Patrick Henry College
If the voters of Purcellville thought they’d seen the last of Tim Iversen when they failed to elect him to the Town Council last winter, they didn’t understand who they were dealing with. Certainly, the Patrick Henry College junior had been a steady presence around Town Hall since his freshman year, both as a member of the Purcellville Volunteer Rescue Squad and as a keen observer of assorted town council, public safety committee and county supervisors meetings. The 20-year-old public policy major had even taken a shine to Purcellville’s Centennial Committee, where thoughts of staging the town’s 100th anniversary parade and carnival struck Iversen as a cool alternative to late nights cramming for Empirical Research Methods.
Still, some might’ve suspected that “landslide” town council defeat—192 votes to the 700-plus by the three top vote-getters—to crush his zeal. Again, they simply didn’t understand. “I told them, half-jokingly, and half-seriously, that they couldn’t get rid of me sitting in the audience in the town council meetings just by not voting for me,” he recalls. “And I’ve kept that promise.”
Indeed—as if the rigors of a PHC public policy major, volunteer rescue worker, school security guard, and library assistant weren’t enough, Iversen soon turned his sights to the Town Planning Commission, not-so-surprisingly drawn to its long-range comprehensive plans, cryptic zoning ordinances, special use permits, annexations and the like. When an opening on the commission came up, Iversen applied.
“I applied along with four other people in the town, went to the interview, and woke up the next morning to a phone call from the town office saying I was being recommended for appointment to the commission,” he reports. “My term runs through August of 2010, and in May I will take a class to become a Virginia State Certified Planning Commissioner, which I’m told is another college education in itself.”
Those who know Iverson understand how deep his passion for public service runs—all the way back to his high school days in Franklin, New York. As a senior at Franklin Central School he joined both the town fire department and the emergency squad and became, through the experience, “addicted to community service.”
Adds Franklin Fire Chief Tom Warden, who has known Iverson since Little League: “Once he gets something in his mind he pursues it relentlessly until he achieves his goal.”
Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro, who supported Iversen’s Planning Commission appointment, concurs. “Tim has shown not only great interest in the important issues facing Purcellville, but is an active participant in the civic and voluntary affairs of our community. I know he will do an excellent job on the Commission.”
Given his public policy major, coupled with his local civic ambitions, one might assume Iversen aspires to a career in politics. One would be wrong. Piqued by a series of “ride-alongs” with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, his heart is being pulled toward law enforcement; after graduation, he fancies a job as a patrol deputy. And if there have been those who, along the way, didn’t appreciate a student—much less one from a conservative, politically active Christian liberal arts college like PHC—poking his nose in local affairs, on whole, he said, the reception has been warm.
“I have spoken with a couple of people who didn’t like the idea of a college student running for the town council,” he said, with a subtle grin. “But they voted for me anyway.”