April 2016 meeting info and President’s message

The April 2016 Wards Corner Civic League meeting will be held on the 18th at 6:45pm at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Speakers include Candidates for Norfolk School Board Dr. Noelle Gabriele and Carter Smith.

Below is the President’s Message:

by Jim English ajim.english@gmail.com

Dear Neighbors,
On May 3rd our area has a real chance to boost its influence on Norfolk City Council by electing Andy Protogyrou as its Mayor. I normally don’t show my support or endorse a candidate for any election, but this year I believe I must do so. While I know all three of the candidates running for Mayor and know that they are good people, it is Andy Protogyrou that stands above them and should be our next Mayor. Andy has worked very hard for the betterment and revitalization of Wards Corner for the past 6 years as our Ward 1 councilman. I should know as I have worked for this revitalization effort for 16 years and along with him for the past six years. During that short time we have made far more progress than in those first years of effort. If you look around the Greater Wards Corner area you can see the signs of progress that he has championed. Whether it is the total remodeling of the K&K Shopping Center which has a zero vacancy rate, to the acquisition and demolition of so many blighted apartment buildings in Denby Park to the signature Public Art at the gateway to Wards Corner on Granby Street, his influence is there. Besides that, Andy has been a force to reckon with on City Council and has made successful alliances with other council members to ensure that when a vote is needed for Wards Corner or other important projects or issues in the city, he has the votes to get it approved. He has been a remarkable quick start and has accomplished much in his 6 years on city council.

His vision is right for Norfolk. “As your Mayor, we’ll have a city that works for everyone. I have a vision for a Norfolk that is better, stronger, cleaner, and safer. A Norfolk that attracts and grows businesses; whose port is the preferred east coast destination for maritime commerce; a Norfolk that is a model for fiscal responsibility; that takes pride in its schools; a city that weaves the threads of its communities into a vibrant fabric that attracts people to live, work and play.” Andy Protogyrou.

For these reasons and many more I am supporting Andy Protogyrou for Mayor and endorsing his candidacy. I urge all of you to consider doing the same. https://andymayor2016.com/

And now for the second part of this election campaign stuff. When Andy is elected Mayor (and even if he is not) his seat will be vacant. Our own Martin Thomas Jr. has announced his candidacy to fill that seat and become the councilman for Ward 1. According to a longtime friend of Wards Corner, Louis Eisenberg, “Martin is the best choice to succeed Councilman Andrew Protogyrou. Martin is tenacious. When Martin sinks his teeth into an issue that he believes in, he doesn’t let loose. He is just the advocate that we need to represent Ward One and our city. He will bring his forward thinking ideas to City Council on what a 21st Century Norfolk should be. Martin Thomas Jr. listens to the citizens before he acts. His decisions are made only after he has considered the “what ifs”, thus preventing hasty decisions that need to be reversed. Not only is Martin an accomplished attorney, he has a background in City Planning which he uses quite effectively on the City Planning Commission. I have seen Martin take on powerful developers who present mediocre developments before the Planning Commission, and he gets those developers to improve their projects.

Martin Thomas Jr. has paid his dues. He is not a Johnny-come-lately to Ward One issues. He has been a consistently powerful voice in his advocacy for the removal of the sub-standard multi-family housing in Denby Park and Monticello Village. He is knowledgeable about sea-level rise that affects us all in Norfolk. He knows that good city planning can be a deterrent to crime and a factor in improving the  economic development opportunities of our city.

And lastly, Martin Thomas Jr. knows that good schools and the educated populace that they produce is a necessity for Norfolk to attract quality companies that will create high paying jobs.  When City Council decides on the date of the Special Election to fill the vacant Ward One seat, I urge you to consider voting for Martin Thomas Jr.

I am also supporting and endorsing Martin Thomas Jr. for Norfolk City Council for Ward 1.

Just consider the possibilities and future opportunities for the Greater Wards Corner Area. Wards Corner will one day be a destination to go to and a once again a vibrant shopping and residential community. We are almost there – let’s not stop now. We need both of these gentlemen on city council.

Let us also not forget that we have two other elections that affect us, that of Super Ward 6 and Norfolk School Board. While I am not showing my support to any of these candidates let me say they are all capable individuals.

The other candidates for Mayor are:
Kenny Alexander http://www.kennyalexander.com/
Bob McCabe http://www.bobmccabeformayor.com/

The candidates for SuperWard 6 are:
Andria McClellan http://www.andriamcclellan.com/
Warren Stewart  http://www.friendsofwarrenstewart.com/
Incumbent Councilman Barclay Winn Candidate

The candidates for Norfolk School Board are:
Noelle Gabrielle http://www.noellegabriel.com/
Carter Smith http://cartersmithnorfolk.com/

I urge you to become informed about these candidates and make your choice for the person you believe will be the best person to represent us in Wards Corner and the city. Remember the candidate with the biggest signs and most and flashiest mailers or website is not necessarily the best candidate for the job. They just have the most money and bought influence.

I hope to see you at our next civic league meeting on April 18th when we will hear the candidates for Norfolk School Board tell us why they are the best candidate.
Thanks and see you at the next meeting.


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