Two-term Town Council incumbent Tom Dunn has announced he will seek a third, four-year term on the Leesburg Town Council. Dunn formally announced his re-election bid this week, and has met all the requirements to be placed on November’s general election ballot.
Dunn said the same thing that encouraged him to get involved in the community when he and his family first moved to Leesburg 18 years ago is what motivated him to run for a third council term.
“I have not come lately upon the idea of public service,” he stated in his re-election press release. “Within days of moving my family here I sought to help my HOA and PTA by serving on committees. Less than a year later I interviewed with Mayor [Jim] Clem in order to serve on the Leesburg Economic Development Commission. I just feel it is our civic duty to serve the community. Service is about meeting other people’s needs, not one of personal or political opportunity.”
In addition to successfully running for the Town Council in 2008, and being re-elected four years later, Dunn has served on a slew of town, county and state boards and commissions; lead or volunteered with Scouting troops; coached Little League, youth football and flag football; and served as a tour guide for Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, to name but a few. He also ran twice for the mayor’s seat, challenging then-incumbent Kristen Umstattd, twice for the mayor’s seat, but was unsuccessful in both attempts. Professionally, he is the owner of VCR, Inc., a small marketing company located in Leesburg.
For Dunn, a successful re-election bid will allow him to continue his mission of making sure to clamp down on wasteful spending and make sure the town is getting the county tax dollars it deserves for its services.
“I just want to show the citizens of Leesburg there is another way of doing things which will provide needed and desired services while at the same time reducing wasteful spending and improving the process by which services are provided. It has taken nearly seven years for council to finally work on my efforts to reduce the burden of double taxes we pay to the county. I want to see that effort completed,” he said recently. “My concern is that without the right members elected to council, the old ways will return of just giving millions of dollars every year to the county with little or nothing to show for it in Leesburg.”
He points to four goals if re-elected: implementing a better management process to more cost effectively deliver town services; correct major traffic chokepoints in the town, such as the area surrounding the intersection of Edwards Ferry Road and Rt. 15; enhancing public safety; and conducting a “definitive study” exploring the pros and cons should town leaders seek to make Leesburg an independent city.
A large part of Dunn’s platform is focused on business recruitment efforts in Leesburg. More companies locating in the town will have a positive trickle-down effect on the local economy, he points out.
“More companies will create job opportunities, an increase in commercial taxes, more water usage fees, and more patrons visiting our existing restaurants,” Dunn stated. “Local employment results in shorter commute times with less traffic and increasing the quality of life for our town’s residents. It also means property taxes and meal taxes and utility rates can go down.”
Never one to mince words, Dunn promises to continue to be a voice for town residents on the council dais. While he notes he has seen other council members make decisions that are in the best interest of town government, but not necessarily town residents, Dunn promises “my words, which I value highly, match my votes.”
Dunn plans a campaign kick-off, although no date has yet been set. For more information on Dunn or his campaign, go to electdunn.org.
Dunn is part of a field of six running for a Town Council seat. He is joined by fellow incumbent Councilwoman Katie Hammler and challengers Ron Campbell, John Hilton, Gwen Pangle and Evan Macbeth. In the mayor’s race, current mayor David Butler is challenged by Vice Mayor Kelly Burk and former Town Council member Kevin Wright.