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Editor: “Slow Growth.” “Innovative Solutions.” “Small Town Charm”: These are phrases that Purcellville residents have heard a lot over the past few years.
Mayor Kwasi Fraser’s campaign and the town council members that ran with him use these slogans incessantly to convince us that only their agenda can protect us from an inevitable fate – being overrun by development and “becoming the next Leesburg or Ashburn.” We are told that there are two conflicting sides to an epic battle being waged for the heart and soul of our town character. To quote one local paper’s editorial about the upcoming Nov. 2special election: “Purcellville is fighting for its life.”
As is often the case in campaign messaging, a dramatic narrative is designed to influence voters to cast their ballot for one specific party or individual, establishing or extending their control over decision making. In the case of our town, the story is that if we were to vote in a candidate whom Fraser does not endorse, Purcellville will be immediately transformed into condos and developments that have been compared to projects in downtown Tysons Corner, Miami Beach, and even the Chrysler Building in New York City (1,064 feet tall). Undoubtedly, this is fear mongering at its silliest. At its most serious, we’ve seen how a single vote or person deemed “disloyal” to the ideological cult of Fraser’s slogan-based platform results in ugly intimidation tactics and name calling. Astonishingly, this is what recently happened to Purcellville council member Mary Jane Williams.
Purcellville is far more than this false, divisive narrative portrays. Despite what you might be told or read in certain newspapers, there is more that unites this town than divides it. Those who support progress, maintenance and improvement also wish to preserve Purcellville’s character, charm, and history; no one wants Purcellville to become Ashburn. We are all part of a tight-knit community who have chosen to make Purcellville our home to raise our families, manage businesses, enjoy our retirement, learn and work, play and connect—all while building our dreams—together. We need town council leadership that understands this and is willing to work across a diversity of viewpoints to deliver what’s best for Purcellville and its citizens.
We are looking for independent thinking, experienced leaders to navigate our cherished small- town community into the future. We are eager for real solutions to the most visibly obvious and important needs of our town—such as keeping residential taxes low while maintaining and improving Purcellville’s infrastructure, pro small business position, and restoring its aesthetic appeal. We’ve grown tired of the current administration’s endless battles to seize more control over new historic overlays and restrict building heights (for the second time in four years); only to stand by as they allow countlessexistingbuildings to sit empty and once-promising businesses to vacate our town limits. We can’t stomach more wild proposals from municipal contractors and vendors disguised as “innovation”—only to drain our town’s staff resources and result in endless special projects that waste time and taxpayer money. We need leadership that can preserve our small-town character, without abandoning our responsibility to repair, restore, and maintain our aging downtown corridor, Main Street sidewalks and businesses, and to plan for our town’s future. Our shared belief in protecting Purcellville’s “small town charm” should not equate to the neglect, absence of vision, and outright contempt for progress of any kind that we have seen and heard from several current members on the council.
In this special election, voters can choose a candidate who has been a resident of Purcellville for years, not months—and whose proven leadership is based on experience and common sense.
A candidate whose management style is focused on working alongside our town, county, and state representatives on behalf of our small town community and putting the real needs of Purcellville residents first—versus a candidate who seems only able to repeat the same tired slogans we’ve all heard now so many times. That’s why we are excited to support Erin Rayner (erinrayner.com) for Purcellville Town Council. We encourage all Purcellville voters to look beyond the slogans to learn about both candidates in advance of the Nov. 2special election.
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Editor: “Slow Growth.” “Innovative Solutions.” “Small Town Charm”: These are phrases that Purcellville residents have heard a lot over the past few
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