Letter to the Editor: Opportunity to 'Shift into Drive' in Herndon Elections

The upcoming town election could help move Herndon forward.

The Herndon Town Elections are coming up on May 1st. I encourage everyone to and attend events to learn more about them and their vision for Herndon.

Although I love living in Herndon, I feel like the Town is “stuck in neutral” as far as making any improvements that benefit its citizens and increase the tax base. The last major improvement to the town was the building of the Municipal Center and Library shortly after I moved here 19 years ago. 

Especially during the last six years, there has been a shift away from support for any major projects. Other than a number of consulting studies that have yet to result in anything being implemented, the emphasis has been on public safety with an expansion of the police department and shrinkage of other town services to keep taxes as low as possible.  

Various Town Councils have talked about re-vitalization of the downtown, incentives for metro development and traffic issues, but seem to be stuck in the planning stage. I would like to see a Town Council that is willing to take some risks and forge ahead with implementation. 

Since the incumbent is not running for Mayor this year, we will be electing a new Mayor. The individual elected will provide the leadership to move Herndon forward to make it an even better place to live. I think that Lisa Merkel is the only candidate running who has the drive to make that happen. 

Sheila Olem and Grace Wolf are first-term Town Council members who are running for re-election. They have proven over the past two years that they want to restore and improve town services, spur economic development, improve relations with other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia and promote new projects in Herndon. They have my vote. Melissa Jonas has served for the past two years on the Planning Commission and before that representing Herndon on a critical task force. She is now running for Town Council, where she would stand up for our Town while also working to move projects forward. 

Jeff Davidson is a long time Herndon resident who has shown his commitment by attending most of the Town Council meetings over the two years. He is nearing retirement and is running for Town Council to give back to the community by using his extensive management experience. He is promoting a Town Wide Transportation plan that I believe is long overdue. Eric Boll is an engineer raising his children in Herndon and taking an active role in the Community. The actions outlined on his website show that he would be a strong Council member interested in implementing public improvements. Both Jeff Davidson and Eric Boll would be excellent new members of the Town Council and have my vote. 

The candidates that I support all have a bias toward action and a vision that Herndon can retain its community spirit and home town atmosphere while implementing major projects that will benefit the citizens and bring in new tax revenues. I hope that you will consider these excellent candidates when you cast your votes on May 1st . 

Nancy Myers 
Herndon, VA

Bob Bruhns April 22, 2012 at 08:26 AM
In the HITS Q&A, I don't see any mention of any study or model that shows how the cost of HITS might be paid by its users. The first sources of funding that are mentioned are the Town of Herndon and Fairfax County, which are in turn funded by our tax dollars. Will HITS turn out to be yet another reason why there is no economy of scale in municipal development? We keep seeing growth, with the alleged goal of economic advance - but then somehow we keep seeing more and more tax per capita. I submit that something is not working.
Richard Downer April 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Bob - Question 7 reads as follows: Q. What are some of the issues to be explored in a transportation study of the HITS concept? A. Ridership potential, route locations, mini-bus stop locations, frequency of service, available equipment types (Including acquisition and maintenance expense) and labor costs are some of the major study issues. A professional study will be needed before any final action. A PDF of the HITS proposal map and Q&A is attached to this article.
VIcky Dorman April 22, 2012 at 11:39 PM
Send your whole name and your Herndon address to the candidates or on the Patch.d. Otherwise, I don't blame any of them for not responding to you. No one has any idea who you are or where you live.
Bob Bruhns April 23, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Richard, I think it would be very valuable to have public transportation so that people can use it and get from all over Herndon, and the surrounds, to the train station, and back again. And all over the town too. I hope that the whole bunch of us, and people and the businesses in the Town and area, and Fairfax County, can come up with something that works, that isn't too expensive so it pays for itself overall, and that makes the Herndon area great. I think that involves good development in the center of town that people might go to and enjoy and find work, etc, that overall produces revenue that more than pays for the service. I am convinced that this can come and not bend Herndon out of shape, if it is done right. I believe it can be done fairly. I think it will take the collaboration probably of all of us here, and of a lot of other people, and it will mean that we all have to listen to each other and let good ideas take form. For this to work, I think that the winners and losers in this election and the elections to come, should work together when the elections are over, and make it happen. That seems hopelessly utopian, but what else can be done. I don't want a system that just burdens us, and I don't think anyone else does either, but that could happen. That is my worry.
George Taplin April 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Mrs. Meyers - You said: "A "kiss and ride" or other arrangement for cars to drop off metro riders on the North side of the Toll Road is needed if we do not want an even greater traffic nightmare with countless unnecessary trips on the limited number of roads that cross the Toll Road." I have searched all over but have been unable to find any research results or survey that describes the projected ridership of the metro from the Herndon-Monroe stop. It is very possible that there would be LESS ridership from this stop than there currently is from the bus station due to the increased number of stops available on the Silver Line along the Toll Road. Your assumption that there will be a great influx of ridership from Herndon is simply wishful thinking until a VALID ridership survey is completed and validated. You are putting up a strawman argument with no empirical evidence to support it. And I add my voice to the voices who want PUBLIC statements form the slate candidates on the matter. Or is this another exercise of, ". . . we will have to pass the bill to find out what is in it?"


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