I’ve been asked what I think the Town looks like in five years: I believe it looks better in five years, but not any bigger. Here are the priorities that I’d promote as Mayor of Middleburg:

Reduce water rates — the residents and businesses of the Town pay two to three times more for water and sewer service than any other municipality in Loudoun or Fauquier.

Fix our downtown — our storefronts are empty in part due to high rent for old space. The Town can’t control rent, but it can help make it easier for new small businesses to invest in improving their tenant spaces through an Infrastructure Assistance Program.

Fund capital improvements — residents and visitors should be able to safely walk to Farmer’s Market, and families should be able to safely walk around the neighborhood.

Reinvest cash reserves in higher yielding vehicles — the Town has more than $6.6m in cash reserves. That’s quite a bit that could fund the future if wisely leveraged and invested.

Start new, local-friendly, events — I’ve been working to bring new local-friendly events to Town including an Oyster Fest, a Music Fest, and the Loudoun Performing Arts Center.

Recruit new businesses that are good for the community, for residents, and for visitors — we need to make sure not to become a tourist town, but rather to invite to our backyard small businesses that will be appreciated by community, residents, and visitors.

Engage our youth — we have amazing schools with brilliant students that can be engaged in local civic and entrepreneurship projects. Let’s raise the next generation to be bright and empathetic.

Many of these efforts are already underway by our talented staff and Council and would be fully supported if I were elected to serve. I believe that five years from now it’s safe to say that we still have our charming, classic, look. We’re only rejuvenated, both outside and in.

Vincent Bataoel is a Candidate for Mayor of Middleburg. He can be reached at vincent@middleburg.com. His campaign website is middleburg2018.com.