He said that his campaign, unlike others, would not be based on popularity but rather on "principles." Tevis pointed out five principles that he would adhere to if elected, including that as mayor he would "serve by the will of the voting public of Leesburg" and "not act contrary to [residents'] wishes." He also said that, if elected mayor, he would assign areas of responsibility to council members, including public safety, town planning and development, in which they would have the authority to make final decisions. - Leesburg TodayMr. Tevis is running on a platform of reduced government, as well as a government that is "more responsive" to Leesburg's citizens. It is unclear how less government can be more responsive. If there is less government, there will be fewer people and resources available to respond to citizen requests. Even assuming that the same number of requests from citizens come in, wait times will be longer with a smaller government, leading to a less responsive, not more responsive Council and administration. And this ignores the fact that in times of economic uncertainty, local governments generally experience higher demand for information and services. Responsiveness and accountability can not be implemented and managed by fiat, but must be brought about by years of effort and a governing culture that puts citizens first. You cannot put citizens first by denigrating and minimizing those who serve the citizens. That will have the consequence of disaffection among Town staff, and resulting frustration from Town residents.
Candidate Tevis advocates "more democracy" on the Council, while at the same time stating that, as Mayor, he will assign Council members areas of responsibility (planning, utilities, etc.) with "final say" in that area. Democracy generally means the widest possible input to all decision making, deriving from popularly derived authority. Thus, Mayoral delegation of final authority in specific areas to a single Leesburg Council member would appear to be a reduction of democracy on the Council, as the scope of input and collective decision making is greatly lessened under the Tevis plan. It is decisions which are widely debated and voted on by the entire Council which are the most democratic.
The principles on which David Tevis is running do not conform to the principles of good government which have guided Leesburg for many years. That is among the reasons why Mayor Umstattd should be re-elected.
(With a tip-o-the-hat to Linked Up in Loudoun for the typo fix in the last paragraph.)