Finally, candidates share their ideas at the Purcellville Business Association forum | New

The Purcellville business community had the opportunity to hear several candidates on the ballot next Tuesday at a recent forum hosted by the Purcellville Business Association and moderated by Loudoun Chamber of Commerce President Tony Howard , at Otium Cellars.

Two candidates vying for a vacant seat on Purcellville City Council were in attendance – Sean MacDonald and Erin Rayner. The other candidate at the forum was Virginia House of Delegates Democratic candidate Paul Siker, who is challenging incumbent Republican MP Del. Dave LaRock (R-33).

Howard asked several questions touching on issues primarily related to the business community, such as economic development, labor recruitment ideas and the growth of the town of Purcellville. Each candidate had the opportunity to respond as well as to make opening and closing remarks.

MacDonald, who recently moved to the Village Case neighborhood in Purcellville earlier this year with his wife Lisa and their young daughter, works for the Department of Homeland Security. He is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a licensed pilot.

Last year, while living in Leesburg, he applied for a vacant seat on Leesburg city council.

In his opening remarks, he thanked the business association for hosting the forum and said he has a clear platform to promote low growth, low taxes, investment in infrastructure. and innovative solutions.

“I don’t believe in just letting the future of our city be driven by entrepreneurs and city leadership. It should be guided by our citizens who live here and pay taxes and water and sewer bills, ”he said in his opening remarks.

Rayner, who ran for a council seat in 2020 and finished fourth in a race with three seats available, has lived in the Mayfair neighborhood of Purcellville since 2017 with her husband, Kristian, and two daughters. She is the Executive Director of the Women in Leadership program for former Congressman Barbara Comstock.

“I love Purcellville,” Rayner said. “I run because I want to help. I want to work on economic development and infrastructure issues and that is why I am presenting myself ”,

Siker, a small business owner and entrepreneur, has lived in Waterford for 26 years and in County Loudoun for 33 years.

He said he was inspired to chase after the events that unfolded on January 6, 2021 and observe LaRock’s response to this day, as well as during the pandemic.

“I have the time, the ability and the opportunity to bring representation back to the 33rd District,” Siker said.

Howard asked each candidate to describe why the business community is important to the town of Purcellville and how it contributes to the quality of life in the town.

“Shops are vital for the municipality for tax revenues, amenities, tourists. We need the business community to be successful and prosperous. We need it for our budget to get things done. It breaks my heart that there are over 17 open, closed and empty storefronts in Purcellville, ”Rayner replied.

Siker agreed that local businesses are important to the community.

“A vibrant community has a vibrant business base. The number of businesses I rely on in Purcellville is considerable. There are many suppliers that I rely on to deliver the things I need. You want to see a healthy community that has a healthy business environment, ”replied Siker.

“As Mayor Fraser says, you measure the dollar as it travels through town,” MacDonald said. “It contributes to the tax base and invites guests. Thus, equity, productivity and investments in political infrastructure enable business success and provide the best quality products and services to our citizens.

Howard also asked each candidate if they thought there was a difference between being pro-business and pro-growth and if so what is that difference?

MacDonald replied, “I think pro-growth and pro-business are separate. I think you can stay small and I think business can grow at the same time.

Rayner also said she believes being pro-growth and pro-business are separate.

“I am pro-business but I am not pro-growth. The only development I want to see in Purcellville is economic development. We need revitalization, we need to work within our walls to fill in. This is the only growth I want to see.

Siker said he was also pro-business. “We want continuity and a landscape that ensures that companies have a level playing field, and if I do it right, I can grow my business. “

Ida M. Morgan