MY PRIORITIES FOR VIRGINIA BEACH
"To accomplish what needs to be done for the citizens, members of council must do their homework and bring real solutions to the table so that we can come together for a dialogue on how to address our challenges. This is what we did in the Navy and the council could learn a thing or two from the Navy about accomplishing the mission"
Virginia veterans are leaving because the Commonwealth of Virginia is taxing retirements at an alarming rate compared to North Carolina. As your council representative I will make the motion to send a formal letter to the Governor and General Assembly requesting a change in policy for veterans retirement tax rates. At the local level I will look for ways to alleviate unnecessary burdens on veterans and their spouses who have lost their loved one in the line of duty. At the ceremonial level I will work to support our Veterans Day Parade and other veteran related ceremonies that highlight the brave heroes we have in Virginia Beach.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and economy. It is positive news that the new HIVE Small Business Center is open in the Department of Economic Development. The city and regional partners have many resources available for our local small businesses, but many businesses do not know this help exists or what it can be used for, we must do a better job at spreading this important information to those who need it most. The city has tremendous reach in highlighting our growing industries.
Inflation is hitting every resident of Virginia Beach right in the pocket book. We need tax relief. Virginia Beach home assessments have skyrocketed bringing an increased tax burden to those that are not looking to sell or refinance their home. We must work with state and federal officials to also address other burdensome taxes that hinder private sector growth in businesses, and stress the personal finances of our residents.
As your representative, I will support the (ARP) Agricultural Reserve Program, the city’s Farmers market at Dam Neck Rd and continuing infrastructure improvements that allow safe transport of goods to market. Some of our top exports include corn, soybean, strawberries and wheat.
As a parent I raised my children in Virginia Beach public schools and was active in their studies and extracurricular activities at Kellam High. We must continue to promote parental involvement with our school system and continue the success that we had pre-covid-19. We must continue to support our various programs like JROTC, NAS Oceana STEM Lab day and other academic extracurricular programs. Our military families deserve to have the support of our local school system which works to integrate students who have recently transferred to Virginia Beach.
We must address the school staffing shortages that range from bus drivers to teachers to part time coaches. There are various reasons for the shortages but compensation, working conditions and a lack of proper student decorum have all contributed.
Unlike the current incumbent, I support citizens' 2nd amendment rights.
My husband served as a Deputy Sheriff for the Virginia Beach Sheriff's office, I will always stand up for our first responders. Currently Virginia Beach is short over 200 officers and we are losing quality officers to other localities and departments. As a member of council, I will be the voice for the thousands of city first responders who are underpaid, overworked and sometimes forgotten about. This includes compensation, safety and training needs. We need to work on recruiting the best candidates and keeping our highly skilled and dedicated First Responders.
Improving the integrity of our city infrastructure is a top priority. This ranges from modernizing our general utility services to improving the safety of drivers on Sandbridge Road to upgrading our existing school buildings.
Coastal flooding and sea level rise is a huge problem facing our community. Each part of the city floods due to different circumstances, it is not a one size fits all approach. In the southern end of the city we must pay special attention to storms pushing the water north out of the Albemarle flooding low level homes, businesses, roads and farmland. Concentrated destiny and constant ditch cleaning is critical in basic flood mitigation. Pump stations throughout the city must remain maintained and improved.
Our beaches require continuous support and maintenance. Our city must maintain the integrity of our beaches for our citizens' enjoyment and our tourism business. Sandbridge beach is especially important with the Pier on Little Island and the thousands of people each year that enjoy the beaches throughout the seasons. We must continue working to keep access points clear, trash picked up and parking lots secured from criminal activity. It is our moral duty to protect the wildlife that inhabits our beaches, working with the Virginia Aquarium we can protect our vulnerable nesting sea turtle population.
Virginia Beach is a premier destination for many seeking a trip to the beach or to attend a community event like the Strawberry Festival or concert at the Amphitheater. We want travelers to come to our city, spend money, have a great experience and go home happy. The city council plays a significant role in tourism and the hospitality sector working to ensure our tax burden is paid by our visitors. The TIP Fund is an important city program that works well for the Resort and we must continue to invest and continually raise the standard of what Virginia Beach has to offer. We must ensure a safe and family friendly atmosphere for all.
Many of our seniors are retired, living on fixed income and facing an economy that is being rocked by inflation. Virginia Beach must remain vigilant in protecting the integrity of our seniors' financial obligations to the government. We must have safe and affordable housing for seniors needing specialized care. The Creeds Senior Center is now open again following Covid and requires our support.