Virginia Beach City Council District 9: Candidates spotlight

·6 min read

T.J. Morgan

Age: 56

Occupation: Chiropractor

Education: Kempsville High School, 1984, advanced diploma; University of Richmond, 1989, Bachelor’s in health science, Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and Eta Sigma Gamma; Life University, 1993, doctorate in chiropractic, president of class

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

I have been the president of a very diverse Chesapeake Beach “Chic’s Beach” Civic League for 10 years. I have overseen many issues that required working with City Council and state officials on development, infrastructure, sand replenishment and sea level rise. I have run my business for nearly 30 years and understand the needs of the small business community. My constituents will say I am a results-oriented guy as well as a problem solver. I diagnose the problem, investigate the cause and effect, and come up with solutions. That is my strength. That and bringing people together for the common good. I am a consensus builder. Additionally, I have coached high school football for 25 years and been the Area Coordinator for Great Neck Athletic Association. I have excelled in leadership positions my entire life and I am confident I will do the same for District 9.

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

My main priority will be smart economic development. By results-oriented focus on creating jobs and raising wages. I would like to target small businesses. They are the engine of our economy. They are the job creators. I would start by lowering the tax burden on small businesses. By lowering their taxes, it frees up discretionary funds to reinvest in their businesses. That equates into more employees with good paying jobs. This in turn has a multiplying effect through our economy. As one example to relieve small business tax burdens we could phase out the Business, Professional and Occupational License Tax over time. For more than a hundred years, the (BPOL) tax has been a bane for all Virginia businesses. The tax is imposed on a company’s gross receipts in a locality, without any adjustment for the business’s income or the deductible expenses incurred by the business.


John Moss

Age: 68

Occupation: Virginia Beach City Council member and DOD retired civilian (41 years)

Previous office held, if any: Kempsville Borough City Council Member 1986 – 1990; At-large City Council Member 1992 – 1995 and 2011 to present

Education: Naval War College (senior officer class) Master of Science 2000; Federal Fellows Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University 1998; Old Dominion University Master of Public Administration 1978; Virginia Tech Bachelor of Arts 1976, and Princess Anne High School 1972.

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

I have the experience of acting on behalf of the voices of neighborhoods, over special interest groups, to preserve the quality of life and affordability of our city. I have the experience of growing up in Virginia Beach, going to public schools here, raising my family here, having my kids graduate from our public schools, being married to a city public school teacher for 41 years, caring for elderly parents now passed, and being active in Boy Scouts for 35 years. I bring these experiences joined with residents’ inputs to see issues through the eyes and in the shoes of my fellow residents I serve. I retired with 41 years as a Navy senior resource and warfare analyst, the last 20 years with Commander Submarine Forces ($22B budget). My experience is constrained and driven by my oath of office, my fiduciary duties, and my loyalty to the principles of public service.

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

My top priority is keeping the city’s response to the existential threat of flooding on track to achieve the goal of high and dry citywide by 2045 from rainfall events and 1.5 feet of sea level rise. Delivering the Stormwater Bond Referendum projects on schedule is key. You only have to see the devastation that communities have experienced from flooding, and the decades it takes to recover, to realize why aggressively addressing this existential threat is priority one. Eliminating by end FY 2032 the backlog in maintenance of our legacy drainage infrastructure is an integral part of this priority, along with the continued use of surplus city funds, and federal and state grants to accelerate our progress. All that we invest in is of little consequence if flooding we could have mitigated wash our quality of life away. The challenge is to outpace nature in the completion of this priority.


Joash Schulman

Age: 43

Occupation: Attorney and managing partner of Town Center Office Suites

Previous office held, if any: Virginia Beach Wetlands Board, currently chair, vice chair from 2018-2020, board member 2017 to present; Virginia Beach 2040 – Vision to Action Community Coalition, vice chair 2019– 2022, (resigned upon filing for candidacy for City Council) committee member 2017-2022

Education: Michigan State University College of Law, Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, 2005; Michigan State University – James Madison College, Bachelor of Artsin international relations, 2002

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

I care deeply about the future of our city, and I am ready to lead. I plan to bring a voice of collaboration to our City Council. I want to help create opportunities for our children to thrive and remain here, instead of leaving for other cities. I’ve volunteered in city-wide and regional initiatives for 12 years and I’ve developed great relationships with our city’s elected and regional civic leaders. I’m a leader in our business community and serve as vice president of VB Vision, board secretary of the Central Business District Association, and a member of the regional board of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. I volunteer in our schools and helped establish a scholarship program for Princess Anne High School seniors who desire to remain in Virginia Beach and make a difference after graduation. I’m a steward of our environment who understands the importance of sustainable growth.

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

Our most important issue is how we can continue to grow as a city while being mindful of the challenges presented by sea level rise, recurrent flooding and while also respecting the integrity and character of our many unique neighborhoods. We’ve experienced relatively stagnant population growth over the years, and we are trending older. To grow our economy, we must invest in and promote our city as a vibrant place to live, work and play. We can do so through public art and cultural investments, neighborhood revitalization, and by leveraging our quality-of-life attributes with the intention of creating public spaces that promote peoples’ health, happiness, and sense of well-being. We should grow sustainably by renewing our commitment to our Strategic Growth Areas Plan, which is predicated upon the concept of creating density in places that have the infrastructure to support growth, instead of sprawling into environmentally sensitive and flood-prone areas.