About a hundred people packed into the King Street Oyster Bar in Middleburg last night to hear some news from one of the town’s three mayoral candidates.
Vincent Bataoel, four-year chairman of the town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee and candidate for mayor in the May 1 town elections, hosted a meet-the-candidate event on Thursday to publically announce that he is running as a team with four of the seven Town Council candidates—incumbent Kevin Hazard, Kristin Noggle, Cindy Pearson and Mimi Stein.
About an hour into the event, Bataoel introduced his slate, noting that Hazard, who is seeking a third consecutive election to a spot on the Town Council, was the one primarily responsible for helping to get rid the town of parking meters, an accomplishment that received a spirited round-of-applause. He also mentioned that Pearson, who acted as the town’s economic development coordinator from 2006-2017, could help to keep the Town Council on track if elected. “She knows the ins and outs of this town,” he said.
Bataoel pointed to three objectives he would like to accomplish if elected. First, he said he wants to see in-town and out-of-town residents unite. Second, he said he wants to bring new businesses to Middleburg while retaining its small-town feel. Third, he said he wants to focus on improving resident services, like working to boost the water quality. He said that thousands of dollars currently being set aside for a town branding initiative should instead be put toward improving such services.
“Middleburg is a place for everyone,” he said. “At the end of the day, we need to make sure Middleburg takes care of its residents first.”
With Mayor Betsy Davis not seeking re-election after six consecutive terms, Bataoel faces Councilmen Bridge Littleton and Mark Snyder in the town’s first contested mayoral race in 26 years.
Hazard, Noggle, Pearson and Stein are running for four spots on the Town Council along with Chris Bernard and Councilmembers Darlene Kirk and Peter Leonard-Morgan.