Letter from Laurie DiRocco

Dear Vienna Resident,

I look forward to the change of season from winter to spring – warmer weather, more daylight and flowers blooming. I enjoy walking around Town, biking down the W&OD trail and hanging out on the Town Green. Spring is also the time for Town elections. I am completing my first term as Mayor, and after careful consideration, I have decided to run for a second term.

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 two 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 2015, 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 is investing in new financial software, which will enable the Council to establish performance measures, evaluate services and determine how efficiently it is delivering those services. In addition, the new software will allow residents to send pictures of things going on in Town so the staff is aware and can respond.

The original dedication of the Town’s community center was held 50 years ago, on April 17, 1966. The much-needed renovation of the community center is underway and expected to be completed in the spring of 2017. The LEED Silver building will have an internal makeover and a new, full-sized gymnasium. Though costs were higher than originally projected, the Town funded the increased costs with well-maintained reserves and by adjusting some of the plans. I look forward to its reopening so citizens can utilize and enjoy the improved recreational space.

The Maple Avenue Corridor was created 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 and/or outdoor spaces. There are two projects that are currently being considered by the Planning Commission.

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 will be installed at the corner of Locust and Park Street as a creative solution to a challenging intersection. I regularly attend regional transportation meetings in an effort to obtain as much state and local transportation money as possible for Vienna.

Communication and citizen involvement are essential to effective local government. To obtain resident feedback, the Council recently issued a citizen survey. We did this for the first time in the spring of 2014 and would like to continue doing this periodically to obtain resident feedback on services and issues affecting the Town.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mayor for the past two years. I have enjoyed my time serving the community and am pleased with the progress we’ve made on numerous initiatives, but there is still work to be done that affects the Town’s future. With Tysons redevelopment and other changes along our borders, it is important that the Town maintain its strong sense of history and charm while investing in its future.

I ask for your support in this year’s May 3 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 or contact me at Town Hall. I welcome your input!

Sincerely,

Laurie A. DiRocco