Uncut Answers to the League of Women Voters - Voter Guide
I am posting my uncut answers to the League of Women Voters - Voter Guide due to the limited character count requirements set by the Fairfax Times.
1. What do you believe is the most pressing ISSUE for the Town of Herndon? What solutions would you propose to address it?
Downtown Development: Over the past 30 years the town has been looking to redevelop the downtown. Numerous councils along with Herndon citizen committees, consultants and even a 2001 charrette have all contributed to our Master Plan. Several proposals have gone by due to citizen rejection, politics, and indecisive action on the part of several town councils. With the newly approved Pattern Book we now have a guide that should speed up the process for downtown development. I would favor a unified approach by a single developer or an organized group/coalition of developers to identify property consolidation and to make proposals. We will need to agree on density and building height. Open space requirements will directly influences the height of any new buildings. With a unified approach density can be shifted if necessary to satisfy citizen concerns.
2. How will the planning for METRO affect the Town of Herndon?
I support Metrorail coming to Herndon. I believe it will complement our town and will make it more attractive to people who want to visit, work and live in a pleasant and welcoming “Oasis” within Northern Virginia.
3. What economic DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES will you propose for the Town of Herndon?
We should create an Economic Development Advisory Committee consisting of town business owners and chaired by the town’s Economic Developer Manager. Metrorail will be a magnet for many businesses to locate in and around our station. This committee, working with Fairfax County, must develop incentives to attract the best state-of-the-art companies to our town.
TOWN OF HERNDON PROPOSED FY 2015 BUDGET
TOWN OF HERNDON PROPOSED FY 2015 BUDGET
PRESENTED TO TOWN COUNCIL
Town Council to Hold Public Hearings on April 8 and April 22
Herndon, VA (March 31, 2014) – Herndon Town Manager Arthur A. Anselene has proposed a FY 2015 Budget of $48,827,100, a 1.6 percent decrease when compared to the adopted FY 2014 Budget. The town’s FY 2015 begins July 1, 2014 and extends to June 30, 2015.
“As we head into this next fiscal year, residential property values town-wide have experienced a healthy year-over-year increase, while commercial property values are down slightly,” said Anselene. “The town’s business license and transient occupancy receipts have been negatively impacted over the past year, primarily due to federal spending reductions. In this climate, my proposed FY 2015 budget takes a conservative approach to allocation of town resources while continuing our focus on redevelopment of the downtown, planning for transient-oriented development near Metrorail’s Herndon station and maintenance of the quality of our public facilities and infrastructure.”
Highlights of the proposed FY 2015 Budget include:
• Maintenance of the town real estate tax, meals tax and all other taxes and levies at their current levels;
• Continued allocation of resources to strategic capital projects such as major road improvements (Elden Center Streets intersection improvements), downtown redevelopment and planning for the Metrorail area redevelopment;
• Continued targeted allocation of the one percent increase in the town's meals tax, enacted in the FY 2012 Budget to support downtown utility relocation, major road repaving, and future funding of a downtown parking garage; and
FY 2015 Proposed Budget “Facts-at-a-Glance” follow. The complete budget is available online at www.herndon-va.gov and hard copies are available for review at the Herndon Municipal Center and Herndon Fortnightly Library. All citizens and businesses located in the town will receive “A Citizen’s Guide to the Proposed FY 2015 Budget” via U.S. Mail.
The Town Council will hold two public hearings on the budget, on Tuesday, April 8, and Tuesday, April 22, both beginning at 7pm in the Ingram Council Chambers, 765 Lynn Street. Citizens may also submit comments about the budget online at www.herndon-va.gov or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Media Contact: Anne Curtis, (703) 435-6800 X2010 or email@example.com
FY 2015 Proposed Budget at a Glance
The complete FY 2015 Proposed Budget is online at www.herndon-va.gov .
Total Budget Expenditures
$48,827,100 for all funds (General Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, Golf Course Fund, Chestnut Grove Cemetery Fund, Downtown Parking Enterprise Fund, and the Capital Projects Funds). The total reflects a decrease of 1.6 percent when compared to the adopted FY 2014 budget of $49,603,300.
General Fund Recurring Budget Expenditures
$32,058,300, an increase of 1.6 percent over the FY 2014 recurring expenses. Includes personnel, operations and maintenance, debt service, and minor capital.
General Fund Expenditures
$32,843,300 which reflects an increase of $295,100 or 0.9 percent more than the FY 2014 adopted budget.
Real Estate Tax
Remains at $0.2650 per $100 of assessed value.
One Penny on the Real Estate Tax Rate
Equivalent to approximately $416,712 in tax revenues (includes assessed value of public service corporations and real property assessments).
Average Residential Property Value
Projected at $348,948.
Average Residential Real Estate Tax Bill
$924.71 based on $0.2650 per $100 assessed value.
Personal Property Tax Rate
Remains at $0.00 per $100 assessed value.
Remains at 2.5 percent.
Remains at 75 cents per pack.
Business, Professional and Occupational License Tax
All classifications and thresholds remain at the current amounts.
Motor Vehicle License Fee
Remains at $25 for private passenger and other vehicles weighing less than 4,000 lbs; and $32 for vehicles weighing in excess of 4,000 lbs.
Consumer Utility Tax
Tax based on the purchase of utility services within the corporate limits of the town. The amount of the tax for residential consumers contains a monthly cap of $3.00 per utility.