Questionnaire: Mick Staton, Board of Supervisors, Sugarland Run District

Questionnaire: Mick Staton, Board of Supervisors, Sugarland Run District

Office sought: Sugarland Run District Board of Supervisors

Party Affiliation: Republican

Previous offices held; please include dates: First time running

Incumbents: when elected to this position:

Occupation: Public Affairs Consultant

Current employment:

Capitol Link, Inc. 831 South

King Street, Suite E

Leesburg, VA 20175

Previous employment: I have worked there since completing Graduate School


Bachelors in Political Science - West Virginia University - 1988 - 1992

Masters in Public Administration - West Virginia University - 1992 - 1994

Community ties:

20 year resident of Northern Virginia. My office has been located in Leesburg since 1997. Homeowner in Sugarland Run. Attend Galilee United Methodist Church. Past Precinct Captain and District Chairman for Sugarland Run for the Loudoun County Republican Committee. Co-Founder of the Loudoun Taxpayers Coalition.


I don't look at my endorsements that way. I am proud of all of them. I have the support of every elected official that represents my area, including Delegate Dick Black, Senator Bill Mims, Congressman Frank Wolf, and Senator George Allen. As a life-long Republican, each one holds its own value to me.

1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?

Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn't voters blame you for current problems in your district?

I have never held public office before, so I would have to say my top public-service accomplishment was helping to lead the defeat of the sales tax referendum in Loudoun County.

2. What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what approaches will you use to solve them? Describe one challenge (or more) in your district that is different than other parts of the county.

Higher taxes and out of control spending - we need to control spending and eliminate waste and pet projects, so we can lower the tax rate and still fund our priorities.

Education - work more closely with the school board on funding issues, improving the boundary line adjustment process, and ensure neighborhood schools.

Growth - Stop the practice of shifting all new growth into the Eastern Part of the County. Develop a fair and balanced growth plan that effectively manages new growth, while protecting the existing communities both in the East and the West.

Transportation - We need to improve the traffic flow on our major roads, like Route 7, so that commuters will stay on these roads, and stop using our residential roads as cut throughs. We need to provide real mass transit solutions, like bringing the Metro to Dulles Airport.

Public Safety - Crime has been rising over the last few years, and gang activity is on the rise. We need to have a better relationship with the Sheriff's department and make sure they have they need to keep our neighborhoods safe. We need to work with the communities to develop more neighborhood watch programs.

3. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?

I was raised with an appreciation of the importance of public service. My have a Bachelor's in Political Science and a Master's in Public Administration. For the last nine years I have worked as a consultant to local governments, representing their interests in Washington, D.C. I have a dedication to upholding common sense, Conservative principles of lower taxes, limited government, and respect for personal freedom.

4. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?

I am committed to protecting the communities of the Sugarland Run District from over-crowding, excessive in-fill development, and redevelopment of our older communities into high density urban areas. My opponent supports shifting all new growth in Loudoun into the Eastern part of the County which would cause our density to triple over the next 20 years.

5. What specific solutions will you propose for the transportation dilemma? Please address funding, prioritization, air quality, bus service and other non-rail public transportation solutions, expansion of rail service, and any other possible approach.

We need to have a comprehensive approach to our transportation problems. Simply focusing on just roads, or just mass transit, will not solve the problem. We need to do it all. We need to improve our roads, expand our mass transit options, and ensure that walking is still an option for people. In terms of funding, we need to look at more public/private partnerships, and increased funding from the State and Federal Government.

6. The majority on the current Board of Supervisors have followed a "Smart Growth" policy. How has it been successful? How has it failed? What remains to be done?

The new growth plans passed by this Board shift 90% of all new development into the Eastern third of the County. By their own projections, they expect Loudoun County's population to increase to over 400,000 in the next 20 years. With 90% of that growth going into the Eastern third of the County, are density will triple, our traffic will get worse, are crime rate will go up, and our quality of life will suffer. We need to have a fair and balanced growth plan the effectively manages new growth, while protecting the

existing communities both in the East and in the West.

7. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.

Open space in the Sugarland Run District is very scarce. In-fill development is eating up what little open space we have left. Our air quality can be improved by improving our traffic flow, and providing more mass transit options.

8. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality of life issues?

An increased presence of law enforcement in our communities, and a heightened readiness will make our neighborhoods safer. Emergency preparedness will make our Sheriff's office and Fire departments more effective in any type of situation, be it a natural or man made disaster.

9. Do you have any concerns about civil liberties and public access to information in the wake of the Patriot Act and other responses to Sept. 11?

The entire country changed after September 11th, as people woke up to the reality that terrorism can happen here at home. In the midst of preparing new safety procedures and new laws to protect ourselves, we must also be sure that we do not let our concerns devolve into irrational behavior, and turn innocents into suspects. We need to make sure that we uphold the ideal of innocent until proven guilty.

10. Working poor families in Northern Virginia face a daunting cost of living, with little in the way of affordable housing, health care, child care and transportation. Are low-wage workers important to the local economy? What do you propose to address the needs of these families?

We need to expand our affordable housing program, working with the development community to include more affordable units in their projects. We also need to look into Federal programs that provide assistance for affordable housing. But we also need to lower the cost of living for our residents by controlling spending, and rebuilding our commercial tax base, so we can lower taxes, and provide more high paying jobs.

11. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?

Loudoun County is already taxing its citizens too much. We don't need to give it the power to impose even more taxes.

12. What proposals do you have for mitigating the effects of soaring property values and related taxes?

By controlling the growth in government spending, and eliminating wasteful spending and pet projects, such as the Purchase of Development Rights program, we can lower the tax rate, and fund our priorities such as education and public safety.

13. What campaign finance reform do you support? How should the county avoid conflict of interest, or even the appearance of conflict, given the Board's role in approving development and zoning changes and contributions by development interests?

Supervisors are required to disclose any contributions received from someone who has business before the Board which ensures full disclosure.  I am not comfortable with telling certain groups or people that they should not be allowed to participate in the political process.  If we banned donations from groups or individuals who might have business before the Board, then no-one would be allowed to give.  Anybody who owns a piece of property in Loudoun (or anyone who lives in Loudoun for that matter) has an interest in

land use issues, and can be harmed or benefit from decisions made by the Board.