N. Baxter Ennis is a candidate for Chesapeake 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 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: N. Baxter Ennis

Race: Chesapeake City Council

Website: Baxter Ennis for Chesapeake City Council

Biography: N. Baxter Ennis has a diverse background in military, academia, publishing, and community involvement. He served 21 years in the U.S. Army retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He directed the public relations effort for the Army’s most media-intensive division, the 82d Airborne Division, deploying on the first aircraft during the First Gulf War — Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He also participated in a combat parachute jump with the division during the Panama Invasion. During these two high-profile deployments, he worked with every major television and radio network, as well as the leading newspaper wire services and major dailies, in the world.

After the military, Ennis led the public relations department for Regent University where he directed the popular annual Clash of the Titans debate and led the very successful Executive Leadership Series monthly luncheons. He later started his own newspaper.

He currently serves on the Chesapeake Hospital Authority. He has served as president of the Chesapeake Rotary Club, the Virginia Beach Forum, and is currently president of the Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast. He also served on the Mayor’s Commission on Veterans Affairs. He is active with his church having served in several leadership positions.

In 2018 Ennis published “When Leadership Mattered: Inspiring Stories of 12 People Who Changed the World.” In his book Ennis writes, “Great leaders can be found anywhere, from the battlefield, to the boardroom, to a basketball court. The leaders in this book refused to bow to the tyranny of the status quo, and with tenacity, boldness and an unshakeable sense of the rightness of their cause, challenged the inevitable.” The book is available on Amazon.com and Kindle.

He and his wife, Glenda, live in Chesapeake. They have three wonderful adult children and four awesome grandchildren.

Why should residents elect you to City Council?

I have spent my adult life dedicated to service. Since retiring from the military and making Chesapeake home, I have served in a variety of leadership positions in Hampton Roads to include: president of the Chesapeake Rotary Club, president of the Virginia Beach Forum, current president of the Hampton Roads Leadership Prayer Breakfast, and I am in my third year as a city council-appointed member of the Chesapeake Hospital Authority where I have held leadership positions and am a current member of the Executive Committee. I have served on the Mayor’s Commission on Veterans Affairs and currently serve on the Chesapeake Forum. I have attended Great Bridge Baptist Church for 25 years and have served in several leadership positions.

What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?

My top priority is to keep Chesapeake a wonderful place to live, work, own a business and raise a family. To do this, it is critical that we keep our city safe! Keeping our streets, neighborhoods, and schools safe is my top priority. We can help do this by strongly supporting our police, sheriff, fire, and all public safety teams. We must ensure that they are well funded and have the necessary facilities, equipment, and training to continue to do an excellent job!  

I will fight to keep taxes as low as possible. I will support lowering the real estate tax rate and will strive to keep service fees and licensing fees as low as possible.

I will be a strong supporter of business. There are currently about 9,000 businesses in the city of which 93% are small businesses. We must do all we can to create an environment that will bring customers. I will also work with the Department of Economic Development in their efforts to attract major businesses into Chesapeake.

What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?

One issue that I hear about most is the need for affordable housing, particularly starter homes. We are losing many people to North Carolina. We must make every effort to encourage more affordable housing to be available in Chesapeake.

What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?

Congested roads is another big issue. We must do a better job in planning and scheduling construction work and also to ensure the synchronization of traffic signals. We must make sure that road and traffic control issues are adequately funded. We need to schedule town hall meetings across the city and listen to the citizens.

How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?

Gun violence is a problem across the nation. There are so many factors that contribute to this issue. Some things we must do are: invest in highly-trained law enforcement officers. They need to be embedded in the community and live, work, and play with young people. We need a very active police presence and influence in our schools to teach and befriend our kids from K-12! 

We must encourage parents/guardians to ensure their kids are not out, especially late at night unsupervised.  We should provide positive, uplifting programs to keep our young people involved, i.e. sports, community, church, or volunteer activities. It will take a concerted effort from parents, schools, police, community, and church to turn the tide of lawlessness that is impacting our cities. Also we need strict enforcement of the gun laws that are on the books. Finally, we need community and school wide efforts that ensure children leave school confident they are equipped for a future full of hope.