GOP Candidates Cite Goals for Council

GOP Candidates Cite Goals for Council

Five Republicans are seeking election to the City Council.

Five Republicans will appear on the May 2 ballot for City Council. They will be challenging a slate of six Democrats for six at-large seats on the council.

KEN FORAN is a native of Hicksville, N.Y., and he has lived in Alexandria since 1976. He has a bachelor of arts in international relations from Dartmouth College, a master of public administration from Harvard University, a diploma in comparative legal studies from Cambridge University and a juris doctorate from Cornell University School of Law.

Foran was elected to the Alexandria School Board in 2003. He was one of two board members who voted against extending Superintendent Rebecca Perry’s contract after she was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He also voted against the board’s recent decision to double the salary of School Board members. He has served on several of the city’s boards and commissions, including the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Alexandria Waterfront Committee.

His top three goals for the next City Council are:

Increase Transparency: "Too many issues addressed by City Council are decided before citizens get to speak at public hearings," he said. "One-party monopoly government leads to decisions being made in private meetings and a lack of public discussion and public process on said issues."

Restrain Spending: "Unsustainable upward spiraling of spending has led to bank-breaking increases in residential taxes," he said. "Yet the council has refused to even discuss restrained growth in city spending."

Audit Services: "Council members have failed to discuss in public the concept of an independent outside audit of public services," he said. "We need to ascertain what the city does well and what might be improved."

CRAIG MILLER is a native of Trenton, N.J., and he has lived in Alexandria since 1981. He has a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College. A former market reporter for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, he has been a mortgage loan officer since 1996.

Miller is a member of the Campagna Center’s Business Leadership Council, the Alexandria Rotary Club, the Historic Alexandria Foundation, the Old Town Civic Association and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In January, he filed a lawsuit against the city to oppose the location of a Safe Haven homeless shelter on North Patrick Street.

His top three goals for the next City Council are:

Control Spending: "We need performance audits measuring efficiency and effectiveness in all departments," he said. "It is unfair to the citizens of Alexandria to keep pushing our tax bills higher when the city doesn’t know how effective their departments are or where the waste lies."

Encourage Development: "Development can be an exceptional opportunity when the right developer and the proper placement come together," he said. "I support concentrating new development by the Metro stops, which encourages people to use public transportation."

Support Teachers: "Most of our schools are underachieving — and if they are not, there is still a perception that they are. The result is decreasing enrollment," he said. "This is not because we don’t have dedicated, passionate, capable teachers. But how can any citizen in this city expect the best from our teachers and students when they are not properly supported by the schools’ administration?"

BERNIE SCHULZ is a native of Arlington, and he has lived in Alexandria since 2000. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Radford University, a master of education from the University of South Carolina and a master of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Professionally, he serves as a special assistant to the vice president of campus life at American University.

Schulz is a member of the Historic Alexandria Resources Commission, the Windmill Hill Park Task Force, the School Board’s Talented and Gifted Advisory Committee, Old Town Civic Association and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

His top three goals for the next City Council are:

Control Taxes: "I want to focus on addressing the double-digit real estate taxes that have angered residents for four straight years," he said. "That affects homeowners and renters."

Address Congestion: "Every pocket of the city has traffic congestion," he said. "This City Council has totally ignored the transportation issue as it relates to planning and development."

Reduce Crime: "We are seeing a rising problem with crime and gang violence," he said. "I don’t think we are doing enough, and I’d like to see more community action groups."

PAT TROY is a native of Offaly, Ireland, and has lived in Alexandria since 1974. He opened the Irish Walk import shop in 1974 and Ireland’s Own restaurant and pub in 1980. He is the chairman and founder of the Ballyshaners, which organizes the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and the host of "The Irish Radio Show."

Troy is a member of the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Board of Governors and a longtime supporter of Project Children, a program that has enabled children from all over Ireland to stay with American families. He served on the King Street Retail Study and the Motor Coach Task Force.

His top three goals for the next City Council are:

Control Spending: "We must gain control over this ever-escalating burden on our residents and businesses," he said. "The job of the next council is to return Alexandria to being an affordable city and keep it that way."

Improve Traffic: "We must find ways to improving our traffic flow within our city," he said. "We cannot continue to add more and more development along roads already clogged."

Restrain Developers: "We must ensure that the next council sees to it that development in Potomac Yard and Landmark is planned with the interest of the community first and the developers second," he said. "No more ‘Funside’ for developers at the expense of our citizens."

TOWNSEND VAN FLEET is a native of San Francisco; he has lived in Alexandria since 1985. He has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a master of science in public administration from Shippensburg State College.

In 1981, he retired from the Army as a colonel and founded Van Fleet Associates, a consulting firm that is now known as the Van Fleet-Meredith Group. Several years ago, he was hired by the State Department to analyze its planning, programming and budgeting system — an experience he says will help him control spending on City Council.

His top three goals for the next City Council are:

Reduce Taxes: "The higher taxes increase, the less citizens are going to be able to buy or rent affordable housing units throughout the city," he said. "Those citizens in retirement or on fixed incomes will eventually have to move out of Alexandria if the property taxes continue to increase."

Reduce Congestion: "Traffic in Alexandria, as in all of Northern Virginia, has become a nightmare," he said. "I only intend to endorse sensible growth in which future developments are tied directly to the ability of local roads and related infrastructure to handle the predictable increase on traffic and the demand on services."

Stop Pollution: "I want to create a city-wide environmental plan to eliminate the causes of pollution in order to provide a healthier environment for all Alexandrians," he said. "A good start would be to close both the Mirant Plant and the Virginia Paving Plant for good. Both of these two plants are operating full steam because the council, in both cases, failed to conduct a transparent and unbiased process."