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Vice Mayor Paul Freiling will be running for Williamsburg City Council this spring.
Freiling, currently serving his third term, filed his paperwork with the City of Williamsburg’s Voter Registrar on Tuesday.
Three seats are up for grabs, as the terms for Freiling, Mayor Clyde Haulman and Councilwoman Judy Knudson all expire June 30. Knudson has announced she will not seek re-election. The election is May 3.
Freiling, who graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1983, has spent his entire adult life in the area. For more than 30 years, he has been employed with Colonial Williamsburg, currently as the director of special gifts programs.
He has lived in the City of Williamsburg for most of his 37 years in the area, with the exception of a five-year stint in James City County, and has spent about 20 years serving on various city boards and committees, including the Beautification Advisory Committee, Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission.
“I learned early on in my time on Planning Commission that all the great things that happen in this community do not happen by accident,” Freiling said. “They happen as the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people. I’ve enjoyed the Williamsburg experience for a long time and I would like to do everything I can to ensure that others have that opportunity.”
Because he sees great opportunities in a new era that includes a new city manager and a healthier economy, Freiling wants to serve another four-year term.
He pointed to the transition from longtime City Manager Jack Tuttle – “one of the best city managers in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Freiling said – to new City Manager Marvin Collins as one of City Council’s greatest accomplishments in his last term.
“When Jack Tuttle came along, he was a new man for a new era in the city and he helped us make tremendous strides. Now Marvin Collins is a new man for a new era,” Freiling said. “I’m enthusiastic about the opportunity to apply the experience I’ve gained over the past 12 years to the new opportunity and challenges ahead.”
In recent years, City Council has worked to set the stage for redevelopment in several areas of the city – particularly the Northeast Triangle, which is the area of Capitol Landing Road, Merrimac Trail and Second Street – and Freiling said he wants to help see those efforts through.
“I think there is a lot of opportunity for the city in the next few years,” Freiling said. “We’re on the cusp of turning around certain aspects of this community, primarily relating to the economy, that we’ve been struggling with the past few years.”