Fawcett is eager to serve

Published 8:36 pm Friday, January 4, 2013

Roger Fawcett, pictured in front of Elizabeth River Lawn and Landscape Inc. where he works with his son, was elected to represent the Sleepy Hole Borough on City Council.

Editor’s note: Following is the first in a series of stories about Suffolk’s two newest members of the City Council. The second story will appear in Sunday’s edition.

Roger Fawcett decided he wanted to run for City Council while he was standing outside City Hall with hundreds of fellow citizens during a budget hearing.

He was one of many concerned residents who never managed to get into the chambers to speak that night. But he took another tack to send a message and make a difference — he decided to run for election to City Council, instead.

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Fawcett won election over two competitors. The three were running for the Sleepy Hole Borough seat that was left vacant by the redistricting process.

He had always wanted to run for office, he said recently, but during 35 years of working for the federal government, he was precluded by federal rules from doing so.

“My desire has always been to work in civil service or a government role,” he said. “Everything I’ve ever done has been service-oriented to the public.”

Fawcett began his career in the U.S. Navy, and then became a civilian in the fire service at Naval Station Norfolk. He worked his way from the bottom to become the fire chief there.

After he retired in 2004, he went to work with his son Jason Fawcett at Elizabeth River Lawn and Landscape, which has its headquarters on Nansemond Parkway. He also works as a civilian with the Virginia State Police, helping to supervise registered sex offenders.

Fawcett said he is looking forward to going to work for the citizens of Suffolk.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “I’m very pleased and humbled that I have the opportunity to serve the constituents of the Sleepy Hole Borough, as well as the citizens of Suffolk.”

He said he has no specific goals besides serving the citizens and working as a team member with the others on council, but he acknowledges he has “a lot of things in the back of my mind.”

“I’m not there for the council,” Fawcett said. “I’m there for the constituents that sent me there.”

He said the city should maximize its use of taxpayer dollars to help keep taxes low.

“I don’t believe in taxing people for every little thing you try to accomplish,” he said.

Fawcett also said he’s looking forward to helping the city navigate the coming years.

“This city’s got a big opportunity to see itself move quite forward,” he said. “It’s got a lot of good things about it. This is going to be a rough few years. Hopefully we can get some spending from the federal and the state levels without those dollars shrinking.”

Fawcett is married and has three grown children — his daughters are a teacher and a computer analyst — and six grandchildren.