City of Alexandria Candidate Questionaires
http://www.alexan...">Willie F. Bailey Sr.
http://www.alexan...">John Taylor Chapman
http://www.alexan...">Redella S. "Del" Pepper
http://www.alexan...">Paul C. Smedburg
http://www.alexan...">Townsend "Van" Van Fleet
http://www.alexan...">John R. "Bob" Wood
Family: Wife Beth and daughters Isabella, Kathleen and Ava
Education including degrees and institutions: BA, University of Chicago; MA, Princeton University; JD, University of Washington
Offices held, dates: Alexandria City Council, 2006-2009 and 2012-present
Occupation and relevant experience: I am a government relations consultant who has worked in transportation policy for over 30 years. I have also served as staff for a Congresswoman and a Senator and as an active-duty Coast Guard officer.
Community involvement: Chair of the City’s Budget and Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee, Board Member of Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) of Northern Virginia, former Chair of the Alexandria United Way Campaign, former Wright to Read tutor, and former Board member and volunteer for several Alexandria non-profits
Email address: email@example.com
Twitter handle: @TimLovain
Name three favorite endorsements: ACPS teachers, Sierra Club, Alexandria police officers
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
I want to continue to be a champion for Alexandria’s kids. I am very proud of my three daughters and my wife’s work directing the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria. It isn’t just a cliché that our kids are our future. I have fought for adequate and rationally-based school funding, safe routes to schools, more playing fields, and stopping child abuse, and I want to expand those efforts. I want to implement the Children and Youth Master Plan I helped shepherd to enactment.
What distinguishes you from your opponents and why should voters choose you?
I am the proud father of three ACPS students, all at T.C. Williams. I am also a transportation policy professional and want to continue to use that expertise to help address transportation challenges in Alexandria and throughout our region. If I am re-elected, I will chair the Transportation Planning Board for the National Capital Region, where I am addressing transportation challenges facing our entire region. I also have a track record as a careful steward of taxpayer dollars.
Beyond funding, how else can city government help the school system?
We can ensure better cooperation and coordination among ACPS, City agencies and our non-profits, as promised in the Youth and Master Plan, e.g. “wrap-around services” for at-risk youth and City and ACPS programs at City recreational facilities. We can also attract more high-quality commercial development around our Metro stations to generate tax revenues for schools and other City needs while lessening the tax burden on Alexandria residents. We should also continue and intensify the cooperation between the City and ACPS on anticipating and planning for future development and demand for educational facilities.
How do you convince citizens that you are truly listening to them even when you have to disagree with them?
I try my best to show citizens that I understand their concerns and arguments and treat them with respect. We have so many well-informed and engaged citizens that elected officials are well-advised to listen closely to them! In the end, I try my best to explain that it is my job to consider all the evidence and citizen concerns and then exercise my best judgment about what is the right course for Alexandria.
Any number of economic hiccups beyond the city's control (federal government, economic downturn, etc.) could force re-ordering of city budget priorities. For reductions, which three areas would you turn to first?
Our top priorities should be public safety, public education, public works and public health, but even those budgets should be scrubbed for efficiencies. We should take a harder look at other programs and focus especially on not filling certain staff vacancies. Finally, we should consider reducing spending on programs that duplicate services supplied by other levels of government and non-profits.
If you were given $1 million to spend any way you would like for the betterment of the city, how would you spend it?
I would probably spend it on a program that I coincidentally secured $1 million for a couple years ago — more sidewalks and crosswalks to improve pedestrian safety and encourage walkable access to schools, transit stops, homes and shopping. These “complete streets” improvements can expand transportation choices, decrease household transportation costs, increase physical activity and make our streets safer for everyone.