Ed. — From the Sunday, April 10, print edition.
VIRGINIA BEACH — A U.S. Navy veteran who is known for her work with the local GOP city committee is the fourth candidate confirmed in the race to represent the new District 2 on the City Council.
Nanette Miller, who lives in the Litchfield Manor neighborhood, has not yet filed paperwork to run, but she said on Wednesday, April 6, that she is in the race to represent the new district, which covers much of southern Virginia Beach, including rural areas and Sandbridge.
Miller was considering a run for council in the district since before City Councilmember Barbara Henley announced she will run again under the new voting system. District 2 is roughly similar to the Princess Anne District which Henley, a farmer and former teacher first elected to the former Pungo Burrough seat in 1978, has represented for many years. It includes much of the main coverage area of The Independent News.
In addition to Henley, Elaine Fekete, a realtor from Sandbridge, and Matthias Paul Telkamp, a technology consultant from Indian River Woods, are running for the seat.
Miller said she reached out to Henley while considering running, but, at the time, Henley had not made a decision. Miller said Henley has done much for the city during her time on council, but it is time for new representation in the area.
“She’s done a tremendous service,” Miller said this past week. “I would just like the opportunity as well.”
This is her first run for public office, but Miller has been involved in local politics. She is the outgoing president of the Nimmo Republican Women’s Club and currently serves as the vice chairperson of the Republican Party of Virginia Beach. City Council and School Board elections are nonpartisan, but both major party city committees have become involved in local races by supporting candidates, particularly in recent years.
Miller was born in Williamsburg and raised in Virginia Beach. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy, working as an intelligence specialist before earning her commission and serving as an intelligence officer. She served for 31 years between active duty and reserve time. She holds an undergraduate degree in criminology and history from St. Leo University and a graduate degree in American government from Regent University.
Miller said the main issue of her campaign is to “protect the integrity of the city,” making it a place where her grandchildren will want to stay by focusing on strong schools, public safety and the local economy.
“To me some of the uniqueness and the beauty of the city is in the southern city, the agricultural area,” she said. “I don’t want to see that changed.”
Miller said she supports preserving farming as an industry and the agricultural reserve program, or ARP, which helps keep agricultural land actively farmed. All of the candidates in the race have said they support preserving the ARP, the major economic development program for the agriculture industry. Under the ARP, the city buys development rights for enrolled properties, which allows them to continue to be farmed.
Miller said her military service has given her experience working with a wide range of people, as well as experience in planning and project management.
“I think that with the impact the military has here you need to have good, strong support on City Council that understands what it brings to the table,” she said.
Miller said she will also be a voice for safeguarding tax dollars.
“I want to make sure that when we spend money we’re responsible with that money,” she said. “I want to make sure that we’re not taxing people too much and we respect the money that we have coming in.”
And she said she will work for development that considers the impact of flooding while looking for additional ways to address recurrent flooding.
“We just voted on the flood mitigation plan,” she said, referring to the 2021 bond referendum that will fund several major flood mitigation projects in the city. “My concern is that may not be enough money, especially given inflation.”
The city of Virginia Beach has appealed the federal court decision that led to the new district voting system while also proceeding with the new 10-district system.
Now, only residents living within a district select representation for that district. Previously, all city voters selected all members of the council.
Oral arguments in the matter were held this past month. The appeals court had not delivered an opinion as this edition of The Independent News went to press late Thursday, April 7.
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