H. Cliff Page Jr. (I), running for Portsmouth Mayor
1. Why are you running for office?
Portsmouth is a dying fishbowl… There are those that say that we can manage ourselves out of this dilemma. We cannot. Stirring the cloudy waters will not bring back life, nor will it create governmental transparency. It will only prolong the decay. We need to have a long term strategic plan that brings in continuous outside capital and human resources to our City, to grow our economy and replenish our dwindling population with greater affluence. That influx will reduce our tax burden grow our small businesses, increase the value of our personal properties and pay for our government and schools. I am the only candidate for Mayor who has taken the time to develop such a comprehensive plan. The only solution to a dying fishbowl is to throw the rascals out and replace them and to provide fresh clean and transparent water and keep it that way! I mean to do that! I want to see that neither Kenny Wright nor John Rowe become Mayor. Tyrants, demagogues and criminality have no place in public leadership.
2. Why should people vote for you?
I have a thirty five year track record of civic engagement and public leadership in Portsmouth in which I have always stood up for historic preservation and our city’s urban character, small businesses, long term urban planning and the strategic development of tourism, public safety and law and order, the promotion of the arts and culture, public integrity, fair play and good governance. Personally and in public capacities, I have always looked out for the underdog and the common man. I have repeatedly spoken out publicly and forthrightly against illegality, forewarned against impropriety and foolish directions our leaders were taking us, and provided visionary models and plans for progress to the City to carry us forward and be leaders in our Commonwealth. I have encouraged proactive rather than reactive solutions to problems and provided practical solutions to public leaders and governmental staff. I have held leadership roles and will bring about serious change for the betterment of all our people and the prosperity of our City. I intend to see that our public officials and elected officers are made accountable for their actions and in-actions, as servants of the people and that governance is transparent and properly managed. My campaign motto is “Vision – Integrity – Change”. This is not just a slogan… It is what I stand for.
3. What’s your favorite thing about the area you want to represent?
Portsmouth is not a place of urban sprawl, like other regional cities. It is a constrained geography and that makes us think conservatively, in terms of maximizing our resources, assets, capabilities and to be efficient, creative and bold. Some might look at this as constraining. I look at it positively. We must be self-sufficient and creative to survive. But for too long we have subsisted on talking poor mouth, and placing blame on others, exhibiting a culture constrained by an oligopoly of welfairism and Federal paternalism, in which local government has shown little vision. We have great assets and possibilities and our people have great energy and skills. If we are willing to throw off the shackles that constrain our potential, we can once again become the gateway to Hampton Roads and the most vital city in the region… for we are at the heart of this great regional metropolis. Energy is only a potential until it is properly and effectively engaged… then it becomes power. Portsmouth has been asleep at the switch too long. We need to turn on the light bulb! We must take our light from under the basket and shine!
4. What is the biggest problem your area is facing, how will you fix it?
Tolls, population loss, higher taxes, loss of small businesses and a false flag of racism and poor Mayoral leadership all encourage the people from every corner of the City to say “Those clowns gotta go! Yet, I am very concerned that the people in their narrowly focused zeal and passion will be throwing out one embarrassment and pariah and letting in criminality and nearsighted arrogance disguised in a sheep’s skin. If the people elect me as Mayor, I intend to bring vision and integrity to the bench. I will focus on short and long term goals, with strategies and tactics to reverse the tide of our revenue and human capital losses, and reduce our tax burden, promote tourism and small businesses and press for a transportation system that will gradually, over time, better unite the urban interests of Norfolk and Portsmouth, our community colleges and universities, and the region, stimulate our economy and promote tourism – to turn Portsmouth into the rich Gateway to Hampton Roads, once again. The days of Portsmouth being considered an afterthought or the outhouse of the region will be over… Our City will speak from the head and the heart, not the tail.
5. Describe Donald Trump in max 3 words?
Republican Party’s Demise
6. Describe Hillary Clinton in max 3 words?
Criminality and Hubris
7. What do you do for a living? Why do you do it?
I am a sculptor. I must be a masochist – a man who cannot live without a challenge. Sisyphus must have been a sculptor
8. You’re going to be marooned on a tropical island for a week, you can only bring 1 thing – what is it?
A sailboat to escape.
9. What do you think of Colin Kaepernick?
Weak knees can bring down any athlete.
10. Would you vote to fund light rail expansion in your area?
Portsmouth has no direct need for light rail in our city at the moment. But, with a high speed train and terminal in our downtown, a driver-less shuttle through the Midtown Tunnel to Norfolk and a light rail from Sentara-EVMS to NOB – light rail to the Great Bridge and Virginia Beach TCC Campuses, departing from our terminal, would be of great academic, transportation and regional economic importance. But it is a matter of regional and state funding that should address its development. What Portsmouth needs is for Norfolk, the region and the State to develop the light rail from Sentara-EVMS to NOB which will allow our working folks to get to their jobs in Norfolk; Ghent and downtown Norfolk folks to get to our Portsmouth downtown businesses; and to connect ODU, NSU and TCC campuses in Norfolk and Portsmouth. This will relieve traffic congestion on Hampton Blvd and in Portsmouth also. This should be a high state and regional priority. This is a light rail that will be heavily used and better pay for itself and serves a real and vital transportation purpose.
11. Will you respect the outcome of the election?
12. Favorite TV Show?