I was fortunate to grow up in nearby Fauquier County, and when I decided to come back to Northern VA after a few years away, I made Middleburg my target destination.  For most of you, it’s obvious why: enjoying the beautiful scenery and country lifestyle in such close proximity to Northern VA and DC is quite a unique experience.  What I have come to find since I’ve been here is that Middleburg is so much more than that.  Our charming “downtown” has a great blend of restaurants and shops, the town and surrounding areas are hosts to some amazing venues and events, and the people who live and work here make this a truly amazing community to be a part of.

As I’ve gotten to know more and more people and spent more and more time around town, I’ve come to realize that this small town we’ve all chosen to live in is where I want to stay with my family.  It is already one of the best small towns in America, but it’s not by accident or happenstance.  Our town staff, the Mayor and Town Council, and the committees that support them do a lot of great work to not only keep everything running smoothly but also plan for the future.  As we move forward into that future, I think it is essential for the town to be represented by a team of representatives that can objectively analyze and assess issues, debate different ideas for how to solve these issues, and effectively and efficiently work to implement solutions that benefit town residents and business owners.  I also believe it is of the utmost importance for young people in town to get involved so we have an educated and engaged leadership in the years to come.

Looking forward, there are a lot of challenges we will be facing; ones that every community experiences, but also ones unique to us.  The town is in the process of re-vamping their website, which is our portal to the rest of the world.  We are looking at empty storefronts on Washington Street that we need to fill with the right businesses.  There seems to be a gap between the quality and the price of our utilities that needs to be reviewed.  There is a similar gap between the average income and cost of living in town that should be addressed.  Then there is the issue that seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts: the continuing spread of development down Route 50, which threatens the country lifestyle that we so cherish.

As a candidate for Town Council, I have several ideas on these issues, but more importantly, I am open to hearing and discussing your ideas.  I have spent the past few months attending council meetings and further educating myself on issues specific to the town, including upcoming issues, current projects, and the budget.  My background in analytics, process engineering, project management, and team-building give me a great foundation to be a part of the team that addresses the issues outlined above.  I also have been fortunate to both live in town and work very closely with some staple businesses here (lou lou and Crème de la Crème) and I hope to use this experience, enthusiasm, and common sense to help better serve our residents and businesses.

Middleburg is one of the best small towns in America, not just to those of us who live here, but to our surrounding community, our businesses, and visitors as well.  It’s all of those things that make Middleburg special, and it’s our responsibility to do all we can to maintain it.  The most important part of a small community is participation.  I’m choosing to participate by running for Town Council, but I hope that each and every one of you finds a way to get involved, whether it’s through a town committee, elected office, volunteering, supporting our local businesses, or simply going to the polls and voting on May 1st.

bernardcw9@gmail.com