Dave Trinkle Announces Candidacy for March Democratic Primary for Roanoke City Council
January 7, 2010
I want to thank everyone who came out today! I am excited to be back here where I started four years ago. The area around the Library looks a little different today than it did 4 years ago when I first announced my candidacy for City Council. We now have the Social Security building, and across the street there is ongoing work on the re-hab of the stately Patrick Henry Hotel.
Indeed much has changed in Roanoke during the past 4 years, from greenways expansion, flood control work, Trolleys on Jefferson Street expanding a vital economic corridor to the hospital and soon to open medical school, a new art museum, support of many arts and cultural initiatives, new high schools at William Fleming and Patrick Henry - with ON-CAMPUS stadiums and at Fleming a field house. We also have seen neighborhood village streetscape improvements, and plans for other improvements - including our all important Market Building, the Market parking garage and continued redesign and expansion of our library system as well as a redesigned Elmwood park anchoring one key entrance to our downtown and vital historic market.
But I have learned in my first term not to expect things to happen quickly - governments, even local governments, do not turn on a dime. I’ve also learned that we need to pay attention to the entire city - its people and its places - all the important aspects that will continue to make us an attractive city for the people who call Roanoke their home.
With a new City Manger coming in, and many projects planned and underway throughout our city, there is a need for continuity and experience on City Council. A focus on economic development and a business friendly government that can get to yes a whole lot quicker is my immediate desire for our new administration’s focus. But Roanoke is a lot more than just the business side of government- it is about our people, our places and our every day quality of life. Both before and since being on council, I have been involved with our city in multiple ways. I am very much a people person- one of the greatest pleasures as a councilman is meeting people from all over our city- getting to know them, what is working for them and what isn’t. My day job involves listening and I enjoy listening and learning from our citizen’s stories. I pledge to continue to take their concerns that come out of these stories forward and help make life better for all who live in our community.
I want Roanoke’s government to be fiscally responsible - with a balanced approach to meeting current needs while still preparing for a positive future. We have to pay close attention to public safety, our infrastructure, and most importantly our schools so our city can offer a high quality of life to all of our citizens.
As I said four years ago, our schools are our most important economic engine and are the most important measure of our success as a whole. There has been progress in our school system thanks to the hard work of our superintendent Rita Bishop, the dedicated school board and its chair, David Carson. I intend to continue to help find ways to improve funding of our school system despite declining revenues locally and especially at the state level. Our graduation rates, free and reduced lunch percentages, percentage of adults without a high school diploma are all difficult measures for our city. While we need to support those in need with our extensive social service programs and job creation, perhaps even more importantly is imparting a sense of Hope for a bright future to our children. Our school system is developing models to do just that- models I will support. From helping with much needed text book adoptions, to ensuring adequate school nursing and nutrition programs, to funding the Community College Access Program (CCAP) whereby students are guaranteed enrollment and tuition at Virginia Western Community College: any program that improves a child’s chance of success, health and hope for a brighter future will have my support on city council.
Roanoke has received a lot of positive national press lately about our beauty, our “protected” natural amenities ( including the largest protected green spaces in any city - Carvins Cove and the newly designated Mill Mountain), our people, our clean city with green initiatives, our diverse and safe neighborhoods, and our quality of life. In my mind, our diversity positively impacts our quality of life in a daily manner. I hope to continue to focus on all citizen needs- from the young to those needs of the elderly. In doing so, I will focus on job creation, job stability and economic development. We must balance improvements in quality of life and progress with budgetary needs impacting all parts of our city.
We have had a tough year financially and are facing another even more difficult one, but I believe we will come out of this recession soon and will be well situated as council continues to make difficult but balanced decisions allowing responsible progress for our city.
I’m announcing today that I will be a candidate in the March Democratic Primary for Roanoke City Council. I want to thank my Family for their support- these are indeed family decisions. I hope to continue to serve my city and its citizens, and apply what I have learned during my first term to the ongoing challenges ahead. I know how to listen… and will continue to listen to the people of Roanoke as we move confidently into the future.