Eight candidates are running for six seats on the Herndon Town Council for the 2021-2022 term. This week, Reston Now will publish candidate statements, which are edited for typos and formatting only. Statements are published in the order in which they are received. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Featured here is Cesar del Aguila.
What would your top three priorities be as a council member?
My top priorities are: full council decision transparency, new housing options, budget, and new town branding.
What is the top challenge the town faces currently and how do you aim to address it?
Prioritizing the budget for the next ten years will be paramount. What we save and cut will impact services delivered and future initiatives. This will be the most important issue the new council will face. We must find areas to save taxpayer dollars and find new sources of long-term revenue.
What legislative matters or proposals do you hope to bring forward on the council?
Major changes to the HPRB are desperately needed. Too many residents are being impacted and the ordinances need to be updated. We are creating a district where only wealthy individuals can afford to maintain their homes to a standard that is outdated. I would like to see the HPRB modified with input from the actual residents that live in the district.
I want to create an environment where new development provides a wider range of housing product options to include; workforce, studios, senior living and affordable units. We have several projects in the future and can address these needs if we value and commit to providing homes for everyone who wants to call Herndon home.
How does your background uniquely position you for this position?
I spent years in various positions with large businesses in executive roles. I understand leadership, at times, requires telling people what they need to hear, versus what they want to hear. I come from communities that invested in public schools and affordable housing. I have heard from many residents and what they desire for Herdon’s future. Change is happening and our growth depends on how well we leverage our resources to capture new businesses, residents, and investors. I welcome all views, listen to new ideas, and value the contrarian view.
The Town of Herndon is poised for transformation as Metro and the redevelopment of downtown Herndon is underway. What is your current assessment of progress made so far? How do you hope to continue ensuring the development occurs in a timely and productive manner?
I think we are behind in terms of what we could have had. It appears previous councils decided not to look into long-term investments and leverage our town resources. It seems previous councils were waiting for projects to come to Herndon. I would have invested in large projects over the past twenty years. I would have created line items in the budget and partially funded large projects through special revenue allocations versus bonding all costs. Pay a little as we go. I understand bonding projects benefit residents in the future that can utilize new infrastructure, however, I believe we have an obligation to pay a little now, so we don’t fully burden future residents with all the project costs. I believe sharing benefits and costs.
Photo via Cesar del Aguila