As someone who just finished his first, and likely last, political campaign in the Town of Herndon, I want to share with the councilmembers-elect a few thoughts through a SWOT analysis - identifying Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. My hope is that my SWOT analysis will help the incoming Herndon Town Council achieve results for the Town of Herndon.
1) The current Town Council's greatest strength is now diversity. The Town Council, once made up of mostly white men, is now made up of mostly women. In addition, the Town of Herndon has elected, for the first time, a Latino and a Nepalese-American. Many studies have shown that diversity breeds creativity. I hope that Herndon's most diverse council ever will also be its most creative council ever.
2) The Town Manager and Town Attorney are rocks. Not rock stars. Rocks. No matter what the newly elected politicians do or say, citizens should be comforted by the fact that our Town Manager and Town Attorney are smart, steady and serious. They are not interested in political theater. They are solid.
1) The 2018 Town Council campaign was divisive, ugly and partisan. Councilmembers now have to spend significant time rebuilding burnt bridges. This will inherently delay progress. I hope councilmembers steer away from political theater and towards meaningful conversations.
2) The new Town Council is made up mostly of salespeople. I would personally prefer more educators, engineers, designers, scientists, and artists on the council, because those professions tend to be more visionary. Sales people are more likely to hype up the town, but they are less likely to do or even conceive anything truly creative that would differentiate the town.
1) The Downtown Redevelopment Project remains the single most significant opportunity for the town. It is the Town Council's to win or lose. 2) The arrival of the Herndon Metro Station is imminent. The reimagining, re-planning, re-engineering, re-designing and redeveloping associated with the new metro station will be a set of prolonged opportunities. I hope the Town Council considers sustainability, smart urban growth and affordable housing as it leads or follows this development.
Threats: I believe climate change is an existential threat. The Town of Herndon has a responsibility to act on climate change. With only one millennial on the newly elected council, I highly doubt there will be significant action taken by the new council to address climate change. I hope I'm wrong.
Think Globally. Act Locally.
Former candidate for Herndon Town Council