- Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:21
- Published on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:20
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The Colonial Beach Town Council met on Monday, Dec. 9, to interview two candidates to fill the town council seat left vacant by Tim Curtin when he resigned last month.
The candidates interviewed were Linda Crandell and Polly Parks.
Linda Crandell previously served on the town’s council from 2002 to 2008. Her term had originally been set to end in 2010. Crandell was not up for re-election, but she resigned her seat shortly after the 2008 election.
During her interview, Crandell was questioned why she wants to serve on the council again, now, after she left her seat six years ago. She answered, “The leadership that was elected at that time had a vision of Colonial Beach that I couldn’t embrace. And because of the policies and politics of the prior council members, I resigned. Now, I see an opportunity for progress; I see new leadership that is open to change.”
Later in the interview, Councilman Tommy Edwards came back to the question of why Crandell left council before. Edwards said, “Earlier, you stated that the reason you stepped off of council was because you knew you wouldn’t be able to get along with that council coming on board. My question is, ‘Why do you think we are any different than that council?’”
Crandell responded that she feels the current council’s direction is different than that of the previous council with which she served, and she feels the current council is open to new ideas.
Edwards also confronted Crandell concerning her address. Edwards said that although she has listed an address here in town on her application, residents are challenging Crandell’s residency.
Crandell explained that her job keeps her in Crystal City throughout the week, but insists that Colonial Beach is her home.
Edwards expressed that one concern he has heard from residents is that since she is physically not in town during the week, it would affect her ability to attend meetings and perform her duties on council.
Crandell replied, “I don’t own any other property.” She said that this is where she pays her taxes.
Crandell served as Chairperson of Administrative and Finance, Public Works and the Ways and Means Committees during her tenure on council from 2002 to 2008. Her résumé states that she has the ability to work with the town attorney to implement federal, state and local regulations.
Crandell’s résumé also states she has a B.A. in Mathematics and Education and has served on numerous boards and committees. She states on her application, “I believe I have the skills, knowledge and experience that would be of use to the current sitting town council as they make decisions during this time of economic challenges.”
Crandell’s résumé lists extensive education and work experience in a wide range of areas. Included in that list is her service on several boards, ranging from social service, conservation, transportation and policymaking.
Polly Parks is new to Colonial Beach, having moved here in 2010, as well as being new to the world of politics. Parks has an impressive list of employment, ranging from environmental work to graphic design and journalism. Parks also has some experience in agricultural services.
Parks’ ability to attend meetings may be in question, too, since her résumé indicates she may need to rely on teleconferencing or Skype to attend. However, during her interview, she learned that these types of attendance would not allow her to vote legally on council matters.
Parks served as a board member on the Huntington Club Condominium Association. She advised council that while there, she was able to successfully introduce the concept of the practicalities of rezoning that property for mixed use, which is now coming to fruition, after Fairfax County accepted a successful rezoning petition in January of 2013.
Parks feels that her “experience in the corporate, entrepreneurial and non-profit sectors gives her an extensive toolbox that should enhance the expertise of other town council members.”
During her interview with council, Parks responded to several questions concerning how she’d work to promote the town and develop it economically. Parks presented some unique insight on how to manage the town’s economic progress. She stated that the council needs to decide what type of community it wants to promote, and work towards providing the services most needed and wanted for that demographic. As an example, she stated that if the town wants to attract retirees, it needs to work to provide local healthcare and facilities for assisted living.
Crandell did advise the council that she is only interested in the appointment and does not plan to run in the next election. Parks stated that she intends to pursue an elected position on council, regardless of whether or not she is appointed now.
This article only touches on the highlights of both candidates and is focused on the applicants’ availabilites to serve as council members. This is in light of the large turnover of town council members in the last five years.
The interview process, in its entirety, was taped on U-stream, and may be accessed by going to: www.ustream.tv/recorded/41551985. The interviews may also be viewed through the town’s website: www.colonialbeachva.net. Follow drop-down menus in the following order: resident resources/government resources/Colonial Beach live.
Council will choose a member at its Regular Town Council Meeting scheduled for December 12, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Town Center, located on Washington Ave. next to the public library.
Planning Commission candidates
The Planning Commission has approved two new applicants to fill vacant seats left on the commission. If the town council appoints both, the commission will then be short only one member.
Both Maureen McCabe and Robert Busick have passed the commissioners’ approval and will likely be appointed by council with no reservations.
Maureen McCabe presents a strong background in education and religion, having been a teacher for 13 years, a principal for 20 and an assistant superintendent of schools. McCabe attended Caldwell University in NJ, and earned her B.A. in Social Studies and Education. McCabe also holds a Master’s degree in both European History and Russian History.
Robert Busick owns and operates a local landscaping business, and is a member of several local non-profit groups. Busick said there are no issues with his attendance availability and feels that the CB Planning Commission plays an integral role in how the town looks, feels and operates.
Busick has a military and financial background. He has now settled into being a successful businessman, running a landscaping business.