Leesburg Town Council candidates Dwight Dopilka and S. Ann Robinson attended a Q & A hosted by the Holy and Whole Life Changing Ministries Tuesday night. Mayor Kristen C. Umstattd attended a similar event back on Oct. 2. Unfortunately, the remaining candidates were unable to attend.
During the event, each candidate in attendance was provided five minutes to introduce themselves prior to taking questions from the audience. Pastor Michelle Thomas said the forum provided an opportunity to get to know who was on the ballot and what each one stood for prior to heading to the polls.
"Our goal is to equip, empower, and inspire the community to get out and vote," Thomas said, adding that the ministry has already registered over 380 people to vote since May of this year.
"Our goal is not to push one single candidate or the other. It is basically to educate the public and the Christian base, in particular, about the issues," she said. "A lot of times people don't believe politics and church go together. There's a separation of church and state. But we're not about politics. We're about policy."
Dopilka shared his ideas on creating new businesses and jobs in Leesburg while protecting the historical image of the downtown. He said that he opposed the relocation of the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the county's court system.
Dopilka also mentioned the need for more safety buses near Edwards Ferry Road and Route 15, in order to make the intersection more pedestrian friendly.
Robinson echoed his comments and said that not only do pedestrians need friendlier streets but better services when it comes to public transportation.
She referenced the Wegmans parking lot and said that the shopping carts are better protected than those who have to wait at a bus stop everyday. Better bus shelters are needed, she said, to protect the citizens who use them.