Elaine Fekete is a candidate for Virginia Beach City Council. Her name will appear on the ballot on Nov. 8, 2022.
10 On Your Side reached out to all of the candidates running in this race. If you do not see the candidate listed with a profile, we did not receive one.
See who is on your ballot by viewing the candidate lists on the Virginia Department of Elections website.
Name: Elaine Fekete
Race: Virginia Beach City Council
Website: Elaine Fekete City Council
Biography: Growing up on a family farm in rural Southampton County, Elaine Fekete appreciates the agricultural communities so crucial to our region. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. and enjoyed a successful business career in New York City. Fekete made a quality-of-life decision 27 years ago that brought her to Sandbridge where she married her husband, Mark, in 1998.
Fekete is a realtor with Sandbridge Sales and loves sharing the unique area with people new to the beach. Fekete and her husband raised two children, 16 and 18 years old, who attend Virginia Beach City Public Schools. She enjoyed being a parent volunteer during their children’s younger years. The family still enjoys living and working in Sandbridge today.
Fekete is a staunch supporter of public safety and a Sandbridge Volunteer Rescue Squad Booster. She will always look out for the protection and appreciation of our local first responders.
Fekete was elected vice president of the Board of Trustees of the Sandbridge Beach Civic League, where she currently serves a membership of over 2,000 members. She also serves as the civic league’s liaison to City Council, where she advocates for numerous issues important to the local community. Under this role, she has served as a member of the infrastructure committee and assisted with projects such as sand replenishment, road projects, and Nimmo Parkway.
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I have lived in District 2 for 27 years. I serve as vice president of the Sandbridge Beach Civic League with 2,000 members. I have been involved with local government for years as an advocate for community concerns like flooding, infrastructure, taxes, schools, and Sandbridge short-term rentals.
I have experience working with many city departments, including planning, zoning, and public works; I will be ready on day one to serve all residents. I have professional business experience in high-level negotiations, collaborations, and prioritizing multi-departmental responsibilities such as budgeting, planning, marketing, and operations with half-billion-dollar budgets, so I am prepared to tackle the city of Virginia Beach budget.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
- To provide immediate tax relief to the citizens by suspending the meal tax, the third highest in the country, and refunding 50% of the 2022 tax surplus back to the taxpayers.
- To continue to fight for the flooding solutions that were not included in the flood referendum in the southern watershed in areas such as Indian River Road, Sandbridge Road, and the Pungo area. I will ensure that taking care of the backlog of deferred ditch and drain maintenance remains a priority.
- I will be a true representative of the citizens, seek their input, and be their voice on City Council. I will be the voice of the people and will bring back transparency and accountability to the citizens.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
The city’s most critical issue is the increasing cost of living and the effect on the citizens’ quality of life. Residential real estate assessments rose 11.29% this year, and council voted to raise taxes by 8.66%. This affects every citizen, whether you own or rent your home. Although our economy is facing the worst inflation in decades, the state is working to refund surplus taxes, and the city is projecting excess revenue; City Council voted to raise taxes. This is why I support refunding 50% of the 2022 tax surplus back to the citizens. In addition, suspending the meal tax would help our local small businesses bring in more customers and promote spending in our local economy.
What are your community’s most significant infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
The most significant infrastructure need is addressing the flooding caused by wind-driven tides in the southern watershed, which has not been addressed. Many roads are impassable in Pungo and Sandbridge, which makes District 2 flooding concerns different than other parts of the city. For example, roads can be flooded in this area due to winds and tides, whereas the rest of the city does not have an issue.
It is important to note that the flooding was made worse in the World War II era due to the dunes that were hastily built by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps to assist with wartime coastal patrol efforts. This factor needs to be considered in future solutions. The hazardous conditions on Sandbridge Road need to be addressed as a public safety priority. Extending Nimmo Parkway is necessary to provide safe travel for residents, visitors, emergency crews, and first responders.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Precinct 1, located within District 2, has enjoyed the lowest amount of gun violence in the city. I support making the hiring, training, and retention of the Virginia Beach Police Department a priority to help reduce gun violence city-wide. I also support assistive technology such as ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system that reduces response times and has already been proven effective in parts of the city.