Before discussing power center political impact on tourism major projects and light rail, this is an update to the first power center politics article.
VNS readers remember that in the first article no one, no organization stands accused, yet, of attempting to influence city Council decisions. However, and this is a large “IF“ -“If the influence of Power Centers results in decisions that favor the few individuals in the Power Centers rather than benefit all citizens, than we have become corrupted.”
In the Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday, July 7 an article referenced financial contributions from the Virginia Beach Towne Bank board of directors. It stated, “Thirty-two directors combined to give Sessoms $70,000 of the record $620,000 he raised.” As a reminder, Will Sessoms was elected and is the mayor of Virginia Beach and continues as President of Virginia Beach Towne Bank. So, during the campaign, thirty-two directors of the bank gave their president $70,000 for his campaign.
For information on contributions to candidates by individuals and by organizations, citizens should visit the web site http://www.vpap.org . The web site states, “Virginia puts no limits on campaign contributions. Anything goes, as long as candidates disclose their donors. The Virginia Public Access Project enhances disclosure and empowers visitors to draw their own conclusions.” Also, you can enter your own e-mail for updates from the web site.
As you will see from your visit to the site, there is a considerable amount of money floating around in our so-called political system. The major question is: Does all that money influence decisions and determine development and redevelopment patterns in Virginia Beach?
For information about contributions for presidential candidates and members of the U.S. Congress log onto http://www.opensecrets.org. Does all the money in congressional races and presidential politics have any influence on subsequent decisions?
You, the citizens of Virginia Beach, will have to decide assuming that you’re beginning to wake up and pay special attention to the city around you and accept your responsibilities especially to your families for the long-term.
Are you up to the task?