Winchester is home to my family of five, our family-run business, and our community outreach. This is where I am engaged in life! When Sarah and I moved to Winchester in 1997, we saw a community that was small enough for good connections and relationships yet large enough for diversity in many things. I have always worked to contribute to our community by getting involved in local organizations as well as in local government. My involvement has run the gamut from the Board of Architectural Review, Preservation of Historic Winchester, Winchester/Frederick County Joint Economic Development Commission, Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, and just completing my second full term on the board of Winchester Public Schools. These experiences have allowed me to see both the positive attributes of our community and region as well as the areas requiring more focused and coordinated effort. Now I am looking to make a greater difference with your support to be on our City Council.
Through my professional experiences in redevelopment, I have realized that the need for quality housing opportunities is not meeting demand, and our ability to attract and retain our desired workforce is lacking. We need to look at more creative solutions to support new housing concepts. We also need to revisit our current zoning and building code to be more supportive of the options that are currently working and expand them while focusing incentives in other areas to encourage a greater range of housing options.
The strength and diversity of a community’s economy are also critical in managing effective growth. My goal in running for City Council is to create and sustain smart growth in our community. Growth is not just measured in economic terms but also in the growth of opportunity and inclusiveness. We need to uncover the barriers to smart growth in every corner of our community to create greater participation as well as prosperity.
I believe that public education is the best investment any community can make in itself in creating connection, pride, and opportunity for our workforce and sustained community growth. Education is also the most influential factor in the development of our youth and creating a greater sense of inclusion. That is why I will continue to support the goal of expanded Pre-K as well as adult and career education in Winchester.
Creative housing solutions, smart and diverse growth and quality extended education for all will help Winchester come out of the current economic downturn with strength and vitality. This will be my strength and focus on your City Council. If you’d like to connect and chat about your ideas or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to speak with you.
To find out more about my experience and my commitment to our community, please go to www.friendsofrichardbell.com.