Town Council Candidate: Mike Polychrones
Lifelong Vienna resident says he'll continue to protect town's identity
Part of a series of four candidates running in Vienna's town elections May 1. For information on all candidates, click here.
Mike Polychrones is a lifelong resident of Vienna.
- Vienna Town Council: Appointed 1996, elected in 1997 to a two-year term; re-elected in 1999 and 2001. Elected again in 2004, re-elected in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
- Former member of the Transportation Safety Commission and the Planning Commission.
- President of the Virginia Municipal League for 2008-2009
- Seven-year member of the Virginia Municipal League Executive Committee
- Former member, Beltway Improvement Task Force for Fairfax County.
- Past President and life member of the Vienna Jaycees
- Past President and Member of George Mason University Alumni Board Fairfax County Industrial Development Authority; Tysons Community Outreach Program and Virginia Community Planning Association.
- Member of the Vienna Host Lions Club.
- Employed with the American Bankers Insurance Association in Washington D.C.
- Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Also attended George Mason University and the American Institute of Banking.
Polychrones, 52, has lived in Vienna his entire life. When he was a child, Maple trees still lined Maple Avenue; Vienna Woods, where he lived with his parents and lives today with his wife Patricia, was a new development that nearly "doubled the population in town."
In the years that followed, Vienna moved forward in balance with the surrounding areas -- but when Tysons and Merrifield development and the possibility of Metro growth started to gain momentum, Polychrones thought Vienna needed to create a better long-term plan.
"I thought if we didn’t do something we could lose our community; in a matter of time, we’d just be lost in all the development shuffle," he said. "If we didn’t to do something to separate ourselves we'd basically lose our identity and community feeling."
That same goal of preserving Vienna's identity is what motivated Polychrones to run for his ninth stint in office.
"[Initially], I just felt that running for council would be a good way to further serve the town and the people," Polychrones said. "I still think I have things to offer the citizens, if nothing else than just a long knowledge of and experience in the community."
A plan for Maple Avenue is a project Polychrones should get to see through during this term: It first came up during his time as a planning commissioner. And more than a decade after it came before town council, the town is seeking a consultant to make it a reality.
"A plan for Maple Avenue something I wanted to do then – it’s taken us a long time," he said.
During his tenure, there are things the town has "definitely gotten right," he said: Among them, creating park zones and the Church Street Vision, which he had a hand in as both a planning commissioner and a council member. He said he'd like to continue to see that grow.
There are other issues about which he wished the town had been a bit more diligent -- namely, the parking agreements at the Chipotle Shopping Center, a sentiment echoed by other council members also running for re-election.
Polychrones credits the town's steady fiscal position for helping it weather the recession without any layoffs. He said today's budget is starting to meet some of the needs the town has been unable to fill over the past few years, such as water and sewer improvements and sidewalk projects; it also seems easier for residents to track where money is being spent, he said.
"Are we doing anything and everything that everybody wants? No. But you can't. Part of what you do in this job is asking in everything you do, 'What is going to benefit the most people?' and allocate the resources accordingly."
Polychrones expects to focus on handling Tysons traffic and water and sewer issues over the next few years.
But largely, Polychrones is looking forward to enjoying "the fact that I help shape the future of our community for generations to come, I hope, in some small way or in any way I can. That’s really what this is about. That’s really why I do it."
He and his wife, Patricia, continue to reside in Vienna Woods and are members of the Vienna Presbyterian Church.