Name: Pamela Phillips
Biography: Pamela Phillips is a project engineer at Ryson International. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is currently a board member on the Parkview Civic League.
1. Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I will work to represent all residents of Portsmouth and bring a positive message to our city. I believe that we need a younger voice on the Portsmouth City Council to be able to provide new ideas and attract a younger population to move in to the city.
2. What is the most pressing issue facing your community, and how would you address that issue?
Economic development: Portsmouth is becoming a Bedroom Community; the people that live in Portsmouth do not work in Portsmouth. I will work to get new and existing companies to invest and employ in Portsmouth. Increasing the tax revenue sources and reduce the tax burden on existing and future population.
Schools: The children that are currently in Portsmouth Public Schools are the future leaders of our city. Portsmouth School Board and Portsmouth City Council currently have a dysfunctional relationship; that negatively impacts students. I will work to rebuild this relationship and fund the schools to an appropriate level.
Tourism: The history, museums, and historic districts in Portsmouth are some of the most underutilized assets in our city. Having lived in Charleston, South Carolina; I understand that people will visit our city if we market these assets correctly. I will find the funding to build tourism for our city without increasing taxes on current residents and businesses.
3. Where do you stand on raising taxes to balance your locality’s budget?
I believe that raising taxes is the last thing that needs to be done. That our city needs to work on attracting additional businesses into our limits and decreasing the tax burden that our residents experience.
4. What’s your plan to reduce crime?
I believe that Police Chief Chapman has been doing a good job in trying to get the community to talk after a tragic event has happened in our city. I will work with the Police and Sheriff Departments to continue and expand this work. We need to engage the residents of the communities before major crimes happen.
5. What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
Portsmouth needs to continue to work on storm water management. We need to have a focus on the flooding that happens in the city. I will work with the City Manager and engineering departments to find effective ways to control storm water so that streets and properties are not negatively impacted.
6. What businesses and industries would you try to attract to your community?
The city needs more small and medium size businesses that will hire residents of Portsmouth and provide a living wage. Portsmouth needs to work on training its population to fill jobs in the information technology and cyber security industries to attract firms that can utilize the fiber optic line that is being landed in Virginia Beach.