FCDC Chair Letter to the Editor on Herrity's Claims

The following was published in today’s Connection Newspapers in Fairfax County.

To the Editor,
The letter posted online Jan. 26 entitled “Two Contrasting Candidates” restates several false claims that [Republican Board of Supervisors chairman candidate Pat] Herrity has made throughout this short campaign. Supporters of Mr. Herrity have repeatedly told him that his claims are false, yet Herrity continues to make them as if saying them enough times will make them true.
First, Mssrs. Herrity and the letter writer continue to blame a global recession and national housing collapse on Supervisor Sharon Bulova (D-Braddock). Voters know better. Since first being elected in 1987, Sharon Bulova has presided over the growth of Fairfax County. Property values and income of Fairfax residents have more than doubled. Fairfax has become the largest and most successful jurisdiction in the region, outpacing somewhat comparable jurisdictions such as Montgomery County, Md. Blaming Sharon Bulova for a revenue shortage created by global meltdown is a sign of desperation.

Mr. Herrity attacks Sharon Bulova for working with non-profits and the business community to preserve affordable housing. This approach was found necessary after the approach promoted by Mr. Herrity failed to produce any gain in affordable housing units. Fairfax County is not the largest landlord in Fairfax County as claimed by Herrity – many for-profit corporations own and manage far more units in Fairfax County.
Herrity attacks Sharon Bulova for proposing the purchase of the Gatehouse II School Board complex after she made the motion, which passed unanimously to block this purchase. Mr. Herrity even sat in the boardroom and voted for her motion to block the purchase. His claims that she supports a purchase she moved to block are absolutely false and mind boggling.
Sharon Bulova has managed Fairfax County’s $3.35 billion budget for 1,000,000 citizens for over 17 of her 21 years on the Board as Chair of the Budget Committee. Fairfax County’s budget is larger than four states and 115 countries and it employs 12,000 people plus an additional 22,000 people that work for the schools. Being a CFO of a small business with a few hundred employees is a fine credential, but this experience coupled with Herrity’s total of 13 months as a district supervisor it is not sufficient preparation to chair the governing board of one of the most complex local governments in the United States.
Most importantly, is more than saying “no.” It requires someone who can bring members from the diverse regions of the county together around critical priorities. In her two decades on the Board, Sharon Bulova has been elected to chair the Budget Committee for 17 years because her peers trust her ability and integrity. In contrast, when Herrity proposed an alternative 2010 budget, he gathered almost no support. When he couldn’t get his way, he voted against the entire budget. Likewise, he voted against the county’s 2009 legislative package when he didn’t get everything he wanted. When the Fairfax Federation of Civic Associations and the League of Women Voters wouldn’t change their rules to suit his demands, he boycotted the debate. Fairfax County’s voters are used to this kind of partisan obstructionism in Richmond, but we can’t afford a chairman who takes his ball and goes home when he can’t get his way. We need a leader who works through differences and gets things done.
We need a tested leader for these tough times. Sharon Bulova is that leader. Please consider these facts and join me in voting for Sharon Bulova for Chairman in the special election this Tuesday, Feb. 3.
Scott A. Surovell
Fairfax County Democratic Committee