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Craig to Run for City Council

Council Candidate Bob Craig

Retired Marine Corps Colonel and long-time citizen watchdog, Bob Craig announced on Tuesday that he will run for a seat on Roanoke City Council. Craig says he is concerned about the precarious position of the city’s finances after 10 years of what he considers, “ill-conceived spending that has compromised the ability of the city to fund its core government functions.”

Craig says that while he has been contacted by the City Republican party about running as a GOP candidate that he is still considering all his options relative to receiving any party endorsement or running as an independent.

Shortly after Craig’s announcement, Roanoke City Council convened a session to get public input and vote on increasing taxes to raise $60 million in new revenue to fix and upgrade Roanoke’s storm water drain system – an idea that council ultimately decided to “table for now.” Craig says the only reason council has to consider raising such taxes is because the city has neglected the drainage system for decades and instead has spent the money on lower priority items such as parks and recreation master plans, civic center expansions, etc.

Craig says he has focused his concern about Roanoke on “financial responsibility,” stating that “the city government does not prioritize its spending, ends up buying luxury items then has little left to fund its core functions, such as storm water drains and schools.  The taxpayers should not be hit up for more taxes or face service cuts every time the budget comes up short.”

Craig also says he wants to establish better financial support for the school system. He believes that, “city schools have improved their performance and efficiency during the last few years.  Yet, when the schools run efficiently and save money, the city penalizes them by counting that savings against them in the following year’s budgeting process, rather than allowing them to use that extra money to improve programs.”

Craig is quick to point out that his entire working career has been in leadership and financial management.  He commanded four artillery units in Vietnam, and spent his last 17 years on active duty as a financial manager, including serving as the chief financial officer of two Marine Corps bases with budgets the size of Roanoke’s.

Following his military career, Craig was a senior financial executive with the U.S. Treasury Department and an adjunct faculty member in financial management and organizational management at several colleges and universities in Hawaii, Mississippi, and Maryland.

By Stuart Revercomb
[email protected]

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