Matthias Paul Telkamp is a candidate for Virginia Beach City Council. His 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 a 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: Matthias Paul Telkamp
Race: Virginia Beach City Council
Biography: I graduated from Pampa High School in 1994 and went into the workforce. After six years, I took some vocational training and got into IT. I have been in IT for the past 20 years and now run my own IT consulting company. I am a single father of three daughters that I have been raising alone for the last decade. They go to three different high schools (Tallwood, Kempsville, and Landstown) in Virginia Beach.
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
I’m a single dad of three high school aged daughters attending Virginia Beach City Public Schools. So I figured, what could possibly be the next hardest thing in life I could do? So, I’m running for city council as a small business owner committed to ensuring citizens have a seat at the table instead of waiting to see what city council takes off the table.
The last few years have been very tough and divisive, and Virginia Beach families and businesses have lost a lot. I understand that feeling more than I wish I did. That’s why I’m such an advocate for mental health and social services. Watching the mother of my daughters undergo emergency after emergency before we lost her was unbearable. But we learned how to fight for what’s left and rebuild. That’s what I want to do on city council.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
Helping build a city ready for the future my daughters and their friends deserve. Our schools need an advocate not an agitator that will fight for what schools need; not what politics says they can have. Our business associations need dialogue with economic development and for our Commissioner of the Revenue and Treasurers Office to streamline services. The priority is to do the job so our children can grow up and have one here.
I will also work with social services, behavioral health, and our psychiatric treatment centers. In the same manner that taxes do not discriminate and are required of every resident, we need to turn some of our attention to the coming mental health pandemic and prioritize some resources and support with the understanding that this is their city as well.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
COVID-19 and this economy have pushed local businesses to the brink, especially small and minority businesses. I will foster regular organized scheduled communication between our city’s business associations and economic development. Coordinate with our city treasurer and commissioner of the revenue to provide educational workshops and guidance to our business community regarding compliance, changes in tax laws, and streamline services. Partner with Virginia’s Minority Business Commission, secretary of commerce, and Virginia Beach Minority Business Council to establish a SWaM business center here in Virginia Beach that is central, accessible, and can accommodate the growing minority business community.
What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
I remember living in the Windsor Woods area when Hurricane Matthew came through. Walking out the front door and into standing water was just inches from my home, I looked down Old Post Road to see my neighbors’ homes all flooded. As the water receded, I remember the morning that all those VB Works dump trucks and trash pickup vehicles lined Old Forge Road. It was heartbreaking as I saw everyone dealing with the devastation. That was the result of mismanagement by our city council then. There are a lot of the same faces on the council, and it is time that we change that. You fix it by acknowledging that city council has not demonstrated any real interest in fixing it. I will demonstrate the same collaborative and supportive spirit to addressing flooding, that our current council gives to their donors with the golden keys. The problem is they are distracted and deliberately so.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Gun violence is a regional challenge. We do not have any structural agenda to engage with the neighborhoods plagued by shootings. This also includes talking to and listening to not only our teachers, but our students as well, as school shootings become a norm. We will find our answers when we listen to them. Solving this from political pedestals is a problem in itself. The policy must be developed by the people affected.