Parr: No ‘outlandish promises’

Published 10:22 pm Tuesday, October 28, 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. 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 election in the Suffolk Borough, which pits incumbent Charles Parr against challengers Donald Goldberg and Kerry Holmes. All three candidates’ columns appear below. Tomorrow’s installment will include columns from each of the two candidates for the School Board seat from the Suffolk Borough.

By Charles Parr Sr.

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. When I was elected, my primary vision was to unshutter the closed buildings downtown. I had a vision for our Downtown Business District that I have worked hard to bring to fruition.


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Growing up in Suffolk, I have great memories of busy streets and a buzzing economy. My vision for today’s downtown is livelier, more inclusive and extends into all neighborhoods.

While our city grows, we must never lose sight that downtown is our epicenter. I will always support local businesses, because I am a small business owner.

As storefronts open, lofts become home to a younger generation, a new high tech library emerges and City Hall opens as a one-stop shop for citizens and businesses alike, the rebirth is already under way.

We have to break the cycle of decline by providing tangible long-lasting community anchors, which is why I firmly support creating a neighborhood school in our Downtown community as part of my future goals.

Results matter, and I have worked hard for the citizens, whether it is taking phone calls at any hour or visiting civic associations to hear community concerns.

Strong financial decisions were made by this council, and this is what has brought Suffolk our AAA bond rating, which is the impetus for even bigger successes. I am a strong supporter of smart growth and economic development, because not only does this add to our tax base — which reduces your tax burden — but also adds more job opportunities.

I live in a world of reality, and I am keenly aware that I cannot make an outlandish promise to give pay raises AND lower your taxes as words for re-election. That is nothing more than campaign rhetoric during election season.

Getting a strong financial standing will guarantee that Council can provide sustainable compensation to city employees, not a temporary stopgap. I have continued to demand accountability from our elected School Board, as well, because teachers do deserve better pay.

I have never forgotten how important our entire city is, especially the needs of our aging communities, which is why I have secured a permanent funding stream for their infrastructure needs. Suffolk is only as good as its best community partner, and I ask that you re-elect me on Nov. 4, so I can continue to be your advocate.