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Votes

Cathy Belter Questionnaire

August 1, 2002

<bt>Name, age, occupation, town of residence:

My name is Cathy A. Belter, and I am 57 years old. I have been a Fairfax County librarian since 1974. In 2000, I was elected the Springfield District member to the Fairfax County School Board. My husband Len and I have been residents of Springfield since 1970.

Why are you running?

First, I am running for the Senate seat for the 37th District because I believe the state's support for education and our schools is inadequate, and the funding formulas that support public education in the Commonwealth need to be changed to give every jurisdiction the funding it needs. During the 2002 session of the General Assembly I was dismayed that various bills to provide additional funding for education were not passed. Students cannot wait. Every year that we delay properly funding the schools in Virginia we fall further behind. The JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee) report acknowledges that the state has been under-funding education for eight years. Second, I am running to ensure that the citizens of the 37th District receive the support they need and want to ensure an excellent quality of life. Voters I talk to are insistent that action be taken to end congestion, that the monies sent to Richmond are returned to our locality, and that issues such as affordable housing, adequate parks and recreation, and health care reform are addressed.

What do you believe are the major issues in the 37th District?

The major issues, in my opinion and that of the electorate I have called or talked to while walking the district, are education, transportation, school construction, and a better return to our community of the money we send to Richmond.

What is your stance on the proposed sales-tax increase?

I support the half-cent sales tax for the transportation referendum. The citizens of the 37th District and the rest of Fairfax County need relief from the traffic woes and an opportunity to travel throughout the County and to and from work safely and in less time that is taking now. The most critical piece of this referendum is that this money will remain in Northern Virginia for Northern Virginia transportation projects and will not be sent to Richmond.

If I'm elected, I will ...

If I am elected, I will advocate for a change in the funding formula for education that will recognize the actual prevailing practices in our schools and throughout the Commonwealth. The burden of maintaining an excellent school system cannot belong only to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. I will also work to increase state funding for school construction to help relieve the incredible backlog facing the Fairfax County Public Schools. Adequate facilities to house our students is a must.

Why should people vote for you? (Why do you believe you are best qualified for the job?)

People should vote for me, because I have the experience to make a difference for the residents of the 37th District. Since 1980, I have been lobbying before the General Assembly on various issues and concerns of the citizens of Fairfax County. I know and understand the legislative process and have many friends and acquaintances in the General Assembly. Most importantly, I will be accessible to my constituents and will respond to their inquiries and concerns just as I have during my tenure on the School Board and as president of the Virginia PTA.