Todd Cimino-Johnson

Leesburg resident Todd Cimino-Johnson announced this week that he plans to run for one of the three seats available on the Leesburg Town Council in the November 2022 election.

Leesburg resident Todd Cimino-Johnson announced this week that he plans to run for one of the three seats available on the Leesburg Town Council in the November 2022 election.

While candidates won’t be able to file for candidacy until Jan. 3, Cimino-Johnson and Councilman Neil Steinberg confirmed as of press time that they intend to run in 2022. Mayor Kelly Burk told the Times-Mirror that she also intends to run for re-election.

Cimino-Johnson told the Times-Mirror that his platform will include solving affordable housing issues, supporting small businesses and creating a sound environmental policy. Many such issues come from his own experience moving to Leesburg and searching for housing in Loudoun, he said.

“There’s a lot of housing issues here,” Cimino-Johnson said. “Someone needs to step up and be the advocate for making housing affordable.”

Born and raised in Martinsburg, W.Va., Cimino-Johnson is the Program Coordinator of Business and Economics at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, and holds a Ph.D. in community college leadership from Old Dominion University. He recently applied for the Leesburg seat on the Loudoun County School Board, vacated by Beth Barts earlier this year, but was passed over in favor of school board veteran Tom Marshall.

When he moved to Leesburg four years ago with his husband, an LCPS high school theater teacher, Cimino-Johnson was shocked at the high rent compared to their previous home in West Virginia. Since then, he has followed the situation of the residents of Leesburg Mobile Park, who are facing eviction with a proposed sale of the privately owned property.

“We have to come up with solutions,” he said. “There are a couple of different solutions, like … having different types of housing available and also seeking out solutions with builders.”

Cimino-Johnson said that just as important is local small business, especially in the downtown area. He applauded Leesburg’s recent decision to explore the Main Street Program, as he’s seen the program bring lots of tourism to downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia. In addition, he said he wants to create more incentives, including business grants, for small businesses to open in downtown Leesburg.

He also wants to partner with local businesses and the county to increase the tree canopy and create an environmental policy for future generations.

Referring to himself as a “big proponent of the arts,” Cimino-Johnson said he supports bringing a performing arts venue to Leesburg — but not necessarily on the Liberty Street lot, as proposed by town staff in October.

“I don’t know that Liberty Street is the right, bright place for [an arts center],” he said, citing neighbors’ negative response to the idea. “I would be very much interested, and I think not only the Town of Leesburg but Loudoun should be interested, at having some type of venue that could hold at least 450 people.”

Cimino-Johnson said that he intends to meet with Leesburg residents in the new year as he launches his campaign.

“I look forward to meeting the residents of Leesburg,” he said. “I plan to knock on as many doors as I possibly can and get to know the residents more, get to know their issues more besides the ones that I’ve outlined.”

Vice Mayor Fernando “Marty” Martinez, Councilwoman Suzanne Fox and Councilman Neil Steinberg have terms that expire at the end of 2022, as does Mayor Kelly Burk. Candidates have until June 21, 2022 to file with the county board of elections.

(1) comment

jke

Burk has office did it make a difference, nope!

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