Charles F. Brown
Incumbent, Cypress Borough
Q. What are the top three issues facing Suffolk today and your thoughts for addressing those issues?
A. Growth is the really great challenge. My plan to address these concerns is as follows: a) Maintain smart growth policies, b) Continue the strong economic development policies and accomplishments, and c) Continue to focus on improving education and quality of life issues.
Q. What are the top issues for the people in the borough you seek to represent?
A. When re-elected, my three primary objectives will be: a) Redevelopment of old neighborhoods/workforce housing, b) Smart growth principles, c) Continued improvement to the education system, and d) Economics.
Transportation is playing out as a big issue in both the state and local political arenas this year. What, in your opinion, are the most critical transportation needs facing the city today?
A. Transportation is the biggest problem that we face in the region today. We must take giant steps to begin solving the issue today in order to have a better quality of life tomorrow.
Q. The Kings Highway Bridge continues to be a sore spot between the city, the Virginia Department of Transportation and citizens in the Chuckatuck and Driver communities. What does the city need to do address the issue?
A. Doing nothing is not an option. We must continue to work with citizens until we agree and find a solution. I believe in asking the hard questions to drive a solution that meets the expectations of all:
a) Can the old bridge be repaired and used on conditions until the new bridge is built?
b) Can we involve our state and federal governments to make solving this issue a priority?
Q. Suffolk is one of the fastest growing cities in Virginia. What needs to be done to make sure the city is able to accommodate the growing demands being placed on our schools, roads and city services?
A.Growth is a good, but comes along with some challengers. My plans to address these concerns are as follows:
a) Maintain smart growth policies, b) Continue the strong economic development policies, c) Continue to focus on quality of life issues and safety, and d) Continue to focus on improving education and our villages and neighborhoods.
Q.The city has experienced a surge in youth and gang-related violence in recent months. What needs to happen in order to turn the tide on juvenile violence in Suffolk?
A.The council has established a Crime Youth Taskforce to study and make recommendations to council as solutions that will turn the tide to juvenile violence in Suffolk.
Real estate assessments in Suffolk continue to soar each year, which, in effect, is a property tax increase unless City Council offsets it by reducing the mill rate. Do you think property owners are paying too much in taxes to the city? If so, how much of a reduction in the mill rate would you support and what do you think be cut from the budget to accommodate the reduction?
The real estate assessments are controlled by the state guidelines. The city needs a policy addressing the real estate assessments fluctuations. The amounts of tax cuts should be based on policy guidelines. However, at the present time, we do not have such a policy.
Q. Why should voters elect you on May 2?
A.I believe a vote for me would be well cast because I believe in serving the people, supporting our goals and improving the quality of life of the citizens in our great city of Suffolk. The great people of Suffolk and the Cypress borough have given me the honor and privilege of representing their interests on the City Council for 12 years.
In those 12 years, Suffolk has realized:
* A change in the quality of life,
* Improvements in the education system,
* Enhancements to economical development plans,
* Improvements to our safety programs.
These key principles I have supported, and will continue to support, so that our city will continue to be great.