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Marshall Orenic for Harrisonburg City Council

I grew up here in the valley. After I obtained my degree in business administration, I married my high school sweetheart and we moved out to Colorado, where we spent ten years. After starting a family, we moved back to Harrisonburg Virginia to settle down with our two daughters and son who now attend Harrisonburg City Schools.  HCPS was one of the reasons we choose Harrisonburg to live because we wanted our kids to grow up fully English-Spanish bilingual. I have spent most of my career in the restaurant management business with a history of developing and monitoring budgets and expenditures, as well as the ability to visualize best response to fiscal challenges.  My Servant Leadership has allowed me to  manage large teams of employees and managers with the mindset that it takes everyone to provide ideas to tackle obstacles.  
I enjoy hiking, listening to music and watching & playing sports, especially soccer!

Roman Police

  • Committed Servant Leadership 
  • Inspired by my family to serve my community
  • Proven Professional Management

My Core Beliefs:
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Transparency

My Six Top Priorities of the City of Harrisonburg


Addressing the Housing Crisis

Inflation is hurting all of us, homeowners and renters alike. City Council is raising real estate taxes by 3%, water rates by 5%, and sewer rates by 2%. In addition, rising property values are automatically increasing the cost of owning a home in the city. Renters will see their rents increase proportionately to cover these rising costs to the landlords. So, everyone will be paying even more to live in the city after the mayor declared it was already too expensive.
We need to lower the real estate tax to offset the rising home values.  In addition, we need to make it easier and more beneficial for developers of all types to want to build in the city.

Portrait of young African-American woman sharing struggles during support group meeting with people siting in circle and comforting her

Increasing Mental Health Care Awareness

16% – Adults with frequent mental distress*                                    33% – Deaths of despair/100K*    19%   – Medicare beneficiaries with depression*                          126,069  – Persons served in community mental health programs in 2020^                                  7,270 – Persons served in state psychiatric hospitals in 2020^          44,291 – Persons served in a mental health care facility that are on Medicaid^ 

Sources:  *US News and World Report. ^


Retention of Harrisonburg Police Officers and other key officials.

Turnover at the higher levels of various city departments has occurred at an unprecedented rate over the past 5 years.We’ve lost 2 city managers and 2 police chiefs, for example. Rather than fill most of these key positions with current experienced talent, Council continues to outsource the personnel searches at a cost of $75,000 to the taxpayers.

Planning for Future Population Growth

HHS opened at near capacity in 2005 with about 1250 students*. Just a few years later it was consistently over capacity, yet it took until 2017 for the city to react to the overcrowding. I am concerned about the future of the children in the community.  I am committed to better planing for more future growth.                               Data Source: national Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept of Education).


Managing Fiscal Responsibility

Taxpayers are currently funding the construction of one of the most expensive high school in the entire state. SOL scores have been decreasing over the past 5 years while the School Board’s budget has increased 27%


Equal Representation on City Council for the City

Currently elected at-large, regardless of where they reside. Council members have no accountability.  We have to make sure that all of the city has representation on council.


Actions to Consider

1. Ensure that all areas of our city are equally represented on both City Council and School Board.  With 8 voting precincts identified in the city, our governing bodies should reflect every area’s concerns.  This can only be accomplished by increasing to 8 the members of Council and the Board, one candidate per precinct. The current at-large method of electing officials does not serve all the voters of Harrisonburg. The city has grown and needs to reflect all its neighborhoods and residents, not just the special interest groups.
2. A panel to City Council should be assembled to advise and recommend actions on capital construction costs.  This panel should be drawn from all sections of the city to assure equity and economy of the projects.
3. Adopt a ceiling on project expenses that is directly tied to the economic impact on all taxpayers, especially the middle class and those on a fixed income.
4. Stop changing zoning ordinances to profit the few at the expense of homeowners. Neighborhoods are the backbone and character of the city.

Political contributions are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes. Virginia law requires us to report the name, mailing address, occupation, employer and place of employment for all individual donors over $100 in the aggregate. Unlimited personal and corporate contributions may be accepted. Paid for by Marshall for City Council.

Questions or Concerns? Drop Me A Line!

Marshall Orenic for City Council
1866 E. Market St. Suite C, Box #300
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
(540) 476-4082

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