Brown aims for re-election

Published 10:45 pm Saturday, October 11, 2014

Vice Mayor Charles Brown says he’s ready to represent Cypress Borough for another four years.

“I’ve been serving the people of Suffolk and Cypress for 20 years,” Brown said.

The retired teacher at Newport News Shipyard’s Apprentice School said he is running again on the strength of the city’s performance over the last several years. He said the city’s crime rate has fallen and it has created more than 7,000 new jobs and brought in more than 300 new businesses, he said.

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In the Cypress Borough, numerous capital improvements in recent years have included a new police precinct, the health and human services building, a new fire station, the East Suffolk Recreation Center and a renovated Booker T. Washington Elementary School.

“All those things are not fluff,” Brown said. “They’re millions and millions of dollars.”

He also touted the city’s AAA credit rating, which he called an impartial stamp of approval for the city.

“AAA means your city is well managed, and it’s fiscally, financially sound,” Brown said. “Because of those things, we will be able to borrow more money for less.”

But, Brown said, there are some challenges in front of the city.

“We need to work more closely with our schools to make sure they are continuing to grow,” he said. “We cannot continue to have a AAA city unless education is a top priority. We’re just going to have to do a much better job.”

He said the city needs “clear, precise, measurable goals and objectives” from the school system.

“Right now, I think there’s too much finger-pointing,” he said. “I look for results. I look for solutions. When you’re pointing fingers, that does not give me solutions.”

He also said the city needs to continue to ensure its government is open.

“It’s very important that council works for the people, and we should communicate accordingly,” Brown said. However, he said there are some things that should not be open, including personnel discussions and talk of new businesses coming to the city.

He noted the city’s investment in moves toward getting quiet zones in neighborhoods along Nansemond Parkway, as well as its widening project on the road.

“That concept is going to continue all down Nansemond Parkway,” he said. “Things are growing, and we need a council that can do that. We’re going to debate each other, but we’re not going to come apart.”