William “Bill” Moody is a candidate for Portsmouth 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: William “Bill” Moody
Race: Portsmouth City Council
Biography: The following biographical information was provided by William “Bill” Moody:
- Portsmouth native
- Married 52 years to Mary Catterton Moody
- Graduate of Western Branch High School, but attended Churchland High School for three years
- U.S. Air Force veteran
- Graduate of Air Force Loadmaster Tech School
- Graduate of Alpha College of Real Estate
- 28 years with Doughtie’s Foods, a food distribution and manufacturing company formally located in Port Norfolk — Moody started his employment as a truck driver and finished his last 13 years as a vice president of sales and an officer of the company; at the time of its purchase by Sysco in 1999, Doughtie’s was the 48th largest food distributor in the United States
- 10 years with the U.S. Food service in the Virginia Beach Division, the second largest food distributor in the U.S. — Moody served as vice president of national accounts
- Currently employed as sales representative with WB Waste Solutions
- Licensed real estate agent in Virginia
- Licensed insurance agent in Virginia
- Former chair of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Portsmouth Division
- Former board member of what is now the Coastal Virginia Chapter of the American Red Cross
- Former board member of the Southeastern Food Bank
- Elected to Portsmouth City Council in 1998
- Appointed vice mayor from 2004 to 2006 and 2008 to 2010
- Currently council liaison for the Portsmouth Ports and Industrial Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission
Why should residents elect you to City Council?
My value to the residents of Portsmouth in returning me to another term on Portsmouth City council is my institutional knowledge of how an effective city council should function for the benefit of its residents. Unfortunately, our current city council, due to the dysfunctional actions of four members, is causing our residents embarrassment instead of focusing on solutions to our problems.
When elected, I will support putting an end to the dysfunction and begin the process of “Righting Portsmouth’s Ship” and restoring a sense of pride and promise that comes from making our streets safe again, attracting businesses with good-paying jobs, and investing in our schools so that our kids have options for attending college or obtaining good-paying skill trade jobs.
What are the top three priorities you would tackle if elected?
Public safety: In my opinion, the number one priority of our municipal government should be the safety of our residents. Unfortunately, in too many communities our residents do not feel safe. These are some of the measures that I feel would make residents feel safe again:
- Halt the loss of experience police officers, firefighters, and paramedics by approving a competitive compensation plan and a plan for eliminating pay compression
- Return to community policing by assigning neighborhood impact officers to communities experiencing high crime
- Utilize shot-detecting technology, including video cameras in areas experiencing high crime
- Educate the public through public service ads on the dangers of leaving unprotected firearms in vehicles
- Improve street lighting in areas experiencing high crime
Economic development: Over 40% of our city’s properties generate zero tax revenue due to being occupied by federal, state, or local governments. This puts a tremendous tax burden on our residents. To lessen the burden, it is essential that we expand our economic base through the expansion, retention, and attraction of capital investments and jobs.
Portsmouth especially should focus on attracting retail businesses. Our residents have limited choices for purchasing women’s and men’s apparel in Portsmouth. Unfortunately, due to decisions by the controlling majority on city council and cumbersome permitting processes, Portsmouth has developed a reputation as a toxic place for many of those who want to invest in our city. These are some of the ideas that I have to create a more business-friendly environment:
- Market vacant, city-owned properties more aggressively locally and outside the region
- Complete the Crawford Master Utility Plan, which is essential for future development
- Develop a flow chart to assist businesses in navigating through the permitting stage
- New council needs to make decisions on the fates of the many development studies that are in limbo, such as the downtown/waterfront/Crawford Parkway studies
- Revisit a business ambassador program as a networking tool to help sell our city to business prospects and potential entrepreneurs
- Re-establish a business retention position within economic development that could identify expansion opportunities, as well as head off potential losses
- Support the school board with plans to establish a skill-trades school
Education: A quality public education system is essential in reducing poverty, crime, and unemployment. Combined with a skill-trades component, it gives graduates the option of obtaining good-paying jobs upon graduation. I support fully funding Portsmouth Public Schools.
What is the most pressing economic issue facing your community, and how would you address it?
The most pressing economic issue is the realization that 41% of Portsmouth’s property is non-taxable due to the property being occupied by the federal, state, and local governments. That equates to approximately $5 billion in non-taxable property. The solution is to ramp up our economic development efforts.
What are your community biggest infrastructure needs, and how do you plan to fulfill them?
One of our biggest infrastructure needs is replacing aged and inadequate water distribution and wastewater collection and conveyance systems in the downtown area. Replacing aging and outdated systems is essential in order to support redevelopment in the downtown area. Both projects are part of our capital improvement plan with funding coming from the Utility Enterprise Fund and Revenue Bond financing.
In addition, we have 65 sewer pump stations that need rehabilitation. To date, only 17 have been rehabilitated. I would recommend using a portion of our American Rescue Plan Act funds to address the 48 remaining pump stations. The city is currently paying a private company to haul the waste.
How is gun violence impacting your community, and how do you plan to address gun violence?
Gun violence is at historic levels in most of our nation’s urban cities, and Portsmouth is no different. The root causes can be debated, but in speaking with our men and women in blue, drugs and gangs are the cause of the majority of violence. I’ve listed my ideas for dealing with gun violence in my number 1 priority, which is public safety.