MUSINGS ABOUT “ON LISA’S WATCH” and “PUTTING HERNDON FIRST”
November 3, 2018 § Leave a comment
Councilmember 2010-2012 and 2014-2016
Yesterday, a “last minute” campaign flyer showed up in our mailbox. It listed Lisa Merkel’s purported accomplishments. After reading, I said to myself:
COME ON LISA, ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE
OVERWHELMED, OR WHAT?
Lets see why, what the mayor says, is Hocus Pocus:
1. W&OD lighting: Phase 1 of this project was already funded – to the tune of about $250,000 by June 2012 – before Merkel became Mayor. Most of the funding had come from state grants.
2. Fire Station: Fairfax County planned and funded the construction of the new Fire Station with only perfunctory input from the town.
3. Gateway Signs: This project was planned at least as far back as 2006. It was funded partially by mayor Steve D’s council in 2012 – before Lisa became our mayor. Most of the funding had come from state grants.
4. Outdoor picnic tables and umbrellas for the Town Green: Nice project. Ms Merkel deserves credit for it – lots of accolades for very little money.
5. Multilingual town website – A small ticket item, a big gesture for a few Hispanics!
6. 100 New Businesses in Town: Really, why do we have so many empty store-fronts?
7. Property Values Are Up: With an improving national economy since 2008 and a steady reduction in the number of distressed residential properties, the property values increased on their own – with very little help from Ms Merkel. However, consider this:
Residential property values increased at a higher rate in Reston than in Herndon. Falling behind Reston is not an accomplishment, Ms. Merkel. And, the performance was even worse with respect to “Office” properties. Between 2012 and 2018, “Office” property values increased by 19% in Reston, but, they decreased by 5% in Herndon, under Ms. Merkel’s watch. Are we supposed to be grateful or what? Should we bow and kiss her ring?
8. Tax Rate: Yes, Ms Merkel did not raise the residential property tax rate. However, she did not need to, because total tax revenues were increasing due to the rising residential values. The town budget, though, increased at a rapid pace of 6% per year between 2012 and 2018. There was plenty of money to go around.
9. Moving Forward on our small-town downtown, we designed together: No Ms. Merkel, what we designed together was dismantled in 2013. 65’ high buildings, 300 apartments in the downtown, town parking located within a private development were never contemplated. This is your legacy, madam Mayor. No, we will never have a “small-town” downtown in Herndon as long as you remain our leader.
10. Putting Herndon First: The photographs in the “last minute” brochure tell interesting stories:
Grace Wolf Cunningham, Jen Baker, Bill McKenna and Lisa – You did not read any of the documents related to the downtown development or ever asked questions about the financial implications of Comstock’s proposal and agreement. You did not want to know that Comstock was “taking” the downtown land worth $25 million from us for free! You stood by – unable and unwilling to negotiate with the big boys.
Your only option was to make sure we, the citizens, would not know the facts, if possible, forever.
In the photographs at the bottom of the 2nd page of the flyer, you all look so happy. It must be thrilling for you to give our land/money away to Comstock and hiding the facts from us.
Transparency galore, Lisa. Yeah! Putting Herndon First. Yeah!
County Supervisor Faust: During Ms. Merkel’s reign, the county has taken about $300 million out of Herndon in taxes. No wonder Faust looks so happy in the photograph! He got the money and your votes – for his next election. However, wait, why are our councilmembers, who claim to “Put Herndon First”, smiling? They must get something in exchange!
Jennifer Boysko – always smiling. Ask her what has she done for Herndon and its people in the last four years? I seriously doubt she even has a clue about our community’s needs. Dare her to spend some time with all our citizens (she has not spoken to me in 10 years). Ask her to put Herndon First for a change. Until then, she should not smile so much.
In summary, Hocus Pocus is all we got with that flier. Ms. Merkel’s letter to the Editor, Fairfax Times, yesterday, was not much different either. There is no need to say more.
Don’t be fooled Herndon. Don’t be taken in by the omnipresent Hocus Pocus. Vote for candidates who are likely to look out for you and become true public servants. Vote for (in alphabetical order):
Cesar Del Aguila