Henley: Coronavirus means challenges in meeting one another, addressing city budget

Barbara Henley [The Independent News]
Ed. — This has been archived from the Sunday, April 12, print edition.


PUNGO — On Thursday, March 26, we should have been gathering for our monthly Princess Anne District forum, but this is a different time.  

What seemed so important a month ago may not seem to be a priority today.  

Now, our priority has to be that which is very basic to the purpose of our government – protecting the health and safety of our citizens.  

I so very much would like to be doing the usual rushing about from one thing to another, but I think that we may have found out that the best thing we can do now is to slow down and get out of the way. First and foremost, I have learned that I shouldn’t do anything that will contribute to the spread of this horrible virus.

 I know that there are people who have to be doing very vital jobs to keep us healthy and safe, and to provide those basic services we need to keep us functioning. 

They, too, need to be taking precautions to protect their own health and safety. They need our patience, understanding and compassion. 

Things certainly won’t be ideal now, but I am learning that it is OK to have less than perfect.  

 There are things that we can do while we are “staying home.” Maybe we can share some of the creative ways we have found to spend this slower time. Certainly, while we miss that social interaction, we can still pick up the telephone and call those friends who are isolated.

 This month would have been the time that we began to discuss the proposed budget. Certainly, the crisis related to the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has turned everything upside down.  

Trying to determine what we will do for the next fiscal year is going to be extremely difficult, given the uncertainty that we face today. We will just have to take every day as it comes and do the very best that we can.

As these weeks pass, I will try to keep you up on the issues that are going to be considered. 

How City Council undertakes the challenge of doing the business of the city is still being developed. Stay tuned.

I am confident that we have good staff and great citizens who can all work together to keep our city stable and on track. If you have concerns, please send me an email via bhenley@vbgov.com or give me a call at (757) 426-7501.    

In the meantime, take care, stay safe and be kind.

Henley represents the Princess Anne District on the Virginia Beach City Council. The district includes much of the main coverage area of The Independent News. This was adapted from a note to her constituents.

© 2020 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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