A new vision for Suffolk

Published 8:30 pm Friday, December 18, 2015

City Council on Wednesday approved a 132-word vision statement that describes the city 20 years from now.

It also approved eight focus areas and several goals under each focus area. The majority of the work on the vision, focus areas and goals was completed during the retreat in early November, but a subcommittee consisting of Mayor Linda T. Johnson and Councilmen Lue Ward and Tim Johnson met later to refine the statements.

The new vision statement reads:

Email newsletter signup

“Suffolk is a vibrant and fiscally strong community leading the region in advancements in education, comprehensive transportation, public safety and diverse economic growth while continuing to preserve its rural heritage and enhancing its neighborhoods and urban centers. Throughout 430 square miles of rich land and pristine waterways, citizens and tourists treasure the beautiful trails, rivers and open spaces. Residents, visitors and merchants delight in the revitalized downtown featuring cultural, educational and recreational opportunities. Diverse shopping, businesses and entertainment venues abound. A sense of harmony and pride permeates this rare community, where crime is low; where schools are cutting edge; where people and goods move safely and efficiently throughout the city; and where citizens receive valuable services and have opportunities to be engaged. Suffolk is the desired destination of the Hampton Roads region.”

Council members applauded the goals during their work session Wednesday.

“If that comes to fruition, we will indeed be able to obtain everything the city possibly could obtain,” Councilman Mike Duman said. “In my opinion, I think you got all the bases covered.”

“I don’t think you could have hit anything else,” Councilman Roger Fawcett said. “I think it’s excellent.”

City Manager Patrick Roberts said the next steps include communicating the vision and priorities to the staff and developing plans to achieve the goals.