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Warrenton Town Council race gets another entrant

Wednesday, Mar. 12 | By Jonathan Hunley
Sean M. Polster is the fourth and last candidate to file to run for an at-large seat on the Warrenton Town Council. Voters will elect two at-large council members and a mayor May 6. Photo courtesy of Sid Bolden
Sean M. Polster hasn't run for office before, but that doesn't mean he's unfamiliar with public service.

He works for the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a firefighter and paramedic, and he has volunteered as a first responder as well as formerly toiling as a Fauquier County sheriff's deputy.

The job he's talking about most lately, though, is that of Warrenton town councilman.

Polster is one of four candidates for two at-large seats on the council.

On May 6, Warrenton voters will choose from among those hopefuls and presumably will elect current Ward 1 Town Councilman Powell L. Duggan mayor. Duggan is unopposed in the race to succeed Mayor George Fitch, who did not seek re-election.

Incumbents David A. Norden and Roger R. Martella Jr. are running again for at-large seats, as is former Councilwoman L.P. "Sunny" Reynolds.

And for a time it seemed that it would be just that trio of candidates duking it out for the two positions.

But on Feb. 28, the Friday before the original Tuesday, March 4, candidate-filing deadline, Polster decided he was going to get in the mix.

It was 3 p.m., and he had to collect signatures to get on the ballot, which meant running around town as other folks were busy fretting over winter weather.

The filing deadline was extended a day because of snow, and Polster made it, creating a field of four.

He acknowledged earlier this week that, of the quartet of hopefuls, he's the least established in the community, having moved to Warrenton in 1996.

"They have name-recognition," he said of his opponents. "I don't."

So Polster has welcomed recent invitations to speak to community groups.

He is known to other folk, however, for being instrumental in ensuring that the Warrenton Christmas parade wasn't canceled two years ago.

The idea of getting involved with one's fellow man was ingrained in Polster as he grew up an Army brat.

"It's a sense of purpose," he said.

With that notion in mind, elected office is just another step in helping one's community, Polster said.

He also credits moving around a lot with giving him a personality that gravitates toward working with people. He had to make new friends every few years.

If elected, Polster said he wants to make government as accessible as possible.

For example, if residents can't make it to Town Council meetings, they should be able to keep up with civic matters through social media, he said.

Because some Warrenton business owners don't live in the town, they also need a good way to communicate with leaders and provide input. So Polster would work toward strengthening those ties.

"We have a lot of talented businesses in town," he said.

The father of three children ages 6 to 10, Polster said his family frequents public parks, so he said maintaining those spaces is also a priority.

"We've got to preserve what we have," he said.

Parking downtown also is an issue, Polster said, one that, like most concerns, should be examined from every angle. For instance, business owners may have different thoughts about the matter than, say, tourists visiting Warrenton.

Indeed, he said, the best outcomes come from exploring an issue from all sides.

When a solution is undertaken, he said, "You never want to make it a win-lose."

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