Suffolk mayor delivers State of the City address

SUFFOLK, Va. - With the theme "Yes Suffolk," Mayor Linda Johnson delivered her annual State of the City address on Tuesday afternoon.

"I can assure you as Virginia's largest city with 430 square miles of land, one thing we have room for is more," Johnson told the crowd at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. The Hampton Roads Chamber hosted the event.

Johnson announced TowneBank is expanding in the city, and said the first brewery will open downtown.

She also said the city is looking at ways to redevelop a property in the northern part of the city, as well as downtown. "Everyone has some different ideas and the idea is just to really coalesce around what we really want downtown to be," she said. A study is being done now and the city should learn more in the fall, she said.

Education is a focus, Johnson said, noting the school is building two new schools. In the past few months, teachers have been demanding higher raises. Eventually, the city gave the school board more money than originally planned. "Everything is moving in the right direction," she said. "Counsel fully funded the request of the school board."