Paul Battle (I), running for Portsmouth City Council
1. Why are you running for office?
I am running for Portsmouth City Council because I believe that I have the integrity and experience to do the Job. I feel that the City of Portsmouth deserves strong leadership that will represent the mass and improve its image. I am passionate that I will be able to encourage and promote a better quality of life for this city and its citizens.
2. Why should people vote for you?
People should vote for me because I feel that I have a greater variety of experience than my opponents. I was born and raised in the city of Portsmouth and have lived here all my life. I am familiar with the history, the present, and mostly importantly the future and the needs of the citizens of this Great City. I have worked with the Recreation Department, Police Department, Sheriff’s Department, Behavioral Health Care Services, and Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority. During my tenure at the City of Portsmouth I also had the privilege of creating the yearly curriculum for Parks and Recreation. While working in the Sheriff’s Department I was a Deputy. I took part in community policing at the Police Department. Portsmouth Housing and Redevelopment Authority allowed me the experience of writing the first grant for Behavioral Health Care Services. In addition, the Hope 6 Grant, which dealt with the demolition and revitalization of Jeffrey Wilson and Ida Barbour. Correspondingly, I had the opportunity to participate in the development of the Empowerment Zone Grant that provided funding for the infrastructure of Victory Crossing. Furthermore, I have been afforded the experience of being a member and serving the Mount Hermon Association for 15 years, and the President of Cavalier Manor Little League Association 5 years. I support all youth sports by purchasing uniforms and trophies. Nevertheless, I am the proud owner of Tranquility Manor Inc., where I employ 40 to 48 people. I am licensed by the State to provide Residential and Day Support Services to individuals with intellectual disabilities. All in all, I believe that my experiences have equipped me to be able to meet the challenges of becoming a member of City Council.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the area you want to represent?
My favorite thing about the area I represent is its Rich History and Coastal Waterways. Portsmouth is a Historic City. I am proud to say that I have lived through its history from the early 1950s up until the present. It always amazes me to think of how this city has evolved over my life thus far.
4. What is the biggest problem your area is facing, how will you fix it?
The biggest problem that the City of Portsmouth is facing in the present is its deficiencies in education, policing, and economic development. The police department is faced with excessive crime in certain areas. The School Board, has lost or doesn’t have accreditation for many of our schools. In regards to economic development, there is a devastating need of private businesses to come to the City of Portsmouth to increase the tax base and decrease the burden of tax increases on its citizens.
When I become a member of City Council, I will support education and focus on the 20% dropout rate. The problem seems to be most detrimental at the Junior High level. The children are not prepared and equipped for matriculation at the early childhood education level. Therefore, I will fight to improve and develop a plan to add programs to increase the preparedness at the earliest stage of formal education.
Next, policing neighborhoods where crime is excessive is an important issue that I will address. There are pockets of crime in certain neighborhoods. Portsmouth Police Department needs to diversify and initiate community teams that incorporate Gang Intervention and Crisis Mediation. I would also encourage the focus to be on building a stronger bond between the Police Department and the community. It is highly detrimental that we assign officers that understand the needs of the citizens and communities in order to increase rapport and establish trust, thus decreasing the rate of crime in the City of Portsmouth.
Economic development, is also a matter that I will take into great consideration. When discussing economic development, the City of Portsmouth must be open minded and creative to finding new avenues of promoting the city in order to recruit new businesses to come to this city. I am looking forward to changing some policies to give more startup funding as an incentive to spark the interest of business owners locally and out of state.
5. Describe Donald Trump in max 3 words?
Ignorant, Paranoid, Inexperienced.
6. Describe Hillary Clinton in max 3 words?
Only Option Available.
7. What do you do for a living? Why do you do it?
I am the owner of Tranquility Manor Inc., where I employ 40 to 48 people. I am licensed by the State to provide Residential and Day Support Services to individuals with intellectual disabilities. The most important moral of life, to me, is to help others. Through my business I am able to touch so many lives and have a small impact on this community by improving the quality of life for the people I serve and the members of my staff.
8. You’re going to be marooned on a tropical island for a week, you can only bring 1 thing – what is it?
If I were to be marooned on a tropical island for a week, I would be sure to bring my cell phone to be able to communicate with my family.
9. What do you think of Colin Kaepernick?
In regards to Colin Kaepernick, I don’t have an opinion either way because it is his First Amendment Right, “Freedom of Speech”.
10. Would you vote to fund light rail expansion in your area?
I am interested in discussing the topic of light rail expansion in my area. However, before agreeing to fund light rail expansion I need more details in order to weigh the pros and cons, costs, rates, and the impact in which it may have on the citizens of Portsmouth. Additionally, I would like to find out what the citizens of Portsmouth feel about light rail expansion in their city.
11. Will you respect the outcome of the election?
I will always respect the outcome of this election win, lose, or draw. After the election regardless of the outcome I will continue to support, promote, and encourage the City of Portsmouth and my fellow citizens.
12. Favorite TV Show?
My favorite television show is “Ancient Aliens” via History Channel. I enjoy it because it challenges me to think critically and outside of the box.