Quick Hits in Fairfax County

By VA Blogger

The County Executive released his proposed budget today. Quick facts: over 800 job cuts; flat spending for schools (as if); raising the tax rate by 12 cents to $1.04, which means homeowners pay about $14 more than last year, but “recommending” a $1.07 rate with a $33 increase for car registration.

I’m still going through the list of cuts and added fees, and I’ll have my thoughts and other reactions later.

In related news, Gatehouse II finally bit the dust. It never should have stayed around this long, and Chairman Bulova’s biggest reason against it was the current economic environment, and not the fact that it’s a bad deal and not a priority in any climate.

And following up on my story below, Bulova is browbeating Supervisors Smyth and Hudgins to switch their vote on widening I-66, reaffirming the project as a County priority. I’m appreciative that Bulova stepped in, even if the time to do that was before the vote. Still, a messy public battle between three Supervisors is a way to build consensus too, I suppose.

Lowell is holding out hopethat they don’t switch their vote, but I wouldn’t count on it. Judging by Lowell’s reaction, Smyth and Hudgins (who I’m told isn’t running for re-election) didn’t gain any ground with the anti-developer wing of the Democratic Party (where Smyth is currently weak), and switching back won’t put her back in the good graces of the majority of her constituents because she never should have voted against it in the first place.


  • Lowell is out of his frigging mind about this.

  • novamiddleman says:

    You are suprised he is anti-car and a member of the peoples republic of Arlington of course he is against it.

    Be vigilant as this vote showed NoVa is getting very close to having an anti-car majority.

    Thats really all this is about. Imagine what would happen if we spent 5 billion on roads instead of rail to Dulles. I think its pretty clear what would be a better benefit to a greater number of residents that actually live and work in the area.

  • FFX Repub says:

    I’m actually in favor of how Smyth and Hudgins sided. I think developers ran wild over Fairfax during Connolly’s reign and that Bulova is going to continue the same unless she gets b-slapped a little.

    Connolly gave developers a free ride at taxpayer expense, and we got stuck with the bill for schools and other overburdened infrastructure and the traffic. Developers should have had to pay for public improvements to play. Instead, it seems they had to pay political contributions to certain Democrats to play. That didn’t help you or me.

    Bulova is not as strong as Connolly, nor is she as smart or as vicious as he could be. Smyth and Hudgins may well devour her. They are far cleverer than she is. I predict she will be a caretaker Chair until some stronger edges her out.

    Too bad for all of us, on both sides of the 66 debate, and in both parties, that Pat Herrity didn’t win. He would have at least brokered a compromise between those of us against the widening and those of you in favor. Usually, that’s how things will come out: compromises. I don’t think Bulova has the kahunas or the smarts to broker those deals.

  • VA Blogger says:

    As I said in the earlier post, if the money is there, it makes no sense not to use it. This isn’t a developers project, this is one of those transportation solutions to help with our infrastructure that developers have left broken.

  • Alfred E. Newman says:

    Gotta say that I agree with VA Blogger on this. Traffic on I-66 is a fact on the ground at this point; refusing to allow widening is just denying reality. It could be argued that they need better transit, but Metro is already in place, and the Dulles extension is underway. Hudgins and Smyth should really do a better job of responding to their constituents’ needs and paying a little less attention to blind ideology.

  • Dan says:

    FFX Repub,

    kahunas? I suspect you meant cojones.

    I am not a huge Connolly fan, but he didn’t give developers a free ride any more than Jack Herrity did when he was Chairman. And I don’t think Jack Herrity gave them a free ride either, even though Fairfax County experienced explosive growth while he was in office.

    Over the past thirty years Fairfax County has done a much better job for its taxpaying citizens than neighboring Prince William or Loudoun. Fairfax aggressively attracted a sufficient business tax base to offset the residential development that we all know doesn’t generate the tax revenue needed to provide the schools and police and fire protection required for those new residents. And the quality of those services is among the best in the nation.

    You may be frustrated that Fairfax is now dominated by the Democratic Party. But the truth is that Fairfax was well run under Republicans and it has been well run under Democrats. Pretending that things are terrible simply because your party is not in control is not a message that is likely to resonate with most folks in Fairfax County.

  • Ron says:

    This is a symptom of the typical Democrat approach. Take lots of money in the name of improving transportation, but then fund radical environmental groups who exhibit the typical BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) attitude. Hey, spread the wealth!

  • Moderate R says:

    Bulova has it right on this one. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    At the very least, it’s a bit reassuring that she’ll get the no-brainers correct. That can’t be said for many of our NoVA elected Democrats.

  • Lovettsville Lady says:

    According to Pat Herrity, the board was involved before Hudgins and her sidekick, Smyth, (Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber) voted the wrong way on widening rt 66. The Dumb twins were supposed to go to the meeting representing the view of of the FC BOS. The Board had voted to support widening the road. The twins were supposed to express that sentiment at the meeting. Being who they are, they decided to do what they pleased, and vote against it, ignoring the will of their board. Quite a speck of Hubris. Now they have to go back and fix their little boo-boo.

    Did these two dopes think that no one would notice how they voted? That the colleagues on the board wouldn’t care that these two didn’t represent them?

  • JPO says:

    Oil – auto – asphalt? When will you figure out that with a “logical” rail infrastructure we would not have these traffic woes. We don’t need a wider highway, we need rail to Dulles, Orange line extended down I-66 as originally intended, and light rail around the beltway to eventually connect the one Maryland is building. Only independent Carey Campbell in the Braddock District race to replace Bulova has the right answers on these issues.

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