Leading During a Pandemic: A Candid Conversation with Mayor Donnie Tuck

Which issues are important to you?

The Honorable Donnie Tuck, Mayor of the City of Hampton.

I have been a member of the Hampton City Council since 2010. I was re-elected as a Council member in 2014, and elected Mayor in 2016. When I ran for Mayor in 2016, I campaigned on enhancing the sense of security among our residents, working more closely with our School Board to improve our schools, helping the expansion of small and existing

businesses and improving the infrastructure of neighborhoods. In 2019,

our level of serious crime was the lowest since 2003, but that is still an area of focus.


Four years ago, only 42 percent of our schools were fully accredited. They are now 100 percent fully accredited for the

first time in our history. Improving the housing stock and infrastructure in our City's older neighborhoods is still an area of focus.


How did COVID-19 impact your most recent campaign?


I was used to going door-to-door and attending neighborhood meetings

and political forums as the primary means of connecting with people and

soliciting support for my campaign. Because of Covid-19, this past

campaign, I was totally dependent on utilizing social media to spread my

message.


How has COVID-19 impacted your City Budget?


The biggest impact has been on the City's actual and projected

revenues. Since the restrictions implemented by Governor Northam in

March, we have seen a loss of $8 million in FY20 revenues and are

projected to lose $20 million in FY21 unless there is substantial

improvement.


As a City Council, we adopted a pre-Covid-19 budget. It is a budget

based on a quick return to normal. If that does not happen, we will

eliminate the proposed 3 percent cost-of-living increase for our

employees and make other adjustments in spending. The desire is to get

through the year without the layoff of employees.


How can your constituents get involved?


Four years ago, I began hosting quarterly town halls as an outreach

to residents. Two years ago, I began meeting regularly with pastors and

ministers to create a local missions focus to reduce gun violence,

especially among African American males between 14 and 24. My primary

encouragement to my constituents is to become part of their existing

neighborhood organizations or to create a neighborhood watch program.



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