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The 434 Newsletter 

Keeping You Informed
Highlighting August 2021


From Chris Faraldi 
Ward IV Representative, Lynchburg City Council

The Rundown

Brief Updates
  • National Night Out
  • Protecting Our Processes And Defending Neighborhoods
  • Pushing Back on Masking Children
  • Supporting LPD In Re-Accreditation
  • Questioning Flat Transportation Funding for Bus Drivers in LCS
  • $33+ million in Federal Stimulus 
  • & More!

National Night Out

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

For me, I had had two stops with neighborhood groups in Lynchburg - Fort Hill and Richland Hills. The Fort Hill Neighborhood Watch was the first such group in our City, and the Richland Hills Neighborhood Association is a budding organization in the heart of town. Across the city, officials in a variety of capacities went into our community to help build relationships with the Lynchburg Police Department and reject crime. As I spent time with our neighbors, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am to represent this City, and the wonderful people that make Lynchburg the great city that it is.

Thank you to all who made this event such a success, and I will see you next year!

Protecting Our Processes and Defending Neighborhoods

Zoning requests or changes make up a great deal of time for City Council, staff, and our Planning Commission. It is so important to ensure all of these requests that will impact your neighborhood are done properly.

Unfortunately, Council yet again demonstrated their 1) desire to rubber-stamp staff recommendations, 2) remove the feel neighborhoods bring more apartments to the Timberlake area, and 3) simply forget (seemingly intentionally) the proper oversight of the Planning Commission. In this debate, you will see Council approved this re-zoning without knowing what a developer would do or how the new structure would look. Further, the Planning Commission approved this by a vote of 3-1 (half of the Commission was not at the meeting).

While I was not entirely opposed to this proposal, as a matter of fact, I was inclined to support it for multiple reasons, yet I could not support it at the time of our meeting due to the fact Council did not know what the development would look like (no plans were provided) and only 1/2 of the Planning Commission was present for the discussion prior to Council. So, instead of doing this right by the neighbors and our processes, the winning thought was to approve it anyway, even without plans for the development.

All in all, Council's processes with the Planning Commission and staff overview aim to protect neighborhoods - or at least they should strive to. In this case, I was in favor of delaying until more information could be provided. The final vote, approving the proposal, was 5-2 (Helgeson and myself opposing). 

You can read about this debate in an article with the News & Advance.

Watch highlights of our debate.

How Can I Get Involved?

Will you sign-up to automatically contribute just $5 a month to assist with promoting and advancing the conservative platform (continuing this newsletter, digital marketing for issues before Council etc.) within the City? A commitment of $5 a month over the course of a four-year term comes out to over $250, putting the conservative platform in a strong position to be successful. 

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Pushing Back On Masking Children

While wearing a mask may make some feel better about returning to school, here is a portion of my email to the Lynchburg City School Board regarding masks mandates:

I believe parents and individual staff members should maintain their own authority for making decisions they see as best for themselves or their children. With the rate of vaccination, coupled with the low risk associated with children and this virus, as well as the likelihood of natural protection, I am persuaded LCS should enable staff and parents to make their own decisions regarding Masks and provide normal LCS programs, activities, and educational environments.

If you'd like to share your thoughts as the Board considers a policy on this matter, email them here: https://www.lynchburgva.gov/school-board
The Lynchburg City School Board wrongly voted for a mask mandate. I called them out for it on WIQO.
 
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ARPA Funding Priorities for Lynchburg

The City is slated to receive $33+ million in federal relief and I have some priorities for those dollars in our City:
 

  • Sewer connections into Richland Hills and other non sewered areas
  • Potential Hazard Pay/Bonuses for Public Safety/Law Enforcement
  • Economic Development Programs/Policies
  • Offsetting Budgetary Improvements
  • Security Improvements for Parks and other Public Areas
As Council begins to carve up these monies, I will be sure to keep you posted on where they all go.
Listen to a portion of my discussion with Brian on WLNI.

Supporting LPD In Re-Accreditation 

Here is my testimony for the Lynchburg Police Department, supporting its re-accreditation. This is a critical process that assists the city in demonstrating the high standards of police work in our City as well as financial assistance through grants and by other avenues. 

To summarize, Lynchburg has the best of the best. It is an honor to continue being an advocate for our men and women in Blue.

Take a listen to my public testimony! 

Questioning Flat Transportation Funding for Bus Drivers in LCS

I have been calling attention to this need for months, and now due to a lack of prioritization, students and parents are dealing with the consequences.

Back in March, I questioned why the proposed transportation budget for Lynchburg City Schools was relatively flat compared to other areas of their budget and the needs of the community. The response - we know it's an issue, we just don't have enough money (when their budget has increased exponentially). What do you think of their reply?

Notice how the "why" question is never answered directly. For me, I take it simply as a lack of allocating enough to address the problem. Contrary to their reply, I'd argue this is a "Lynchburg City Schools thing" because we are failing. Meanwhile, state contributions increased $2.5 million and the administrative budget increased by $1.6 million.

Again, I emphasized this issue just over a month ago (https://bit.ly/3lYQsH6) citing the lack of investment in this area as one reason why I voted against the proposed budget. Yet, today we are all seeing how this transportation debacle is hindering education. Changing times around or adding a few 8-hour shifts are not bold enough policy choices to end this problem; competitive pay and additional positions will.

Lynchburg should be setting the standard and solving issues, not contributing to them.

You can view the LCS Transporation Budget here, here on page 9: https://bit.ly/37F5itY and where the Transportation Issue wasn't a part of the "Projected Needs for Consideration" document: https://bit.ly/37Dz4iM.

Faraldi highlighting flat LCS transportation funding in March of 2021

Community Spotlight

The Lynchburg GOP Headquarters opened last week with Glenn Youngkin making a campaign stop to celebrate. It was an energetic event and folks are clearly ready to support him. Stop by the HQ in Candlers Station to pick up a yard sign or volunteer for this upcoming election.

I spoke with Andre Whitehead on Youngkin's stop in Lynchburg and told him why he is my clear choice for Governor.

Chris in the News

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you on Lynchburg City Council as the representative from Ward IV.

Best,



Chris Faraldi, M.A.
Ward IV Representative
Lynchburg City Council
www.ChrisFaraldi.com
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PO Box 4803, Lynchburg VA 24502 || Hello@ChrisFaraldi.com

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