www.justcallchuck.com .

His Plan, as listed on his website, includes four bullet points:

  • Clean and safe neighborhoods
  • Improve our schools
  • Create new jobs
  • Lower taxes and eliminate wasteful spending.

.

Andy Protogyrou's website, andy-norfolk.com

Andy Protogyrou's website, andy-norfolk.com

Andy Protogyrou‘s website is www.andy-norfolk.com .

His Issues, as indicated on his website, include:

  • Commonsense spending for us
  • Redevelopment of Wards Corner
  • Flooding of Mason Creek and Willoughby.

.

.

.

Barbara Saunders has indicated that her website will be ready to go shortly.

Paul “Red Rooster” Trice does not appear to have an online presence at this time.


Brewer, Protogyrou, and Saunders Questionnaire

March 31, 2010
Ward One

Ward One

The following email was sent to Ward 1 City Council candidates, Chuck Brewer, Andy Protogyrou, and Barbara Saunders.  (If anyone has an email for Paul Trice, please use the “Contact Us” link on this page and I will invite him to participate).

On behalf of Wards Corner Now  I’d like to thank you all for giving up your time and energy to run for the Ward One council seat.  For the first time ever, Wards Corner Now is contacting candidates with a questionnaire, the responses to which I would like to post on www.wardscornernow.com.   I plan on posting each of your responses to Question 1 on April 13, Question 2 on April 14, and Question 3 on April 15.

All responses will be due by April 11.  Please include your website and a digital photograph that you would like posted along with your responses.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to visit our website and sign up for the email updates.

I thank you for your cooperation and look forward to the receipt of your responses.  Here are the questions:

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.

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

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.


Is the tide changing for Wards Corner?

March 2, 2010

The following is an article written by Jim English, president of the Wards Corner Civic League.
Jim English
Is the tide changing for Wards Corner? Are we finally starting to get the needed attention from City Hall and City Council? Well to begin let me share with you the below quote taken from Mayor Paul Fraim’s State of the City Address given in early February of this year.

“More than $13 million has been invested in the Greater Wards Corner area since approval of the Comprehensive Plan.  Last year, police presence and code enforcement activities were stepped up, surveillance cameras installed in Denby Park, and a neighborhood watch begun with 60 residents participating.  As a result, violent crime in Wards Corner dropped 35% and property crime 6%.

Three residential rehabilitation programs were begun for Denby Park, Oakdale Farms and Monticello Village to assist residents in upgrading their homes.  The programs were so successful that within six months, the first $1 million was committed to 21 homeowners.  Another $1 million was committed this fiscal year to assist 40 homeowners, and there’s already a waiting list for next year.

On the commercial side, the department of development is in active discussions with major property owners in the heart of the Wards Corner business district, and we expect new development opportunities to be identified later this year.”

While we could argue that the points mentioned above were a part of the overall funding to neighborhoods city wide, nonetheless this year’s address marked the first time that Wards Corner was mentioned in several paragraphs and not just in a fleeting sentence in the Mayor speech. That’s progress. While I know we have always been on the radar screen (although even though it may only have been a small blip) maybe this is indicative of a turning point for Wards Corner.

Mayor Fraim has now opened his campaign headquarters in our Civic League area at the corner of Maycox Ave. and Granby Street (in the old Cleaners store). I may be wrong but I don’t ever remember a time when any person running for elected office located their headquarters in the Wards Corner area, at least not those running for city council. Is this a sign of a changing attitude toward Wards Corner? Or is this only a political move to get our vote? I want to believe it represents a changing view of the importance of Wards Corner as a gateway to Downtown. Our area represents a strong, solid and important voting block in city elections. In addition to this, Mayor Fraim will hold his kickoff campaign reelection party at the Hellenic Center in Wards Corner. Is this yet another indication of our importance!?

We have four candidates running for election to fill the council seat in Ward 1. Three of those candidates have mentioned that Wards Corner is a priority for them and one even lives in our Greater Wards Corner area. Are they running on the Wards Corner issue to get our vote or are they sincere? I don’t know about two of them but I know and believe one of them. Andy Protogyrou has mentioned that he wants to be an advocate and champion for Wards Corner. I believe him and I have endorsed him as the best candidate for Ward 1 and Wards Corner. I usually don’t endorse candidates but I am doing so this year for this election because it is so important for our area.
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