Election Day 2015

Friends,

It’s Election Day again! Four years ago, I was elected to my first term on the Blacksburg Town Council, and now John Bush, Leslie Hager-Smith, and I are running unopposed for our council seats. Thanks to your support and encouragement, these past few years have been phenomenal and I am proud of my record of service to our community:

  • Supported downtown businesses by voting to purchase land to expand public parking, establish a downtown refuse and recycling program, and create a Live/Work/Sell Arts Overlay District to encourage owner-occupied arts businesses near downtown
  • Celebrated the completion of the College Avenue Promenade and the opening of the IMAX at First & Main
  • Advocated for our fair share of transportation funds through my role as a town representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization
  • Worked to bring more affordable housing opportunities to our town through two years of service on the Blacksburg Housing and Community Development Advisory Board and support for rezoning requests on Grissom Lane and Givens Lane
  • Sought a pragmatic and sustainable approach to local development that allows Blacksburg to grow but protects neighborhoods and quality of life through votes on numerous rezoning requests and a five-year update to the town’s Comprehensive Plan
  • Served as a town representative on the 10-Year Economic Development Plan Steering Committee and the Blacksburg Partnership Board of Directors
  • Voted yes on resolutions to preserve Stadium Woods, save Harding Avenue Elementary School, and oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Continue reading “Election Day 2015”

Sutphin: Let’s talk about solutions

The following op-ed originally appeared in The Roanoke Times on Dec. 7, 2014:

The logjam over the Old Blacksburg Middle School property has some doubting whether the 20-acre site in the heart of downtown Blacksburg has a future beyond an empty lot and occasional spats between governing bodies. But it certainly does.

Government handwringing over the property is not without cause: For the town, it has the potential to extend downtown with a high-quality, mixed-use development that adds to Blacksburg’s commercial and residential offerings. For the county, it brings much-needed revenue for a school system that has faced cuts from Richmond, as well as a pressing need for new schools in Blacksburg and eastern Montgomery County.

My colleagues Leslie Hager-Smith and John Bush have already explained the intricacies of town-county relations and the reason for the current impasse — namely, the contract between the county and its hand-picked developer, Fiddlers Green Partners. Despite these challenges, a solution does exist that will benefit both the town and county. Continue reading “Sutphin: Let’s talk about solutions”

Thank you

All,

When I first ran for Blacksburg Town Council, retiring councilman Al Leighton gave me a piece of advice: You have to meet voters where they are. They won’t come to you. On Tuesday, I won a seat on the town council after taking his advice to heart and reaching out to as many of my friends, neighbors, and supporters as possible.

I would be remiss if I did not thank each and every one of you for your support and encouragement over the past few months. Whether you knocked on doors, donated to the campaign, passed out literature, or offered your take on town issues, I am grateful for your involvement in my bid for town council. Continue reading “Thank you”

The Roanoke Times endorses Michael Sutphin

Today, The Roanoke Times endorsed Michael Sutphin along with incumbents John Bush and Leslie Hager-Smith for Blacksburg Town Council. The editorial board provided two key reasons to vote for Michael:

First, he represents the future of Blacksburg. This is an excellent time to elect a newcomer with fresh perspectives. The rest of the council is stable and well qualified. Sutphin therefore would have an opportunity to learn from experienced members and perhaps become a civic leader for years to come. … Second, Sutphin is just the sort of young professional Blacksburg strives to attract and retain. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2006 and has been a public relations specialist for the university since then. That means he still is close enough to the student community that he could bring insights to improve town-gown relations.

Check out the full endorsement on The Roanoke Times website.

The future of Blacksburg

Friends, neighbors, and supporters,

When I think about the future of Blacksburg, I imagine a thriving, prosperous town filled with pride in its neighborhoods, schools, and sense of community.

With any luck, Blacksburg will continue to be an intellectually and culturally stimulating town with a wide range of employment and housing opportunities, anchored by a vibrant downtown and connected to the world through new technologies. It will be a town that has experienced economic recovery, valued its natural resources and cultural heritage, benefited from a sense of regionalism, and engaged its citizens with open, transparent government.

I am running for Blacksburg Town Council because I want to be a part of that future, but I need your help. Continue reading “The future of Blacksburg”