2020 Herndon Town Council Election: Meet Jasbinder Singh

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. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. Featured here is Jasbinder Singh. 

I served on the council from 2010 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2016.  I am back for the third time, because I want to help Herndon set a new direction.  During my first two terms I served with: integrity, ability, and an inquiring mind.

If elected, I intend to approach my job in the same manner.

Between 2013 and 2017 I wrote more than 30 articles describing how the town works or does not work.  These articles, published on my blog HerndonOpinion.com, provide a meaningful context for transforming Herndon into a vibrant town.

The experience described above, combined with my educational background in Civil Engineering & Public Policy, professional experience in policy analysis and environmental litigation, and a passion for public service uniquely qualify me to serve as a councilmember.

Have you ever wondered, “Why does it take Herndon 10 years to complete projects that would normally be completed in 1 or 2 years?  It is clear that Herndon needs to modernize, focus on excellence, and yet, retain its small-town feel.

Accomplishing this objective would be challenging during normal times.  However, these are not normal times. Municipalities across the country have laid off staff, cut capital budgets and even terminated major projects.  Economic conditions will not return to normal until at least the second half of next year.

Consequently, I have asked, “What should we do over the next two or three years to best cope with Covid-19 and its effects?

In the short-run, I believe, our first priority should be to conserve as much cash as possible, postpone or eliminate projects that are wasteful or require raising capital in the financial markets or require that we give land free to developers and/or special interests.  I propose that we take two immediate actions;

Make Town’s Current Financial Health Transparent under significant economic and development scenarios, and

Reverse anti-Transparency Policies of the last 8 years – policies that have kept the public in the dark, particularly about the economics of the proposed downtown development.

These actions should help the public to provide informed input into the Town’s decisions.

Covid-19 is highly problematic, but it has given us an opportunity to make our government nimble and efficient. In the Medium-run, we should reform regulations that delay our projects or impose unnecessary burden on our citizens.  HPRB rules and many other regulations fall in this category.  We should also implement the state-of-the-art budgetary and management practices that help governments make prudent decisions.  The budgets of all departments should be scrutinized for efficiencies.

Finally, we should keep an eye on the long-run.  For too long, we have focused on the downtown.  We should take actions that help revitalize the entire town, reduce traffic, develop a master plan for undeveloped areas, help our children learn about our environment and the wildlife around us, and create a vibrant and multicultural society. Last but not the least, we should examine whether the at-large town elections of councilmembers truly lead to policies that reflect the wishes of all the people of Herndon.

Our road to excellence will not be easy, but with the participation of our citizens in this endeavor, there will come a time when the Town of Herndon can say,

“Yes, we can!”

Photo via Jasbinder Singh

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