Viewpoints: Herndon

Herndon residents, Councilmembers reflect on Mayor Lisa C. Merkel's decision not to seek 5th term.

Teri Cochrane - Town resident since 2017: I don't know anything about the politics in this town, but it has a beating heart. I attended a town council meeting to honor Green Lizard Cycling. I thought the session was well-structured with Robert's Rules (of Order) procedures. My philosophy is to gather information on how to make things better and not criticize.

Herndon Town Councilmember Signe V. Friedrichs - Town resident for 24 years: I am so grateful to Mayor Merkel for all she has done to move this town toward an inclusive, hopeful and vibrant future. Her task was not easy. I will miss her on Council, and I know she will go on to do even more wonderful things. I wish her the best. Friedrichs announced she would not seek re-election as a Herndon Town Councilmember in the Nov. 3, 2020 election due to family responsibilities.

Jeff Mann - Town resident: I really appreciate her leadership. I do know that what we talked about ten years ago is different than what we are talking about now. If we are going to do something with the Downtown Redevelopment Project, let's start it. If we're not, let's drop it.

Herndon Vice Mayor Sheila A. Olem - Town resident for 30 years: The current Mayor and I were both elected in 2010, so I know Mayor Merkel will cherish spending more time with her family and attending her children's events without the guilt of missing a town event... You never get that time back as a parent. Olem announced she would seek election as Herndon Mayor in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

Herndon Town Councilmember Cesar del Aguila - Town resident for 12.5 years: I am happy to have helped Mayor Merkel start her tenure on the Herndon Town Council back in 2010. I am even more proud to continue to serve our diverse and growing community. We will see our town's population and demands for services continue to expand, and we will need new leadership with creative minds and bold ideas to provide transformational solutions. Future councils must be aligned with our town's evolving future and make decisions moving us towards the desired outcomes. I hope to continue to work with others to help move the Council forward to benefit all residents and businesses. Cesar del Aguila said he would seek re-election as a Herndon Town Councilmember in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

Former Herndon Town Councilmember Jasbinder Singh - Town resident 30 years: Mayor Merkel's legacy can be summarized as follows: Giveaway of the Downtown Land: If, as expected, the downtown development contract is executed, the developer will essentially get the land for free. The Town will leave about $12 million on the table. Gross Lack of Transparency: Two facts speak volumes. On July 1, 2012, the very first day of Merkel's first term, the town changed the format of the Minutes of (Council) Meetings to render them feckless. None of the documents related to the downtown development have been made public under one pretext or another.

Herndon Town Councilmember Pradip Dhakal - Town resident for 8 years: We thank Mayor Merkel for her service and leadership in the town. She is very easy to work with; she was always on top of agendas and very caring about the town and the residents. We will miss her and wish her a very happy time with her family. Dhakal announced he would seek re-election as a Herndon Town Councilmember in the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

Herndon Town Councilmember William J. (Bill) McKenna - Town resident since 2012: I have heard from a lot of people about Lisa not running for re-election, and they are sad about it and rightfully so. Although I am not on social media, I have heard that the message boards were blowing up. I think that alone is a testament to her stewardship and leadership of the town by the response. I am grateful to the Mayor for all of her service over the years and look forward to continuing to work with her for the balance of the term. McKenna announced he was not focused on campaigning or elections, but on working diligently for the town as they enter the budget season.

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