Hard work should earn another term

Published 11:39 pm Friday, October 10, 2008

Linda T. Johnson, the current mayor of Suffolk, has earned another term in that office. During the past two years, she has led our city to new heights by making its government more transparent, accountable and efficient.

Before she took office in 2006, there was a “hide the ball” approach to the public’s access to information. Today, as a result of Mayor Johnson’s leadership, information is readily available to all Suffolkians through the Freedom of Information Act.

Before 2006, there was no financial accountability in our city government. The city was not following its own financial policies, which were put in place to keep the city solvent and ready for a downturn in revenues.

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The result was a downgrading of Suffolk’s bond rating and an increased cost to the city to obtain funds, thus further damaging the city’s finances. Today, under Mayor Johnson’s leadership, the city is adhering to these financial policies, and the bond rating has stabilized.

Before 2006, city government had too many employees because of unnecessary hiring and the duplication of jobs and responsibilities. Many of the city’s projects and initiatives were bobbing up and down in a sea of indecision and inaction.

Under Mayor Johnson’s leadership, there are fewer city employees, because the positions have been streamlined and more efficiency realized by the combination of responsibilities.

In addition, many projects that languished in the planning stages have finally broken ground. These include the East Suffolk complex (10 years waiting), the new Health and Human Services Building (20 years waiting) and the Nansemond Parkway project that opened Northgate for economic growth.

The bottom line is that Linda Johnson’s leadership has been good for Suffolk. We should recognize that leadership and reward her with another term as mayor.