Q & A: Town Council Candidate S. Ann Robinson
One of eight candidates who is looking to fill a seat on Leesburg's Town Council.
The Leesburg Town Council will hold their election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Three seats are available including the role of mayor.
Ten candidates will appear on next month's ballot; eight of which are looking to fill a council member's seat. Among them is S. Ann Robinson who ran back in May 2010.
Below are Robinson's responses to a list of questions asked by Leesburg Patch last week:
Q: What made you decide to run for Town Council?
A: Due to a confluence of circumstances in 2009, I became increasingly aware that town governments can view eminent domain far too handily as a method of putting forth favorite projects or development. I believe that process matters, that the residents living here are more important than outside investors, and that all of our citizens have the right to a seat at the table when public resources are being allocated.
Furthermore, if I had been on the council this month when the vote to oppose Virginia's constitutional amendment ballot initiative was taken, I surely would not have voted to oppose. If the amendment does fail, I can promise that I take a dim view of eminent domain in general and would be a passionate protector of property rights. The whole idea that a business like Mom's Apple Pie or a church like the one on Dry Mill Road could theoretically be a target of property seizure at the Council's discretion concerns me. And certainly if emergency access requires public use of private property, then full market value compensation must be the standard.
In addition, there is a large demographic in our town that is under-served. Our workers who struggle to meet obligations in their jobs as day care providers, companion care aides, grocery store clerks, coffee shop servers, restaurant and retail, etc. often work two or more jobs to afford rent in Leesburg, and rarely have time to petition the town or make their voices heard regarding services or infrastructure.
A combination of elections in May, along with appointments to commissions of one's closest associates in many cases, means that a narrow range of interests and concerns can receive inordinate attention. In addition there is little racial or cultural diversity at the leadership level -- and yet Leesburg itself is highly diverse. I hope to highlight how we might include more of our taxpayers in committee appointments and infrastructure decisions.
Q: After speaking with the voters during your campaign, what is one concern that you've heard the most and how would you address it?
A: Lack of public transportation in the evenings and weekends that would fit in with working schedules. I hear this from workers and employers both.
Q: A recent debate in the town has been the possible relocation of the court system from downtown Leesburg. What are your views on this topic as well as your position?
A: I prefer to keep the court system in downtown Leesburg.
Q: How do you feel about the upcoming election? How has your campaign been going and do you have any big events planned prior to Nov. 6?
A: Campaigning is exciting. I've had two big events already -- and am now talking to voters everywhere I go -- ArtSquare, "Faith has a Voice" forums, Small Business Incubator, First Fridays, and door- to- door canvassing.
Q: What is one thing that you would like the voters to know about you before heading to the polls in November?
A: I did not ask for political party endorsement due to the inherent strings attached, which are contrary to good local government. I am, however, endorsed by several individuals who are leaders in our community.
To read more about S. Ann Robinson check out more of her campaign coverage on Leesburg Patch.
Leesburg Patch will continue to share Q & A's each week leading up to the Nov. 6 election. Did you miss one? You can find more campaign coverage here. And, don't forget to submit your questions to the candidates.