Candidates push for making Gloucester more business-friendly

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Oct 16, 2013 - 12:50 PM

Nearly 50 people attended a forum Sunday afternoon, hoping to hear firsthand the platforms of the candidates running for the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors in the Nov. 5 general election. The forum was organized by the Middle Peninsula League of Voters and was held at the Gloucester Main Library’s community room.

An overarching theme, heard time and time again from each candidate, was to help the county become more business-friendly and therefore reduce the tax burden on property owners.

York district independent candidate Phillip Bazzani started the forum, saying he successfully manages an $8 billion submarine program, and adding that the county needs to focus more on its needs rather than its wants. "I’m not a large landowner here," Bazzani said. "I’m just one person with one piece of property that is getting more and more expensive to live on."

Another candidate for the York district seat, independent Graham Blake touted his former experience serving on the school board and the board of supervisors. "It reflects my experience and involvement in the county," Blake said. He added that he loves the people of Gloucester and said that while a fresh perspective is always valuable, he has the experience under his belt that will best serve the county in the coming years.

Blake said he hopes to grow the economic base of the county and help to foster better cooperation between the school board and the board of supervisors.

Petsworth district independent candidate Michael Jenkins said his major goals, if elected, will include promoting local businesses and welcoming new economic growth into the community, while respecting proper management and proper growth. He said he has a no-nonsense approach to fiscal management and plans to govern in a proactive, professional manner.