Fawcett to be ‘strong voice’Published 8:46pm Saturday, October 20, 2012
Suffolk businessman Roger Fawcett is making a run for the Sleepy Hole seat on City Council.
“I’d like to be a strong voice for the families of the Sleepy Hole borough, as well as for the city of Suffolk as a whole,” he said. “I think with my background and experience, both in government for over 35 years and my experience as a businessman within the city of Suffolk — I think when you put those combinations together I can be a very attractive mix for the city of Suffolk.”
Fawcett is a U.S. Navy veteran who was honorably discharged in 1973. He then began his career as a firefighter at Naval Station Norfolk, working his way up through the ranks to become fire chief.
He now owns two Suffolk companies, Elizabeth River Lawn and Landscape and Evergreen Turf Management.
As someone who has brought jobs to Suffolk, Fawcett said that will be one of his priorities on City Council.
“I think Suffolk is very attractive at this point, because we do have room to grow,” he said. “I think Suffolk has done a great job during recession time by saving some tax dollars, and I think the economic development department has done a great job keeping us moving in a positive direction.”
Fawcett sees “a lot of positives” in the city, including an appealing tax rate, job growth and a good financial position, despite tough economic times.
“Suffolk right now is just in the best position,” he said. “Things are moving in the right direction.”
Fawcett named controlling spending, making transportation improvements and working more closely with the school division as his priorities.
“I’ll work in good faith with the School Board to understand what their needs are to try to balance them,” Fawcett said. “I’ll do everything I can to support them and help them meet their needs.”
Fawcett said more open dialogue is needed between the school system and City Council.
“That may help bring about a good working relationship,” he said.
Fawcett is keeping a close eye on this year’s national races, as well, because of the threat of massive defense cuts.
“Depending on how the election comes out, Virginia has a strong possibility to lose jobs,” he said. “As it’s proposed, you’re going to see less money coming down.”
Fawcett pledged to begin working on that problem that minute he is sworn in.
“Suffolk has to be poised and ready to ensure that our budget is being maximized to the point we’re getting schools taken care of and city services taken care of,” he said.
“I just want people to know that I’m committed; I dedicate myself to anything and everything I do,” said.