Getting Harrisonburg Back to Work
The first goal for the next City Council will be to ensure Harrisonburg gets back to work as safely and as quickly as possible. The CARES act funding is a great start. Additionally, as your City Councilman, George was an integral part in approving a city led program which provides grants to new and established businesses to ensure Harrisonburg retains its rich and diverse community atmosphere.
Harrisonburg’s motto is the “Friendly City,” as such our community needs to strive to listen to and understand the lived experiences of our African American neighbors. The current social justice movement which has seen protests nationwide is essential and George is proud to have marched alongside so many of you during the various marches in Harrisonburg including one on JMU’s campus. The discussions occurring during this movement are necessary and it is time for meaningful change. Now more than ever it is important we continue to shine light on incidents of racism and discrimination so that everyone feels that there is true equality and justice for all.
In the past, one of the great draws to Harrisonburg was our low tax rates and exceptional city services. However, over the past decade, tax rates in the city have grown to the point that residents and businesses are fleeing the city. While it is essential that we provide the best services possible as a city, the City Council needs to shift our priorities to retaining and supporting local residents and businesses.
Fiscal responsibility in all aspects of city government is needed now more than ever. From education, affordable housing to the Heritage Oaks Golf Course, the city needs to buckle down and find ways to operate these at a more affordable cost to taxpayers while at the same time ensuring they continue to serve all citizens in our community.
Over the past several months, one under reported problem facing our elderly is the fact that they are sitting isolated from the rest of our community, especially those living alone. George believes that the city can help to solve this problem of loneliness by developing a city led program that would connect elderly members of our community with english learners in our schools and communities as well as volunteers in our community. This increased communication will provide those in need with much needed socialization while also assisting English language learners to become more proficient in the language.
As a former weatherman, George uniquely understands the issues that climate change poses to the Harrisonburg community. As such, he supports efforts to develop a clean Harrisonburg for future generations while simultaneously supporting the key industries which make Harrisonburg the Friendly City. Additionally, as City Councilman, George will continue to work with the Harrisonburg Electric Commission to increase solar power within the city.