As of today, Middleburg has 3 candidates for Mayor of the Town –Bridge Littleton, Vincent Bataoel and Mark Snyder.  And 7 candidates for Town Council – Kevin Hazard, Peter Leonard-Morgan, Cindy Pearson, Mimi Stein, Chris Bernard, Kristen Noggle and myself, Darlene Kirk, to fill four seats.

 For Mayor, we have 3 very different individuals with very different backgrounds – one is a lifelong Middleburger, one just recently moved into Town, and one has been here for over 25 years.  Two serve on Council and served on Planning Commission.  The other on Economic Development Advisory Board.  For the Council, 3 of us currently serve and all running contribute to our town in many giving ways. But none of that matters.  It matters how you, the citizens of Middleburg, believe we will do on the job! That is why I am seeking re-election Town Council.

 In April, the Eccentric will be holding a “meet the candidates for Mayor and Council” event and I urge you to attend and ask everyone us your questions and express any concerns you may have to us all.

 Ask the candidates:  are you ready to sacrifice the time it takes to be Mayor? It’s close to a full-time job and you need to know that your Mayor can devote the time and attention necessary to do the job – this goes for us running for Council as well. Having served Middleburg faithfully for nearly 18 years, I am committed to continuing to serve our Town.

 Whether Mayor or Council, are you willing to take the personal time and attend meetings at the County and State levels, wait patiently to speak, and get the town’s needs addressed?  Can you listen to their responses and answer appropriately and professionally? When representing Middleburg, will you be prepared?  You WILL get called and visited at home by citizens and State and County leaders, how and can you handle that?

 Can you listen and respond openly and honestly to citizens’ concerns and follow up as promised and expected?  Will you bring their concerns to Council or staff or just brush them off? This is something I have lived by my entire career on Council.

 Is the candidate a team player?  Or is everything “me” or “I did this.”  No one person on Council can say truthfully that they made something happen.  It takes the consensus of Council to make something happen.  One person, be it Mayor or Council member, can bring up an issue or seek to lift the town, but no ONE PERSON can claim they made something happen.  Most items we pass are labor intensive and require hours of hard work and deliberation, long into the night hours of our work sessions.  No one person does the budget. No one person passes a town ordinance.  No one person made Salamander happen.  It is a team.  Everyone – Mayor and Council – negotiate everything to finest details to arrive at the best answer, where Council as a whole makes the final decision. No one person can honestly take credit for the work done by the Mayor and Council. We all work hard, together, to make our Town proper and succeed, and we do it in the framework of collaboration and sacrifice. I am proud to serve with all those who give so willingly of their time to Middleburg and I would be honored to continue to serve with them in the future.

 We must not forget the work of our Committees.  These Committees, composed of volunteers, do a lot of the work and do an outstanding job.  The Town is truly blessed to have a large group of volunteers who staff these Committee and work tirelessly for the Town and with their Council representative.  Does your candidate work behind the scenes without receiving credit or is getting credit more important to them?  Its not about who leads the committee, but what they accomplish together, as a team, like us on Council.

 And lastly does your candidate have the temperament to be Mayor?  Betsy Davis has been an outstanding Ambassador for the Town and is the model I have always sought to be like as a member of the Town Council.  Even on the worst of days, she is delightful, kind and thoughtful.   She is sympathetic to citizens’ issues or hardships and works to help everyone, we are all equal.  This is what you deserve from your candidate, not grumpy or condescending, or only thinking about himself or herself? This is my commitment to you, that I will continue to follow by the model Betsy has set for us.

 Think about these things when you vote, ask these questions of me and all the candidates.  Get to know every candidates and ask hard questions of all of us.  Raise your concerns.  And most importantly, please come vote on Tuesday, May 1 at the Town Office.

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