Council should heed Jones’ advice

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 2, 2004

Those who attended Thursday’s City Council investiture ceremony got their money’s worth. Incumbent Mayor E. Dana Dickens III was denied a second two-year term by his colleagues who instead went for first-term Suffolk borough representative Bobby Ralph on a 4-3 vote.

It is hoped that whatever conflicts were responsible for the split vote can now be put aside in the face of the daunting task they face in managing and governing one of Virginia’s fastest growing cities.

The issues they face are many. Among them the ongoing update of the comprehensive plan, the Fairgrounds revitalization project; the East Suffolk Community Center; whether to take over road maintenance from the VDOT; various village initiatives, the list goes on and on.

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We hope that all seven members will heed the words of Del. S. Chris Jones who spoke at Thursday’s event and implored them to keep the best interests of the entire city in the forefront.

&uot;As you deliberate e and discuss, listen to your constituents and be ever mindful of your responsibilities to those who elected you,&uot; Jones said. &uot;This is not a popularity contest. It is a time of service, to keep an eye on what is in the best interest of the city as a whole.&uot;

That’s sage advice.

Ralph started off on the right foot, attempting to mend the rifts by referring to City Council as a &uot;team.&uot; He’s right. No one person can do what needs to be done, nor should they try.

Much praise was heaped upon Jones Thursday and it was well deserved. He put his own political interests aside and did what he felt was in the best interest of the entire Commonowealth

spearheading a budget compromise and as expected, the small-minded leaders of his party have retaliated against him. He sets a good example for Suffolk City Council members to follow.