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 are looking to fill a council member's seat. Among them is first time candidate Jim Sisley. Below are his responses to a list of questions asked by Leesburg Patch:
Q: What made you decide to run for Town Council?
A: For more than a decade, I served citizens of Leesburg as vice chair of Leesburg's Board of Architectural Review and Leesburg's Economic Development Commission, the EDC Liaison to the Watershed Committee, the Art Commission, founding President of Leesburg Crossroads and a founding member of the Leesburg Downtown Business Association, among other positions.
After spending thousands of volunteer hours and learning how Leesburg Government “works”, I’m seeking an elected position. The difference is that volunteers seek to inform the community’s leaders while elected council members determine how we will act upon the issues we all face. I am respectfully asking voters to elect me as part of a new, more cooperative, progressive, efficient town leadership focused on making Leesburg the best it has ever been while protecting our architectural and cultural legacy.
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: It’s the economy and taxes. My efforts will include conservation of the budget and containment of the tax rate. But every eligible voter in Leesburg knows that they also have to generate income to create financial security.
I am focused on bringing more employers to our community so that local citizens can compete for local jobs, spend less time and money commuting and generate more net spendable commercial tax dollars without raising tax rates on any taxpayer. This will lessen the town’s reliance on residential tax revenues and unburden the citizens that own residential property. I know how to bring these companies to a town or commercial property - it’s been my daily work for more than a decade as a commercial real estate professional. I want to apply those hard earned skills to the benefit of my neighbors and fellow Leesburg citizens.
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: This very public discussion lessens our local economic recovery/growth because it creates market uncertainty when we can least afford it. It is possible but unlikely the move will occur considering the cost of building new facilities compared to other use of county funds for schools, health and welfare, transportation and public safety.
The courts’ move costs are even less acceptable given that the current BOS were elected as fiscal conservatives and that there are several less expensive viable alternatives to accomplish the court safety and operational efficiency goals if the courts are left in place until the larger economy has greatly improved. Ultimately, the VOTERS will get to decide whether to:
a. approve a bond for the Courts move -or-
b. when they vote again during the next county election
Disturbing the market equilibrium with ideas that have not been fully developed hurts our economy and every Citizen in the county and 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: My campaign efforts have been the majority of the 18+ hour days work spent since announcing my candidacy. There is no local polling. So, we have to campaign like we may not succeed. Our community will only know the outcome on Nov. 7. EVERY VOTE MATTERS. So, the most important event prior to the closing of the polls on Nov. 6 is that informed Leesburg Citizens cast their vote for the council candidates they believe will best lead our town. Until then, I’m continue to meet and try to persuade our voting population that I am one of the three they want to support in this council election.
Q: What is one thing that you would like the voters to know about you before heading to the polls in November?
A: My website further explains my experience, leadership style and the work that I believe is a priority for the Town Council in the future. I’m experienced in town government. Effective leadership as a council member requires my type of experience and the “political will” to leverage what we have in common and achieve agreement, make great decisions that establish financial security and optimize the quality of life for the citizens of Leesburg. In closing, the council candidates will appear on the back side of the local ballot Nov. 6. So, please complete the entire ballot.
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.