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Hello Herndon

I am running for office because I believe that with my experience I can make a difference for the better in our daily lives here in Herndon.

I must begin by thanking Patch Editor Leslie Perales for giving each candidate for Mayor and Town Council the opportunity to blog on matters of interest in the coming election. I decided my first blog should be about why I am running for office and why I am qualified to be on the Town Council.

I am running for office because I believe that with my experience I can make a difference for the better in our daily lives here in Herndon and because I believe it is the duty of all citizens to engage in public service.  With three seats being vacated by incumbents, the Town needs to have those seats filled by persons with the right qualifications to govern.  I am a lifelong resident of Fairfax County, have lived in Herndon since 2004, and am a member of the Virginia and DC bars with over 20 years of legal experience. 

As a private citizen, I attend and frequently comment at Town Council meetings.  I am familiar with how our Town government operates and the legal questions it faces.  I recently graduated from the Herndon Citizens Police Academy which familiarizes citizens on many facets of law enforcement, including how the canine teams operate and our Town’s anti-gang initiatives.  I have studied Herndon’s 2012 budget and our Capital Improvement Program for 2012-2017 which documents estimated costs of long-term projects in Herndon.

Herndon’s mandated compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act is going to require significant expenditure of money by our Town.  The Capital Improvement Program estimates $12M for stormwater management retrofits and new projects with the actual cost of compliance unknown at this point in time. I believe no other candidate comes close to matching my expertise with regard to environmental law compliance.

I am a volunteer at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center providing advice and legal representation on domestic violence matters and I am studying Spanish to enable me to better communicate with our Hispanic residents.  I am a parishioner at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

On a separate matter regarding community service, I went to Haiti in 2009 (one month before the earthquake) with a group of doctors and nurses to distribute medicine and personal hygiene products to the poor. My job there was to translate medical instructions from English into Haitian Creole. You can see a couple of photos from my mission to Haiti accompanied with this article. They were taken outside of a mountain village called Thoman near the border with the Dominican Republic.

I believe that Herndon politics are not about national issues. Herndon’s focus should be on protecting our neighborhoods and encouraging the best kinds of economic growth.  I promise to devote my energies to those types of home-grown local issues that benefit Herndon first and foremost. I promise I will work hard to keep taxes low and ensure every penny of your money is well spent on worthwhile projects that benefit all our citizens, not just a few.

I hope you will vote for me on May 1st. Thank you.

Please let me know if you have any subjects of interest you would like me to address. My next blog will be about Virgnia’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. I will tell you what the requirements are for the candidates, where to find their on-line reports, and how high-rollers in Virginia are playing “hide the ball” with their donations.

I have attached my original press release to this article so you can see further
details regarding my background.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jim Seevers March 29, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Thanks for giving us an opportunity to know you through the Patch, Dave. You asked for specific issues, so here's one your legal expertise should help with . . . What can/should the Town Council do about privately owned, deteriorating downtown locations like The Pines shopping center?
Dave Webster March 29, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Jim, The Town’s first reaction should be a business one, not a legal one. How can we attract businesses to Herndon to fill those vacant stores and act in partnership with Maryland-based Richmond Corp. which owns the Pines Center? In a recent Washington Post article a spokesman for Richmond Corp. stated that if the company was allowed to have all restaurants, “they could turn the center into an ‘eatery,’ but Herndon’s parking regulations for restaurants make that impossible.” For your information, all restaurants within Herndon’s town limits must provide one parking space for every four seats in the establishment, as well as one space for every two employees on duty. Retail establishments must provide one space for every 200 square feet of floor space. Maybe it’s time we looked at the parking regulations to see if they need to be revamped. Empty parking spaces don’t generate tax revenue. With the departure of the Tortilla Factory, I am worried about the health of the remaining businesses in the Pines Center such as the Canine Carousel. On the legal front, Herndon Code Sections 26-166 through 26-173 address property which has become a “public health or safety menace.” The present condition of the Pines Center doesn’t come close to violating these code sections.

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