On The Ballot: Purcellville

In the May 3  contested races for mayor and Town Council in Purcellville, Loudoun Now invited the candidates to prepare statements about their experience, qualifications and goals. Town voters will cast ballots in three races: mayor, Town Council and a special election to fill a vacant Town Council seat.

Mayor (choose one)

Kwasi A. Fraser, incumbent

I am a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur who learned the value of hard work at an early age by helping my mother with the daily tasks of her poultry business.

Kwasi Fraser
Kwasi Fraser

For 10 years, I have lived in Purcellville with my wife, Angela, and our three children. We settled in Purcellville because of its balance of old and new and its small-town warmth.

My professional career includes significant contributions at AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Marriott International, and Verizon, my current employer. I’m also on the advisory board of a social media big data analytics company, which I helped to establish.

My community contributions have included serving as Purcellville’s mayor for the past two years, serving as church treasurer, and serving at another church on its finance committee during a major capital building campaign.  I have also taught Sunday school, coached youth sports, and served many meals at a local Loudoun homeless shelter.

I bring to my campaign for mayor an MBA in finance from Rutgers University, an Executive Education certificate from Harvard Business School, a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Stony Brook University, and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate from the Project Management Institute. I am also certified in and have a working knowledge of Lean Six Sigma—a framework recognized for its ability to drive efficiency, improve cost savings, and increase revenue.

I am running for re-election because I love Purcellville and want to continue to serve and to add value to the lives of its citizens by reducing Purcellville’s significant debt burden without compromising the town’s character.

Contact: 540-338-8203; kwasifraser@gmail.com

Joan S. Lehr

In 2002, my husband and I moved our family to Purcellville. A great decision! I live, work and volunteer here.

We expanded our family business and opened Purcellville Copy in 2004. I am a member of the Purcellville Business Association and have sat on the board

Joan Lehr
Joan Lehr

for 10 years. I am a proud sponsor (and for many years a team mom) of youth sports and an active member of the Purcellville Rotary Club. I served two years on the Planning Commission and for the last eight years as an elected member of the Town Council.

My experience in volunteer and elected positions, and as a business owner, gives me the knowledge and understanding to make me the right candidate for mayor.

I have supported policies that kept tax rates equalized through the recession, allowed us to receive AAA/AA credit ratings, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in interest, placed 1,300 acres into conservation easements and completed infrastructure projects that included over two miles of sidewalks, completion of the Southern Collector Road, and improvements to 21st/23rd streets and to 33rd Street/Country Club Drive.

As mayor, my leadership style will get the members of council to work together rather than against each other. While maintaining the town’s fiscal policies to keep our strong financial position and AAA/AA credit ratings, I will work with council to manage growth to balance quality of life issues with economic needs. I will ensure that we maintain ownership of the town’s irreplaceable assets—Fireman’s Field, the Train Station, and our watershed property.

I will work with our committees, commissions and boards, as well as our residents to find creative ideas to develop new revenue streams.

My top priority will be to utilize the Comprehensive Plan review to make certain that we keep the small town feel that is Purcellville.

Contact: 703-966-7284; jlehr@purcellvillecopy.com

Town Council (choose three)

Seven candidates are vying for Town Council seats in the regular election. The top three vote-getters will serve four-year terms.

Chris Bledsoe

My wife, Kamie, and I are both proud native Virginians who raised two daughters in Loudoun County Public Schools, both graduating from Loudoun Valley. We bought our first home in Sterling in 1989 and moved to Purcellville in

Chris Bledsoe
Chris Bledsoe

2003. I have served the community as a member and chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for more than six years and I currently serve on the Planning Commission. I also serve on our HOA board. Professionally, I am a program manager for a software company with 30 years of IT, consulting, and program management experience.

We have a mortgage, taxes, and utility bills and, like many of you, we work hard to pay our bills. I know how difficult things are now for all residents.

I love this town, its sense of community, charm, and rural surroundings. For this town to continue to be a wonderful place for future generations, we need to make wise decisions that support local businesses and the needs of our citizens. If elected, I will focus attention on resolving our debt, finding ways to ease the financial burden of taxes, water rates and other fees, and I will actively seek public input and listen to citizens.

Contact: 703-728-3377; chris.bledsoe@gmail.com

Sam P. Chapman

         My family came to Purcellville in 1991, when I was five years old. I attended Emerick Elementary, Blue Ridge Middle and Loudoun Valley High schools.

I grew up with a strong sense of community, and knew there was no better place to lay down roots of my own. My wife, Kathleen, and I want to ensure our two-

Sam Chapman
Sam Chapman

month-old son Sam has the same experiences I had. From Little League teams, to talent shows, to parades, to going to the grocery store—everywhere you go in Purcellville, you feel a sense of community.

As a small business owner in town, I understand their struggles. They are the backbone of small towns, and they need support—from customers to residents to the Town Council. I believe strongly that some things in Purcellville, like Fireman’s Field, are sacred, should be controlled by the town, and should remain so for future generations.

I believe that a town is either moving forward or moving backwards, and that right now is a pivotal moment for Purcellville. I am committed to making sure we can guide growth in a way that will enable Purcellville to continue telling its story and to ensure it does not lose its historic and small-town feel.

Contact: 540-454-7776; sam@caseco.net

Ryan J. Cool

I am an eight-year resident of Purcellville and have two children, Ashlyn (11) and Ryan Jr “RJ” (9).

I am employed by Northrop Grumman Corporation and have an MA in Public Policy from the University at Albany, a BA in Political Science from SUNY

Ryan Cool
Ryan Cool

Potsdam and am a Project Management Professional (PMP). My professional background includes Policy Analysis, Financial and Project Management, and Congressional Affairs.

The tough decisions going forward require a different approach than from previous administrations. A government is only effective when the community is involved making all views known, those opinions are acknowledged, and decisions made are by individuals who have the entire community in mind.

My focus and goals mirror those of Purcellville residents: fiscal discipline, manageable growth, and retaining our small town character.

I am running for Town Council to be a proactive advocate on behalf of the residents, issues, and needs of Purcellville. The time for sharing ideas and goals to strengthen our community is not reserved for election season. It is time to have elected officials that will speak and act while in office and not just when seeking a vote. I look forward to earning your vote on May 3 and actively representing your voices during my time on the council.

Contact: CoolForCouncil@gmail.com; 571-528-2665

Chris J. Hamilton

I love Purcellville because of our people, businesses, and small geographic size. The people here are engaging and friendly, and so many of our businesses are “mini vacations” that shield people from a fast-paced life. Professionally, I raise

Chris Hamilton
Chris Hamilton

money for non-profit organizations at a fundraising agency in Ashburn, so I would never want to live in a place so crowded with people and traffic. That’s why it’s so important to me that we help Purcellville stay Purcellville.

My top priorities to help preserve Purcellville span several types of issues. I want to avoid annexations and uncontrolled growth that will fundamentally change Purcellville. I also want to make sure the town government doesn’t inadvertently hurt people or businesses with our policies. Unintended consequences are a big problem, and I will focus my attention on analyzing the hidden harms that many well-intentioned policies bring with them.

Finally, I believe it is essential to get the town’s fiscal situation under control. We spend too much money for a town our size—even considering the income level of our residents. All of those goals are achievable, and the people I talk with around town agree we need to take those steps to preserve Purcellville.

Contact: 751-999-2794; chris@chrishamiltonforpurcellville.com


Patrick F. McConville II, incumbent

The citizens of this town create the neighborly “small-town feel.” I have been a Northern Virginia native all 38 years of my life, and a Purcellville resident for eight years.

When it came time to start and raise a family, Purcellville had the right feel and sense of community that I was looking for. I have a son and a daughter that take

Patrick McConville
Patrick McConville

full advantage of the amenities of the town, such as the movie nights at the Bush Tabernacle, the baseball fields, the festivals and parades. Since moving to town, I became involved with the Town Parks and Rec. Advisory Board, where I have helped to plan and coordinate some of the events, such as the Music and Arts Festival, as well as others offered by the town.

I tend to be a very positive person and look for the good in all things. I am open to all sides of an issue and am willing to sit down and compromise that that the best results are found. I thank the citizens for your support as I am going around town speaking with people.

Contact: 703-856-6279; Patrick.f.mcconville@gmail.com

John A. Nave, incumbent

My wife Sandy and our two children, Jonathan and Madison, moved to Purcellville from Atlanta, GA, 12 years ago. We chose Purcellville as the place to live as it reminded us of the small towns where we grew up. I work for the Library of Congress.

John Nave
John Nave

As your town councilman, I will continue to work for you to provide the best Purcellville has to offer. The decisions I made are based on feedback from the community; that is what I was elected to do. I take that responsibility very seriously.

I will protect our small-town character. The economic climate of Purcellville balanced with the affordability for our citizens is the key that produces the quality of life we all enjoy.

I am committed to making decisions that will keep Purcellville the place we call home; the place that brought us here. I am honored to have served on Town Council and aspire to continue the work that lies ahead.

Contact: 540-338-5832; johnnave9900@msn.com

Nedim Ogelman

I am a Purcellville Planning Commissioner who got involved in town government because I saw a disconnect between what citizens want and what Town Hall does. I was the sole “no” vote when the Planning Commission pressed ahead with

Nedim Ogelman
Nedim Ogelman

proposing zoning changes despite a clear signal from citizens to wait until after a Comprehensive Plan review.

I am running for the Town Council because I want to make sure Purcellville has open, honest governance that puts citizens before special interests. Purcellville can use technology to get direct citizen input on important decisions. Town Hall should livestream meetings so citizens can watch from home. Citizens shouldn’t need to FOIA information because town business should be easily accessible. Town Hall should use water bills to survey citizens on important issues before making decisions.

I’m well qualified to serve the citizens. Last year, I completed Virginia’s Certified Planning Commissioner Program. I earned a Ph.D. in Government from the University of Texas-Austin, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School, and a B.A. in History and Government from The Colorado College. I live in a 1930s colonial home off Main Street with my wife Laura and our sons who attend Blue Ridge Middle School and Emerick Elementary.

Contact: 540-338-2323; nedim.ogelman@gmail.com


Town Council – Special Election (choose one)

The winner of this race will serve a two-year term, filling the seat held by Ben Packard, who moved out of town.

 Melanie A. Fuller, incumbent

My family moved to Purcellville in 2006 from Raleigh, NC, and I was not happy about moving to the suburbs. Ten years later, I do not even like to go to

Melanie Fuller
Melanie Fuller

Leesburg. I live and work in Purcellville and love it. I love the friendly people, the small-town vibe, the festivals and town parades.

I have volunteered in everything you can imagine since high school. After spending 13 years on local and county PTA boards, my children were grown and I was looking for a new challenge. In 2013, I saw an opening on the Economic Development Advisory Council and applied for that committee and I was invited to join the Board of Zoning Appeals at the same time.

In February, I heard about the vacant seat on the Town Council and sent in my letter of interest. I was honored to be chosen unanimously by the members of the Town Council to serve out Vice Mayor Ben Packard’s term until the election.

I have wanted to get involved with the town government since we moved to Purcellville in the fall of 2006. My friends and neighbors have encouraged me to run for office because they know I am passionate about citizen involvement and our duty to participate in the process.

Contact: 540-303-7303; fullersinva.@gmail.com

Kelli M. Grim

I have lived in Purcellville for nine years with my husband, Bobby, and daughter, Abigail, who is a student at Blue Ridge Middle School. I have remained self-employed for most of my 30+ years in business. My experience includes more

Kelli Grim
Kelli Grim

than 15 years as a successful residential and commercial Realtor, corporate administrator for a publishing company, several small businesses, and countless hours volunteering for charitable organizations.

Residents and business owners in Purcellville who know me agree I am a dedicated advocate for citizens with a passion to “Protect Our Small Town Life.” Few aspects of government policy touch people’s lives as profoundly as land use, transportation, taxes, and utilities. We are at a critical time in our small town and need real solutions to the problems arising from dysfunctional land use patterns and poor financial planning. Purcellville will grow and change over time and it is critical to elect leaders that will respect the Comprehensive Plan as more than a “suggestion box.”

It is time to change the way Purcellville deals with our challenges, and how Purcellville deals with residents and businesses. As your Purcellville Town Councilwoman, I will continue to be an advocate for citizens, and small business owners to protect our small town lifestyle in Purcellville.

Contact: 540-338-1976; kelligrim4towncouncil@gmail.com

Sandy C. Nave

I have lived in Purcellville for 12 years with my husband John and my children Madison and Jonathan. Working in the heart of Purcellville for the past 10 years

Sandy Nave
Sandy Nave

for the Loudoun Valley Community Center as a programmer center assistant, has given me the pleasure and opportunity to meet many citizens of Purcellville.

Volunteering the past six years on the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and serving as the board’s representative to Purcellville’s Comprehensive Plan Advisory Board has broadened my working experience within the town arena and with the people throughout the community.

My candidacy is fueled by my passion for Purcellville. I wish to contribute my time and experience to the continued development of an innovative future of Purcellville while embracing our rich heritage and honoring our past.

Some of my goals during my term would be to continue strengthening community partnerships, contribute to the finalization of the Comprehensive Plan and develop a playground for the town. I respectfully ask for your vote and support to protect the legacy and character of this town for our children and generations to come.

Contact: 540-338-5832; nave.sandra@gmail.com

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