Letter from Laurie DiRocco

Dear Vienna Resident,

Spring is my favorite time of year! Our sidewalks, bike paths, restaurants and shops all come more alive with residents. Whether it’s walking with the Mayor’s Friday morning walking group, watching a game at Waters field, or biking to one of our coffee shops, I see our residents out of their houses enjoying our town. Spring is also the time for Town elections. I am completing my second term as Mayor, and after careful consideration, I have decided to run for a third term. I am pleased with our progress on a number of key Town initiatives, but there is always work to be done! There are a number of important issues facing the Town over the next two years, and I would like to continue working on your behalf to complete them.

I maintain a vision for the Town where citizen involvement, efficient government services, family-oriented community activities and events, and a robust business environment positively coexist. Residents desire a walkable, bikeable and safe Town with gathering spaces like parks, gardens, community centers and restaurants with outdoor seating. This vision is of a welcoming community that enhances residents’ quality of life and well-being. I commit my time, experience and leadership to helping the community realize this vision for Vienna.

To that end, over the past four years the Town Council has focused on maintaining Vienna’s history and charm while updating infrastructure and working to efficiently maintain quality services. The Town’s AAA bond rating was reaffirmed in 2018, which allows the Town to make regular investments in infrastructure at the lowest possible cost. It is very important for the Town to regularly invest in roads, sidewalks, water and sewer lines, and storm water management projects. Additionally, the Council continues to look for opportunities to add parking along Church Street and Maple Avenue.

The Town recently completed the installation of new financial software, which will enable the Council to establish performance measures, evaluate services, and determine how efficiently it is delivering those services. These performance measures will eventually be displayed on the Town’s website for citizen viewing.

With the community center renovation, the Town certified its first LEED silver building, added native plants, and commissioned its first piece of public art. The Parks and Recreation staff is offering a variety of programs for all residents and the new full size gymnasium is active and busy.

The Maple Avenue Corridor (MAC) was approved in the fall of 2014, and it offers options to property owners for what future redevelopment could look like along the Town’s main commercial corridor. The vision is of a place with mixed use, greater pedestrian access, and more green or outdoor spaces. To improve the MAC, the Town is currently creating visual design guidelines so commercial property owners will have a picture of what the Town is looking for. There are two MAC projects currently being considered by the Planning Commission and Town Council.

Since traffic is one of the Town’s biggest challenges, Vienna continues to apply for and obtain grant money to help fund transportation improvement projects. The Town’s Transportation Safety Commission, Bicycle Advisory Commission and Pedestrian Advisory Commission make recommendations to improve the Town’s transportation system by adding sidewalks, bike routes and traffic calming where appropriate. A mini-roundabout was installed at the corner of Locust and Park Street as a creative solution to a challenging intersection. The Town is considering mini-roundabouts in other areas of Vienna. In conjunction with my Friday morning walks, the Bicycle Advisory Commission and I are hosting bike rides throughout Town. Everyone is welcome so check the Town website and newsletter for dates.

Communication and citizen involvement are essential to effective local government. To obtain resident feedback on services and issues affecting the Town, the Council issued a citizen survey in 2014 and 2016, and plans to do it again in 2018. The Town is also looking to update its website to make it easier to use and navigate. The Vienna Alert system provides residents with emergency information, such as water main breaks or road closures. I recommend everyone sign up for Vienna Alerts on the Town website. Also, the Town’s Help, Vienna web portal and app allows citizens to submit service requests such as animal control, construction site concerns and potholes.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mayor for the past four years. I have enjoyed my time serving the community and look forward to working with citizens on a number of important initiatives that effect our Town. With Tysons redevelopment, the State’s I-66 Expansion Project, and other changes along our borders, it is important that the Town maintain its strong sense of community and history while investing in its future with thoughtful growth.

I ask for your support in this year’s May 1st election so I can continue to work on your behalf. Please take the time to vote and make your voice heard. Your vote determines what happens in our Town now and in the future. Together we can ensure that Vienna remains a special place to live and work.

If you ever have any questions, ideas or concerns about the Town, please come see me during my afternoon office hours, join me on my Friday morning walks, or contact me at Town Hall, 703-255-6310. I welcome your input and appreciate your support!

Sincerely,

Laurie A. DiRocco