In a FB post today by Councilman Moss, it was suggested the AP infrastructure resolution was a City Council achievement born of a refusal to succumb to a single- community approved, developer-lead initiative. This is not the case, nor should it ever be.
City Council members never work alone. It takes community engagement to make things happen that will positively impact all of us. Divisive politics serve only to divide communities based on needs.
The more communities work together and are at the table for discussions about their area and city, the stronger will be our council and city as a whole.
Our community had to strive to have its voice heard because we were not being represented by our district’s City Council member. Councilwoman Barbara Henley’s lack of leadership was on display as the community and City Council worked on a compromise. Our Councilwoman played personal politics and simply said no to any compromise. The community should not have to work around their district Council member to get a solution approved by the rest of City Council.
In response to the suggestion of council achievement via “no” votes, I wrote:
Dear Mr. Moss,
Real negotiations don’t begin with “no” from City Council. They begin with a resounding community refrain of “We can do better,” which means “let’s find a compromise that provides a win-win for all.”
Ashville Park residents’ focus was not only on their “specific need for flood mitigation.” Their focus was, and has always been, on finding a solution that will benefit all.
With the help of Tom Leahy and the city team, HOFD (the developer), the many Ashville Park residents who held meetings and private discussions with surrounding community friends and neighbors, life-time residents of the area, and City Council members, Option 3 was developed, realized, and recommended for a vote. This was not the achievement of one or even of City Council itself. This was an achievement of community — the very heart of Virginia Beach.
Karen Beardslee Kwasny
Resident, Ashville Park
Planning Commission, Princess Anne District Representative