The Herndon Town Council voted 4-2 to pass the town manager's revised FY2004 - FY2009 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at its Tuesday, June 10 public session. The town's financial planning document is not binding, but it does layout a road map for future capital expenditures and priorities. With its vote, the council elected to keep the $7 million earmark for the proposed downtown Cultural Arts Center in FY2008-09. With Mayor Richard Thoesen absent, vice mayor Carol Bruce presided over a noticeably less emotional hearing than budget and CIP hearings in previous weeks.
Herndon residents frustrated with the council over lightning rod issues like the Neighborhood Resource Center, interim day laborer site and the Cultural Arts Center addressed council, but most seemed resigned to the fact that the CIP would be passed. Council members Dennis Husch and Connie Hutchinson, once again, were the lone dissenters among the council. Echoing the sentiments of the majority, Councilman Harlon Reece stressed that the CIP is a "planning document" and that there will "be plenty of opportunity to revisit these items again in the future. The CIP by nature is a revolving document," Reece added. Hutchinson said it didn't "make sense to try and spend money we can't afford to spend." Husch said the council was setting a dangerous precedent with its vote. "It establishes some expectations because it is in this document, it will be funded," Husch said.