I was surprised by John Wells' announcement of his retirement, but know he wants to spend more time with his children and grandkids. I have worked with John since my election to the Council in 2006.
Wells did a wonderful job restoring confidence in Town Hall in the aftermath of a credit-card scandal involving a former IT staffer in 2003-04, which ultimately led to the resignation of his predecessor. He also rectified a lot of problems created by previous management, notably in fiscal management and regulations.
Working with the newly elected Council in 2006, he set out to institute a variety of regulatory reforms that has removed Leesburg's previous reputation as being "business unfriendly." Today, Leesburg has a good rep as being "business friendly" and customer-driven thanks to John Wells. He also had to work to rectify a deficit in the town's utility fund and get major roads such as Battlefield Parkway built and South King Street widened.
I also have appreciated working with John as Leesburg supervisor. He has kept me informed and also has given great guidance to our county administrator, too, due to his history working as deputy administrator for the County. I believe the Town needs to honor John by naming a park or street in his honor, if he so wishes.
The council has big shoes to fill and I wish John and Debbie their very best in their retirement.
Supervisor Ken Reid