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About the Offices

Offices: Clifton mayor and town council
Terms: Two Years
Salaries: None
Duties: The mayor presides over the council meetings; is ceremonial head of the town government; has all the duties and powers of other council members; and has no veto power. The ouncil establishes town policies; passes resolutions and ordinances; approves the town budget; sets tax rates; approves land-use plans; and makes appointments.
Main street: In the Town of Clifton what improvements do you envision to revitalize main street?
Going green: Do you think a ”green initiative” should be an important consideration for Clifton?
Signs: What is your position on updating Clifton’s sign ordinance?
Issue: What other issue is important to residents of the Town of Clifton, and what solutions would you propose to address it?

Candidates for Mayor, Clifton

(Vote for not more than one)

William R. Hollaway, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: I am a partner with the law firm of Gibson Dunn, where I lead the Energy Regulatory practice. I received a Ph.D. from M.I.T. and a J.D. from Georgetown. I am Mayor of Clifton, was twice elected a Council Member, and served as Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Main street: I envision the Town making significant improvements over the next year to both the “Triangle” at the entrance to the Town on Main Street, which is the gateway to the Town, and to Ayre Square, which is the town square in the middle of the Town. Both improvements will follow the designs and philosophy created by the comprehensive Streetscape Master Plan we just completed, with extensive public involvement, and terrific leadership by Susan Yantis. Both improvements also will be cost-effective and sensitive to budget constraints. With the volunteer spirit of Clifton, we will improve the Town without breaking the bank.

Going green: The people of the Clifton Community have been “green” long before being green was the “in” thing. Our citizens respect the environment and live within its means. The essence of historic preservation and environmental preservation go hand-in-hand. Rather than having a separate initiative, we weave environmental responsibility into our planning on an organic basis.

Signs: I strongly support updating Clifton’s sign ordinance to reflect today’s needs. We have initiated a process to obtain input and feedback from the Town businesses, residents, and the Architectural Review Board through a series of meeting discussing how to update the Town’s sign ordinance to reflect current needs. I am confident that great ideas will rise up through this community process. This is an important issue to the Town and we will craft a balanced solution.

Issue: It is important that we have an elementary school in the Clifton Community. Area schools are becoming even more crowded and enrollment is growing. There is a site in Clifton where a school could be constructed or renovated. I will continue to work positively and proactively with the School Board and stakeholder groups to develop and implement solutions to alleviate School overcrowding and bring an elementary school back to Clifton.

Contact:; 703-869-8830

Candidates for Town Council, Clifton

(Vote for not more than five) [Note: four candidates on ballot for five open seats]

Wayne H. Nickum, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: Mayor, Town of Clifton, 1982 1992; Clifton Town Council, 1974 1982, 1992 2004, 2006 - present; Member, Clifton Betterment Association, 1972 present; Treasurer, Clifton Betterment Association, 1980 1990; Resident, Town of Clifton since 1971; Former member of various town committees parks, recreation, historic designation, ARB, Town Hall, and others

Main street: The Town is currently in the process of developing a Main Street enhancement plan. We recently held a public hearing to consider the adoption of our plan for inclusion in our Town Master Plan. The plan should be adopted by the Town Council within the next few months.

Going green: The Town Council always considers green in our adoption of our restoration and development i.e. our recent completed off street parking area available to the general public and our Main Street enhancement plan.

Signs: The current Clifton Town Code which covers Clifton signage is out dated and needs to be replaced. The Town’s Architectural Review Board with input from the Town’s business community and residents is currently working on a revision which should be considered and adopted by July 2012.

Issue: I am running for the position of Councilman of the Town of Clifton to continue to provide my knowledge and experience to members of our Town Council and serve Clifton residents. In addition, the Clifton Town Council should address my four “P's" preservation, parks, participation and process. Voters should elect me because I have a track record of town related accomplishments during the period I served as councilman and mayor. During the time I was not an official of the town; I actively contributed my time and efforts to increase interaction between town residents and participated in various town projects. If elected I will continue to work for the best interests of our town residents.

Contact:; 703-830-1430

Dwayne R. Nitz, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: Dwayne Nitz is a Project Manager and Sustainability Officer for Nitz Development & Construction, a commercial general contractor specializing in religious and education facilities. He earned a B.A. in English from James Madison University and has served as Vice-Mayor since 2010. He is married with three small children.

Main street: With a high degree of public input, the Town is on the verge of adopting a Streetscape Master Plan which will, 1) enhance pedestrian linkages and visibility, 2) improve on-street parking, and 3) manage storm water. The proposed Master Plan looks great, is in harmony with the spirit and aesthetic of historic Clifton, and turns the focus from motor traffic toward pedestrians.

Going green: The Town of Clifton is among the most ‘sustainable’ communities in Northern Virginia. The proximity of residential, commercial, civic, religious and recreation facilities makes the Town of Clifton eminently walk-able. This spring, the Town is constructing a new trail park, and is exploring the possibility of others, which will contribute to a significant cross-county trail network. Situated in the core of a large, critical down-zoned watershed, the Town recently demonstrated a commitment to stewardship by specifying pervious materials in two municipal projects, and voluntarily incorporating storm water capture and vegetated filtration into a proposed Streetscape Master Plan.

Signs: The signage ordinance should be updated. During the past 25 years, commercial activity in the Town has significantly increased. With the input of businesses, citizens, and the Architectural Review Board, the Town is now considering code revisions to address business needs, and the ongoing desire of residents to maintain the character of an historic district. Cohesive and appropriate signage will help the businesses market their unique locale in historic Clifton. The new ordinance should be strictly enforced.

Issue: The closure of Clifton Elementary School was a profound loss to the Town, and the greater community. Restoring public education and community use to that facility is a primary focus. I am working with a local group to propose a charter school which would serve the county and restore the long history of public education in Clifton.


John J. Powell, Independent, Incumbent

Biography: John owns a public affairs business based in Clifton where he has lived with his family since 2007. He is a current member of Town Council, serves on a number of committees, and leads the annual Clifton Haunted Trail. John is an active member of the Clifton Betterment Association.

Main street: The Clifton Town Council has worked closely with an amazing group of town volunteers over the past few years on a project called Streetscape. Streetscape is the long-term plan for revitalizing Main Street. The project includes regular updates to town residents and businesses with the opportunity for them to provide input. The effort has been very successful. It is my hope that when finished, Clifton will be a more visually pleasing and pedestrian friendly town while still maintaining its historic charm.

Going green: It really depends on what one considers a “green initiative” to be. For instance, I would not support construction of windmills or solar panels on our surrounding homes or hilltops to supply power. I do support the idea of maintaining green space and the utilizing solutions that impact our local environment as little as possible. The upcoming work in the floodplain area of Clifton Creek Park serves as a good example.

Signs: This is another issue the current Council has been addressing with input from residents and businesses. For me, the process is as important to the product. I believe signage issues are best addressed by involving everyone that is interested or impacted. I would like to see the needs of the Clifton business community be met while balancing the small town historic nature of Clifton.

Issue: Clifton is very unique in many ways and the manner in which we deal with issues follows suit. Our community is small and we are all volunteers, the Council, committee members, CBA members, and active residents. Therefore, we deal with many problems the same way big family might. We address them as they arise. That being said, I believe the most pressing issues facing our residents are in the process of being addressed.

Contact:; 703-825-7758

Chuck M. Rusnak Jr., Independent, Incumbent

Candidate did not respond to questionnaire.