Editor: I wish to thank the voters of Leesburg for returning me to the Town Council in the Nov. 8 elections. I am glad to be able to serve Leesburg after taking a hiatus from my term as Leesburg District supervisor.
I congratulate incumbent Councilmember Tom Dunn for winning re-election, our new mayor, Kelly Burk, and new Councilmember-elect Ron Campbell. Again, Leesburg showed it can have clean issues-oriented politics.
But I would like to use this letter to thank two great colleagues of mine who did not succeed in Tuesday’s elections—Mayor Dave Butler and Councilmember Katie Hammler.
I served with Dave on the council from 2008-2011. Dave has always been able to work with anybody—regardless of their political stripes. He was instrumental in finally getting the town to adopt a tiered water/sewer rate structure, which has created a fairer means of levying rates, after years of litigation and antagonism with our out-of-town customers. Both Leesburg and out-of-town residents report to me the rates have not gone up since tiered billing began two years ago.
Dave assumed the position of interim mayor after former Mayor Umstattd had to resign to take my seat on the county board. As interim mayor, Dave implemented communications efforts such as office hours, “Mayor Dave Reports,” a “State of the Town Address,” and supported new business in town. He also tried to get a noise ordinance approved to enable our downtown entertainment business to grow.
Katie Hammler has served on council since 2004 and served as vice mayor. She has been purely nonpartisan and unpolitical, focused on the issues of concern to Leesburg. Katie was tough on new growth, successfully helping kill the Crosstrail residential project in 2007, which would have placed hundreds of homes near Leesburg Airport. She has supported business and economic development in our town and like Dave, can work with anyone regardless of their politics. In fact, I would say Katie is above politics. She also was very responsive to working with me when I was Leesburg District supervisor.
Both Dave and Katie instituted those great bike trails on Plaza Street NE, which have helped not only bike and pedestrian safety, but to calm traffic.
I will miss not being able to work with Katie and Dave on the new Council, and again, we Leesburg residents owe them big thanks for all they did for our town.
Ken Reid, Leesburg