Two on ballot in Nansemond

Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The race for the Nansemond Borough of City Council features two candidates.

Incumbent Lue R. Ward Jr. and challenger Ben Fitzgerald are on the ballot.

Fitzgerald declined to be interviewed for this story, and the Suffolk Voter Registrar’s office said he has suspended campaign operations.

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Ward is completing his freshman term on the City Council after having first been elected in 2012. He said he wants to run again to continue doing the work he has started.

“I’ve really treasured being on council for four years, and I want to continue,” Ward said. “Hopefully, the people see that I get the job done.”

Ward said one of the most important things he has learned in his first term is the importance of the city’s bond rating.

“I think that’s so important to a lot of things the city of Suffolk is getting done,” he said. “That was one of the things I was unaware of how important it was.”

Ward said maintaining a high bond rating allows the city to borrow money for needed projects at a lower cost.

Ward said in his next term, he wants to help make some things happen for Suffolk, especially for the Nansemond Borough, which covers areas like Pughsville, Huntersville and Burbage Grant.

“There are some things I want to make sure we’re getting done,” he said.

He said he is pleased the City Council was able to fund pay raises for school employees in the last four years and fund a new middle school being constructed in his borough.

“Some things like that, I want to make sure they’re in the capital improvements plan,” he said. He also hopes the older communities in his borough can have neighborhood improvements soon to establish a better quality of living.

“There are some things with the older communities, especially, in the Nansemond Borough that I continued but I want to finish,” he said.

He said more recreational opportunities, especially for soccer, flag football and swimming, are needed in the Nansemond Borough.

He also wants to work on getting the water bills down for city residents.

Ward also said he wants to make sure citizens know the process of how things get done so they can be involved with city government.

“I want to leave a legacy that I was a councilman that listened, worked hard and communicated with the constituents,” he said.

Ward said he has appreciated being able to work with the city employees, especially public safety personnel, the past four years.

“I think I have a great opportunity working with some of the best city workers around,” he said. “When we call, they’re there. When we set up meetings with the civic leagues, they’re there.”

Ward has been self-employed almost his entire life. He publishes two community newspapers and a magazine. Within the city, he serves on the Western Tidewater Regional Jail Authority Board and as an alternate on the City School Advisory Committee for Collaborative Fiscal Concerns.