This evening was the annual meeting for Virginia Beach's Community Legislative Package, held at the convention center. 8 City Council members were there: Will Sessoms, Jim Wood, John Uhrin, Barbara Henley, Harry Diezel, Rosemary Wilson, Bill DeSteph, and Rita Sweet Bellitto. From the General Assembly: Ron "Landslide" Villanueva, Jeff McWaters, Harry Blevins, Barry Knight, Chris Stolle, Frank Wagner, Ralph Northam, Yvonne Miller, and a Legislative Aide of Sal Iaquinto's. A number of City Staff were present. Some School Board members were there.
What wasn't present were many members of the general public. I told a few coming in I was concerned about how many the 2nd District Congressional Debate was going to draw off. We got less than 20% of what the City had prepared for. However, the smaller group meant more substance, not to mention plenty of brownies and cookies for those who did show up.
Military Affairs centered on JFCOM. Frank Wagner stated the Department of Defense would need a change in Federal law to abolish JFCOM. Also, the Navy has stated that not only will no new commands be recommended for Hampton Roads until we tackle our transportation problems, but they'll probably start drawing down current forces if we don't.
Speaking of Transportation, the bad news is that there is no new news. Wagner spoke of potential revenue from ABC privatization and tolls on I-95 at the North Carolina border, but that's it. No one in the delegation anticipates new fees or taxes for transportation.
Virginia Beach Vision presented it's five priority issues: intergovernmental relations, military affairs, local government investment, transportation, and government moving from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution pensions.