With about a week remaining in the race for mayor, Town of Herndon residents are solidifying their choice for who will hold the town’s top elected office.
Locust Street residents Denise and James "Jim" Vickery made their choice clear last Friday evening, April 26 hosting a gathering at their home in support of Town Councilman William "Bill" Tirrell, Sr.
"Citizens have to be part of the process. If they don’t run for office, find someone who shares your beliefs and values. Bill Tirrell shares my beliefs and values," said Jim Vickery. "I don’t think you can lead from the pack. He’s not afraid to jump out and lead," he said.
"I think he’s the best man for the job," said Herndon resident Judi Mullenger. "He’s come up through the ranks, paid his dues and will make an excellent mayor," she said. "We discussed his stand on reducing the tax rate. Supporting the five-cent reduction and the elimination of the decal fee was a good, bold move," said Mullenger, one of more than 40 people to attend the gathering at the Vickery’s home.
Leading up to the public hearings concerning the budget, Tirrell issued a statement calling for a five-cent reduction in the real estate tax rate from $.32 per $100 of assessed value to $.27 per $100 of assessed value. Tirrell joined fellow Councilman Dennis Husch in support of that reduction by seconding each of Husch’s motions for reduction, only to be defeated five to two in each vote until settling for the two-cent reduction that ultimately passed.
Tirrell also publicly called for the elimination of the decal fee — the $20 decal that is required for each car kept in the Town of Herndon. Tirrell said that while not all Herndon residents are homeowners, cars, whether leased, or owned, require the decal and elimination of the fee would be realized by more people. Tirrell called for the decal fee elimination, but did not make a motion as he felt the budget should be decided without any interference.
Yet, Tirrell expressed his disappointment in the two-cent reduction while addressing supporters at Vickery’s home. "The two-cent cut in property tax coupled with two-cents in county cuts — I think we can do more to reduce the burden off our shoulders, but it will take help," said Tirrell.
"Bill’s the right man for the job. He brings experience serving the town in different capacities," said 16-year Herndon resident Debbie Taylor. "He’s fiscally responsible and he realizes the tax burden has hit us hard and is trying to bring it under control," said Taylor.
"I’ve known Bill a long time. I think he has the best interest of the town at heart," said Community Bank manager Mary Ann Cerick of Herndon. "I like his management style. I especially like that he’s willing to risk his council seat by running for mayor," she said.
Tirrell said there are issues aside from the tax rate that also require action more than study. "There’s infill development that needs attention and neighborhoods that need help. I want to take steps — there’s no need to study any longer - we need to take action," said Tirrell.
(Editor's note: An article on the campaign and supporters of mayoral candidate Richard Thoesen was published in the Herndon Connection on March 13-19, 2002.)