Danville City Council Candidate Lee Vogler on the Issues

by on August 23rd, 2010
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The elected terms of five Danville City Council members will end next year and at least one candidate has announced his intention to challenge them for an at-large seat on the council. WSLS reported Lee Vogler filed a statement of organization with the voter registrar on Monday.

Vogler, 24, is a 2010 political science graduate of the Wilder School of Government at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is currently the field director for Del. Charles Poindexter’s campaign and a life-long resident of Danville.

Here is a look at the issues he intends to address:

Jobs: Vogler told Yahoo! News during a telephone interview on Wednesday that he will focus on bringing new jobs to the Danville area and “diversifying the types of jobs we have here already.” He said new tax incentives and regional partnerships with Pittsylvania County would add new opportunities for those seeking employment.

“Our unemployment rate is twice the rate in Virginia,” Vogler said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Danville’s unemployment rate in September was 11.8 percent, slightly above the national average. The commonwealth’s unemployment rate for the same period was 6.4 percent and 8 percent in Pittsylvania County.

Budget: City spending has risen despite a decline in population, Vogler said. “In the last decade, our population has declined 11 percent, but city spending has increased 63 percent. That’s not sustainable.”

Vogler said one example to save money is to turn the lights off on abandoned city streets. “We have street lights on streets that no one uses. It’s wasteful spending.”

Accessibility: The city council really needs a voice of the people, he said. Vogler told WSLS that he wants to be “the most accessible city council member Danville has ever had.”

In a WMVB Star News interview, Vogler said that communication is important between elected leaders and residents. “I want to tear down the wall between the public and the city,” he said.

He advocates more town hall meetings and “listening” sessions between citizens and city hall officials. “There are a lot of good ideas out there, but officials need to listen to what people are saying.”

Dan McGinnis is a freelance writer, published author and former newspaper publisher. He has been a candidate, campaign manager and press secretary for state and local political campaigns for more than 30 years.

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