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The 434 Newsletter 

Keeping You Informed
Highlighting June 2021

The Rundown

Brief Updates
  • Finalization of & my opposition to the Budget.
  • Calling for Transparency with Lynchburg City School Board Appointments.
  • Protecting Pedlar Reservoir.
  • Council only had one official meeting this month, so there will not be many other updates.
  • One year on Council
  • & more.

Defending the Thin Blue Line

At Linkhorne Middle School, there is a beautiful Thin Blue Line mural in the School Resource Officer's (SRO) office. This painting, and others like it, is representative of the few men and women walking that fine line, all who keep this community falling into chaos. For schools, this mural represents those brave men and women protecting our children, teachers, and staff.

The message I received from these constituents was of the Lynchburg City Schools administration slated this mural, pictured below, for removal. This is wrong. In the day and age we live in, where it is so easy to criticize law enforcement, I am very sensitive to actions like this, and I believe you are too.
So, I inquired as to why. My question was simple: What is the justification or reasoning for removing this mural?

The response from the Administration? A complete nothing burger, totally dodging my question. Here is the only part of the email that barely addressed the concerns of my constituents, "With regard to your question, the Linkhorne Middle School students in collaboration with the school administration, staff, and the SRO who is part of the Linkhorne family are planning, designing, and painting student artwork throughout the entire building." This portion of the email comes after pointing me to a 30 minute SRO presentation at an LCS Board meeting that had nothing to do with my question.

So, I followed up on Tuesday of last week, nearly a full work week ago. Early this morning, after reminding the LCS Administration of my follow-up and request for clarification, I received a "reply," just like the one above, which completely dodged the question. What is so hard about answering questions directly? This request was rejected, TWICE! It could be assumed the administration doesn't want to address our inquiry because they know the community is opposed to this action. By not providing a justification for removing this mural, it only raises further questions and deeper concerns, and communicates a contrary message to "supporting collaborative partnerships with law enforcement."

In the end, on behalf of the residents of Ward IV, and the brave men and women of the Lynchburg Police Department, I asked this mural not be taken down. Lynchburg is a community believing in efforts that #BackTheBlue. This action is contrary to that notion, and LCS should acknowledge this.

To this day, I have yet to receive a substantive reply from LCS.

If you are just as opposed to this action as I am, I encourage you to contact the LCS Board, calling on them to change course: https://bit.ly/3w19w9V

Protecting a critical resource for our City

Many folks don't even know about Pedlar Reservoir and how blessed Lynchburg is to have it. Pedlar provides some of the best drinking water and we must hold to that standard (not to mention it is a pristine fishing location).

I stand by the City doing all we can to protect this unique and critical asset, ready to advocate and support our Water Department in this endeavor.

"The cutting and burning is to take place east of Buena Vista along the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Parkway, west of Oronoco, south of Clark’s Gap and north of the Pedlar Reservoir in Amherst County.

The city is primarily concerned about sedimentation and erosion of steep banks surrounding the reservoir and is asking that a site-specific plan allow the city and its erosion and sedimentation control engineer to review the plan and suggest design features to maximize protection of the reservoir." - Link to the News & Advance Article

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.
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Various Updates

  • At my request, in response to the Colonia Pipeline cyber-attack, Council received a detailed brief on the virtual infrastructure of the City, including our Water and IT Department.
  • Council issued up to $23 million in bonds through the Economic Development Authority for the benefit of Westminister-Canterbury of Lynchburg, Inc.
  • Council appreciated approximately $30,000 by amending the FY 2021 City/Federal/State Aid Fund budget purchase twelve Dell Latitude 5420 Rugged laptops carried on EMS apparatus for the Fire Department.
  • Council authorized Lowes Group, LLC to rezone approximately one and three tenths (1.3) acres located at 2011 Enterprise Drive from I-2, Light Industrial District to B-3C, Community Business District (Conditional) to allow the use of the existing building as a medical office.

One Year Later

It has been one year since I was sworn into City Council.

I'm not going to lie, it has been a great challenge and learning experience; a challenge by nature of the work, engaging the issues of the day, and advocating for a Republican viewpoint; a learning experience by nature of a wide array of issues facing our city, and the diligence needed to be educated and informed on them. Yet, given these possible hindrances, my zeal could not be more fervent.

Looking back on this past year, what I have come to realize is my most cherished aspect of service in Lynchburg is communicating with you, my neighbors. In all of my emails, posts, letters, messages, phone calls, or meetings, my aim is to be as transparent, honest, and candid as I am able. Regardless of your politics, it is my hope you see this as my chief goal - to serve honorably through conviction and principle with unyielding transparency, all while honoring the name of Christ.

All I can say is that it is indeed a great honor to represent this wonderful community, and I am truly humbled to have been given the opportunity. I will continue to serve in a manner that reflects conservative principles, lower taxes, limited government, law & order, and transparent communication.

One year down!

📸: The News & Advance
Follow me on my Facebook and Twitter Page
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Council Finalized the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

I voted against this budget because:

❌ Implements a $4.8 million property tax increase.
❌ Fails to address staff compression.
❌ Fails to properly prioritize Public Safety staffing.
❌ A 5% General Wage Increase is top-heavy and makes addressing compression cost more.
❌ Flat local funding to the School System with an additional $2.4 million in state funding.
❌ It fails to meet the priorities of Council.

As I stated in this video, the voters of Ward IV sent me to City Hall to advocate for lower taxes and less spending. This budget is contrary to that platform.

The budget passed on a vote of 5-2.

Final Comments Opposing the FY 22 Budget

Calling for Transparency in Lynchburg City School Board Appointments

I am proud of the fact I have voted, against the rest of Council, to have the entire Lynchburg City School Board appointment process be open to the public.

I spent an hour with Brian on WLNIMorningline and we discussed a variety of topics, including the rather cloudy and obscure appointment process for School Board members. Outside of the Public Comment period at two Council meetings, you, the voter/resident, have had no other oversight on Council's discussion, our line of questioning, or the replies of candidates. If the candidates decided to present themselves to the public comment period, you had a short 3 minutes to hear from these candidates and why they want to serve. That's it.

Meanwhile, Council has spent hours behind closed doors meeting with candidates, interviewing them, and discussing amongst ourselves who to appoint. But it gets worse - I can't, by law, communicate what my colleagues asked or what the candidates answered with because we were in Closed Session! I believe this is not a transparent government, and as such, I have and will continue to vote against Council engaging in closed meetings during School Board appointments.

This is why I encourage you to sign the petition so the community can answer a simple question: should the Lynchburg City School Board be elected? Even if you oppose the idea, I challenge you to still sign the petition and allow the community to decide. If you are interested in signing the petition, please contact Andrew Glover.

Given all of the challenges school systems around the country are facing, along with polarizing policy discussions, $100m+ tax-payer funded budgets, and more than 7,500 minds being framed by our educators, it is worth asking the question and engaging the voters of Lynchburg.

While I am disappointed the appointment process has continued to be conducted out of direct public oversight, here are the results of Council's appointments:

District 1: Randall Trost, approved 7-0
District 2: Dr. Sharon Carter, approved 5-2 (myself and Jeff Helgeson opposing).
District 3: Dr. Atul Gupta, approved 7-0.

I voted against the appointment of Dr. Carter because she voted against fully re-opening schools after spring break, voted to grant herself and other board members a $10,000+ compensation package, voted to allocate millions of dollars for LCS positions with temporary CARES funds, and failed to answer direct questions on important issues like Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. And, these are issues just within the past year.

Unfortunately, due to the fact this discussion took place in Closed Session, that is all I can share; I wish I could tell you more.

School Board Appointment Process
This video is a portion of an interview with Brian on WLNI that highlights my advocacy for a more open process for appointing school board members.

Here is the link to my whole our with Brian on WLNI.

It's Batteau season!

A little break from politics and government... 

It was a truly beautiful day for the start James River Batteau Festival at Percival's Island! Over the course of the next eight days, crews will travel down the James River, over 120 miles, all the way from here in Lynchburg to Richmond.

One could argue this historic vessel is directly connected to the economic growth of our City and region as they were used to haul tobacco and other products downriver to Richmond and beyond. Lynchburg is full of rich history, and the start of the festival this morning highlights one of the most interesting aspects of our story.

Learn more about the history of the Batteau at: https://vacanals.org/batteau/history/

Community Spotlight

I joined the Lynchburg Police Department in City Hall for the swearing-in of eight new police officers, including my friend and now officer, Officer Skillman. Thank you all for committing to our City and community.

My prayer is for their safety, diligence, abiding humility, and a tender heart. Again, congratulations, and thank you.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9

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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