Friday, January 6, 2012

Democrats present a united front in re-election announcements

Councilman Sherman Lea and a happy Mayor David Bowers

The noon Greene Memorial United Methodist Church bells kept Roanoke City council members, Anita Price, Court Rosen and Sherman Lea from starting their speeches on time. The melody foreshadowed the presentation of a united Democratic ticket.

The three council members whose terms are not up for re-election stood by their colleagues side. There too was incumbent Mayor David Bowers. Bowers had already announced his intention to seek re-election at the Democratic reorganization in December.

Was it the bells that compelled all six city council members to declare their support for the incumbent Mayor or something else?

After the speeches concluded media were asked if there were any questions. A certain Roanoke Times reporter put them on the spot by asking if they all were supporting Bowers for Mayor. Sam Rasoul former candidate for the 6th congressional district is challenging Bowers in a firehouse primary in February.

Following an “awkward pause” (a Late, Late Night Craig Ferguson favorite)  they all said they were supporting the current Mayor.

The three speeches began first with Price “the collaborator and council peacekeeper.” As a retired school counselor she focused her remarks on support for the youth of the city saying, “children are indeed our future – we must do all that we can to invest in our children at all levels. This I must see through.”

Rosen “the youthful business provocateur” with a soda and smart phone addiction focused on his neighborhood advocacy prowess. Rosen regularly attends neighborhood meetings and events. The accomplishments he listed included – raising the income maximum that qualifies seniors to freeze their real estate taxes, the two-year, two-cent meal tax increase to help the financially struggling city schools and the establishment of fiscal priorities in a down economy.

The tax sunsets in July when a new (or the same) council may take up adding it back in some form. Councilman Dave Trinkle said he would “like to see [any tax] spread more uniformly.” Trinkle owns three “Fork In the …” restaurants.

Council member “the Lord is my shepherd” Lea is the longest serving member on council. He focused his remarks on how a stable council with no turnover can get things done. This he compared to past years when council members often had heated exchanges and broke into competing factions.

“We all have a good working relationship … it’s imperative that the governing body works together,” he said. Lea had flirted with a mayoral challenge but changed his mind to perpetuate council  stability he said.

Former Delegate Chip Woodrum said, “We’ve put a lot of things behind us. We have a lot of positive momentum and this positive vibe needs to continue.”

Rasoul will make his formal announcement challenging Bowers for Mayor on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at his campaign headquarters downtown across from the Roanoke Weiner Stand.

Chris Walters, chair of the Republican City Committee said there were candidates interested in running for council but they have not yet been vetted. Mike Powell who ran as a Republican two years ago is not one of them he said. They will hold a mass meeting in mid-February following the Democrats firehouse primary.

Neither Rasoul nor Bowers would comment on whether they would run as an Independent should they lose the primary.

Editor’s note: It’s always calmest before the storm – “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Rasoul doesn’t want to ruffle any feathers

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2012, Elections, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (1)

Jack Mcguire

January 6th, 2012 at 4:58 PM    

Ya know, I really don’t like the cliquish nature of our Council. I really wish they were individual thinkers as opposed to the the rubber stamp these guys usually represent. I hope some new blood gets in there. This group is notoriously awful and have accomplished zero.

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