Douglas Reimel and Eugene Delgaudio both live in Sterling Park and both want to serve the Sterling District on the Board of Supervisors, but their reasons for running are neighborhoods apart.
Delgaudio (R), incumbent supervisor, originally ran four years ago at the encouragement of other Sterling residents, he said. In late 1998, he called for a "meatball rebellion" to protest the county’s proposed meals tax referendum that would have added a half-cent sales tax to prepared meals. Several Sterling residents turned out to the event and encouraged Delgaudio to run for the Sterling District, a seat that later opened up when Scott York ran for the At-large seat, he said.
Delgaudio announced his candidacy a few months later and continued the "meatball rebellion" against high taxes and wasteful government spending. Again, he is running for the same reasons, along with wanting to put an end to the “forced growth of Sterling,” as he states in his campaign literature. He says that government spending has been out of control for the past four years. “All of the boondoggles have to go, including the Purchase of Development Rights program, out-of-county travel and many other non-productive, non-essential expenditures,” he said.
As for growth in Sterling, “There are a number of changes in the ordinances that would greatly reduce pressure on the Sterling area and eliminate plans to increase high-rise density,” Delgaudio said. “Relatively speaking, all development is coming to eastern Loudoun. I will work to adopt any plan that would result in reducing that burden.”
Some of the changes Delgaudio wants to see at the county level include allowing, under the county’s Revised Comprehensive Plan, the use of passive recreation and ball fields in 100-year flood plains and adopting a Herndon ordinance that would eliminate the number of people and cars per property to “reduce the crowding in some of the neighborhoods that have too many people in one house,” he said.
Delgaudio also wants to see improvements in the areas of traffic and public safety. He plans to encourage public-private partnerships for roadway projects, similar to the Public Private Transportation Act project that will add interchanges on Route 28. He plans to renegotiate and reschedule proffers of roads planned for the next 10 years so that they start and finish within three years and improve the timing of traffic signals. He mentioned helping secure a new traffic signal at Church and Holly roads and opening a community policing office in Sterling during his term.
“The people of Sterling strongly indicated the support of my policies,” said Delgaudio, who reaches his constituents through the citizen surveys he has conducted during the past four years, regular Internet mailings and the weekly meetings he has held since March. “The supervisor very much has to stay in touch with all of the people.”
REIMEL (D) is running for the Sterling District seat, saying that he is “basically tired of seeing Sterling ignored and forgotten. I felt we needed someone who cares about the community and takes their concerns to heart … and fights for them. We’re not getting that right now.”
A seven-year resident of Sterling Park, Reimel wants to see one of the county’s oldest communities revitalized with better connected sidewalks and traffic signals, along with the revitalization of county government facilities, such as the Sterling Library and Sterling Community Center, along with the Sterling Park Shopping Center. The facilities and shopping area could be better integrated into a town center from the current “mish-mash of isolated places,” he said. He wants to encourage businesses to fill the empty storefronts in Sterling Park and to give the shopping area a “main street appeal.” “We need to redevelop the area to better reflect the community,” he said.
Other community issues Reimel plans to address include speeding, overflow parking from schools and the community center into neighborhoods, crowding in homes and trash in neighborhoods. “There are some basic quality of life issues that need to be addressed,” he said. “Nobody is doing anything about it.”
Reimel has contacted the county about the trash and was told the community needed a homeowner’s association to address the issue, something Sterling Park does not have, he said.
On a broader perspective, Reimel wants to help preserve a sustainable rate of growth in the county, along with keeping the county’s property taxes low enough so that the cost of living remains affordable, he said. “We've got to work on growth issues and preserve the plan and zoning ordinance. That’s the only thing that keeps our taxes from skyrocketing more,” he said, adding that the Revised Comprehensive Plan focuses on the county’s undeveloped areas and does little for existing developments in the east. “We need to preserve what’s done in that plan as well as expand the plan to define the direction we’re heading in existing communities,” he said.
If elected, Reimel plans to address the county’s traffic issues, such as working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen Route 7 from Fairfax County Parkway to Tysons Corner. He plans to work on improving the county’s commuter bus system, along with beginning work on bus rapid transit instead of waiting until 2015 for rail to come to Dulles. “I couldn’t imagine us doing anything before then,” he said. “People driving in traffic want solutions now. … We need improvements sooner, not later. Forget politics.”
Reimel believes the supervisor should apply government services and the county’s available resources to help the residents. “We need someone who is going to care about what the community is facing and use available resources to help people with the problems they face,” he said.