Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Candidate Gwen Mason at Roanoke County Gathering

Gwen Mason, Democratic 17th District Candidate and Roanoke City Councilwoman

Gwen Mason, Democratic 17th District Candidate and Roanoke City Councilwoman

Presumptive Democratic candidate and Roanoke City Councilwoman, Gwen Mason was a guest at the community meeting hosted by Angie and Barry Beckner Monday night. Board of Supervisors member Charlotte Moore introduced Mason by telling the story about her confrontation with a motorist who “flicked” their cigarette butt out the window. Mason is known for her “butt-busting” crusade – cigarette butts that is.

Mason described the 17th District’s odd shape as sortof a “microwaved cheese doodle.” Shaped in redistricting in 2000 to ensure a secure seat for the Republicans.

On the economy Mason said that at least things in this area are not as bad as in other parts of Virginia. Foreclosures are not like what is occurring in Northern Virginia nor do we have the factory closings that localities like  Martinsville are experiencing. “We have a fairly recession-proof economy here,” said Mason.

Referring to her observation of the General Assembly Mason said “as the state goes so goes the cities and counties” and so goes the communities with them. She explained that the county has an easier time with their budget both on the county side and the school side. Roanoke city suffers from a poorer population and 72% of the city’s school children are on reduced lunch. Mason praised Fralin for his understanding of the need to fight for both the cities and the counties in Richmond.

Mason highlighted her three platform issues: economic development, maintaining and growing (population), and quality of life (libraries). Highest priorities for Mason include responsible growth, the greenways and education.

Mason congratulated Councilman Court Rosen on the birth of his son Oliver Tucker Rosen and praised Moore for her outstanding representation of the Cave Spring District.

Moore updated the County residents on the south county library that has been put on hold. The $3.5 million bonds that were issued for the project can not be used for another purpose without 100s of bond holders signing off on it. She indicated that even moving the library would be extremely difficult with the bonds tightly tied to the location of the planned library across from Penn Forest Elementary school.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, Roanoke City Politics, Roanoke County Politics, State Politics

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