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”

Sutphin campaign picks up key endorsements

Citizens First, a Blacksburg group that advocates for open and responsive government, endorsed Michael Sutphin for town council today:

Sutphin has demonstrated his firm understanding of Town issues during his service on the Long Range Planning Committee, and has been a strong advocate for collaborative governance, vibrant citizen democracy, and development of Blacksburg’s technology sector. He will serve as a bridge to a younger generation of Blacksburg residents. Continue reading “Sutphin campaign picks up key endorsements”