Take council back from developers

Published 12:17 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

To the editor:

According to his web page, Don Goldberg is a Realtor and the senior vice president with Harvey Lindsay, and he concentrates his efforts on new business development in retail, office and industrial sales and leasing.

In a vacuum, that would all seem pretty acceptable, but not when taken against the backdrop of his investors and possible teammates on council.

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Goldberg’s campaign’s funding lists have been filled with supporters from the banking, development and real estate markets. Among them are names like Armada Hoffler, TowneBank, and a dozen more real estate companies.

Last I checked, these folks don’t throw away their money. They contribute their cash hoping for a return on their investment.

It all makes me wonder why Goldberg would spend $30,000 for a position that pays so little. Could it be for the same reasons our City Council has attracted so many other Realtors? Could it be that they see the ability to profit from their access to planning and information about future development?

Given the current council, it’s not a far stretch. Our mayor works for Prudential Towne Realty, sits on TowneBank’s board of directors (along with Mr. Goldberg) and is married to a real estate lawyer who just happens to be in practice with Councilman Jeffrey Gardy.

How much of Suffolk have we already traded to developers? And how much more will be traded as payback to Goldberg’s backers?

These associations are bad enough, but Councilman Charles Parr seems to be no different.

According to Suffolk News-Herald, “All three of the opposed incumbents have accepted money from developers and contractors, including the Tidewater Builders Association’s political action committee.”

The only one who seems to lack financial allegiances is Kerry Holmes — which is why I’ll be voting for him as my council member from the Suffolk Borough.

It is high time for the city to turn its back on special interest groups and pay attention to citizens.

Mike Kimmel