CountrySide resident Andrea McGimsey filed for the Democratic nomination for the Board of Supervisors' Potomac seat, the last Democratic nominee to file for the election. She will run against incumbent Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) in November.
"I have been an activist for many years," McGimsey said. "I wanted to step up. I wanted to really listen to the citizens."
McGimsey said the current board has wasted too much time on development proposals that were too large to really work in the county.
"There is a tremendous amount of work to do," she said. "I want to get focus back on our existing communities."
McGimsey said she wants to address the underlying issues that every existing community in the county faces every day, including supporting the public-school system and public-safety agencies.
"We need to make sure we have the funding we need to keep our communities safe," she said.
With traffic and transportation being the biggest issues facing Loudoun County, McGimsey said she would like to focus on the improving the county's east-west commuting corridors, such as Route 7, Route 50 and the Dulles Greenway, and providing more transportation options for residents.
"We need to get the local road grid completed," she said. "You don't want to put more houses where there is no road infrastructure."
The issue of traffic is a personal one for McGimsey, one she said is critical to both businesses and families.
"It is about parents getting home to their kids," she said.
In addition to traffic, McGimsey said she is concerned about the drop in the commercial tax base in the county.
"The commercial tax base has dropped to 13 percent," she said. "The property tax is picking up the slack. We need to have that balance."
McGimsey said she would like to see the commercial tax base rise, to at least 20 percent, in order to find the balance between jobs and houses.
"We can't be flipping commercial land to residential," she said. "We need to support the rural economy. There are a lot of things we could be doing to promote that balance."
While she is a familiar figure in many county government meetings and public hearings, McGimsey is dedicated to getting other citizens to participate in the public process and the county's government.
"I am passionate about getting citizens involved," she said. "I want to help residents get engaged in their government. I want to excite people about participating in their government."
As the former director of Campaign for Loudoun's Future, McGimsey said she believes in a fair and open government process where citizens feel comfortable coming forward and expressing their opinion.
"I will be a supervisor who listens to the citizens," she said. "I am going to negotiate on behalf of citizens."
— Erika Jacobson