Writer supports Debranski

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The people of Suffolk are seeing their first chance to elect a mayor in November. This election is the first of many needed steps into an open and more transparent local government.

Suffolk’s citizens are asking for answers to visible challenges of leadership.

Is the ongoing turnover of experienced city staff a symptom of intrusive oversight or even interference by our elected officials? What large cost is our city incurring in legal and settlement fees with departing employees?


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Are we seeing the execution of coordinated development plans? Are we seeing instead plans such as the Fairgrounds or location of the Human Services building changed constantly? What must the cost to the city be for the studies such changes of plan incur?

Is the unexplained departure of our director of economic development a symptom of a broken system that will not deliver jobs to all geographic area and economic levels? Are our citizens not to be trusted with explanations for such departures?

Is our city becoming divided between North Suffolk and the rest of the city, or between varied interest groups? Are our elected leaders united for the best interest of a city we love or divided into fiefdoms of more personal interest?

Is this lack of both unselfish vision and unity preventing the accomplishments possible in a city blessed with resources, land, location, and natural beauty?

I am supporting Mike Debranski for mayor because I believe he can deliver positive answers to these questions. In his 18 years as a school administrator, Mike handled massive personnel issues without ever encountering a hint of the legal issues and public embarrassment common to Suffolk in the past few years. In those early years of school integration, Mike earned the trust and respect of all of Suffolk’s citizens. He built a reputation of respect, fairness, and integrity.

Mike unites people because he is able to hold public ideals above personal agendas.

Mike’s plan to honor our extensive planning for the village concept and overall citywide development will eliminate the pressures on infrastructure. His intent to inspire the hiring and retention of the best economic development people will end in time our large reliance on the real estate tax. His understanding of how to motivate, excite and inspire staff will eliminate turnover. His realization that the people are the city will allow passing of needed information to all.

His vision of how a great city can become the jewel of Tidewater can be made reality with our support.