Both of the Town of Herndon mayoral candidates and each of the eight candidates for Town Council will stand for election on Tuesday, May 7. Between now and Election Day the candidates will be asked a series of questions in order to provide the voters with some insight as to who they are and where they stand regarding the crucial issues facing the Town of Herndon.
This week’s question is: What do you think are the two biggest issues facing Herndon, and why?
Richard “Rick” Thoesen – Town Councilman
“Neighborhood preservation and strategic planning. We must focus on saving our Neighborhood Improvement Areas from further deterioration due to lack of maintenance, structural deficiencies and absentee landlords. Strategic planning of land use and social/economic issues will answer the questions, where are we going, how will we get there.”
William “Bill” Tirrell, Sr. – Town Councilman
“Many issues are neighborhood-based. That said, the two biggest town-wide issues are neighborhood deterioration based on residence overcrowding leading to a fire-safety issue, over-full street (and yard) parking, and deteriorating residences and grounds, and traffic flow through Herndon and regional road and rail transportation issues.”
Carol Bruce – Mayor
“Many issues are important but I would choose: Neighborhood preservation/revitalization. Some of our older neighborhoods are in decline. We must encourage and support efforts to reverse the trend.
In-fill development. We must ensure it is of the highest quality and that it does not negatively impact existing neighborhoods.”
John De Noyer – Vice Mayor
“Overcrowding, encouraged by unethical residential real estate and rental transactions, is a root cause of neighborhood deterioration, safety, health, school, other problems.
Environmental consciousness, sensitivity. Both personal and governmental lack of responsibility for the degradation of land, water, air as built places grow. Noise and stormwater especially neglected.”
Judy Downer – Challenger
“Neighborhood Preservation – Overcrowding, over parking and underground restaurants are changing our neighborhoods. Urgent action is needed to address these issues.
Downtown Revitalization – Creative design and pleasing structures are needed to enhance our small town charm. That is what sets Herndon apart from the rest of the area. Let's keep our uniqueness!”
Dennis Husch – Town Councilman
“The town's budget and neighborhood protection. The budget must be crafted to balance the demand for services and capital improvements against the demand for a lower Herndon tax rate. Overcrowding, trash and parking concerns must be resolved. In-fill development must be appropriately scaled and sensitive to the adjoining neighborhoods.”
Connie Hutchinson – Challenger
“Addressing increased density rezoning applications in residential neighborhoods and assigning priorities for planned Capital Improvement Projects. Density is an issue because overcrowding can have adverse affects on our quality of life. Assigning priorities to Capital Improvement Projects helps determine how much money should be appropriated for each one and when.”
David A. Kirby – Challenger
“Downtown – make certain the town's citizens have input and are well informed about tax-based initiatives. Attract private investment.
In-Fill Development/Traffic – keep ‘Small Town’ in the forefront.
Listen to surrounding neighbors and citizens and act on their behalf.
Why? This is what the citizens are telling me during my campaign.”
Michael O’ Reilly – Town Councilman
“The biggest issue facing Herndon is to maintain our ‘small town’ atmosphere and our sense of community. This goal should guide us as we review development, traffic, neighborhood preservation, public safety and recreation. These items impact the overall impression of the Town and the quality of life of our citizens.”
Harlon Reece – Town Councilman
"Traffic congestion is a near and long-term issue. It detracts from our quality of life, taking time from families and other important activities. As areas around us become more urban, downtown revitalization -- modest development that retains our uniqueness and charm – becomes important to maintaining our sense of community."