Bennett: ‘Real change’

Published 11:03 pm Friday, October 24, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Suffolk News-Herald has invited candidates for all of the city’s contested offices to submit 400-word columns soliciting the votes of Suffolk citizens on Election Day. A different race will be highlighted on this page each day through Thursday, Oct. 30. All of the candidates were notified of the opportunity at the same time via email, and follow-up telephone calls were made to verify receipt of the emails. Today features the City Council race in the Cypress Borough, which pits incumbent Charles Brown against challengers Leroy Bennett and Clinton Jenkins. Tomorrow’s installment will include columns from candidates for the City Council seat from the Holy Neck Borough.

By Leroy Bennett

My name is Leroy Bennett. I am a candidate for City Council for the Cypress Borough. I served on council for four terms before coming off during the 2012 term because of redistricting.

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During my 16 years as a councilman, I sought resolutions to issues and concerns of not only my constituents but all Suffolkians, as I worked tirelessly to make life better. I continue to be a “voice for the people” of this great city, and remain committed to the principles of honesty, integrity, and independence — recognizing that character still counts.

The Cypress Borough can be the catalyst for change and improvement for our citizens. I want to partner with other like-minded council members and leaders of Suffolk and the Hampton Roads area to effectuate real change in Suffolk.

Citizens want and deserve to be heard on matters that affect their lives. I have always and will continue to be, not only a voice for the people, but also a great listener.

I, personally, answer my own telephone calls and monitor and respond to my electronic messages. I believe that citizens’ input is a valuable and necessary component of good governance.

This input can be gained through the formulation of advisory councils and regular attendance at civic meetings and regularly scheduled community meetings, as well as personal contacts.

If elected, my main focus will be to advocate strongly for the following priorities:

  • Establish a City Council code of ethics
  • Eliminate clandestine closed-door meetings. (Some closed-door meetings are mandated by law)
  • Reduce crime in our communities
  • Relieve oppressive taxes and excessive and burdensome fees
  • Provide fair and decent wages for public service employees
  • Provide the funding for quality education
  • Support affordable housing, recreational facilities, public transportation, and job-creation initiatives
  • Demand a fair and equitable bidding process for all city public works projects

I am grateful for the endorsements of the Virginian-Pilot, Suffolk Firefighters Local 2801, and the Suffolk Police Officers’ Association, Local 780.

If elected I will continue to stand up for the principles and values that are in the best interest of the people of the Cypress Borough and the city as a whole, not special interests.

If you share this approach to good government, I humbly solicit your vote on Nov. 4.