The Leesburg Town Council will hold their election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Three seats are available including the role of mayor.
Ten candidates will appear on next month's ballot; eight are looking to fill a council member's seat. Among them is Thomas Dunn, who has served on the council since 2008.
Below are Dunn's responses to a list of questions asked by Leesburg Patch last week:
Q: What made you decide to run for Town Council?
A: I want to see citizens of Leesburg get lower water rates, lower tax rate and taxes, more business with jobs in Leesburg, safer streets with the proper amount of police protection. Council is very one sided in favor of taxes and keeping government well funded. I am running to continue to be the one voice on council that holds our body accountable. However, I am hoping to bring into council two more like minded individuals who will help me break the bad policies this council follows. Some of these bad policies are: Only looking to raise water rates; Not lowering taxes or the tax rate; Not being business friendly by 1st not acting fast enough to remove the planning red tape, second causing Form Based Code to be more burdensome, and third opposing the law new that would add restrictions to government taking private property; lastly when council does not want something they fight to prevent it and will even deny public input such as with the November election date Change. I am the only current council member to support the election change.
Q2: After speaking with the voters during your campaign, what is one concern that you've heard the most and how would you address it?
A: The issue I hear most is our water rates are too high. I agree. I am the only council member who has always voted for lower water rates for all our customers. We can achieve this through getting more water users such as selling to Loudoun County, recruiting more business to Leesburg by reducing more or even remove the hook up fees, and cutting costs within our utility. The rest of council rejected all these. Their only solution is to raise water rates. Although, Katie Hammler did suggest that we could hold a bake sale to raise money, but that is not going to cover the multi-million dollar loss we have in the utility department.
Q: A recent debate in the town has been the possible relocation of the court system from downtown Leesburg. What are your views on this topic as well as your position?
A: The courts need to stay in Leesburg. We have a history as the county seat and it needs to remain that way. The courts were just expanded a few years ago and at this rate will likely have to expand after this current expansion. I have suggested that the courts consider extended hours of operation or even night court. In this way we can expand the use of current facilities with little cost to tax payers rather than expand the building at a huge cost to tax payers.
Q: How do you feel about the upcoming election? How has your campaign been going and do you have any big events planned prior to Nov. 6?
A: Almost every home in Leebsurg has been visited by me and received my information. The campaign has gone well and I will continue to visit with voters through election day. The only real change I see is that people are happy to be able to vote in November and are glad for the change. They tell me it makes it much easier to get to the polls then in May. It has not changed my campaign at all because I still when around to just about every home. But what I have noticed is the much higher level of attention given to the local race now then having it in May.
As for partisanship, it is a no more an issue now then it was in May. Partisanship is within each of us a different levels. This race is still none partisan because the parties had no formal election process and there are no R, D or I next to our names on the ballot. Those candidates claiming to be none partisan have a one time or another sought or considered seeking the endorsement of one party or the other. Party endorsement does not mean partisanship. It simply means like any endorsement that might come from a business, or newspaper or even another politician, that this candidate embodies the more closely the views of the endorser. The Democrats have been endorsing and involved deeply with Leesburg elections for decades. I am proud of my conservative ideas and beliefs, and of being the only conservative currently serving on town council. And if a group or individual has mutual beliefs we me I may and they may consider receiving or giving an endorsement.
Q: What is one thing that you would like the voters to know about you before heading to the polls in November?
A: Voters can count on me to always give them straight talk. When I say tax cut I mean your taxes will be lower. Some of the other candidates use terms like "average lower Tax bill" or "equalized rate" which are just buzz words for fully funding government. Or these candidates say "lower taxes" which can mean just about anything because low to one person is high to another. Or these candidate are saying "balance the budget" which just means more government needs more taxes for more spending. But this kind of political speak happens all the time except by me. You will always know where Tom Dunn is coming from on the issues.
Leesburg Patch will continue to share Q & A's each week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Did you miss one? You can find more campaign coverage here. And, don't forget to submit your questions to the candidates.