The Connection recently asked two questions to candidates running for a seat on the Vienna Town Council:
1. What do you think is the greatest challenge Vienna faces, and how would you tackle that challenge?
2. How do you envision the town in 10 years?
Below are their responses. The town election will occur on Tuesday, May 6. Three seats are open, with one Council member running for re-election. The terms begin July 1. All registered town voters are encouraged to vote.
The Town Council, composed of the mayor and six Council members, establishes town policies, passes ordinances and resolutions, approves the town budget, sets tax rates, approves land-use plans and makes appointments to town boards and commissions. Council members are elected on a nonpartisan basis and serve in two-year terms. The mayor is the ceremonial head of the Council and directs Town Council meetings but has the same rights and responsibilities as other members of Council:
1. I feel the greatest challenge we are currently facing is keeping Vienna a quality town in which to live, raise our children and in some instances work. In order to accomplish that goal, I would utilize all available resources, including: input from the Town's standing boards, committees and commissions and all departments within the town government, and participation from our citizens, businesses and other civic organizations within Vienna. Utilizing proper budgetary systems and management techniques is a big part of this equation. The integration of all these parts will guarantee Vienna's future.
2. The continued growth of Northern Virginia is inevitable, but through proper management techniques and following our comprehensive plan, Vienna will continue to be that quality place to live and raise our children. Working in partnership with our citizens and our businesses, we will continue to provide quality public services, facilities, infrastructure and effective and efficient law-enforcement programs. Emphasis on alternate modes of transportation along with traffic calming and control measures will handle the increased traffic congestion on our residential and major arterial streets. That strong partnership with our citizens, businesses and town officials will guarantee Vienna's future for many decades to come.
1. Vienna's greatest challenges are to prevent the destruction of its wonderful historic sites and the repair of its infrastructure through repair of deteriorating streets, upgrading of town sewers and prevention of flooding in neighborhoods whenever we experience heavy rains.
2. In 10 years I would hope the Town of Vienna would be preserved to look pretty much as it does now, except hopefully we can solve the problem of moving traffic, especially along Maple Avenue, while at the same time, through strict police enforcement, prevent speeding in our neighborhoods.
1. Growth in the areas around Vienna and the resulting traffic are our greatest challenges. In addition, rising land values and higher
assessments are making it harder for some long time residents to remain in Vienna. We need fresh approaches that will enable us to direct these changes to our advantage. I want to expand the tax base by revitalizing the commercial area through a business development strategy that identifies appropriate businesses and helps attract them to Vienna. Wealso need to use proven, objective guidelines to methodically addresstraffic in a comprehensive fashion.
2. I see a vibrant pedestrian-oriented commercial area where people can live, shop and eat out without needing to use their car. I see a
thriving business community that gives town residents the goods and services they want and also provides a bigger tax base to support an enhanced level of town services and amenities. I see neighborhoods that continue to consistprimarily of single family homes. I see neighborhood traffic patterns that are comfortable for the people who live there. I see a Vienna where the people and government strive to solve problems in a comprehensive townwide partnership.
1. Maintaining Vienna's residential character is the greatest challenge we face. To meet this challenge, we must continue to have attractive residential neighborhoods, recreational opportunities and a vibrant business community. New technology in traffic-calming devices must be researched and funded to address cut-through traffic. Sidewalks should be installed where needed to ensure safe neighborhoods. Attention to pedestrian safety issues should be addressed. I will work for mass transit systems that reduce traffic in and around Vienna, as well as light rail to Dulles. Development and redevelopment should be according to the towns' excellent comprehensive plan.
2. Vienna, 2013, will be an even more desirable place to live. More green space and unclogged stream beds will provide a resource for wooded trails. Upgraded park and sport facilities will serve as a magnet for young families. Renovated or expanded homes will be commonplace. Sidewalks and speed-control devices will enhance neighborhood safety. Changes in traffic patterns due to mass transit systems will exist. Church Street will be thriving with flourishing businesses. People will walk to shopping and recreation facilities. Vienna will have a more friendly, respectful, town government; heightened historic preservation; an increased arts role; and a more vibrant business community.
Maud Robinson, incumbent
1. The challenge facing Vienna continues to be retaining its identity and remaining economically sound despite developmental pressures within and without the town. Preserving the zoning integrity of residential neighborhoods and fostering a financially sound business sector within a carefully limited area requires foresight. The Maple Avenue project, sometimes misinterpreted as frivolous, is designed to provide an environment attractive to business and customers. Massive development planned at Tysons Corner foretells increased traffic and rezoning pressures along Vienna's borders. Providing good municipal services within a reasonable tax structure is an ongoing challenge.
2. Ten years from now Vienna can still be the desirable town we know today, with increasingly attractive residential and commercial areas. This will only occur, however, if the citizens and town officials continue a partnership to ensure responsive and responsible town government.
1. I believe Vienna’s greatest challenge is effectively dealing with the impacts of a growing Fairfax County, such as traffic congestion, public safety and security, deterioration of roadways, property assessment increases and environmental concerns. Most of the impacts on the town are the result of an increasing county population, not rapid growth in Vienna. I feel the challenge is best met when both citizens and local government are involved in dealing with local solutions, while being an active voice to lobby Fairfax County and the Northern Virginia area for positive regional actions. As a member of the Town Council, I would work for consensus on innovative local solutions and be a strong voice to seek county and regional actions.
2. I envision Vienna continuing to be a vibrant community due to a blend of quality "common sense" government, efficient public services, a variety of attractive single- and multifamily housing options, active leisure opportunities, and a diverse, low-density business community. It will require the vision and hard work of the town’s citizens and elected officials to focus on the future while maintaining our unique identity as a great place to call "home."