Monday, May 2, 2016

New Voices for Roanoke City Council

Michelle Dykstra: The voice of youth.
When you vote for Roanoke City Council's new members tomorrow--and here's hoping they're all new--may I be so bold as to suggest you pull levers (so to speak) for:

  • John Garland, the voice of experience.
  • Trish White-Boyd, the voice of vision.
  • Michelle Dykstra, the voice of youth. 

John Garland: The voice of experience.
I've known John for a number of years, worked with him when I was a magazine editor/owner and he was a creative, environmentally sensitive, bold engineer and owner of an architectural/engineering firm in Roanoke.

John is responsible for some of the most forward-looking rehab jobs in Roanoke and would have given us a Roanoke City Market building re-build we could have been proud of if City Council had been visionary enough to select his designs instead of going out of town. He has had experience working with a non-responsive City Council and it is my thought that his presence would change that responsiveness to the business community, to neighborhoods and to individuals dramatically. Frankly, I wish John was running for mayor. Maybe soon.

Trish White-Boyd: The voice of vision.
Trish is a woman so full of creative energy that she fairly bubbles over. She is a coalition builder and a leader who directs and inspires her troops. She isn't afraid to ask for help and she is no wilting violet. This woman has strength of conviction and the will to turn those convictions into policy. Like John and Michelle, she has solid business experience (she built a business from nothing to 50 employees in 10 years) and knows that taking care of the people who have invested in Roanoke is vital.

Michelle brings an energy and, like Trish, a lot of life to whatever she is involved in. I'm not happy with her stance on Roanoke becoming a Sanctuary City (as opposed to a concentration camp for immigrants), but my guess is that her position is not written in stone and her natural compassion will lead her to a change of heart. In any case, I believe she would be a solid councilwoman who, with John and Trish could help re-shape our direction.

I make no recommendation for the mayor's "race," mostly because there's nobody in that I would vote for under any circumstance. We will get Sherman Lea by default and that is unfortunate. David Bowers lacked a lot, but he was a good face for Roanoke. Lea will not be.

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