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; two of which are looking to fill the role of mayor. Among them is Linda Shotton, who is running for the first time ever.
Below are Shotton's responses to a list of questions asked by Leesburg Patch last week:
Q: What made you decide to run for mayor/town council?
A: We've lived in Leesburg since 1998, and for all but a few of those years, we've had the same mayor. I want to see Leesburg achieve its full potential. I have tried to do my part by founding and participating in community organizations, working on town boards and commissions, and now running for mayor to bring some forward-looking vision to how we deal with challenges in the 2010's.
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: Many voters are concerned about their tax dollars. There is a cost to local government, which we all pay in the form of town taxes. Generally, Leesburg residents pay more in taxes because we are part of the town, while still paying county taxes, often times paying double for services (i.e., town police as well as county sheriff). Because of this, it is very important that town government be run with a strict eye to the town finances - whether this be reconsidering the value of a new $20K "study" that will eventually gather dust on the shelf, or the merit of increasing water rates for out of town residents, thus incurring large legal bills.
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 absolutely believe that losing the court system from downtown Leesburg would be detrimental to the basic economy of the downtown. I believe that there are options for making sure that the courthouse stays in town - such as infill projects like Courthouse Square, which will provide Class A office space while maintaining the charm of the town.
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: I feel that there is a greater excitement about the Leesburg election than there has been in past years. Moving the election to the November General date has motivated voters to really take a look at our local candidates and consider the strengths and weaknesses of each. This will be an interesting year for Leesburg. I have not planned any large events prior to Nov. 6, but hope to see many residents at the Leesburg Halloween parade.
Q: What is one thing that you would like the voters to know about you before heading to the polls in November?
A: I am an extremely active, dedicated person. From a 15 year career with NASA and the DoD, to raising three wonderful kids and involving myself in Leesburg boards and commissions, community organizations, schools, and businesses, I've managed to provide leadership and guidance, advice and vision in each of these endeavors.
My efforts on Leesburg's Environmental Advisory Committee as well as many town task forces have helped make Leesburg a better environment for businesses and families who call Leesburg their home. My goal as mayor is to continue my work of the past 14 years in Leesburg, creating more business opportunities and jobs in our town while maintaining its charm and character as one of the best small towns in the nation in which to live and raise a family.
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.