Letter from Dava Kauffman

Citizens of Newport News, Friends, and Supporters,

When I was contacted by the Daily Press reporter and asked to participate in her article about the claims by some former employees about the work environment,  I did so fully with the belief that both sides of this story would be told.  Clearly, this was not the result.

The reporter was informed that the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office is part of the City’s Classification and Pay Plan and that the office uses the City of Newport News Administrative policies to govern the office, as these are well vetted policies used for City employees and are rules for administering benefits.  Copies of some policies were also provided, to evidence that some of the complaints from former employees were really about the policies.

The article does not include the detailed responses of the several employees that disagree that the environment is negative or that the office fairly and consistently administers the City policies. However, the detailed responses of complaints about policies were included. The article includes claims which are exaggerated and some which are completely false. 

Be assured, I respectfully and pro-actively communicate with all employees to yield a positive environment.  I regularly communicate to the staff about how they are valued.  Employees are the only asset that keeps an organization operational.  How that organization operates is a direct reflection of its staff.  An employee and employer relationship is a partnership.  

With regard to Priscilla Bele, she possesses the utmost integrity as a community leader and she has successfully operated the Commissioner’s office for her nearly 30 years of services, as an auditor, audit supervisor, chief deputy and as the commissioner.  Her office has grown to two locations, added multiple local services such as Real Estate Tax Relief programs, and state services such as the DMV Select, DMV 2 Go, and DMV Connect.  She chose to use City policies for the fair treatment of her staff.  

It is clear that the unbalanced reporting and the timing of this story are being used to affect our local election scheduled for Tuesday.  

I ask you for your continued support.  

Dava Kauffman

Small Business Owners Support Dava Kauffman

Small business owners in Newport News value a Commissioner of the Revenue that has relevant tax and management experience to handle their local tax liabilities. Show your appreciation for their support of Dava Kauffman by utilizing their services!

King Lincoln Park Day

What a beautiful day to celebrate King-Lincoln Park! Dava Kauffman spent her Saturday at the sixth annual King-Lincoln Park Day visiting with old friends and making new ones!  

Memorial Day Ceremony at the Victory Arch

The American Legion Braxton-Perkins Post No. 25 held its annual ceremony at the Victory Arch in downtown Newport News today.  Dava Kauffman was honored to attend the ceremony along with her husband Cliff and their daughter Logan.

Dava Kauffman Speaks to Students at Huntington Middle School

Jan Owens, teacher of Civics and Economics at Huntington Middle School, welcomed Dava Kauffman to speak to her students on May 22, 2017. Dava spoke about the roles of the Newport News Constitutional Officers as well as the responsibilities of the Commissioner of the Revenue. The students were engaged and appreciated the information that Dava had to share. Thank you to Ms. Owens for the opportunity to educate her students!

Meet & Greet Hosted by Sharyn Fox and Bud Curtis

Thank you to Sharyn Fox and Bud Curtis for hosting a fantastic meet & greet for Dava Kauffman! So much support was expressed today for Dava to be our next Commissioner of the Revenue. Check out the awesome cookies that were made special for the campaign! Remember to Vote Kauffman for Commissioner on June 13 in the democratic primary! Your vote counts!

Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood

The Marshall-Ridley Choice Neighborhood provided an opportunity for community engagement at the Marshall Early Learning Center May 20, 2017. Dava Kauffman met with many volunteers to thank them for their willingness to give back to their community. Great job everyone! 

Newport News Rotary Club ShrimpFest

Another successful ShrimpFest hosted by the Newport News Rotary Club! As a member of the club, Dava Kauffman gives back to her community by working with her fellow Rotarians to raise money for a number of local charitable causes. Vote June 13 in the democratic primary Kauffman for Commissioner!

Candidates Night at York High School

It was Meet the Candidates night at York High School. Although it was in Yorktown, Dava Kauffman still got the message out to Newport News citizens that she is the candidate with the relevant experience and utmost integrity required to be our next Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Newport News.
Vote June 13 in the Democratic Primary!

Kauffman for Commissioner Signs Available

We are getting the word out that Dava Kauffman is the most qualified candidate to be our next Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Newport News! You will want to get your yard signs now in order to let your neighbors know who you will be voting for on June 13 !!!

Hilton Village Spring Festival

Beautiful weather for the Hilton Village Spring Festival on April 29, 2017. Dava Kauffman enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people and talking with them about why she is the best qualified candidate for Commissioner of the Revenue. Please remember to vote for Dava Kauffman in the Democratic primary on June 13!

Kiwanis Club of Denbigh Fundraiser

The Kiwanis Club of Denbigh had another successful fundraiser on April 25, 2017 at the IHOP in Denbigh. Dava Kauffman helped out by serving as one of the many celebrity servers!  Great Job Everyone!!!

Meet & Greet for Dava Kauffman

What a great turnout for the Meet & Greet for Dava Kauffman on April 23, 2017!  Thank you to Phyllis Mather, Shelly Simonds, Carolyn Hughes, and Vivian Reynolds for hosting such a wonderful event. Dava welcomed the opportunity to meet with citizens and share why she is the most qualified candidate to be our next Commissioner of the Revenue for the City of Newport News! 

9th Annual Empowerment Fair at Heritage High School

9th Annual Empowerment Fair hosted by  Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was held at Heritage High School April 22, 2017!  What a great event to celebrate our community by bringing together over 80 businesses, organizations, and government agencies to share information to continue to improve our community.  Dava Kauffman participated with information about all the services provided by the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue.  Great job everyone! 

Kauffman Speaks at Kiwanis Club Breakfast Meeting

Dava Kauffman was the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Denbigh's breakfast meeting on April 18, 2017.  She shared information with the members about the City’s real estate tax relief programs and DMV services provided by the Commissioner of the Revenue’s office.

Kauffman announces bid for Newport News Commissioner of Revenue

Dava D. Kauffman, Chief Deputy to the Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue, announced her campaign to succeed Priscilla Bele, who has held the elected office since 2010. Bele intends to retire in December.

Kauffman reached the decision to run for Newport News Commissioner of the Revenue after 5 years as Bele’s Chief Deputy.  

Kauffman began work in the Commissioner’s office in 1990 preparing State Income Tax returns. She progressed throughout the office obtaining experience and knowledge of numerous tax assessments to include business license and fiduciary taxes. As Chief Deputy, Kauffman supervises over 40 personnel, operating at two locations within the City. 

Kauffman is a Master Deputy Commissioner as certified by the Weldon Cooper Center of the University of Virginia and is a graduate of the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD Peninsula as well as the City of Newport News’ Leadership Development Academy. She is a member of several professional organizations.

The Commissioner of the Revenue in Newport News is responsible for the assessment of various state and local taxes. The Office oversees the assessment of over $145 million in revenue for the City of Newport News each year. 

Kauffman’s 27 years of experience in the Commissioner’s office and 5 years as Chief Deputy make her uniquely qualified for this vital function of government. She will seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for this elected municipal office in the primary scheduled for June 13, 2017.