VISION

INTEGRITY

Integrity is a most important word, particularly when talking about city government and your tax dollars.

There is no more important service, our city can offer, than for citizens to know that their hard-earned money – that they have paid to the city – is safe, secure, and will be used for the betterment of the city and her citizens.

Norfolk is incredibly well positioned for the future thanks to the efforts of Mayor Kenny Alexander, former Mayor Paul Fraim, and their respective City Council Members.  Norfolk has a great mix of businesses and citizens – from young millennials – new to the area and local workforce, to the long-time and established multi-generational families. To ensure our City’s continuing bright future, Norfolk needs a public servant like Matt Hales to be City Treasurer to ensure that the City Treasurer’s office is the very definition of the word: Integrity.

TRANSPARENCY/ACCOUNTABILITY/TRUST

As we have seen lately, political candidates are usually very visible during their election campaigns.  Much too often, after the votes have been counted, they seemingly disappear.  Matt Hales wants to change the status quo. Matt is citizen-driven and will make the City Treasurer’s office visible to, available for, and easily understood by, all the citizens of Norfolk. He intends to carve out time and publish office hours to talk directly with Norfolk’s constituents.  Matt will also personally reach out and make phone calls to talk with Norfolk’s citizens, especially the underserved to better understand their challenges and address the issues they face when dealing with finances and other issues that involve the City Treasurer.

FISCAL ACCOUNTABILITY

Matt Hales’ primary goal as Norfolk City Treasurer will be to better optimize the office to ensure the city’s continued strong financial standing by increasing the receipt and collection of all city revenues. As an elected constitutional officer, Matt will act as the collector of the City’s receivables just as the law mandates, and do so in a thorough, compassionate and professional manner. He plans to implement creative approaches to reducing uncollected revenues by studying patterns to uncover delinquent business and residential accounts as well as setting up a monitoring system that will help citizens avoid falling behind on payments.  Over time, these newly collected receivables will translate into millions of dollars of additional revenue that will positively impact the services the city is able to provide its citizenry.  Additionally, Matt Hales will look to establish relationships with the Treasurers of Cities of comparable size, budget and economic/social diversity to benchmark and implement best practices.

CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Matt Hales has a plan to set up a Citizen Advisory Committee to establish closer ties with citizens from every corner of our City and from every level of need. The group will meet with him regularly and share everything from more efficient ways to interact with the Treasurer’s Office to areas of concern from the community.  Matt has always embraced the tenant of “people support what they help to create”.  As such, this committee will include citizen volunteers that will be able to provide valuable end-user input, recommend solutions, and assist the Treasurer’s Office in clearly hearing what the people are saying and potential ideas and suggestions to improve interaction with the general public.

SOLUTION CENTERS

Making payments for licenses and taxes can often be confusing and emotional, thus a prompt and correct response is desirable and beneficial.  One of Matt’s first initiatives will be to transform the City Treasurer’s office to make it more easily accessible and user friendly to all the citizens of Norfolk through the use of varied Solution Centers.  For those that are more computer savvy, there will be more ‘e-access’ touchpoints.  For those who prefer to speak to someone in person with their problems, concerns, or difficulties, there will be to create a staffed telephone helpline for people to call with messaging for those after hours calls.  If Matt’s involvement is required and he doesn’t pick up the phone personally, you can rest assured that he will get your message and return your call.  Count on that.

VIRTUAL / MOBILE OFFICES

From day one, Matt’s approach will be to make the City Treasurer’s office more accessible and user friendly.  His primary focus will to assist the office in better embracing technology and creating a digital office for you to use.  Matt likes to use the phrase “high tech and high touch”.  By that he means you will be able to solve problems, ask questions and even pay bills by logging on to the Norfolk City Treasurer’s digital office.  If need be, Matt will personally be in touch with you if that’s what it takes to resolve your issue. Matt is excited about several innovative plans to revolutionize the Norfolk City Treasurer’s Office.  He has a vision to reach out and bring the Treasurer’s office to you via mobile vans that can set up shop in your neighborhood – whether it’s a shopping center in Oceanview, a sidestreet in Ghent, or a city parking lot in Berkley. This van will have all the technology necessary to accept payments and will have someone from the Treasurer’s office staffing it.  This Treasury employee will have all the necessary knowledge to work with you and counsel you on how to make a payment or to resolve an issue.  Imagine one day having all the convenience of addressing a tax issue ‘face to face’ without ever having to travel to city hall in downtown Norfolk.

CITIZEN FINANCE SEMINARS

How many people really understand how the office of the City Treasurer works?  It may not be at the top of your bucket list to find out, but many of the financial issues that are managed by the City Treasurer directly affect your city, your life, and your disposable income. Matt wants to create a series of ‘Citizen Finance Seminars’ that cover the operations of the City Treasurer’s Office as well as a wide range of personal finance issues that each and every citizen in Norfolk can attend – either in a classroom or virtually, via the Internet from home or office. Topics like delinquent taxes, dealing with banks, personal finance and grace periods are just some of the subjects that he envisions could be covered.  As he strives to open up the Treasurer’s Office to be better understood and more transparent, he will solicit input on future topics to discuss.

MATT’S PLEDGE

Matt Hales’ record of success speaks volumes.  Fiscal responsibility, customer service, fiscal accountability, and clear lines of communication have been the hallmarks of his impressive professional career.  Matt believes that working in public service means being accessible when the citizens of Norfolk need your help.   For the record, Matt Hales pledges that he and his staff will return any inquiry whether it’s a phone call, email or letter in a timely fashion.   If he cannot answer a question directly, he will work tirelessly until he finds the right person who can assist you.   That is the way Matt approaches everything and that is the Matt’s pledge.

Matt envisions a highly productive Treasurer’s Office that will cultivate an inclusive work culture and create an environment that reflects the rich diversity and uniqueness of our city.  He knows a talented workforce, that celebrates differences, and shares capacities, will thrive to the benefit of all.