The nine candidates running for three Town Council seats in Vienna's May 7 election are focusing their campaigns on the issues that have dominated the town for at least 10 years.
Traffic, maintaining Vienna's suburban environment and commercial redevelopment are the central themes running through the candidates nonpartisan campaign. Marie Kisner, town spokeswoman, said the field of nine, which includes two incumbents and seven challengers, is the largest Vienna has seen since its 1976 council election.
Incumbent Robert W. Robinson, 44, who is seeking his third term in office, said the council should continue studying the traffic impact the nearby rail station will have on Vienna when it opens next year.
"We are facing decisions about transit parking on our local streets and we're facing the proliferation of traffic going through residential streets," Robinson said.
Rodger W. Seeman, another incumbent running for his second term in office, said the council should "hold the line on zoning" to keep big commercial development out of the 15,500 population town. Seeman said most citizens want to keep Vienna's small residential community atmosphere.
George Juskalian, 70, who lost two previous bids for office, said Vienna should continue its fight against developers who want to encroach on the town's low density residential and commercial environment. "We're a little enclave . . . and don't want high rises in the middle of our town."
Candidate Anna C. Shullaw, an eight-year resident, said she will push for additional funding from next year's budget to preserve and restore the area's historic sites. The 41-year-old Minnesota native said it also was important to make sure new businesses bring in a profitable tax base for Vienna.
Peter S. Bielaukas, 67, said he decided to enter the race because "I'm sick of the way the town's been running . . . there's nobody riding herd at the Town Council ."
The 20-year resident said he would work to change the "rhythm" of the town. "I want to keep the small town atmosphere and still have progress," Bielaukas said. " Progress has been coming on for 10 years and nobody was doing anything about it. Now we're in a crisis."
Vienna's chronic traffic problem is the key issue to candidate Richard L. Fisher. The 37-year-old Gaithersburg native predicted the traffic generated in town when the new Metro opens will be "phenomenal."
Fisher, 37, said he favored an experimental plan in which the police department would manually control the traffic lights on Maple Avenue, Vienna's main thoroughfare. "This would streamline Maple Avenue," he said. Fisher is currently chairman of the town's planning commission.
Mary Jane Cronin, 57, and Louis James, 43, said they entered the crowded council race because they were disappointed in the current Town Council.
Cronin said Vienna should computerize its records, which would allow faster retrieval of information. "There's a lot done manually that should be converted into the computer ; it would make the system more efficient."
James said he would press to ensure the council addressed issues "in a more organized way as opposed to reacting immediately to every little crisis. Solutions shouldn't be done piecemeal."
The three-year Vienna resident said the election boils down to whether residents are satisfied with the current council's record. "The issues in this town haven't changed in 10 years," he said
Candidate Lucille K. Gasparine, who is a flight attendant with a major airline, could not be reached for comment. Town officials said Gasparine is a 13-year Vienna resident.