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Clifton Elections: Meet Dwayne Nitz

Town elections are today.

The town of Clifton elections are Tuesday. The previous members of the town council are running unopposed, but the council is still encouraging residents to vote.

Polls are open starting at 6 a.m. through 7 p.m. at the Clifton town meeting hall at 12641 Chapel Road.

Patch sent each member of the council a questionnaire about Clifton's future. Below is the questionnaire for the town mayor, Dwayne Nitz.

From Dwayne Nitz

I have lived in the town for 15 years, and in the Clifton community since I was 7 years old. I work for Nitz Development & Construction as a project manager and sustainability officer. This is a family owned and operated commercial general contracting and site development firm specializing in religious and educational projects. We perform throughout the metropolitan region.

I have also worked extensively in professional theatre in a variety of capacities, and as a musician.  I am completing my first term on the council this spring, having served as vice-mayor for nearly two years. 

What have been some projects you've worked on that you have been particularly proud of?

Two of my favorite projects have been the Streetscape Master Plan, and the Signage Ordinance Revision. I have been heavily involved in the Streetscape Master Plan process, working as council representative to the committee managing the effort.

The process has been thorough, open, and led by a highly capable group of citizens. The town has been fortunate to enjoy an outstanding relationship with our design consultant, and superior leadership from town resident Susan Yantis, special projects chair. The approved master plan is sensitive to the unique qualities of Clifton, and addresses the need for improved pedestrian safety and connectivity, better storm water management, and traffic calming.

I think the town adopted a first-rate plan that fits Clifton perfectly. Both the Streetscape Master Plan and Signage Ordinance efforts have been satisfying because their success has relied on bringing disparate viewpoints together to find creative solutions that work for everyone. In a small town like Clifton, it is important to make every effort to understand the variety of perspectives.

Our citizens care about the town, and don't always see eye-to-eye on issues. I enjoy working to bridge this gap; especially when our neighbors are happy with the end result.  The number one issue for the town remains restoration of public education in Clifton. Since the closure of Clifton Elementary in June 2010, the issue of overcrowding in Southwest Fairfax County has worsened. We have a viable facility in good condition which could readily accept 400 students, and ease the stress on surrounding schools.

I am working with Lewis and Clark School to propose a charter school for implementation at the Clifton Elementary facility. It has been an enormous effort, and we will submit our application to the state Board of Education this month! I am proud of the work and hopeful it will play a part in bringing public education back to Clifton.

If FCPS decides to re-open a traditional elementary school in Clifton, perhaps some of our innovations could be incorporated there. Clifton is a vital community. The proximity of residential and commercial districts, churches and recreation facilities is rare; and all within walking distance from your front door.

We are rooted in history—it is all around us—but are also an energetic, authentic community. I like to see people on the streets - residents and visitors. I like to see our green spaces maintained and expanded. I Iike to see small businesses thrive, serving the Clifton community and greater Northern Virginia. I like to see all three of our churches reaching out. I like to see my neighbors working hard, playing hard, and enjoying their lives. I like watching our families thrive, and older friends enjoying what they have worked so hard to build. I like that the Town can be both a hub for the greater-Clifton community, and a special part of Fairfax County. I feel lucky to be a citizen of the town of Clifton, and to be serving my neighbors. If I can contribute to the well-being of the town, I consider it a privilege.

Jen Chesley May 01, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Well said Dwayne. You will always have our vote. Our Town needs you on the Council.

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