CANDIDATE NAME:  Alicia Hughes                                   PARTY: Republican

QUESTION

ANSWER

Re West End

Re Eisenhower Valley

1.    Modes of transportation: Which modes of  public transportation and ease-of-use  solutions for private transportation do you  support which will encourage local residents and visitors to increase their purchases from businesses in –

I support bus rapid transit on the West End, circulator buses to move people around the area and also to make meaningful connections to other areas of Alexandria, and enhanced bus service that better connects the eastern and western portions of the city.  Our current grid, though improving, is inefficient and it takes far too long to move people around the city during rush hour.  While I do appreciate the trolley, I believe and have shared my thoughts with others that there is an inequity of providing a service for free to residents and visitors to visit Del Ray and Old Town, but not the West End.

I support bus rapid transit in Eisenhower Valley, circulator buses to connect West End/Eisenhower Valley  traffic and residents with other parts of town, and enhanced bus service that better connects the eastern and western portions of the city.  Our current grid, though improving, is inefficient and it takes far too long to move people around the city during rush hour.  I also think we should expand the Capital Bikeshare Program to Eisenhower Valley.  There are lovely shops near and at Hoffman and more things will come online.  Additionally, we have a gorgeous recreational park and pavilion, hotels and a bike trail. 

a.    By when?

2013

2013

2.    Attracting new businesses: Which  mechanisms do you support which will attract new businesses to and encourage them to locate in -

Where monies are available from the Governor’s Opportunities Fund, I support the use of matching grant monies to attract new businesses, either through infrastructure improvements or tax incentives. I am also supportive of tax deferrals for small businesses when they are appropriate, so long as we look at fiscal impact statements and determine that returns on investment would justify the same.

Where monies are available from the Governor’s Opportunities Fund, I support the use of matching grant monies to attract new businesses, either through infrastructure improvements or tax incentives. I am also supportive of tax deferrals for small businesses when they are appropriate, so long as we look at fiscal impact statements and determine that returns on investment would justify the same.

a.    By when?

FY2014

FY2014

3.    Master Plan: What timeframe do you support for the completion of a submarket Master Plan for -

I do not support the creation of anymore small area plans.  Rather, my preference is that we have a citywide comprehensive development plan and as property owners bring new developments forward, we evaluate the merits of these new plans one property at a time.  This is a process that should be business and property owner driven rather than city driven.

I do not support the creation of anymore small area plans.  Rather, my preference is that we have a citywide comprehensive development plan and as property owners bring new developments forward, we evaluate the merits of these new plans one property at a time.  This is a process that should be business and property owner driven rather than city driven.

4.    Small Area Plans:  What initiatives and  timeframes do you support for the completion of development for the:

a.    Beauregard Small Area Development Plan.

Now that the plan is approved, I support efforts to, after appropriate public input and infrastructure work, bring individual projects and facets online and soon as possible.

n/a

b.    Landmark Shopping Mall

I believe firmly that the time is past to consider keeping Sears a player on the redevelopment of the Landmark Mall.  I have been made to understand that a hedge fund person out of Connecticut holds Sears as part of his portfolio and has no interest in selling. This fact cannot be allowed to hold Landmark redevelopment hostage.  At a time that the City faces increasing expenditures (including an exponential increase in debt servicing as new projects such as our police station come online) and flattened resources, we need to re-calibrate on Landmark immediately. The city should, through work with AEDP and fostering joint interactions with relevant landowners, come up with ways to incentivize the Howard Hughes Corporation, Macy’s and even the Choi family that owns ~8 acres on the northwest corner of Duke and Walker to work together with a new application/plan that would substantially revitalize and meaningfully connect the entire Landmark/Yoakum Parkway Gateway.

Given the proximity of both properties to public transit (Van Dorn metro, etc) and I-395, I wholeheartedly support a mixed use development that contemplates increased density on both properties and as well,

n/a

c.    Eisenhower West End Development Plan: What is your commitment to maintaining the schedule of the City’s Eisenhower West End Development Plan and, specifically, economic development in the Eisenhower Valley?

n/a

More than 100%.  I have spoken up against delays presented by the our planning staff when we have contemplated their work schedule and as long as we retain this small area planning process that I dislike, I will continue to insist that there be no further delays in completing the plan.

5.    Help for existing businesses: Which specific measures will you promote which will increase the growth, customer base, revenue, and expense minimization of  businesses currently located in –

We need to revisit and further streamline our permitting processes.  We should also look to reduce the BPOL tax and take a meaningful opportunity to evaluate other taxes and fees we assess businesses that we can eliminate. I was pleased to work closely with Councilman Fannon from the outset to ensure the defeat of the commercial add-on tax and if re-elected, give my promise to defeat it again if it is re-introduced into budget discussions.

We need to revisit and further streamline our permitting processes.  We should also look to reduce the BPOL tax and take a meaningful opportunity to evaluate other taxes and fees we assess businesses that we can eliminate.   I was pleased to work closely with Councilman Fannon from the outset to ensure the defeat of the commercial add-on tax and if re-elected, give my promise to defeat it again if it is re-introduced into budget discussions.

a.    By when?

FY2014

FY2014

6.    Developer Taxes: Will you encourage that taxes which are raised from developers be spent on (1) matters pertaining specifically to the developer’s project or (2) City-wide infrastructure services?

I will encourage a policy stating that taxes generated from new developments coming online should be tied to the areas where the development is taking place.  Our failure to institute a policy that consistently does this to date has proven detrimental to West End infrastructure needs.

Same as answer for West End.

7.    National Science Foundation: How do you plan to encourage the NSF’s coming to Eisenhower Valley and selecting one of the three sites it is considering there?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

We need to put together a NSF Task Force, which will comprise senior level executives from other sub-agencies that currently occupy Alexandria, including folks from USPTO and the Department of Defense, AEDP and relevant city officials, including a representative or two from the City Council.  There are lessons to be learned from USPTO and DOD of what attracted them to Alexandria.  We need to ensure that these persons will work with us as goodwill ambassadors to ensure that NSF knows they will be welcome here and treated well.

Once taking lessons learned, we need to put together a more robust incentive program that the incentives that led USPTO to occupy Alexandria.  The City, in a manner pretty consistent with what is outlined in Answer 8 herein, should work with owners of the sites to ensure that they have the most competitive offers.

We should also ensure that we have a Lunch Loop bus similar to the one that for free, transports, the NSF workers to eateries around the area without triggering a need for them to get into cars in the middle of the workday.

8.    Victory Center: What are the tangible solutions you will implement to promote Victory Center for immediate tenancy and development?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

Put together a task force to work with the brokers for Victory Center to ensure a solution that makes good business sense for them as well as for the City.  While there have been a number of potential tenants to present and bids to secure new businesses, Victory Center has continually come up short because other locations have had lower bids/better offers that fit the potential tenant needs.  I support an active and robust partnership that targets Victory Center and the Eisenhower Valley as a targeted business development area.  I believe that City Council should create a policy that defines targeted business development zones and that the same should trigger a buffet of economic development options that may be flexibly applied to bring about building occupancy and business development.  Where we find that tax incentives through waivers, tax decreases above and beyond what is currently permissive, etc.  would yield a substantially higher return on investment to the City overall, we should consider them, working in association with the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.  I would strongly urge the owners of Victory Center to consult with the City to see what options we may be able to work with them to offer potential new tenants to ensure that their bids going forward will be the lowest and best in the region.

a.    By what date do you expect first tenant to assume occupancy in Victory Center because of those solutions?

Same answer as for Eisenhower Valley.

Fall 2013

9.    Campaign Signs: What is your plan to remove all of your political campaign signs following the election?

Same as for Eisenhower Valley.

We have an ordinance in place that regulates sign removal and requires that candidates post a bond that will not be returned until signs have been removed.  I plan to have crews out Thursday and Friday following the elections to effect clean up.

a.    By when?

November 13, 2012 at latest.

November 13, 2012 at latest.

10. In 30 words or fewer, why should Alexandria business-owner voters vote for you?

Same as for Eisenhower Valley.

I understand the importance of business to our tax base, support initiatives to make business more friendly and was instrumental in defeated the commercial add-on tax from the very beginning.

 
 
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