In Manassas’ 130-year history, Hays, a Republican, is the fourth woman to hold a seat on the council. It is a title she would like to keep: Hays is the first member of the council to officially announce that she is placing her name on the May 7 ballot.
Three council seats will be up for grabs in the upcoming election, along with three Manassas School Board positions. Hays was appointed to the position in 1999 in order to fill the unexpired term of former Council member Doug Waldron. This will be the first time she has had to run for the office, and said she is more nervous this time around.
“The first time I didn’t have to run and didn’t expect to win,” Hays said. “I just wanted to get my name out. This time I have more to lose.”
Hays said she hopes the future council is an advocate of city rehabilitation that will help stimulate the economy.
“The fiscal uncertainties we face are a flashing yellow light, and we will certainly proceed with caution through the upcoming budget cycle,” Hays said in her formal statement referring to the future of Dominion Semiconductor, a main economic taxing entity for the city, which was recently sold to Micron and has predicted layoffs.
During her current tenure on the City Council, Hays has helped give Old Town Manassas a new look with the newly opened Loy E. Harris Pavilion and ice rink and the renovation the Old Town Candy Factory, which is scheduled to open this summer as the new Center for the Arts.
As a former director of the city’s social services from 1976 to 1997, Hays will run on the platform of a “safe city and family-friendly neighborhoods.”
Along with Hays, Republican incumbent Bob J. Oliver and Independent incumbent Steven Randolph are also up for election, though neither has made any formal announcements about running again.
According to a City of Manassas Republican Committee statement: “At least five persons have indicated their interest in the Republican nomination for the three seats on the six-member Council that will be up for grabs on May 7.”
The committee will hold a City Council Candidate Forum on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.
Staff writer Trina Goethals can be reached at (703) 368-3101, Ext. 121.