Norfolk City Council Ward 1: Candidates spotlight

·3 min read

Martin Thomas, Jr.

Age: 42

Occupation: Attorney

Previous office held: Incumbent, Norfolk City Council

Education: Virginia Tech, bachelor of arts in public and urban affairs, 2002; University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, juris doctor, 2006

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve on Norfolk City Council?

I joined the Wards Corner Civic League in 2005 and served as Vice President for 10 years. I also served 6 years on the Planning Commission. In Wards Corner we cleaned up the drug and crime-ridden “Texas Streets” which resulted in significant redevelopment. As a Councilman I have successfully championed increases in pay for public safety employees, started a text message notification system for trains at the Hampton Blvd crossing, brought in MetroNet, an Internet competitor to Cox, completed an urban area study of Wards Corner and continually funded the Willoughby conservation fund. We are in the process of significantly investing in Northside Park, implementing a Glenwood Park Hampton Blvd Safety Plan, and we are building a new Norfolk Fitness and Wellness Center with Ward 1′s first library. I want to continue the above projects and work on new ones to make life better for every Ward 1 resident.

If elected, what would be your top priority and how would you get it done?

Public safety. Post-pandemic we have seen an increase in crime nationwide and here in Norfolk. We must have a world-class police force. We need to pay our public safety officers well and create a culture and environment where they can thrive, be respected, and serve the public. We have that opportunity beginning with a new police chief likely being hired this fall.

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Pádraig-Eóin “Patrick” Dalrymple

Age: 34

Occupation: Uber and Lyft driver, dog walker

Previous office held: None

Education: None.

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to serve on Norfolk City Council?

To effectively implement positive change, one must understand what the people are suffering from on a personal level. My unique background and education have allowed me to become very good at being a “Solutionist.” However, just because you can not see the solution does not mean one is not there.

I understand that the use of science and technology can increase the viability of this city, lower our taxes, protect our business and increase our quality of life. My experience and ability to think differently will ensure a future without displacing our beloved residents and businesses.

We can “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.”

If elected, what would be your top priority, and how would you get it done?

My top priority is to work alongside city and civic leaders to increase the quality of life and trust between the communities and the Norfolk Police Department, all the while being a conduit for the people’s voices of my ward. I would also be transparent to my constituents and put their needs first, as I am aware of their mistrust and anger with the city.

I will advocate that the Citizens Review Board gets voted through and will strengthen our Police Assisted Community Enforcement Program. We can re-instill the love for “Protect and Serve” in our neighborhoods. The next generation of Norfolk police officers will come from our communities and they will “be the change.”

Now you can see how Norfolk having over 200 vacant police officer positions is an opportunity to rebuild the department everyone deserves and needs. Not only do my constituents and families win, but so do the businesses.