Following Mayor Bob Zoldos’ decision to step down after six years, a six-month Lovettsville councilman has his sights set on winning the seat.
The first to add his name to the ballot is Councilman Nate Fontaine, who was appointed to town council in August to fill an unexpired term left vacant by Jennifer Jones.
Fontaine, 35, is also the former vice chairman of the town’s Planning Commission. After announcing his candidacy two weeks ago, he outlined his vision for the town by listing off some of his goals, which include preserving Lovettsville’s small-town feel, increasing economic growth and working to get residents more involved in town affairs.
One of Fontaine’s main initiatives is to diversify the town’s revenue, 90 percent of which he said is made up of residents’ property taxes. Fontaine said there is an opportunity for more business development in the town, which could increase commercial tax revenue and help to decrease a dependency on residential property taxes. He said bringing new businesses to town could help lower utility rates.
“If we can reduce it, that would be outstanding,” he said.
Fontaine also wants to ensure that there is continued funding for resident-favored projects, like the Broad Way Streetscape and a project that could add sidewalks to Loudoun Street to improve safety for Lovettsville Elementary School students.
“If we can find ways to reduce costs … there’s ways to put that money into the reserves or Capital Improvement Plans,” he said. “There are opportunities there.”
Another goal Fontaine has is to create two additional subcommittees for increased resident input. These advisory panels would make recommendations to the Town Council and the Parks, Infrastructure, Environment & Utilities Committee on matters surrounding utility and tax rates.
Fontaine also is an enthusiastic participant in the town’s events. For the past two years, he and his wife, Lizzy, have taken part in the Oktoberfest King and Queen Competition. Fontaine’s street, Eisentown Drive, has also won the Light Up Lovettsville “Best Street in Town” award for the past three years.
“We love town spirit,” he said. “I look forward to continuing these amazing events.”
The five-year town resident’s decision to run for mayor after a short stint on council came saber no other current council members showed interest in running for the spot. “It’s a perfect storm of time and experience,” he said.
Fontaine said his role as vice chairman of the Planning Commission equipped him with some necessary experience. Just last year, the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter presented him with the 2017 Dogwood Award for organizing and chairing the first Coalition of Planning Commissions for all Loudoun towns. “It was a personal honor for me,” he said.
A 12-year Virginia Air National Guard veteran, Fontaine served as an F-16 and F-22 crew chief. He holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems from Christopher Newport University and a master’s degree in management and information systems security from Colorado Technical University. He currently works as the chief of the Security Assurance Branch for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Fontaine plans to get out and meet community members at nine events before the May 1 election. He is hoping the mayoral race is a contested one, something the town hasn’t seen in six years.
“It’s exciting to see that times have changed,” he said. “Democracy is alive and well in Lovettsville.”