Roanoke, VA. Mayor David Bowers has expressed his disapproval of the city council’s decision not to sever ties with its Russian sister city, Pskov, but he said he is eager to reconnect with Roanoke residents. Bowers is currently running for re-election in the fall, so he’s keen to get to know his neighbors and the community.
Bowers’ letter criticizing Syrian refugees
After a letter criticizing Syrian refugees was released on Roanoke City Council letterhead, several members called for a special meeting. Council members were notified about the letter only two hours after it was reported in the media. During the meeting, nearly two dozen members of the public spoke in support of or against Bowers. Some called for him to resign. Bowers’ comments were not only insensitive but also controversial, especially in light of recent terror attacks in Paris and Beirut, both of which were perpetrated by Islamic State militants. Unlike individual states, Roanoke City Council members do not have the authority to reject or refuse refugee placement.
Some have compared Bowers’ letter to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Those who were interned during World War II were not given fair trials, and Bowers’ statement contradicts the history of such practices. The mayor of Roanoke is now facing a backlash for his comments. Many of Roanoke’s residents believe that Bowers should resign in light of the controversy.
The letter that prompted the backlash came from a number of sources, including a recent news story in the local newspaper. Roanoke Mayor David Bowers invoked the internment of Japanese Americans and immigrants during World War II in his letter. Bowers later apologized for his statement and the City Council reprimanded him for using Roanoke city stationary. Hundreds of citizens from Roanoke voiced their opinions on the letter and even called for his resignation.
His relationship with current mayor
In a recent interview, Bowers defended his position on some issues, including the city’s anti-immigration stance and its failure to sever ties with a Russian sister city. He also questioned the city’s decision to revive parking ticket enforcement downtown. Despite the disagreement, Bowers said he is eager to reconnect with Roanoke residents. Bowers is up for reelection in the fall and is running on a platform that supports free speech.
Roanoke’s mayor-city manager form of government allows for very limited executive authority for the mayor. While the city manager has the authority to hire and fire city employees, the mayor has little more than a bully pulpit. The mayor has a strong presence on the city council but is only granted limited executive authority. The mayor is essentially a “first among equals” on the Roanoke City Council. The city council consists of six members, including the current mayor and the city manager.
Bowers has been active on the internet for the last few years. He ran for mayor in 2020 against Democratic incumbent Sherman Lea, Sr., and has embraced social media to gain attention. He has worked for the city’s Republican Party and has used it to promote his message. He has also been seen attending pro-police events, expressing criticism of the current mayor for not supporting the city’s police force and fire department. Bowers even went so far as to compare the treatment of Syrian refugees to the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.
His plan to run as an independent
Former Roanoke mayor David Bowers has announced his entry into a hotly contested race for three city council seats. Bowers served as mayor for 16 years and previously served on the city council for eight years. In his last run for elected office, Bowers lost but has since run for office as an independent and re-joined the Democratic party. Four Democrats have announced their candidacy, seeking three party nominations. Two Republicans have also entered the race.
As an independent candidate, Bowers aims to avoid the pitfalls of the current political system. Bowers has a clear vision for the city. He aims to create a “green economy” that will increase the city’s tax base by $20 million. His campaign promises to focus on cutting waste, and he plans to bury overhead utility lines to reduce storm damage and power outages.
Bowers was elected mayor twice – once in 1992 and again in 2008. His first term ended in 2000, but he was re-elected in 2008 and then again in 2016. He is now running as an independent candidate, with his campaign based on 10 points he wants to make in the city. His plans for the city include stabilizing the schools, implementing a modified bus plan, and improving early childhood education. He said he was proud of the decisions he made while mayor and will work to build on his success.