CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — The mayor of Chesapeake delivered his annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon.
This is Rick West’s second State of the City address. He offically took over as mayor after winning a special election in May 2018 over Jo Anne Gallant.
West succeeded former Mayor Alan Krasnoff, who decided in 2017 to run for clerk of Chesapeake Circuit Court — a position he ultimately won. West took over as interim mayor before the special election.
Mayor West says Chesapeake has a great opportunity to grow. He says the city acknowledges and honors its past, but is excited about its future.
In the last decade, Chesapeake has seen a total capital investment of $1.9 billion and added almost 13,000 new jobs.
“We have so many opportunities that are just on the cusp of exploding,” West said. “We have lots of land, a well-run city, and we have, most importantly citizens and people in this city that are just awesome.”
At today’s state of the city address, Chris Williams, with Dollar Tree, spoke about their new corporate location at Summit Pointe.
West says this development is something never before seen in Chesapeake and it has the potential to change the city and create more of a downtown feel.
He said, “I think it absolutely is indicative of where Chesapeake is going and it’s a fabulous project. I think the whole concept of mixed-use is probably going to show itself throughout our city.”
The Mayor also talked about the importance of working together as a region. He says Chesapeake can be competitive only if it is cooperative.
“We had a record number of mayors in Hampton Roads at this event and I think its because we all realize we can only be better if we work together and you know that doesn’t mean that any city has to give up their identity, doesn’t have to do things that are not in the best interest of their residents,” said West.
He says economic development and transportation need a regional approach.
Mayor West wants to see Chesapeake’s success — and the success of the region — continue to rise.
He also said later this year, the city will work to create a comprehensive plan that dates to 2050.