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E. Dana Dickens III has announced he will be a candidate for the Suffolk City Council from the Chuckatuck Borough. Dickens was first elected to council in 1998 and became the first ever rookie councilman elected Mayor. Dickens says he is pleased by the broad-based support from constituents encouraging him to seek reelection. Continuing to participate in the remarkable progress Suffolk has made in recent years is a major factor in the decision to run, he says.

A champion of economic development, Mr. Dickens has played a major role in record years of job creation and capital investment in the city. In the last four years, capital investment in Suffolk has totaled $330 million creating a total of 3700 new jobs. Dickens says Suffolk has great potential to set records each year and pledges to continue strong support for job creation and capital investment in our City.

Dickens says that quality education and a strong workforce are critical to attracting new business to Suffolk. He has worked to fully fund the School Board operation budget and strongly supported the construction of new schools each year he has served on council. Mac Benn Elementary school and the recently opened Kings Fork Middle School are jewels in Suffolk's crown. With his support, teacher salaries are now competitive with the region and our school division is receiving praise for dramatically improved SOL scores.

He has worked on water and sewer extensions making water and sewer available for numerous existing neighborhoods. He also secured a $500 reduction of the tap fees making connection less expensive for citizens. Dickens is also credited with elimination of the equipment tax on farmers, bringing the first community block grant money to Chuckatuck Borough and many other initiatives for neighborhoods

During his two years as Mayor, he led the City through a new Comprehensive Land Use Plan and rewrite of the zoning and subdivision ordinances know as the Unified Development Ordinance. The Comprehensive Plan provides a roadmap for the Cities growth for the next 20 years. Dickens sites the Comp Plan and the new ordinance as major accomplishments that will benefit all citizens for years to come.

Also while mayor, Dickens brought a new management style to council with the priority system now in place. Under the management system, Council sets priorities and establishes an action plan that gives City staff direction and goals for the year. Council assesses yearly progress made on those goals. Many have praised the system saying staff now has clear direction of Councils goals.

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