Susan Vitale is a candidate for Chesapeake 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: Susan Vitale
Race: Chesapeake City Council
Biography: Councilwoman Susan Vitale took office on July 1, 2018. She has more than 30 years of expertise in executive leadership, strategic planning, program management, and organization transformations.
Upon graduation from college, Vitale received her commission in the U.S. Navy and received orders to south Hampton Roads. She served numerous tours of duty as an intelligence officer, both at sea and ashore, while based in Northern and Coastal Virginia. Visiting over 25 countries during her career, Vitale retired after 26 years of Naval service, choosing Chesapeake as her permanent home.
Vitale joined Microsoft Corporation in 2015 and is a managing director for an enterprise services business supporting federal government agencies that include the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Vitale holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master of business administration degree in management from Touro University International. She is the proud mother of a Chesapeake elementary school student.
- Chair, Southside Network Authority for broadband
- Co-chair, Chesapeake Public Schools Computer Science Advisory Board
- Retired captain, Navy
- Lifetime member, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2894
- Lifetime Girl Scout
- Among others, awarded the Defense Superior Service and Global War on Terrorism medals
- Member, Navy Intelligence Professionals
- Member, Cahoon Plantation Community Association
- Member, Republican Party of Chesapeake
- Member, Central Chesapeake Republican Women’s Club
- Member, Hickory United Methodist Church
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
My 26-year career as a Naval intelligence officer — tracking everything from enemy submarines to folks who wanted to harm America — taught me to think critically, and do so quickly. Those experiences, along with my role as a managing director at Microsoft Corporation, inform my sense of executive leadership, strategic planning, and program management. But more than that, public service has taught me to always listen first and avoid assumptions.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
First, it’s about helping everyone grow and prosper, and keeping Chesapeake one of Virginia’s safest places to live.
Second, it’s about looking ahead to bring high-speed internet to every corner of our city. As chair of the Southside Network Authority, I’m doing that.
Third, It’s about creating master plans to better guide growth. As Chesapeake grows, planning can’t be an abstract notion.
It’s also about planning for environmental answers that make sense, giving taxpayers choices that make sense, keeping our fiscal house in order giving back when we can, and helping seniors with tax abatements they deserve and keeping Chesapeake an affordable community.
But most importantly, it’s about ensuring that our children are among Virginia’s best-educated. But how to get these things done? Serve with an open mind and never forget who you work for.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
Uncertain economic times are at our doorsteps, and nobody can predict the future.
That’s why I moved to increase the property tax abatement cap for senior citizens, many of whom have few resources on which to fall back. To some, it may seem like a small thing, but for those who’ve worked hard and played by the rules, it will matter.
Likewise, I fought to create a property tax credit for everyone and supported reducing assessments on personal property. And no, they’re not tax cuts… but they’re exactly the same. Importantly, these kinds of sound approaches will keep our financial house in order.
Because at the end of the day, I know that it’s not my money… it belongs to taxpayers. And being smart and conservative about how we keep Chesapeake safe and sound matters.
What are your community’s biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
It’s a simple equation. Whether you’re a farmer checking on markets, the weather, and how to optimize crop yields, a student trying to study, or a small business owner reaching out to customers — the one thing they all have in common? Access to high-speed internet.
Until I put my talents to work as the chair of the Southside Network Authority, it looked like too many folks in Chesapeake would be on perpetual hold. Instead, I built consensus to bring our regional neighbors together to invest $25 million to build a southside-serving internet ring that will create new opportunities for Chesapeake and the entire region. We are leveraging that ring in Chesapeake to create our city’s fiber-optic backbone that will connect every corner of our community, saving valuable tax dollars, reaching underserved areas, and bringing economic development opportunities — just for a start.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
One death or horrific injury brought about by gun violence is one too many, but decisions about gun control and how to address it are issues that can only be addressed by those who serve us in Richmond or Washington.
Beyond that, those thinking about getting away with crimes dealing with gun violence need to know that in Chesapeake, we believe in swift and sure punishment for those who violate the law.