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About the Offices

Offices: Vienna mayor and town council
Terms: Mayor serves a two-year term. Three of six council members are elected each year for two-year staggered terms. Town elections are nonpartisan and council members are elected at-large.
Salaries: Mayor, $6,000 per year; council members, $5,000 per year.
Duties: The mayor is the ranking elected official and ceremonial head of town government, presides at town meetings, has all rights and duties of other council members and has no veto power. The council establishes town policies, passes resolutions and ordinances, approves the town budget, sets tax rates, approves land use plans, and makes appointments to town boards and commissions.
QUESTIONS
What changes would you propose to relieve traffic congestion on Maple Avenue (Route 123)?
Vienna’s neighborhoods are confronting aging water and sewer infrastructure. How would you speed up this upgrading process and what ideas do you propose to increase Public Works revenues?
Vienna’s Safe Routes to School Program includes plans to encourage walking and bicycle riding to school. Do you support this program and additional funding?
What other issue is important to residents of the Town of Vienna, and what solutions would you propose to address it?

Candidates for Mayor, Vienna

(Vote for not more than one)

M. Jane Seeman, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: M Jane Seeman, Mayor since 2000, Councilmember 1996-2000, BA Fort Hays Kansas State University, Vienna resident since 1968, over 3000 volunteer hours Patrick Henry Library, Historic Vienna Inc. volunteer, Rotary Club of Vienna, ViVaVienna! Volunteer, member Vienna Presbyterian Church.

Traffic: Traffic on Maple Avenue will continue to increase with the redevelopment of Tysons Corner. We need better, more reliable, convenient, neighborhood bus service in Vienna. I believe in keeping the traffic out of our neighborhoods and on the main routes through Vienna.

Infrastructure: Vienna’s water and sewer infrastructure is in good condition. A 2010 report shows that 95% of water lines are in good to fair condition. There is a plan in place now to replace and upgrade water and sewer lines with money from the Capital Improvement Program.

Safe Routes: I support the Safe Routes to School, the Walk-to-Downtown and the Walk to Metro grant initiatives which will enable Vienna to build more neighborhood sidewalks. Our Capital Improvement Program has additional funds for sidewalks.

Issue: We are working on a vision plan for Maple Avenue. It is important that we keep our small town atmosphere while taking advantage of redevelopment opportunities. We must find our unique niche and yet keep our identity. Parking or the lack of parking is an issue I recognize and am planning. A new recycling, trash and special pickup program will need extensive public outreach to be effective. This is one of the several efficiencies we are undertaking in order to bring better service to Vienna citizens with no increased cost. We have stormwater issues that need to be addressed. Our Capital Improvement Program has funds in which to begin these projects.

Contact: janehome1@cox.net; 703-938-2884

Candidates for Town Council, Vienna

(Vote for not more than three)

Laurie Genevro Cole, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: Laurie Genevro Cole seeks her sixth term on Vienna Town Council. A 26-year Vienna resident, she is active in local civic organizations as well as serving in Town government. Laurie was named the 2011 Vienna-Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

Traffic: Only regional solutions are going to make a significant difference in Maple Avenue congestion. For the sake of our residents and businesses, we need public transportation serving Vienna, Tysons, Oakton and beyond, to offer a viable alternative to single vehicle trips. Even the cost of using the Dulles Toll Road affects traffic on Maple. I will continue to work with Tysons planners to get regional improvements to aid Maple Avenue.

Infrastructure: It’s important to note that “aging” doesn’t equal “decaying”. Vienna’s preventive maintenance work keeps our systems in good condition, as shown by a recent independent audit. With borrowing costs at historic lows, we have an opportunity to use bond funding to support more vigorous repair and replacement efforts. Funding improvements while moderating rate increases is our challenge.

Safe Routes: I’m glad to support programs that give our kids safe opportunities to be active, including walking and riding to school. In addition to supporting funding for sidewalks which are part of the SRTS plans and at other locations, I initiated the Council’s adoption of an ordinance requiring bike riders aged 14 and under to wear helmets, as allowed by state law. Providing for our children’s health and safety is an important focus of my service on Council.

Issue: More important than any single issue to our community is the need for individuals to get involved. Neighborhood associations, civic organizations like the Optimist and Rotary Clubs, and the Town’s own Boards and Commissions all need the active participation of our talented residents. The time commitment pays big rewards in benefits to our community, in a sense of accomplishment, and in modeling public service to our kids. People tend to mobilize when a critical issue arises, but I propose that the right time to get involved is now.

Contact: lgcole-vienna@cox.net

Edythe Frankel Kelleher, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: Councilwoman since 2002. Previously county Supervisor staff, property manager, defense contractor administrator, Labor Department economist. Vienna Green Expo, Friends of Vienna Town Green, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Capital Campaign, Halloween Parade. American Legion Auxiliary, Lions Club, PTA/PTSAs. Civic association president, Vienna Beautification Commission. MBA, George Washington University. BA, Johns Hopkins. Married, three children.

Traffic: Traffic belongs on Maple Avenue, not cutting through residential neighborhoods. We can keep commuters moving by coordinating traffic lights. We can facilitate non-motorized local trips by providing pedestrian and bicycling opportunities. The process for installing bike racks has been streamlined. We established a Bicycle Advisory Committee and will create a Pedestrian Advisory Committee to investigate other innovative ideas. (See #3, sidewalks.)

Infrastructure: Last year’s comprehensive water/sewer study assessed infrastructure conditions and outlined a renewal plan. The proposed 2012 bond issue includes funding for that plan. The two Public Works revenue sources are water/sewer rates and real estate taxes. Because about 40% of our water customers are outside the Town limits, it is necessary to pay water/sewer expenses from water/sewer revenues. However, rates in our small system are much higher than in the surrounding large system. With one of our water suppliers considering merging into the other, Vienna may also need to be consolidated. We must make decisions that result in the lowest overall costs for Town residents and water/sewer ratepayers.

Safe Routes: I support Vienna’s participation in the Federal “Safe Routes to Schools” program. Sidewalk proposals originate from the individual school communities, with the Town endorsing the proposals, applying for grants, and managing construction. Other programs require matching funds, such as the “Walk to Downtown Initiative.” Vienna’s proposed 2012 bond issue includes $700,000 that could be the Town’s match for up to $3.5 million in sidewalk grants.

Issue: Maple Avenue redevelopment: With major changes at Tysons and Merrifield, Vienna needs a strategy to retain its home-town identity and commercial vitality. The Town will soon hire a consultant to hold public input sessions and write new zoning rules. There will be many public hearings and amendments, but we hope to arrive at community consensus and adopt new guidelines within 18 months.

Contact: www.edythekelleher.org; efrank01@yahoo.com; 703-242-7651

Michael J. Polychrones, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: Polychrones has been a Council member since 1996. Prior to his election to the Council he was a member of the Planning Commission and Transportation & Safety Commissions for the Town of Vienna. He is a Past President of the Virginia Municipal league.

Traffic: The real question is do I think traffic congestion will get worse with the Tyson’s Redevelopment plan and the answer is yes I do. The plan to mitigate the effects of the increase is to further the efforts of traffic light timing throughout town at during the peak traffic periods to allow for better flow on Maple Avenue.

Infrastructure: Over the last 16 years on council I have always supported both the annual maintenance of our water and sewer system and its upgrades in our CIP program. The recent study of the system sows while we have some further work to perform, our system is in good shape and continues to provide good potable water. It is and will always be a priority to maintain the safe and efficient water quality.

Safe Routes: Yes I do! I have voted for these projects in Vienna where the residents have requested them. However, I will not vote to place them if a majority of property owners do not want sidewalks in a particular area.

Issue: Since first being elected to Town Council, I have said that we need a long range plan for the Maple Avenue Business corridor. After all these years of study, we are at a point where a plan could be in place within the next year, at least that is my goal. I will work with my other council colleagues to bring this to fruition. It is imperative we have something in place with all of the redevelopment at Tyson’s and Merrifield, in order to maintain Vienna’s unique character and community.

Contact: ubupepper@cox.net