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The current situation at the Virginia Beach Municipal Animal Shelter was nothing short of unacceptable. Animals were coming in, staff was unable to render the treatment these animals needed and sadly, far too many of these animals never found the home they could have had-and deserved.
Councilman Bill DeSteph worked tirelessly with the animal welfare community to understand the root causes of the problem, how our current shelter became non-compliant with the standards set forth by the State Veterinarian and immediately began working to improve conditions with the ultimate goal of building a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter-that is "Adoption Friendly."Among Councilman DeSteph's efforts and initiatives;
Councilman Bill DeSteph's efforts are paying off-many animals who might not have otherwise been adopted have found homes with families to care for them.
His efforts have also prevented another over-priced city project with a more modest, but equally capable shelter that will meet our needs today and well into the future.
Virginia Beach is fortunate to have one of the finest police departments in the country and because of their efforts, Virginia Beach has one of the lowest crime rates for a city of our size.*
This doesn't happen by accident-it takes proper amounts of funding for police patrols, innovative enforcement methods as well as the right tools to do the job we ask of our police men and women.
Ever since Bill DeSteph was elected to Virginia Beach City Council, he has recognized what an important role our Police Department has in keeping our neighborhoods safe and our crime rates low. He has also accompanied our men and women in blue as they patrol our streets to gain insight into the problems confronting not only our Police Officers, but to understand the needs of the Citizens they serve.
Councilman Bill DeSteph has a proven track record of supporting our law enforcement, fire department and EMS service providers when they need a voice on Virginia Beach City Council.
Bill DeSteph has a consistent record of voting to support our public safety officials service. Matters of pay and benefits are among the top priorities Bill DeSteph has pressed for because without a competitive compensation package, our city could become a "training ground" for entry-level public safety workers, only to lose them to cities that offer them more.Bill DeSteph has also been working within the structure of City Government on converting our public safety employees to a pay structure that would;
In the city of Virginia Beach, it is a well-known fact that homeowners carry the majority of the tax burden when you're taking about total revenue to our city treasurers office. In fact, property taxes from homeowners account for 87% of property tax revenue to the City of Virginia Beach.
This is exactly why Bill DeSteph has fought against every tax increase and has worked to decrease the burdens placed on homeowners already under siege from government taxation.
In this tough economy, over-taxing homeowners who might already be struggling to keep their homes is a formula for economic disaster. With tax revenue falling right along with home values, now is the worst possible time to make up lost revenue on the backs of homeowners.
As a successful member of the local business community, Bill DeSteph knows the value of a well-educated work force and the value that large corporations place on good public schools when considering a new location.
Virginia Beach has a public school system of which we can all be proud and Bill DeSteph has worked with City Council as well as School Board members to identify the issues our schools confront and assure that they have the resources needed to meet any challenge.
Bill DeSteph also invoked state law allowing a "line-item vote"* on a funding bill where he supported building a new animal shelter and opposed taking funding away from our school system.
*Official City Council vote as recorded and on file at Virginia Beach City Hall
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