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Town of Herndon Mayoral Election: Meet Councilmember Sean Regan

Councilmember Sean Regan is running against two other candidates for mayor (Photo via Town of Herndon/website).
Mayor Sheila Olem is running against councilmembers Sean Regan and Jasbinder Singh in the upcoming mayoral race on Nov. 8. This week, FFXNow will feature candidate statements in their unedited form. Statements are published in the order in which they are received.  Featured here is Sean Regan.

What are your top three priorities for the Town of Herndon?

I am running for mayor to provide a new voice for change, a voice unencumbered by disagreements from the past, a voice for what Herndon is today and what we can become together. As mayor I will focus on three areas:

Housing – Herndon does not have its own housing authority but we can work with Fairfax County to bring affordable housing to the Town. We can also increase the supply of workforce and moderate-income housing by adjusting our zoning to encourage adaptive reuse of existing properties. We can provide a housing stipend to middle-income Town staff because governments work best when employees live in the community they serve.

Downtown – I will set the direction for the ongoing negotiation and execution of the downtown development PPEA. In my work advising non-profits and others on major development projects, I’ve been involved in a half-dozen similar projects. That experience will serve the Town well.

Traffic and parking – I will continue to work with staff, residents and surrounding jurisdictions to reduce cut-through traffic and free up parking to make life easier for the people who live, work, shop and play in Herndon.

In addition to these specifics, as mayor I will create a collaborative environment where diverse viewpoints are heard. I’ve lived by this value in my time on Council, on the Planning Commission, and in my career. Good legislation can come from anywhere and we will work together to understand the ideas, break them down, and shape them into legislation that serves the people of Herndon– not any outside interests. We will disagree at times but we don’t have to be disagreeable. We can argue joyfully.

With the opening of the Silver Line on the horizon, how do you believe the town can better prepare for transit-oriented communities?

I’m proud of the work Herndon has done to prepare for metro: from the HTOC district we developed and approved while I was on the Planning Commission, to the specifics of road, bike bus, and pedestrian connectivity which are finishing now, to the plans for water and sewer upgrades that will be in place as offices, shops and residences fill. We’re doing the hard work and I’m excited to see it start paying off. There are certainly some additional things I’d like to implement: HPD funding and officers to protect residents in the new development especially as we become connected to the DC metro area as we never have been before. Adapting our zoning and focusing our economic development efforts on attracting a major 4-year university to the HTOC, one which can provide hundreds of well-paying jobs. Continuing our parking overhaul to encourage the use of metro and to prevent commuters from flooding our neighborhoods and taking up spaces our residents and visitors need to live, work, shop and play here. And finally I’d like to find ways to connect Worldgate with the metro area, encouraging visitors to experience the amazing international restaurants we get to enjoy every day.

How can the town better position itself to manage public safety and road safety?

Herndon is safer than other jurisdictions and we need to keep it so by supporting HPD in attracting and retaining officers and staff. We can also embrace the goals of Virginia’s Marcus Alert which shifts law enforcement’s response to behavioral health emergencies. And we can anticipate how Metro’s opening will place an increased burden on HPD as we become more-closely tied to the greater-DC region.

Concerning road safety, we need to elevate the work of the Pedestrian & Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) and the Town’s Traffic Engineering Committee, which are tasked with analyzing pedestrian, bike and vehicle problems in the Town. Some solutions will take long-term planning and costly changes so we should also be creative and open to simple immediate interventions that can make a difference even as bigger changes proceed.

Racial diversity continues to grow in the Town of Herndon. To what extent is the town prepared to cater to all communities?

People have different perspectives and we must always be on the lookout for bias in our work and the way we serve the Town. I’m excited about Herndon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and hopeful it will give our diverse community a stronger voice in Town government. Real change will come as these voices are heard.

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