For the past three months Mayor Rick Thoesen has been wrestling with the decision of whether or not to seek re-election. On Tuesday night, he announced his decision before a small gathering of reporters in his office — he is not going to be on the May ballot.
"It is very disappointing to me personally … I really love being mayor, but my responsibilities at work and my responsibilities here in town leave very little room for my wife, Judy," Thoesen said. "I still have a lot of passion, but I wanted to be fair to the community. I didn't want to just get by."
THOESEN SAID his job as deputy general manager at the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority and the added responsibility he was given this year to help oversee the construction of a $200 million water-reuse campus, left little time to devote to his duties as mayor, which he estimates requires an average of 20 hours per week, and even less time for his wife.
As of Tuesday, he said he had not discussed his decision with his fellow council members and had not planned to publicly make an announcement at the council meeting later that night, saying it wasn't an appropriate use of that forum.
"I realize physically, I won't be able to be working 70-80 hours per week, so I made the decision to let go, so to speak," He said. "Judy is concerned for my health. And I realized my wife, Judy, is at home many times when I'm here trying to improve the town. It's Judy's time."
He said when he ran for mayor two years ago, he intended to seek a second term because of the difficulty with getting everything accomplished in just two years.
AFTER 30 YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE, leaving office creates some disappointment for Thoesen in that he will not be able to continue to be a part of the town's efforts to protect its neighborhoods; that the cultural arts center had to be pushed back to 2009; and that a day-laborer site had not been created, which he said would have contributed to the town.
On the other hand, he is proud that under his watch, Herndon was able to create an action plan, which guides the future of the town; hired town manager Steve Owen, whom he calls a perfect fit; that he was able to garner five votes for the meals tax; and was able to secure a new location for the police department.
Once he retires from public office, Thoesen said he expects to stay active, mostly likely through a civic organization rather than a town appointment.
"It's time to groom other people," he said. "We need new blood. We need new people to get involved in our town."