What I've accomplished:
Downtown Master Plan (DTMP) - Approved your Downtown Master Plan (DTMP) vision for a small scale mixed use downtown, focused on maintaining our small town feel while embracing an arts district and enhancing the downtown as a center of activity.
Downtown Pattern Book - Approved the Downtown Pattern Book - an architectural guidebook - to support the look and feel YOU want in your Downtown redevelopment.
Purchased Land - Purchased the Stohlman Subaru site (a 6-1 vote) in order to assemble the entire block of land between Center, Elden, Station Streets and the W&OD Trail (nearly 5 acres) to facilitate the cohesive and desirable downtown redevelopment residents have asked for in our DTMP.
Rezoned Land - Rezoned specific Town-owned downtown properties necessary to complete the DTMP.
Downtown Proposals - Received proposals from two reputable developers for residents to review and council to consider for redevelopment in accordance with the DTMP.
W&OD Trail Lighting - Approved and Installed phase one of the W&OD trail lighting project, from Van Buren St. to Ferndale Avenue. Currently seeking grant monies to complete the project to Crestview Drive.
Tables and Umbrellas - Added tables, umbrellas and a new water fountain to the Depot Green, making it an inviting place for residents and visitors to gather, relax and enjoy heart of our downtown, right off the W&OD Trail.
New Fire Station - Approved the plans for Herndon’s new Fire Station - funded by Fairfax County - with construction underway and to be completed in Fall 2016.
Junction Square Development -Approved the Junction Square neighborhood at the corner of Elden and Monroe Streets (the former Diamond Hotel site) which will feature luxury condos, urban townhomes with rooftop decks and ground floor retail - with space for outdoor dining!
VineHaven Development - Approved a small development of upscale single family homes in downtown Herndon - which is nearly sold out!
Fortnightly - Completed the final block of the Fortnightly townhomes on Center Street across from the library.
Streetscapes - Working to complete infrastructure in our Downtown including improved streetscapes, new landscaping, correcting disjointed sidewalk connections and undergrounding overhead utility lines.
Spring Street - Completed the sewer, sidewalk and paving project on Spring Street.
WHY? And what's next?
Particularly exciting for me - your downtown master plan is finally coming to life!!! Two proposals matching your vision for downtown have been submitted for consideration. We’ve spent the rest of 2016 listening to you, holding public meetings, tweaking plans and working with these two firms to ensure that the downtown you’ve dreamed of - and helped us plan for years - becomes a reality! I'm ready to finish what we started!
A vibrant and successful downtown, coupled with public transportation connections to the Herndon-Monroe Station, will help to increase property values and set Herndon apart from other stations on the Silver Line and attract new residents —families, young professionals and seniors—to our Town.
Metro - Herndon Station
Metro Station - Approved and rezoned the comprehensive plan for Herndon's Metro Station area - Herndon's Transit-Oriented Core (HTOC.) 38 acres are slated for transit-oriented urban development at the future Herndon Station - abutting the Dulles Toll Road.
Metro Architectural Guidelines - Approved unique architectural guidelines for Herndon’s future metro station, capitalizing on the station's close proximity to our historic downtown ensuring that riders know they have arrived in Herndon as soon as they step off the train.
Circulator Bus - Worked with Fairfax County to plan a circulator bus component to the County funded Fairfax Connector Bus system ensuring easy access to Herndon Station for Herndon residents.
Pedestrian and Bike Access - Worked with Fairfax County for top-notch pedestrian and bicycle access at our Herndon Metro Station. $21 million was approved in the Fairfax County budget to study and make these improvements.
County Partnerships - Worked with - and will continue to work with - with Fairfax and Loudoun Counties as well as other agencies and developers to advocate for Herndon's infrastructure needs as the area surrounding our Town grows.
WHY? And what's next?
Planning for Metro is investing in our future and will attract world-class and unique businesses to Herndon - which will increase our overall tax base, and ultimately relieve the tax burden for our homeowners.
Predictable, frequent access to public transportation and connected, well-maintained bike paths, lanes and sharrows make it easy for Herndonians to leave their cars behind - easing congestion and helping our environment.
I'll continue working with Fairfax County to have Bikeshare here in Herndon, and to provide additional bicycle parking throughout the town.
Van Buren Street improvements are in the works between Spring Street and Herndon Parkway - including wider sidewalks and bike lanes for easier access to Herndon Station - without your car!
Modern, Easy-Access Government
New App - Developed Herndon's mobile app - "Herndon ON the GO" so that contacting your Town Officials is easier than ever, right there on your smartphone!
On Demand Council Meetings - Instituted the Granicus software program on the Town’s website, allowing residents to view webcasts of meetings of the Town Council via live stream (or later!) as well as other public meetings of Town Boards and Commissions. Easy access to all documents, ordinances, staff reports - all at your fingertips!
Town Website - Updated the Town's Website. It is now more intuitive, mobile-friendly, with more ways to interact with the Town online with fillable forms and online calendars. It also offers a "Translate" option so that everyone in our Town has access to all information.
Repealed "English Only" - Repealed the so-called "English Only" resolution passed by a previous council, so that such translation services are allowable within the town's government operations in order to better serve our residents.
Open Door Policy - My door at Old Town Hall is always open! I'd love to meet with you and hear your ideas for Herndon!
Quality of Life & Walkability
Vision Statement - Created a 2035 vision statement - centering on the Herndon Experience and the people who live here - to help shape our goals for Herndon's future as a next generation small town.
Town Services - Maintained a high level of town services that town residents expect and deserve without raising our property tax rate.
Gateway Signs - Designed and Installed seven Gateway Entrance Signs, welcoming everyone to the Town of Herndon.
Drop-off Boxes - Approved an ordinance to rid the Town of unsightly and unhealthy donation drop-off boxes.
Dranesville Road Improvements - Completed the Dranesville Road median project, to help improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists on that busy section of roadway.
Park Avenue/Monroe Street and Station Street Improvements - Completed road way safety improvements at the Park Avenue & Monroe Street intersection, as well as undergrounded utilities, installing sidewalks and improving parking on Station Street in downtown Herndon. Both projects had been "on the books" for decades - we got it done!
Community Policing - Supported our Community Policing Program. Community Policing fosters strong relationships and promotes dialogue between residents and our police officers. Herndon has worked hard - and will continue to work hard - to establish strong relationships and trust between our officers and the people who live here. Public safety remains our top priority.
WHY? And what's next?
While Herndon grows, and embraces the urbanism that will be in close proximity to the Metro Station, I will continue working to maintain and improve the quality of life our residents enjoy in our single family, townhouse and heritage neighborhoods. We can have the best of both worlds - if we plan it right.
I will continue efforts to minimize cut-through traffic and increase the use of the Herndon Parkway to relieve congestion on our neighborhood streets, making them safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The Dranesville Road median and Park/Monroe Intersection projects have improved speed and congestion issues in that area of town.
We are working to complete disjointed sidewalk connections, and improve the streetscapes in our Downtown, making the pedestrian experience more appealing and safer for all.
Herndon Parkway is an underutilized resource; it must become the true bypass that it was intended to be. To realize its potential we have improved the area near Dranesville Road and Park Avenue, routing through traffic onto the Herndon Parkway.
Budget & Economic Development
Property Tax Rate - Maintained a stable property tax rate while improving town services! Herndon is one of the few jurisdictions in the area that has not increased its tax rate in the past 6 years!
Revenue Stabilization - Established a revenue stabilization "rainy day" fund to help safeguard the town’s financial stability during difficult economic times.
New Businesses - Attracted over 100 new businesses to town.
Economic Development - Hired the town’s first Economic Development manager whose role includes attracting and retaining the quality businesses and amenities throughout town - and promoting Herndon as a destination and outstanding place to do business.
Branding - Instituted the new branding initiative and Herndon’s new DineON website, to help promote Herndon’s locally owned and operated restaurants, businesses and nonprofits.
Business Friendly - Ensured that the Town provides a welcoming environment for desirable new businesses and that business leaders understand the benefits of locating in Herndon. For the past four years I have worked to repair and strengthen relationships with Fairfax County in order to take full advantage of the services for which our county tax dollars pay and to which we are entitled. As Mayor, this will remain a priority.
WHY? And what's next?
I believe that the job of the Mayor and Town Council is to provide for the safety and well being of our residents; to be careful stewards of Herndon taxpayer dollars; and to ensure that the budget process is transparent so that all residents and business owners can see how their tax dollars are being spent. My budget priorities remain:
Diversifying revenue base
I will continue to have the courage to make tough decisions to serve the best interests of all Town residents. I know that Herndon residents want their tax dollars to be spent wisely and want important Town services to be preserved. Our budget should reflect our priorities and should be monitored carefully to ensure that we can respond to changing conditions.