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 Pradip Dhakal. The remaining candidates did not respond to a request for submissions.
What would your top three priorities be as a council member?
My top priorities are:
1. Housing options: including bringing affordable and workforce housing in the town
2. Transparency: making the processes and decisions transparent to the public.
3. Diversity and Inclusion: making the town government, boards and commissions more diverse by community outreach.
What is the top challenge the town faces currently and how do you aim to address it?
With the Silver Line Metro coming, the developments including the Herndon Transit-Oriented Core (HTOC) and Transit Related Growth (TRG) area serve both the biggest opportunities as well as the biggest challenges. How we define and inspire growth in this area translates into long term fiscal viability/sustainability. By attracting businesses and employers, by providing diverse housing options to people and thus by collecting more revenues for the town, we can, in turn, invest in the neighborhood by enriching quality of life through various services we can offer.
What legislative matters or proposals do you hope to bring forward on the council?
There are many guidelines, ordinances and regulations in the town which are less relevant than when they were initially adopted. It’s time to conduct independent studies as well as surveys to find out how these guidelines and ordinances can be updated or amended to better serve the current needs. This includes zoning ordinances, HPRB guidelines and many others.
How does your background uniquely position you for this position?
I am already serving my first term as a councilman. This tenure has enabled me to learn the processes, the challenges and the opportunities. My constant outreach and engagement with the constituents for the past two years have given me great knowledge on what people need/want. I have served in leadership positions in various organizations which has given me a strong passion to listen, to learn, to serve, to implement changes and to inspire the transformations.
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?
As I mentioned above, the metro and downtown redevelopment offers great opportunities for us to attract diverse people, unique businesses and employers in town. I think we are little behind in terms of making the infrastructure ready, attracting investments and making ourselves ready for the change/opportunities. The downtown development is already underway. There is not much we can do now. But I will make sure we break the ground soon.
Photo via Pradip Dhakal