Neil Steinberg is hoping the second time will be the charm as he pursues a seat on the Leesburg Town Council.
Steinberg was the first to file all of his paperwork for one of three council seats on the ballot in November’s election. A Loudoun County resident since 1975, and downtown business owner of Photoworks for almost 40 years, Steinberg and his wife, KD Kidder, became town residents in 2008.
He was the runner-up in February’s special election to fill the remaining council term of Ken Reid. Josh Thiel was the victor in that election. Now, Steinberg is gunning for a four-year term, with the seats of Vanessa Maddox, Suzanne Fox, and Marty Martinez expiring Dec. 31.
Steinberg’s council aspirations began almost a year ago, when he considered running in last November’s special election to fill the remaining council term of Kelly Burk, following her election to mayor in November 2016. Ultimately, he decided to hold off and gave it another go in February. Even then, he said this week, Steinberg knew that if he was not victorious then he would have his eyes set on November.
“It was a good learning experience,” he says of February’s race.
While his overall message hasn’t changed, Steinberg acknowledges that uncertainty regarding planning and development in town and transportation funding—all due to changes passed by the General Assembly—require attention. He points to the implementation of the Eastern Gateway District, soon to begin review by the Town Council, as particularly important to deal with some of these state changes.
“It’s very important that that management plan be started as soon as possible, so we’re meeting the needs and desires of our residents first and foremost. In the end we’re the ones that are paying for the end results of whatever development shape we take,” he said.
With growth a key concern for many town residents, Steinberg said it was “critical” that the council sticks to the management plans it puts together, rather than spot zoning.
“I recognize there are market forces and changes in the marketplace that are oftentimes hard to anticipate, but that doesn’t mean we scrap our entire plan because economic interests pressure us to go in the opposite direction,” Steinberg said. “As council members we simply need to fight harder for the interests of residents and the health and well-being and long-term future of the town. We will certainly continue to grow, but the way that growth looks is very important. It all boils down to what are we willing to pay for.”
Steinberg plans a campaign kick-off on Saturday, June 23, from 2-4 p.m. at the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Martial Arts Academy at 9 Cardinal Park Drive. It’s a place close to his heart, as Steinberg has trained there and served as a martial arts instructor for 20 years.
For more information on Steinberg and his campaign, visit forsteinberg.com or facebook.com/forsteinberg.