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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Councilman Jeff Helgeson: Tells Why We Need a New City Council

When talking about the downtown revitalization projects, Councilman Jeff Helgeson says:

“This is about common sense,” he said. Helgeson agrees with Peake, saying
incentives are appropriate. But the city shouldn’t be financing projects that
won’t even be backed by a bank, he said.

Several candidates have touted the fact that the city’s $28 million investment in downtown has generated $90 million in private development. “Do we get the ($90 million) back?” he asked.

“Or do we get the tax revenue?"

“Simple arithmetic,” Helgeson said, shows that the current tax rate will bring the city roughly $1 million. At that rate, he said, it will take 28 years to break even.
“That’s not economic development,” Helgeson said. “That’s why we need a new council.

We need somebody who knows how to work a calculator.”

From the News And Advance

And we agree.

If you look at the background of Councilman Jeff Helgeson, you will quickly find that Jeff Helgeson is one of the few members of City Council that has a strong knowledge of fiscal matters. Here is part of his background:

Jeff Helgeson, originally from Bloomington, Minnesota, came to Lynchburg, Virginia in 1985 to pursue a degree in Finance from Liberty University. He graduated in 1988 and continued his education, earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Liberty in 1990.

In 2001, Helgeson earned a Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from American College, considered the pinnacle of professional education in the financial services industry. He is a Chartered Financial Consultant and a Chartered Life Underwriter.

When he says that we need a new City Council that can use a calculator we should be listening.

So far, there are only two candidates that want to put Lynchburg back on a fiscally sound track: Chuck Gammon, and Jason Campbell. We need new thinking in the Lynchburg City Council, and electing these two candidates will bring an air of reason and an important balance.

Choosing otherwise will be assuring the citizens of Lynchburg, higher taxes and fees, and a city budget out of control.


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