Q: What do you believe is the most pressing ISSUE for the Town of Herndon? What solutions would you propose to address it?
Q: How will the planning for METRO affect the Town of Herndon?
A: Metro’s arrival is a great opportunity to build an urban plaza where people will Q: What economic DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES will you propose for the Town of Herndon?
Jennifer K. Baker
Web Site: http://baker4herndon.org
Biography: 10-year resident, former math teacher and active volunteer who has demonstrated the energy, leadership and commitment that will serve Herndon well. She will be be a voice for all who share her vision of a small town with large, unlimited opportunity.
ISSUE: Herndon’s quaint downtown area sets us apart from the rest of Northern Virginia. Executing the downtown master plan, which was developed with extensive community involvement, is a top priority. Residents will benefit from more unique shops and restaurants to enjoy, as well as additional arts and entertainment options to encourage community involvement.
METRO: Metro’s arrival is a great opportunity to build an urban plaza where people will live, work and play. On the edge of TOH and facing the Toll Road, denser development here will add commercial revenue to fund and preserve the charm of our historic downtown area. We will also need to review and improve traffic patterns and plan for resident’s access via bus, bike and walking.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: Given our location in the Information Technology corridor and my work in that field, I would like to propose a program to create an incubator for IT startups. I would work with TOH’s Economic Development Manager to recruit entrepreneurs and create a hub for new businesses. Startup incubators, like 1776 in DC, are non-profits that offer resources, guidance and networking.
Eric H. Boll
Web Site: http://www.ericboll.com/
Biography: I was an electronics engineer for 30+ years and now own my own small business. I’ve lived in Canada, the U.S.A, and France. I worked with business people all over the world. We settled in Herndon due to the great schools and small town feel.
ISSUE: The property tax burden for the Town is shifting towards residential properties. Valuations of business properties are down while those of residential properties are up. The Town must maintain and implement a long range plan to build its business tax base so residential property taxes can be kept constant or lowered. METRO: Concentrated development around the Metro station allows Herndon to build its tax base and attract people who want to live in a transit oriented development. If new residents decide they want a different housing lifestyle then Herndon offers plenty of choice. People could remain in Herndon and maintain their social connections. It’s a plus for Herndon and the community.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: We must keep Herndon’s Economic Development Manager position staffed. This is a key difference between our team and others who are running. The Town cannot go back to pretending we’re not part of Northern Virginia. Herndon needs a full time person who engages with regional and state development authorities and businesses to grow its tax base.
Jeffrey L. Davidson
Web Site: http://jeff4herndon.com
Biography: I have been an active part of Herndon since 1986. I have been in gov’t management for over a decade; have advanced professional /academic training and experience; and I am well positioned to act in the Town’s interest as a member of the Council.
ISSUE: Creating a win-win proposition for the Town and both neighboring counties concerning the higher density development both are planning associated with Metro and coordinating the divergent opinions among the Town’s residents in voicing their concerns and coming to a resolution is the Town’s biggest issue.
METRO: Because the land around the Herndon Metro is privately owned, the challenge for the Town is to find a way to provide an attractive pavilion on the Herndon side that represents a positive image for Herndon and satisfies the land owners’ objectives too. The land around the Innovation Metro requires working with both counties.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: In addition to the branding initiative, advertising our restaurants on the radio, and process reviews ongoing within the Town government itself, bringing home more of our dollars from the state and county is vitally important to fund Town projects while keeping taxes low. Efforts to utilize state HB 2313 funds are critical to the economic well being of the Town.
David A. Kirby
Web Site: http://democracy.com/dave-kirby
Biography: A.S., Coyne Electrical School Vietnam Veteran Commander, American Legion Graduate, Broadcast Engineering, CIE Citizen Police Academy Virginia Certified Planning Commissioners Program Advanced Certified Local Government Official 3 Term Councilmember
ISSUE: Downtown Development: I would favor a unified approach by a single developer or an organized group/coalition of developers to identify property consolidation and to make proposals. We need to agree on density and building height. Open space requirements will directly influences the height of any new buildings. With a unified approach density can be shifted if necessary.
METRO: I support Metrorail coming to Herndon. It will complement our town and will make it more attractive to people who want to visit, work and live in a pleasant and welcoming “Oasis” within Northern Virginia. The increase in density incorporated in the amendment will give the land owners and/or developers the needed incentive to redevelop this 38 acre Urban Development Area.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: We should create an Economic Development Advisory Committee consisting of town business owners and chaired by the town’s new Economic Developer Manager. Metrorail will be a magnet for many businesses to locate in and around our station. This committee, working with Fairfax County, must develop incentives to attract the best state-of-the-art companies to our town.
Steven Lee Mitchell
Web Site: http://Mitchell4Council.org
Biography: Steven Lee Mitchell is very proud of his deep roots in the Town of Herndon where he was born and raised. His passion for the environment is paralleled by his love for people and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Town of Herndon.
ISSUE: Herndon’s most pressing issue is how to best manage our future growth in the downtown and future metro area. I propose further research to study potential traffic/parking solutions with specific near deadlines in mind. The timeliness of the received data will serve as a catalyst for the Town’s proactive engagement in the management of our infrastructure.
METRO: An engaged community during the planning for the Metro will help to preserve the charm that we all know in our hometown. Throughout the planning period, we must not focus on just the next twenty years. It is imperative for forward thinking to insure the charm of Herndon will always be evident. I envision a town that is walkable as well as drivable.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: I support the development of mixed-use properties, in accordance to the current Master Plan, to broaden the customer base for current and future businesses. I believe that Herndon can attract and support the entrepreneurial spirit that so many of us enjoy. The quality and uniqueness of the businesses is significantly more important than the quantity.
Richard W. “Rick” Nagel
Web Site: http://www.ricknagelfortowncouncil.com
Biography: Richard W. “Rick” Nagel has lived in Herndon, VA since 2008. He is a former police officer and magistrate judge. Mr. Nagel is currently the Vice Chairman of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Advisory Board.
ISSUE: Public Safety and Town Services. As a former police officer, I will explore programs such as community policing and national night out. These programs can forge positive relationships between law enforcement, citizens, civic groups and businesses. I believe Town services should remain high. I would examine the snow removal policy for cost effectiveness and efficiency.
METRO: Proper planning and balance is essential keeping the long term interests of the residents in mind. The entire Metro Area Plan should be looked at again with regards to density, accessibility, bicycles, pedestrians and redesign of traffic flow. Working with Fairfax County to mitigate traffic and establish bus routes is needed for proper planning.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: I think it is important for the Town Council to collaborate with the Economic Development Manager, the Herndon Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfax County Development Office to attract unique family owned businesses that will allow people to live, work and play in Herndon. It is also important to have the infrastructure in place to support new businesses.
Sheila A. Olem
Web Site: http://SheilaOlem.com
Biography: Currently serving second term on Town Council; Serve(d) on numerous Boards and commissions including: Board of Zoning Appeals; Herndon Rotary; Community involvement since 1990. Married to the late Harvey Olem, has two sons, Mike and Matt.
ISSUE: The arrival of Metro to Herndon. Moving forward on pedestrian/bike access throughout the town will enable us to keep our ‘small town character’ in our Historic Downtown area while taking advantage of the economic benefits of being located on the Metro. Adding detailed pedestrian/bike plans to our 2030 plan will enable us to take advantage of county and state funds.
METRO: The arrival of Metro will be the most significant economic engine for Herndon over the next 30 years. Investing in a totally walk-able, bike friendly community will enable Herndon to keep our small town feel while taking advantage of Metro for our citizens and businesses. Expanding bus routes, with safe walk-able, bike friendly routes will support future traffic planning.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: Herndon has had a history of encouraging developers to present proposals with no guidelines for what is acceptable. I will continue to support zoning changes for the Metro area and our Town that show an outline of what the Town will accept. This will give the development community a clear map for what the Town will accept.
Web Site: http://herndonopinion.com
Biography: B. Tech. Civil Engg, Indian Institute of Technology, India; M.S. Civil Engg & PhD Program in Urban and Public Affairs, CMU Owner, Policy Planning & Evaluation, Inc., Policy Analyst in Energy & Environment (1977-Present) Councilmember (2010-2012)
ISSUE: Studies of past projects have demonstrated a “Don’t Ask Questions” culture at the Council level that increases the cost of our government, delays our projects, and results in unacceptably dense developments. I would propose to change the currrent practice under which the Council reviews our projects and public comments at end the process to permit meaningful deliberations
METRO: It depends on how the planning is done. If developers mitigate the effects of development, the Town should enhance its financial condition and keep taxes low. If they don’t, town residents will experience tax increases. if the planning focuses on the innovative, the Metro plan area will to become a unique destination. Otherwise it will be just another urban center.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: The Main Street program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation has transformed the way communities think about revitalization of their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts. I would consider participating in the Main Street program and using the lessons learned to develop strategies for revitalizing our downtown.
Charlie D. Waddell
Biography: Twenty year resident of Herndon. Served three terms on Town Council. Volunteer service includes Chairman HCTV,President, Herndon Historical Society, Homeowners Association President, Past President of Herndon Crime Prevention Council
ISSUE: Facilitating the expansion of the core business district into a mecca of activity and vitality. Aggressively promote Herndon businesses on social media. Reopen the Herndon Visitors Center and staff it part time in the afternoons and on weekends. I support the suggested establishment of a culture and arts district
METRO: Herndon`s Planning for the Metro Silver line is nearly complete. We have the details for the zoning district to finalize. The challenge will be to balance the public amenities needed (such as the Kiss-and-Ride and bus drop off areas) with density needed to make the redevelopment economical for the property owners.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: Reopen the Herndon Visitors Center and staff it part time in the afternoons and on weekends. Create Enhanced Social Media and Marketing plan - emphasize local hotels and diverse availability of dining experiences. Promote event tourism and facilitate more signiture events. Agressive market Herndon to new businesses, with emphasis on businesses with high paying employees.
Dave N. Webster, II
Web Site: http://www.democracy.com/davewebster
Biography: I have lived in Herndon since 2004. I am a lifelong resident of Fairfax County. I attended Langley High School in McLean, college at William & Mary, and law school at Catholic University in Washington D.C. I am a member of the Virginia and DC bars.
ISSUE: Revamping Herndon’s storm water drainage systems as mandated by the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act may cost the Town millions of dollars. Presently, rainwater in Herndon drains directly from the streets into our local creeks without pollutants being filtered out. I have written an article on how we can use low impact development to meet our requirements under the act.
METRO: Due to Fairfax County’s recent approval of business development directly across the Dulles Toll Road from Herndon’s side of the Metro station (over 2 million square feet of office space) and due to MWAA’s plans to commercially develop Dulles Airport, Herndon faces stiff competition in competing for businesses. My business experience can help Herndon meet this challenge.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: The Herndon Town Council doesn’t control the economic health and well-being of Northern Virginia. The best thing we can do is create a welcoming climate for business. I began my career as In-House Counsel for previous Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke and have significant experience with public/private business partnerships. We need to be better than our competition.
Grace Han Wolf
Web Site: http://graceforherndon.com
Biography: 16 year resident of Herndon. Recognized as 2013 Influential Woman of Virginia by Lawyers Weekly. Awarded Herndon’s Distinguished Service Volunteer of the Year 2006. Leadership Fairfax 2007. BA & MBA Cornell University. Fortune 500 corporate jobs.
ISSUE: Re-engineering our internal development process to streamline it for homeowners, property owners and developers. We need to make it easier to add a deck, put up a sign, build a new set of homes or redevelop an office building. I voted to approve a rewrite of our zoning code, to purchase software to automate applications & approvals and to revamp our application process.
METRO: We must balance world class redevelopment while maintaining our unique charm and character. We need to carefully invest in infrastructure without overburdening our residential tax payers. As the Council member who lives furthest away from our future Metro stop, we must find ways to create connectivity for all residents, getting cars off the road and Herndon Parkway.
DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: I chaired the Town’s Economic Development Taskforce during my 1st term & implemented many recommendations during my 2nd: hired our first Economic Development Mgr; created a new brand; created a newsletter for our business community. Future recommendations: create an Economic Development Advisory Council; activate our downtown; attract entrepreneurs via an incubator.