I have had the pleasure of living in Middleburg since January 2014 when my wife and I moved into a quaint house which we discovered for sale on Chinn Lane.

Having grown up in England, Middleburg brought back memories of unique, historic villages in the countryside; Alison and I quickly felt right at home in the ‘burg, with our menagerie of dogs and cats. Unlike certain other places where I have lived, locales in which you wouldn’t even know your neighbors’ names, Middleburg projects a true sense of community, and it is that character of town life which inspired me to submit my credentials for election to the town council during the November 2016 general election.

The privilege of serving on council for the past 15 months has given me a fascinating insight into the workings of local government, opening my eyes to how hard so many people work in service of the citizens of Middleburg. Our community is small, but our job is important, and my fellow council members and dedicated staff take their functions incredibly seriously, as they make critical decisions on a daily basis which affect us all.

Upon election to council in November 2016, I was asked by Mayor Davis to represent council on the town’s Go Green committee. This is a truly rewarding committee to be a part of, one which strives to find new ways to improve sustainability and reduce waste, and help our community to stay healthy and fit. March and April will be busy for Go Green as we help to spearhead initiatives including the Fit Fun Fair & 5K race (formerly the HEAL/5K) taking place on Saturday March 24th at the Community Center; the Spring Town Cleanup on Saturday April 14th; and the used battery collection day on Saturday April 28th, which we hold in conjunction with the Police Department’s annual expired drug take back initiative at the Town Office – H.E.A.L. is an acronym for Healthy Eating Active Living, a nationwide program of which Middleburg is an active member.

This May, despite the fact that I will have only been on council for a year and a half, I am up for re-election. This is because I filled the unexpired term of my predecessor who had moved out of town during her four year term, and was therefore no longer eligible to serve on council. The reality is that it takes time to become acquainted with the ways of local government, particularly when your entire working life has been in the business sector. Fifteen months in, my understanding as to how things work, and how Middleburg in particular works has grown exponentially and, more than ever, I hope that the citizens of our lovely town will see fit to re-elect me to the town council for a full four year term.

I confess that I do not have any radical views and visions as to how I would like to see Middleburg ‘develop’, for want of a far better word. We moved to this wonderful place exactly because Middleburg is what it is, a unique and charming town, steeped in American history, devoid of the strip malls and chain stores which sadly, in my view, litter too much of the landscape of this great nation. And yes I would like to see it remain that way while retaining its position as a happy, healthy and enriching destination for travelers from near and far.

This May, I implore all of our voting citizens more than ever to please get out and vote. This time around, you will not only be deciding on whether individuals like myself are right for the job, but you will be making a choice as to who will be our new mayor, now that the venerable Betsy Davis, who has so even handedly and graciously shepherded the town of Middleburg through good times and not so good times over a 12 year period, will not be seeking re-election. With no fewer than three candidates on the ballot, it will be far from a one horse race, so please review their qualifications and decide for yourself who YOU think would be right for you, and for our town.

Furthermore, one of the two current town council members running for mayor will be relinquishing his council seat, meaning that there will then be an extra council seat needing to be filled. If you are reading this, and are eligible and interested in running for council, please consider doing so, or nudging someone you know who could be interested. What a shining example this is of democracy at work!

Spring is in the air, even though Mother Nature occasionally can’t decide from one day to the next whether it is mid summer or mid winter! Whichever way the wind blows, I wish everyone a healthy and happy remainder of 2018.

pleonardmorgan@gmail.com