The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Remarks to Norfolk’s City Council, 2/15/11

My thoughts on the proposal for Norfolk’s taxpayers to subsidize a new office building. Here’s the backstory…and yes, the Hampton Roads Tea Party did get involved.

That a majority of City Council has spoken in support of this project, in a time where our schools continue to fall apart and there is not enough funding for police officers or other elements of public safety, is surprising. But let’s look at the real number behind this project: $7,250. That is the amount of campaign contributions from Tivest Development to three members of Council supporting this project: Mayor Fraim, Councilman Burfoot, and Councilman Winn, with Mr. Burfoot receiving the majority of these contributions at $3,750.

Today, we learned that Tivest decided that, between Friday and Monday, it was a good idea to catch up on $32,675 on delinquent real estate taxes. And now, they’re expecting their “friends” on this body to take responsibility for up to two-thirds of this proposed building’s space-and rent. Or, put differently, their “friends” are expecting them to pass this responsibility on to us, the taxpayers.

By any measure, this is unacceptable. The fact that Tivest says this guarantee is necessary to secure financing for the project shows that even its potential investors think it’s a horrible idea. A reasonable person would ask why, then, would our elected officials want to put the citizens of this city on the hook for a project that appears fiscally dubious to investors. But, to Fraim, Burfoot, and Winn, apparently $7,250 in contributions speaks louder than the many Norfolk residents who have called, written, and spoken against this project.

Members of council, this is your time to choose. Will you stand with your constituents, who not only disapprove of this proposal but who have basic needs that you have failed to address? Or will you continue to support your campaign backers and their schemes to make money of the taxpayers’ backs? If you are true representatives of the people, we demand that you vote against this proposal. And if you choose your “friends” over your constituents, we will remember your choice when we make ours in the voting booth.

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Written by Coby Dillard

February 15, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Speeches

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Good job!

    Vivian J. Paige

    February 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

  2. […] This was my first city council meeting, but it showed that there’s just as much here locally to be paid attention to as there is on the state/federal level. Thanks to Ms. Paige for the crosspost! […]


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