John T. Rector earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from Virginia Tech University. He worked in manufacturing for most of his career, specializing in providing repair parts and services to the east coast pulp and paper industry. He now works as a realtor with Chorey and Associates Realty in Suffolk. Rector was a founding member of the West End Civic League and is currently vice chairman of the Planning Commission, on which he has served for fifteen years. He is also the chairman of the Committee on Ordinances. He represents Suffolk on the Hampton Roads Realtors Association Government Affairs Committee and is the association’s representative on the Suffolk2045 Steering Committee. He serves as the senior warden for his church and is the chairman of his church’s endowment group, and he additionally serves as the head of the real estate team for the Diocese of Southern Virginia [2, 3].
Rector believes having a successful and thriving downtown area is key to attracting businesses and residents to the area and creating economic growth. He has also stated that he wants to improve the processes for businesses to operate in Suffolk. He believes the most pressing economic issue in Suffolk is balancing economic growth and the expansion of utilities and roadway infrastructure. He wants to maintain the city’s bond rating to make borrowing costs to finance expansions more affordable .
Rector wants to work with the Suffolk School Board to strengthen the education system and motivate families to move to the area .
Rector wants to improve training, equipment, and financial compensation for police, fire, and rescue personnel. He advocates for the increased use of Flock Cameras and gunshot detection technology and increasing community engagement with law enforcement. He believes improving pay structure and work environment will solve the law enforcement personnel shortage .
Rector has stated that he wants to utilize state and federal funding to get water, sewer services, and emergency personnel to expanding areas. He believes traffic management (both passenger and commercial/freight) is the city’s greatest infrastructure concern and wants to work with stakeholders to determine expansion plans. He wants the city to prioritize safety improvements along its main roads such as Route 460 and the 460-58 interchange. He also wants to decrease the impact of train traffic throughout the city .
Don Goldberg, City Councilmember, Suffolk Borough