• 72°

Joseph Barlow

Incumbent, Chuckatuck

Q, What are the top three issues facing Suffolk today and your thoughts for addressing those issues?

A. Successfully implementing road maintenance in Suffolk; reducing violence in the city, including setting up a Youth Violence Task Force; and exploring all options in planning for our long-term water needs.

Q. What are the top issues for the people in the borough you seek to represent?

A. Getting the Kings Highway Bridge open to autos only and pursuing completion of the realigned new bridge, as well as all the concerns in first question.

Q.

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.

Crowded streets and roads, mass transit and construction of a limited access Route 460.

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. Strongly urge the state to fund the realignment of the Kings Highway Bridge and explore private interest in repairing, opening and operating the old bridge until the new one is constructed.

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. Continue the current policy of “managed growth” with special emphasis on commercial growth.

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?

Support the new Youth Task Force by providing positive opportunities for young people with the help of parents and other adults.

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 be cut from the budget to accommodate the reduction?

Property taxes are now a burden on many of our citizens and the mill rate should be reduced. The cut should be between 15 and 5 cents, depending on the needs that are absolutely necessary to maintain an acceptable level of service to the citizens. New projects should be delayed and services now offered should be funded at a reduced rate. I am concerned about the overall economy and believe we should position ourselves to adjust if it becomes necessary.

Q.

Why should voters elect you on May 2?

With service on the School Board, the Planning Commission and City Council, I have the experience to help determine the best solutions to current city issues and the will to see them through.