Jana Andrews, candidate for Poquoson City Council, endorsed by the Sierra Club!

I am proud to announce that I’ve been endorsed by the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club after the last candidate forum.  It is an honor to be endorsed by an organization such as the Sierra Club.  The environment is an integral part of Poquoson and we must be good stewards if we want Poquoson to remain a town that can support our watermen and attract residents who want to live in an environment filled with clean waterways, natural habitats, and abundant wildlife.  While I’m in no way an environmental expert, and have much to learn, I will be a diligent student and consult with organizations such as the Sierra Club and Chesapeake Bay Foundation when a decision comes before me on City Council regarding the environment.  Growth and the environment is a delicate balance in a town like ours.  I think there is room for both and I will do my best to be the kind of City Council woman who can find a good balance, but always consider the importance of keeping Poquoson a place we can call home.

sierra-club-letter

 

What a difference a year makes – from fighting Walmart to running for City Council!

A year ago I was at the Poquoson Seafood Festival buying crafts and working at the “No Walmart” booth because it was a cause I felt passionately about.  I spent hours researching what happened to towns our size after Walmart came in (devastating results), went door to door talking to citizens and getting petitions signed (overwhelmingly citizens didn’t want a Walmart), speaking numerous times before City Council, the EDA, and the Planning Commission to convey what I had found, and putting out signs in our town to express how we felt.  At the time, running for City Council was the farthest thing from my mind.  All I knew was that if we, the citizens, didn’t speak up and do something, the face of Poquoson, the town we love, would forever be changed and I couldn’t sit by and watch that happen.  So, I and many others went to work!

Well, all the hard work done by myself and other citizens of Poquoson, who weren’t willing to sit by and watch a developer put Walmart at the gateway to our community, paid off.  We don’t have a Walmart.  That is no small feat, and shows just how much our citizens care about our town!!  In the months following, I had several people, some in city elected positions, some citizens, and some family and friends, encourage me to run for City Council since Traci-Dale Crawford, the representative in my district, wasn’t running for re-election.  Me, on City Council?  Honestly, I wasn’t sure.  But, after months of thought, and lots of encouragement, I decided YES, I do have something to offer the city I love!

So, now, a year later, I was once again at the Poquoson Seafood Festival buying crafts and there are signs, but they aren’t about Walmart, they are about electing JANA ANDREWS to be your representative on City Council.  The one thing I can guarantee, is that I will work as hard as a City Council representative as I did a year ago as a citizen to stop Walmart.  Whether you agree with my position on Walmart or not, what matters is that when I believe in something, I don’t know any other way than to give 110%.  And, I believe in Poquoson and I believe in our citizens!  I believe we have a special place here and want to make sure that as we grow and change we don’t lose the things that make us what we are:  great schools, a safe community, wonderful city employees, nature and wildlife, and our small town feel.  I want to be an advocate for citizens and what they want for our town just like I did a year ago.

So, I hope that you will trust me with your vote on November 8th and VOTE JANA ANDREWS for Poquoson City Council!  I want to work hard for YOU!!!

 

Are you registered to vote? More importantly, if you are registered, are you voting?

Are you registered to vote in Virginia?  If not, now is the time!!  It’s easy to register on-line or check the status of your voter registration if you are registered by going to VA Voter Registration.  YOU ONLY HAVE 2 DAYS LEFT!  I think it’s very important to exercise your Constitutional rights! Especially women, who weren’t even granted the right to vote until 1920!!  There are many countries in this world whose citizens don’t get to decide who leads their nation and would give almost anything to be in our position.

So, while the two main party presidential candidates we have before us aren’t the cream of the crop (I’ve left off links to their websites since I know you’ve probably heard more than enough about both of them), it’s the exercising of your Constitutional rights that is important, regardless of which side of the aisle you are on, or even if you’re in the middle.  There will be other options besides the main party candidates on the ballot if you are so inclined (McMullin/Finn (although ballot will say Johnson – go to Wikipedia if you want to know why), Johnson/Weld, & Stein/Baraka).

AND there are also other items on the ballot this year in addition to President.  There is the choice for U.S. House of Representatives (Brown vs. Taylor), and of local importance, our City Council election where you can VOTE JANA ANDREWS for City Council.  You will actually get 4 votes for city council this year regardless of which district you live in, one for each district and mayor:  Mayor: Cross vs. Hunt, Central District: Brennan vs Cannella, Eastern District: ANDREWS vs Martin, Western District: Hux vs Pase

AND there are two measures on the ballot this year regarding amendments to the VA Constitution.  See below for the exact question that will be listed on the ballot with a short synopsis of what it means if you vote “yes” or “no”.

Virginia “Right to Work” Amendment

Should Article I of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to prohibit any agreement or combination between and employer and a labor union or labor organization whereby (i) nonmembers of the unions or organization are denied the right to work for the employer, (ii) membership to the union or organization is made a condition of employment or continuation of employment by such employer, or (iii) the union or organization acquires an employment monopoly in any such enterprise?

YES – A vote “for” the measure supports adding a section to the Constitution that would make it illegal for workplaces to require mandatory labor union membership for employees as a condition for employment.

NO – A vote “against” the measure opposes adding this section to the Constitution, while maintaining a similar law in state statutes.

Virginia Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of Police and Service Personnel Amendment

Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow the General Assembly to provide an option to the localities to exempt from taxation the real property of the surviving spouse of any law-enforcement officer, firefighter, search and rescue personnel, or emergency medical services personnel who was killed in the line of duty, where the surviving spouse occupies the real property as his or her principal place of residence and has not remarried?

YES – A vote “for” the measure supports providing a local option property tax exemption for surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty who live on the property as their principal place of residence and have not remarried.

NO – A vote “against” the measure opposes providing this tax exemption.

REGISTER TO VOTE BY OCTOBER 17th & GO TO THE POLLS NOVEMBER 8th

“Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.”

                                                                   George Jean Nathan

City Council Meeting 10-11-16

I attended the City Council meeting last night and thought I’d share the highlights:

  • City Council had a work session on the revamped sign ordinance which is in progress.  They are consolidating the current ordinances so they are all in one place and making some changes.  There are still changes and revisions to be made and still lots of talking to do on this before it’s finalized.  But, it’s a good idea as a citizen in Poquoson (especially if you are interested in what kind of signs will/won’t be allowed on your personal property) to look at this and weigh in on the issue with your current City Council member.
  • The new storm water pipes are being installed on Little Florida between Kathy Drive & Cedar Road beginning October 17th.  The road will be closed from 9am to 4pm Monday – Friday for approximately 4 – 5 weeks. Traffic will be re-routed down Poquoson Avenue and Odd Road.  City Council opted for road closure and re-routing of traffic rather than flaggers and one lane open as the second option posed greater safety risk and extended the length of the project by 3-4 weeks. (being someone who travels that route to and from work, I was glad they choose the detour rather than flagging.)  They will be working closely with the schools on re-routing of buses and other issues with the construction.  See the document in the agenda (link below) for details.
  • Dominion Power made a presentation on their Skiffs Creek project increasing the power capabilities to the peninsula across the James River to handle the needed power once the required closing of the Yorktown coal plant happens in April 2017.  This is a controversial, complicated issue.  But, the bottom line is, with the coal plant closing, the peninsula will need additional power to avoid blackout periods.  The project has many approvals pending, which will now extend it beyond the Yorktown coal plant closing date, creating about 80 days “at risk”.  The longer the project start date is pushed out, the more at risk days there will be.  Dominion stated they are working hard to find alternatives and avoid any blackout periods for the peninsula.  There is a link to their full presentation in the Agenda (see link below).
  • The city is purchasing a new roadside mower to replace current equipment that is 15 – 18 years old.  The cost is $161,686 plus financing.  There is a possibility of purchasing a second tractor if this one is found to work efficiently for the city’s needs.
  • The Community Participation Team is working hard to get citizen input for the revised Comprehensive Plan.  This is your chance to give your thoughts on where you want our city to go.  There will be a community meeting next Tuesday, October 18th, 7pm at the high school.  There are drop boxes throughout the city with postcards and flyers for input (there is one in the City Hall lobby).  You can also submit your input on-line here: Link to provide on-line feedback for Comprehensive Plan

Below is the link to the agenda to see all documents associated with this city council meeting:

City Council Meeting Agenda – 10-11-16

Link to all City Council Meeting Minutes & Agendas

The minutes from the work session on the new sign ordinance won’t be posted on the website until they are approved at the next council meeting on 10-24-16.  So, if you want to watch last night’s work session go here and the meeting to the most recent work session should be posted within the next few days.

Link to broadcast of most recent City Council meeting and Work Session

Poquoson Voting Ballot

EVERYONE in Poquoson gets to cast a vote for a candidate in each district (Central, Eastern Western) and the mayor. So, if you live in Poquoson you will get FOUR VOTES on November 8th. So, no matter which district you live in, you can VOTE JANA ANDREWS November 8th. If you aren’t registered to vote, you have until October 17th to register and vote in the election November 8th.  Go to https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation

Candidate Forums

There will be two candidate forums during the month of October where you will get to meet the candidates running for City Council and submit questions for us to answer.  The first is October 5th from 6:30 – 8:30pm at City Hall.  The second is October 20th from 7:30 – 9:30pm.  You can attend live or watch the broadcast on Cox Cable Channel 46 and FiOS Cable Channel 25.  I hope you will attend so I may have the opportunity to meet you in person!