Three incumbent mayors, five incumbent Town Council members and five council newcomers will take their seats on their respective Town Councils on July 1. Now just three weeks out, all 13 are preparing their priorities.
In Lovettsville, incumbent Mayor Nate Fontaine was re-elected to serve a second two-year term.
Fontaine said he would work to get the newly elected council members up to speed on how being an elected town official works, and to continue pushing existing projects forward, like water tower maintenance, Broad Way improvements and the transportation master plan. He said the Town Council will also need to decide what to do about town events, like Oktoberfest, for the remainder of this year, since the COVID-19 pandemic still has a grip on society.
“We have so much work to continue with … that’s not even getting into the future stuff,” he said.
Fontaine mentioned that he’s also sad to see Councilmen Mike Dunlap and Jim McIntyre go, since Dunlap “has a good eye for policy” and McIntyre has been on the council for eight years and will take with him a wealth of town knowledge.
Serving alongside Fontaine will be newcomers Joy Pritz, David Earl and incumbent Councilman Buchanan Smith, who will all serve four-year terms.
Earl, a VDOT employee, said his top priority is to protect the small-town quality of life, maintain fiscal responsibility and continue to implement the vision of the town plan. He said he also plans to remain involved in town committees and events.
Pritz, a high school math teacher, said her goal is to learn as much as she can and help to move along projects the current Town Council initiated, including a business support package amid the current pandemic. She said she’s also focused on ensuring water tower maintenance is complete by Labor Day.
Smith said his top priority was to complete the creation of a town Finance Committeeto increase resident engagement. He said he would find residents knowledgeable in finance to provide transparency in town budgeting. He said he would also prioritize managing planned growth according to the town plan in a fiscally responsible manner that is in line with the town’s fiscal policy.
In Middleburg, incumbent Mayor Bridge Littleton was re-elected to serve a second two-year term.
Littleton said he’s focused on ensuring the Town Council remains “vibrant” and “resilient” to meet the needs of residents and businesses. He said the council is currently focused on helping those residents and businesses exit the coronavirus crisis as unscathed as possible. “Right now, that’s what we’re really, really focused on,” he said.
In the long-term, Littleton said he and the Town Council would be focused on the “assault on western Loudoun,” as some developers and county leaders push to increase density in the rural west.
“We’ve really got to be ever vigilant, we’ve got to work really hard,” he said.
On the Town Council, incumbent Councilmen Chris Bernard, Kevin Daly and Philip Miller will serve out four-year terms. Incumbent Councilman Bud Jacobs also won election to serve out the remainder of a council term that expires in June 2022.
Bernard said he would work to implementthe economic development study the town is having performed, which will include COVID-19 recovery efforts. He also plans to prioritize the new town office project.
Daly said his top priority is toensure the safety of the community amid the pandemic, ensure businesses recover, and ensure the town continues to repair, build and maintain infrastructure to stimulate the local economy.
Miller said he wouldensure the town has sound strategic plans for economic recovery, noting that it will be critical to ensure the town comes out of the coronavirus crisis with a strong vision for how it attracts visitors safely. He said the town must be “dynamic and creative” to stimulate such recovery.
Jacobs said he plans to work onnecessary in-town development, including businesses and workforce housing. He said he would also fight for policies to protect and preserve rural landscapes around Middleburg.
In Purcellville, incumbent Mayor Kwasi Fraser was re-elected to serve a fourth two-year term.
Fraser said he is focused on the slow growth, low taxes, innovative solutions and infrastructure improvement—the platform he and his Town Council running mates ran their campaigns on.
Those initiatives include moving forward with an application to sell about 60 acres of nutrient credits on the 189-acre Aberdeen Property, which could yield the town $700,000 to $1 million in revenue, Fraser said; working out an agreement with Dominion Power to lower utility costs at the Basham Simms Wastewater Facility; and dredging the town’s reservoir to increase its storage capacity.
When asked about his idea to partner with Linden, Guyana Mayor Waneka Arrindell and give Purcellville a sister city, Fraser said he had no plans to bring it up again anytime soon and that Guyanese leaders can call him for free advice at any point.
Serving alongside Fraser in four-year Town Council seats will be Christopher Bertaut, Stanley Milan and Mary Jane Williams.
Bertaut, an IT project manager, said his top priority is tocontinue to pay down the town’s debt without raising utility rates or taxes by leveraging under-utilized town assets to build new revenue streams “that will bend the curve on projected utility rate increases.”
Milan, a retired Navy trident submariner, said he would work to do the same, perhaps by selling reclaimed water to construction sites. He said he would also continue to solicit communication companies to set up on town cell towers, work with the county on the expected western Loudoun recreation center and halt annexations.
Williams, a longtime Loudoun Valley High School teacher, said her top priority is to pursue innovative solutions to the town’s many financial burdens, like the one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has reduced the town’s meals tax revenue. She said the town will need to replace that revenue without adversely affecting the town’s credit rating or residents’ finances.