Jeffrey L. Gardy
Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006
Challenger, Holy Neck Borough
Q. What are the top three issues facing Suffolk today and your thoughts for addressing those issues?
A: Tax relief n The past four real estate assessments have increased an average of at least 65 percent over the four-year period. The tax rate has decreased less that 2 percent, 2 cent on the $1.08 rate last year.
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Implementation of the road maintenance takeover from the Virginia Department of Transportation n It is my hope that this course of action our present council selected will prove beneficial and serve all boroughs with good service. Also, I hope forethought was used to incorporate the increased costs of equipment, fuel and materials into the budget.
Controlling the growth patterns in the city better than that experienced over the last four years.
Q. What are the top issues for the people in the borough you seek to represent?
A. Tax relief n The past four assessments have increased an average of at least 65 percent over the four-year period. The tax rate has decreased less than 2 percent, a 2 cent cut on the $1.08 rate last year.
Sewage – In the Holy Neck borough, Holland and other areas along Holland Road have severe sewage problems. Promises, promises and promises have been made but nothing as been done, except for funding a study.
Preserving neighborhood schools.
Q. Transportation is playing out as a big issue in both the state and local political arena this year. What are the most critical transportation needs facing the city today?
A. The present administration and council have elected to take over the maintenance of all the road system in the city of Suffolk. In view of the troubles that Virginia legislators are having with transportation issues and the increased costs of equipment, fuel and materials, I hope the present administration has made a good decision.
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?
I have had the pleasure of discussing the Kings Highway Bridge with a representative of the Bridge Club, a group dedicated to finding a solution to the bridge problem. I have pledged my support to the club to assist in any way possible to rejoin all parts of our city.
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.The 2026 Comprehensive Plan, which was more than two years in the making, provides a realistic growth plan for the future of Suffolk.
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?
I have complete faith and confidence that Chief (William) Freeman and our police force are capable of addressing this problem. This evaluation is based on my years of experience in the legal profession.
Q. 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 needs to be cut from the budget to accommodate the reduction?
A. Although costs of government have gone up continuously for the last four years, I do not feel that the costs “should,” and I stress “should,” be as rapid an increase as the average assessment over this period. I do know that the 2 cent decrease that occurred in 2005 in nowhere near enough. It would appear a 20 cent decrease is necessary to bring a fair equalization between assessment and the rate.
Q. Why should voters elect you on May 2?
A.After 40 years of residing in the Holy Neck borough, I feel I will be a strong voice for my borough and the people of Suffolk.