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 Katie Hammler, who has served on the council since 2004.
Below are Hammler's responses to a list of questions asked by Leesburg Patch last week:
Q: What made you decide to run for Town Council?
A: During my tenure as council member, Leesburg was voted by CNN the 4th Best Place in America to live! I am running for re-election because my efforts have made a difference to our citizens and to our local businesses. I am the most experienced candidate, having served for eight years, and I have a proven record of leadership on Leesburg issues, including maintaining or lowering the residential tax rate for six years in a row. I have proven I do my homework, I listen to our citizens responsively, and I take the proactive actions which benefit us all.
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: Homeowner affordability — I will continue to advocate for fair tax and utility rates while ensuring necessary services are delivered to all town residents. Due to a debt balloon payment, Leesburg faces the risk of a significant tax hike in 2017. I will take proactive actions to ensure this does NOT happen including saying NO to new capital improvement projects we CAN NOT AFFORD such as the Southwest Connector Bike Bridge, while working to increase sources of non-residential revenues.
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: The Loudoun County Courthouse has been an integral part of the fabric of historic downtown Leesburg since it was built. I supported the recent unanimous resolution asking the Board of Supervisors to keep the courts downtown. But more than simply sending a letter or stating a position, I will work ACTIVELY with the Board to find innovative solutions to ensure the courts stay in Leesburg’s downtown. To do otherwise is to risk suffering severe economic consequences.
Q: How do you feel about the upcoming election?
A: I am very excited about the upcoming historic first town November election because we will have such a significant voter turn-out!
Q: How has your campaign been going and do you have any big events planned prior to Nov. 6?
A: It has been a great opportunity to differentiate myself because I have been running a non-partisan campaign versus other candidates who have sought national political party endorsement. I will serve no other interests other than what is best for our town and have a proven record of Leadership for Leesburg issues.
In terms of events, I had a very successful Kick-off, and have since moved my energy to meeting new voters by going Door-to-Door. I urge voters to read my stance on Leesburg issues at www.KatieHammler.com.
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 dedicated to the spirit of our non-partisan elections with the singular mission to serve the Leesburg tax-payer. For example, I was a citizen-soldier as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and I have always considered myself a citizen-legislator with the honor of serving my hometown, Leesburg. From serving as council’s liaison to the regional Loudoun County Economic Development Commission, to having been elected to a statewide leadership role, by all towns in the Commonwealth, on the executive committee of the Virginia Municipal League — each position has helped to spark new ideas, has helped me to develop important relationships, and allows me to advocate for Leesburg. I have leveraged these opportunities to achieve measurable successes in Leesburg in the areas of homeowner affordability, economic development, and improving our quality of life and it has prepared me to serve Leesburg tax-payers in the next four years.
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.