Mayor Johnson focuses on growth in Suffolk State of the City address


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson said the city of Suffolk continues to grow at her annual State of the City address Tuesday afternoon.

She delivered her state of the city speech at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Waterfront Hotel. The message from the 2019 event is “Grow with us.”

The Mayor says the growth is happening throughout the city from population numbers, to new businesses and in the world of education. Johnson says the city fully funded the requested budget for Suffolk Public Schools. 

“Knowledge is like a garden, if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested, in fact local operating funds for public education have increased more than 10 million dollars in the last six years,” said Johnson. 

The city, she says, working together, to grow and of course, Suffolk shares roots with all of Hampton Roads. 

Bryan Stephens is the CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber and says the region is starting to work together. 

“We get a lot of criticism, that we don’t work together, we don’t collaborate, we are not working to try and drive the economy as a region. I’m telling you that, that’s changing. We are starting to come together and we are starting to create jobs, we recovered from the recession and we have a very very bright future here in Hampton Roads.” 

Johnson noted the group effort for the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel expansion project. The “historic” agreement is a $3.6 billion project. 

“There’s thriving businesses in Suffolk, some people might be surprised but there’s manufacturing, there is agriculture, there is all kinds of small businesses,” Stephens said. 

The Mayor also noted the breakthrough in health care with the expansion and renovation of Sentara BelleHarbour in North Suffolk.

“Quality medical care has brought health care to people in the neighborhoods where they live.”

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