[Tracy Link is a small business owner and civicly engaged Portsmouth citizen. She graciously allowed us to share this posting from her Facebook timeline.]
Tonight, my husband, a Cleveland native, is sitting with his remote in hand, flipping channels between the opening Cavs game and the opening World Series game. Like everyone who ever lived in Cleveland, he’s hoping to see it emerge as a City of Champions. But in many ways, it already has. They have improved their economy, attracted some of the best new businesses, fixed much of their crime issues, and started working on being a renaissance city, built for the future out of the ashes of their past.
If only our city, Portsmouth could do the same. If only our leaders at city hall would see that their politicking and pandering and hidden agendas are not serving their city. When will we all begin to agree that we have more in common than we realize? We have a bond, and that is our love for the prettiest little city around, and yet, every other Tuesday, the entire region gets to sit back and watch our politicians tear us and themselves apart. And every day, if you walk around this city, you meet folks who want to see us come together to fix these problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am asking you to consider voting for candidate Shannon Glover for our next mayor. You see, Mr. Glover is a leader at heart. He understands that we need to drive business development that will show a real return to our community. He knows that throwing out the welcome mat for all businesses to move here will do nothing but ease the burden on our current tax base, made up of mostly our city’s homeowners. Shannon will make sure that everyone who comes here can get in on the things that we know are positively Portsmouth. And we can no longer kid ourselves about needing to create jobs or build our entrepreneurs into growing thriving businesses. We can no longer pretend that educating our children for the next generation of jobs and opportunity is a just a secondary concern.
And for those of you who have an anti-incumbent mentality, and have decided to vote for someone else, please consider that the “front runner” is a trained manager, not a leader. Many of the ills that currently plague our city can be attributed to the former manager, and his election will only re-create the biases the city has been accused of for so long. He was the one at the front of the room for the public work sessions, selling our council on the ill-conceived idea of the retiree insurance plan that left many of our elderly citizen retirees in a lurch. He is the one who stayed a 1099 employee as our city manager when it was clearly a violation of the regulations on the Virginia Retirement System, costing us taxpayers so much money. Quite frankly, if you look up the litigation that was paid under his “management,” you will understand that he will simply be the flip side of the same coin of dysfunction in our city.
For those of you who believe our incumbent should stay in charge, I get it. He’s a great guy and a real advocate. But he, too, lacks the kind of real leadership skills that draw people together and make them want to work for positive change. He lacks the transparency needed to lead us into prosperity. He lacks the leadership to even swing his gavel at city council when it is obviously the right thing to do.
So, I ask you, my friends, on November 8, to vote for Shannon Glover. And when you hear that he only moved here to run for office, I have to confess, I moved home when my kids grew up, too. I moved home with the idea of starting a business. I moved here because if I started a business, and it worked out, it would create jobs. And if I was going to make jobs, I was doing it at home; my home, my city, where I grew up and where I now choose to live. Some of us who moved away, feel compelled to come back and help. We have skills that will serve the city. We don’t want others to leave, just so they can safely raise their kids. We want to make the safe and friendly environment in Portsmouth that invites families to raise kids and businesses to hire workers. And it can be done with a servant leader, who represents all of us and the city we love. Let’s begin to make a city of champions this election day! Please vote for Shannon Glover.