The 434 Newsletter 

Keeping You Informed
Highlighting May 2021

The Rundown

Brief Updates
  • Finalization of & my opposition to the Budget.
  • We officially hired a new City Manager.
  • General Updates
  • Rejecting the Partisanship of the Majority.
  • Now Accepting School Board Candidates
  • & More

Opposing Every Cent Of The Budget

So much could be said on this budget. I encourage you to listen to my final thoughts on the matter, but here are some takeaways:

  • $4.1 million tax increase on our community
  • No new law enforcement personnel or dispatchers
  • A 5% general wage increase puts the majority of those $3.1 million dollars to folks at the top of the pay scale. 
  • A 5% general wage increase makes addressing compression that much more expensive.
  • The Budget adds a batch of new positions to Lynchburg City Schools using temporary CARES funds with no plan on how to pay for those same positions once these dollars run out.
  • This budget simply does not address Council's top three priorities: Public Safety Staffing, Lynchburg City Schools, and Pay Discrepancies. 
  • The majority of Council refused any efforts of the Republican minority to cut spending or lower taxes.
Ultimately, I disapprove of the budget process as a whole and cannot support the adoption of it.

Lynchburg's New City Manager

After nearly a year-long search, our City has a new executive. 

Wynder Benda joins Lynchburg and comes from the coast, specifically Norfolk. There, he was the Chief Deputy City Manager for some time. I must say, I couldn't be more excited for his appointment. With his educational background (a Master's of Divinity & Theology, as well as a Juris Doctor from Regent University) coupled with his work history, I know he will do his best to help Council make decisions for our community. 

Here is WSET's coverage on Mr. Benda's appointment. I am quoted as saying, "'I was told this is arguably the most important decision I make, as a council member. With that in mind, I humbly submit to you, take Lynchburg and help us make the best decisions we can for the city,' said councilmember, Chris Faraldi."

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. 

Join us, today.

Various Updates

  • Council has begun interviewing candidates for the Lynchburg City School Board in Board Districts I, II, & III. I am looking to ask the following of our candidates:
    • Do you support the implementation of Critical Race Theory into LCS in any way (curriculum, hiring practices, HR policies, etc.)? Do you subscribe to any portion of the 1619 Project, as well as its inclusion into LCS curriculum? Did you/would you have supported a compensation plan for LCS Board Members, including a stipend and family health insurance? How have you been/will you be a fiscally responsible member of the Board? Did you/would you have followed the science and vote to send students back to the classroom, 5 days a week, K-12, for those who wanted it? How will you advocate for traditional women's sports? Do you support mandatory vaccine passports for LCS Staff or students? How will you support a student's right to free speech and religion?
  • Council adopted a resolution for grant funds to provide relief for the Lynchburg Regional Airport. I voted no due to the large amounts of dollars already allocated to the airport in previous rounds of Federal assistance. 
  • Council rezoned portions of Candlers Mountain Road to permit for a storage facility and other permits as it relates to the Kirkely. 
Follow me on my Facebook and Twitter Page
to continue to stay informed.

Rejecting Partisan Politics in Lynchburg

The only Councilmembers playing partisan politics is the current majority on Council.

Before you accuse the Republicans on Council for being "so partisan", take a hard look at yourself. We have moved for debate on lower tax rates (four separate times) and alternative budgetary items to lower spending, yet the majority - a liberal block vote - rejected ALL efforts of the minority, including open debate. But we the conservatives, a mere two votes, are the ones acting in a partisan manner when they control the narrative and direction of Council? Give me a break.

Friends, pay attention. This is your Council. Be informed, and in the future, vote accordingly.

Opposing City Code Changes

Call me nit-picky, but I don't like the message these proposed City Code Amendments seem to send to law enforcement, and the community at large. Why have rules if nobody can enforce them?

In accordance with the wisdom of the General Assembly in Richmond, Council is considering technical amendments per legislation adopted this past Session that involve motor vehicles. Generally speaking, the legislation changed these types of offenses (J-Walking, illegal exhaust systems, playing music too loud, expired registration, and so on) from a primary offense to a secondary, meaning, they cannot be the main reason for pulling you over or stopping you, but can be tacked on if you are detained for other reasons. Council cannot control the legislation or laws enacted by Richmond (even though, I must admit, I am not a fan), but we can control how they are written into City Code.

The proposed language recommends stating the intent of the legislation, that, "no law enforcement shall stop/enforce/etc. for violation of this code section."

Candidly, I didn't like the message it sends to our law enforcement personnel. As you can see by my discussion with our Deputy City Attorney, it would be preferred to reference the State Code, instead of adopting language that seemingly directs our officers to not enforce portions of City Code.

Unfortunately, this ordinance passed by a vote of 6-1. Even though Council could not have altered the penalties and enforcement of the code, we could have crafted language to be more friendly to the men and women actually patrolling our streets. 

Spend, Spend, Spend

This is not good policy.

After rejecting my proposal of putting $3.4 million into a lockbox - thus taking a steady, conservative approach so Council can specifically address compression - the majority moved to spend every cent of it on a 5% general wage increase.

I argued the following points against this policy:

- The majority of these dollars will go to city employees at the highest paygrades, not to the "boots on the ground" folks hit hardest by compression and the ones who need these dollars most.

- A 5% general wage increase delay's addressing the compression problem and makes it more expensive to fix.

- Council does not need a white paper to understand the compression problems facing our workforce, just go out and engage the workforce; get in a Firetruck, Police Car, etc., and see firsthand the staffing issues they are facing.

- How does the majority plan to finance this compression plan in the future, another tax increase? Where will these dollars come from? I will not tolerate a tax increase in the future knowing this is how the majority engaged this issue today.

I summarized these arguments by highlighting a city worker I know who has been serving our community for 25+ years, making ~$45k, has a family, works a second job to make ends meet, and this Council - instead of addressing the compression problem for him specifically - is only sending him another $2,400, while the folks making six figures are receiving more than double that. Is this how Council wishes to reward tenure and service to our employees?

My recommendation to Council, which failed on a 4-3 vote, was to delay allocation of these dollars so we can do right by the City workforce with the dollars at hand. Ultimately, the liberal majority thought otherwise.

Arguing Against A 5% General Wage Increase

Community Spotlight

In honor of #NationalEMSWeek, I broke bread with the fine men and women of the Lynchburg Fire Department to celebrate their humble and heroic service to our City. Thank YOU for all that you do for our community!

Chris in the News

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


Chris Faraldi, M.A.
Ward IV Representative
Lynchburg City Council
Paid for and Authorized by Faraldi for Lynchburg

PO Box 4803, Lynchburg VA 24502 ||

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Faraldi For Lynchburg · PO Box 4803 · Lynchburg, Virginia 24502 · USA

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