Reston Now is running statements of candidates running for mayor of the Town of Herndon. With longtime Mayor Lisa Merkel stepping down, two candidates are running for her position. Featured here is Roland Taylor, who is running against Sheila Olem, the town’s current vice mayor.
As your mayor, I will be focused daily working to lowering your taxes, utilities, and fees. Herndon needs a commonsense candidate, with no bias divisive partisan political agenda. Local level government works best without bias parties involved. Roland has no compromises from campaign contributions from developers, real estate companies, or political parties. No parties should put local Town elections on their ballots.
My wife Kathy and I have lived in Herndon with our four children for 16 years. Their youngest graduated from Herndon High in 2019, and now we are eager to take the next step in their service to our community.
My twenty-year career as a public servant in local law enforcement provides me extensive experience working with citizens and government leaders. As a United Nations’ senior rule of law leader and while supporting the U.S. Department of State in international locations, Roland gained experience living and working with diverse international populations, respecting all cultures and focusing on human rights and protecting endangered population groups.
Now as a federal government program manager, Roland has eighteen plus years of extensive experience with managing large budgets and personnel supporting federal government contracts both domestic and international. For over ten years he has been a certified project management professional and experienced in risk management.
Based on Roland’s law enforcement background and his Masters in Criminal Justice Administration, from Loyola University in New Orleans, he has served as both an Associate and Adjunct Professor of transnational and organized crime for two universities. Roland understands public safety.
As both a parent and grandparent, Roland Taylor wishes to continue giving back and offers his service to the Herndon community as its Mayor. Roland has never avoided a crisis when help and leadership were required. Herndon requires proven executive management and leadership during the COVID-19 crisis and our recovery. I am that candidate and asks for your support and vote on or before November 3rd, 2020.
Top Three Priorities as Mayor
Town of Herndon, voters have to decide why they selected to live in Herndon and if that quality of lifestyle will continue with a higher density rezoning model the current Town Council is supporting. With rapid growth, there are equal impacts on increased traffic congestion and school overcrowding. We need a diverse Council and not yes votes across the board, as with current party ticket slates. There are some very big projects on the table that will have long term impacts on Herndon. Real conversations have to be had, with all views expressed and listened to in a respective manner. Developers and realtors should not lead the discussions with crony politicians, that are accepting their biased contributions to their campaigns.
Meals Tax Impacts
In the 2016 General Election, Fairfax County put a Meals Tax on the ballot, and it was defeated countywide. All three Town of Herndon precincts voted “no” to the Meals Tax, however, in April of 2019, my opponent and all seeking re-election to Council, voted to increase Herndon’s Meals Tax, without putting to the Town Citizens for their vote. Long ago the Town put a Meals Tax on the books, to protect the Town from a County Meals Tax. Clearly, the citizens have expressed their desire against a Meals Tax in 2016 and our elected officials ignored the citizens. This was very disappointing and another reason, I am running for Mayor.
Be assured, I am opposed to Meals Tax as it unfairly affects Seniors, low-income and middle-income families, and negatively impacts tourism. It causes decreased tipping, devastating waiters who rely on tips to make a living, which has already been badly impacted by COVID-19. Sadly, many restaurants only make 3-4% in profit, and the Meals Tax hurts our small business owners. I am a strong small business supporter and these measures are putting our local businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
COVID Economy Impacts
Due to COVID-19 and its negative impacts on our economy, all levels of government will be required to make budget cuts as all the prior budget forecasts were incorrect. We know after COVID-19, many business models will change. Office space may reduce, lowering commuters, and impact lunch traffic. These and others will reduce taxes paid and Town revenues.
The next two years will be difficult and requires someone with extensive government and business experience like Roland’s, to lead Herndon to recovery. This requires selecting the best candidate for leadership, and not just voting down a party ticket. Roland sincerely asks for your support and vote as the Town of Herndon’s next Mayor on Nov. 3, 2020.
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