Strasburg Council candidate aims for more community engagement

STRASBURG — Emily Reynolds returned to Strasburg two years ago, after growing up in the town.

STRASBURG — Emily Reynolds returned to Strasburg two years ago, after growing up in the town.

Now, she is hoping to become a member of Town Council.

As a member of Town Council, Reynolds said that would help get citizens more involved in the community.

“I want to see if I can make participating in local government more inviting to the average citizen,” Reynolds said.

She said that there are a number of ways she might help bring more citizen engagement to the town. She might, for instance, try to give citizens an opportunity to discuss their local government “in a smaller, less intimidating setting.”

“I know it can be a little intimating for some to get in front of council and at the podium and their friends and neighbors are behind them,” Reynolds said. “That can be a little intimating for some people, myself included.”

As another possibility, Reynolds said that the town could have citizens’ committees, temporary committees headed by council members where citizens could bounce ideas they might have regarding specific projects off one another.

“For example, with the new event space, we could create a citizens committee to brainstorm ideas on how to best utilize that space,” she said.

That would not only help citizens feel more involved in the town, Reynolds said, but it would also give the town more ideas of things it could do.

“I think the town would get a lot out of that kind of engagement,” she said.

In addition to expanding community involvement, Reynolds said she hopes to see the business park become more business-ready.

Prior to moving back to Strasburg, Reynolds worked as a farm coordinator at a Richmond nonprofit, Tricycle, which aims to bring fresh food to food deserts.

“I missed the town, I missed the pace of life, I missed the scenery,” Reynolds said of Strasburg. “So I came back to my roots.”

Since returning, Reynolds has joined the town’s Planning Commission.

She said that she learned Tuesday that she has been certified and will be running for one of Strasburg’s four, four-year seats in May.