From Mayor Frank Jones:
I am seeking re-election as mayor of Manassas Park.
As a federal civil servant, the Hatch Act requires that I run as an independent. As a result, I was required to obtain signatures on a candidate's petition (to be qualified as a candidate, the signatures of at least 125 registered Manassas Park voters must be collected on the petition.)
I have obtained the required signatures, turned them in to the registrar, the signatures have been validated and I have been certified as eligible to run. The deadline for candidate petition submission to the registrar was 7 p.m. (Tuesday); as of that deadline, no one else had submitted the paperwork for the position of mayor, so I believe I will be running unopposed.
My decision to seek re-election was based on several factors. First, I believe the city has weathered the tough economic times in stable, sound condition.
We have been able to sustain critical local government services to all our citizens, have successfully offset reductions in funding provided to the city by both the commonwealth and federal governments for mandated programs which were not reduced or suspended, have met all the mandates for new and expanded programs by the commonwealth and federal governments, have provided expanded opportunities for citizens through the new community center and have seen continued improvement in specific department programs—full re-accreditation of the police department, strong progress toward accreditation by the fire department, unique recreation opportunities and programs at parks and rec.
I want to assure that the quality of service is sustained and improved. Second, we have been required to make some tough decisions—tax rate, sewer and water rate, storm water management fee—to sustain critical operations.
As the economy begins to recover, I want to assure that we are careful to manage our fiscal resources and provide relief to our tax payers.
Third, the city has the potential to see significant growth and development in the next few years. I want to ensure that growth and development is in line with the city's comprehensive plan, that it fosters the growth of business and retail-generated revenue to relieve the homeowner tax burden.
Fourth, the city is well positioned to work with existing business owners, to support their growth and to assist in making any modernization or business expansion opportunities a reality.
We recently enacted measures to incentivize business placement, growth and development in Manassas Park, aligned to the city's comprehensive plan.
These are only a few of the reasons I want to continue to serve the citizens of Manassas Park.
Last year, Manassas Park was selected as one of the top 100 small cities by CNN's Money—I want Manassas Park to be recognized for all the good things that make us a unique community. At this past weekend's high school graduation ceremony, the student speakers referred frequently to our small size and the closeness of the community—the magic that allows us to know each other and have a closeness that other communities cannot reach.
I believe it is critically important for all our residents to feel at home in Manassas Park and to treasure what that means. We must keep working to ensure that our streets remain safe, that no one has to be afraid of unsavory elements, that these unsavory characters know to stay away from Manassas Park— they are not welcome here.
My service to Manassas Park started in 1991 when I was selected to serve on our school board. Two years later, I was selected to serve as school board chairman and continued to do so until I was elected mayor eight years ago.
In that time, our community has made significant strides and improvements, but we have a lot yet to do. I want to be a participant in moving the city forward, in developing City Center, in establishing a much more sound retail base for the city, in sustaining and improving city services and in reducing the cost to today's homeowners and business owners.