Highlights from October Annual Candidate Forum
PBA meeting 10/11/2022
Welcome made by Grant Wetmore, PBA Director.
Grant introduced our Moderator Tony Howard, President & CEO, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. Our invited panelists were candidates for Mayor Joel Grewe and Stanley Milan and candidates for Town Council Mary Bennett, Carol Luke, Erin Rayner, Ronald Rise, Tip Stinnette and Caleb Stought. All Town Election Candidates were invited to attend however Stanley Milan, Mary Bennett, Carol Luke and Ronald Rise chose not to attend our candidate forum. All the questions were asked of all the panelists; however, they were answered in a random order. The questions and answers are listed here in order of alphabetical names.
Mr. Howard presented a list of questions for all the candidates that were randomly answered. At the end of the question period each candidate was allowed to give a closing statement.
Question 1: How would you engage and work for the business community?
Grewe: Purcellville has made great strides in engaging and working with the business community.
Rayner: Conducted door knocking during Covid. Businesses are the backbone of Purcellville.
Stinnette: Liked how businesses used the passport in the recent Celebration Purcellville event.
Stought: Supports business opportunities.
Question 2: How would you work with people who want to start a business in Purcellville?
Grewe: Feels EDAC is making strides. Need a Economic Dev Director. Planning & Dev needs more staff.
Rayner: 100% hard to work with reputation at town. Eco. Dev person on staff.
Stinnette: Harmonize with Co for a better permitting process.
Question 3: Economic Development?
Grewe: HARPA $ made available to more businesses.
Rayner: Eco. Dev. Mgr. hiring proposal.
Stinnette: Not into harmonizing or incentivize. Believes town should focus on the 4 basics: 1. Public Safety 2. Roads 3. Sanitation 4. Water
Stought: Recruit & Incentivize business to move to the town.
Question 4: Public Safety?
Grewe: Currently PPD does not overnight patrols. Would like to see that changed to 24/7 patrols.
Rayner: PPD is awesome and they are community oriented.
Stinnette: PPD is the insurance claim against the worst day. Should hire 2 more PPD over a Econo. Dev. Dir.
Stought: Did an 8p-1a ride along with PPD. We need more officers.
Question 5: Downtown Area – Redevelopment?
Grewe: Conversations with Developer & Residents. More community involvement. Get away from Us vs Them.
Rayner: That area is a by-rite development which makes the town’s hands tied when dealing with issues.
Stinnette: Master plan
Stought: By right development. Council to be more engaged going forward.
Question 6: Town Governance – Operations?
Grewe: Connection between Town & Staff is dysfunctional and would like to see a return to professional interaction.
Stinnette: Relationship is dysfunctional. Need for professional decorum.
Stought: Town Council needs to be better at listening. Not making conclusions before fact.
Grewe: Elect stability/knows rules
Stinnette: Leadership that unites not divides