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Votes

Doug Bushée, Hunter Mill District Supervisor

Office sought: County Supervisor, Hunter Mill District

Party Affiliation: Republican

Previous offices held:  Director, Reston Association 2001 to present

Incumbents: when elected to this position:

Occupation:  Management Consultant

Current employment:  Self employed

Previous employment:  CFO, EDGE Office Solutions

Education: (please list schools attended, degrees and dates)  BA, Georgetown University, 1997

Community ties:  Grew up in Vienna, attended Vienna Elementary, Kilmer Intermediate, James Madison High School, member James Madison HS Marching Band, Eagle Scout Troop 152, Vienna, married to a SLHS graduate, mother in law taught English at SLHS and currently teaches English at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.  I am a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, member of the Reston Jaycees, member of the American Legion Post #180, member of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.  I taught Junior Achievement to Madison High School students from 1990 to 1996.  We are members of Reston's United Christian Parish.

ENDORSEMENTS: The endorsement of my wife, Congressman Davis, Congressman Wolf, Senator Warner, Delegates Devolites and Rust, the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors and the Log Cabin Republicans.

1.         What is your top public-service accomplishment?

Cleaning up Stevenage Road in Reston

Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn’t voters blame you for current problems in your district?

2.         What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what approaches will you use to solve them?

Affordable Housing - I support the use of incentives / tax credits, encouraging the development of affordable housing near employment centers and mass transit facilities and the reinstatement of a revised and reformed tax abatement program for the rehabilitation and reinvestment in older residential properties. We also need to work with non-profits experienced in housing rehabilitation.

Congestion - We need to update interchanges on Fairfax County Parkway, widen Route 7 from Reston Parkway to Tyson’s Corner, and add Smart Tag-only gates at each Dulles Toll Road entrance point.  We need rail service to Wiehle Avenue and to implement better mass transit solutions in the corridor to encourage economic development.

High year over year Real Estate Increases - We need a program audit that measures what we get out of a program, versus what we put into the program, performing a cost benefit analysis on all of our programs.  The results will provide the necessary framework to identify programs that are not working or are redundant and give us information we need to make sound funding decisions.

Educational needs unmet - Real revenue (inflation adjusted) must increase to accommodate the expected growth in population.  We need to work with our legislators in Richmond, not against them to address the issue of adequate state funding for Northern Virginia schools.

Response and service from their local supervisor - I will have a staff member dedicated to Reston, and Vienna/Oak Hill.  I will measure response time and constituent satisfaction and ensure we are providing a high level of service to the district.

Describe one challenge (or more) in your district that is different than other parts of the county.

Rail in the corridor will have a greater impact on the Hunter Mill District than any other event over the past 20 years.  We need to plan now to mitigate the negative impacts that will occur and take advantage of the positive aspects of the project.  We cannot afford to sit back and let other jurisdictions or districts dictate how much we will have to pay for tolls and what we have to build.

3.         What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?

Professional experience, co-founder and CFO of small business

Public Experience, Director Reston Association

Qualities and Characteristics: problem solver, able to communicate with large groups as well as one on one, honest, straight forward, hard worker.

4.         How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?

I support widening 66 inside the beltway to help our Hunter Mill District families with their commutes; I support active involvement by the supervisor in mediating local problems, such as land use issues, parking problems, and lighted athletic fields.  I support limiting county spending to reasonable growth rates (greater than population but not greater than average income).  I am very accessible and responsive.

5.         What specific solutions will you propose for the transportation dilemma? Please address funding, prioritization, air quality, bus service and other non-rail public transportation solutions, expansion of rail service, and any other possible approach.

As I stated above, we need to update interchanges on Fairfax County Parkway, widen Route 7 from Reston Parkway to Tyson’s Corner, and add Smart Tag-only gates at each Dulles Toll Road entrance point.  We need rail service to Wiehle Avenue and to improve bus service in the corridor to encourage economic development.  We need to consider allowing voters to approve transportation bonds and find a fairer way for the Commonwealth to pay its portion of rail.  Telecommuting and telework incentives combined with getting traffic moving again is a start in addressing our air quality problem.

6. Fairfax County now dedicates more than 50 percent of its budget to the public school system. How will you measure the effectiveness of this expenditure?

Probably the biggest challenge facing policy makers today is how to measure the effectiveness of our schools.  No one method works.  In speaking with teachers, even they agree that we need to be able to measure the performance of a school or a teacher, but they don't know how it can be done.  Certainly class size and competitive pay for teachers are two critical components to maintaining a first class school system.  Other indicators might be how much we reduce the minority gap in learning, the ratio of non-school based salaries to school based salaries, and how our students fair on statewide tests.  The BOS needs to work much closer with the school board to come up with a better long term plan.

What do you see as the biggest challenges?

Keeping our teachers, adjusting to changing demographics, and continually improving our schools.

Is this sort of expenditure sustainable given that fewer than 25 percent of households have children in the schools?

Yes, but we need to do a much better job communicating the value of our school system to the entire region and work harder to ensure that tax payers are getting the most out of every education dollar.

7.         Many parts of Northern Virginia are approaching buildout, and the current economic climate favors residential over commercial construction. Do local governments have the tools they need to control and guide growth?

No and yes.  Virginia is a strong property rights state and therefore, there are limits to how local government can control growth.  Fairfax must do a better job of using its Comprehensive Plan to manage growth, and must do a better job of coordinating growth, particularly residential growth, with transportation and other public facilities.

How will state and local governments cope with the additional demand for services that comes with additional residential construction?

By working to ensure residential growth occurs primarily around employment centers and transit stations and by using the current proffer system to more effectively work with residential developers to mitigate the impacts on our schools, roads and public safety – something the current Supervisor has miserably failed to do.

What are the important features of "smart growth," and can more emphasis on smart growth help offset some of the effects of suburban development?

The features of smart growth --mixed use development around employment centers and transit stations like we’ve done in Reston Town Center, helps provide alternatives to dependence on the automobile.

8. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.

The current Supervisor has not been effective in negotiating proffers from developers for protection of open space and addressing watershed issues.  In the past four years, no new parks have been established in Hunter Mill and no significant land proffers have been obtained to create parks and ballfields and to protect open space.  Traffic mitigation and congestion relief, through such measures as widening I-66 and creating dedicated SmartTag lanes on the Toll Road will help reduce air pollution.

9. Are residents safe enough?

Keeping our community safe is a top priority and issues that impact our safety are constantly changing.  While many of our residents are safe, some are not and we need to be sure our public safety personnel have the tools and resources they need.

How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality of life issues?

The new demands of homeland security are becoming part of our overall safety plan.

10.  Do you have any concerns about civil liberties and public access to information in the wake of the Patriot Act and other responses to Sept. 11?

Yes.

11. Working poor families in Northern Virginia face a daunting cost of living, with little in the way of affordable housing, health care, child care and transportation. Are low-wage workers important to the local economy?

Yes.

What do you propose to address the needs of these families?

More affordable housing options and more effective communication of the successful programs local government and non profits provide.

12. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?

Yes

13. What proposals do you have for mitigating the effects of soaring property values and related taxes? Do you endorse the 5 percent cap on property tax increases?

Yes.

If you support a cap on property tax increases, please name at least one service provided by county government that you currently use that you would be prepared to live without.

With a 5 percent real estate and property tax increase and assuming all other revenues remain flat, total county spending would still increase 3.7 percent.  In other words, all programs and services would receive 3.7 percent more money this year than they did last year. It has been more than a decade since Fairfax County looked at eliminating outdated or duplicative programs, studied activities that can be better performed by outsourcing, or establishing performance and results goals.  By implementing these management reforms, and creating an Inspector General, we can save money, relieve the pressure to raise taxes and do so without cutting vital services.

14. Fairfax County has more than 10,000 full-time employees. How should the Board of Supervisors guide such a large bureaucracy?

Policies that measure the effectiveness of programs, Balance Scorecarding for example.  It's up to the staff to meet follow the direction of the Board, not the other way around.

How do you measure the effectiveness of such a work force?

Constituent surveys, achieving objectives, and independent audits.

We’ve heard stories of departments that resist change and are unresponsive to both citizens and elected officials. How would you address these concerns?

Hold the County Executive accountable to the performance of his staff.  Please give specific examples.  We can measure response time from any department.  That response time should fall within certain parameters.  If the response time falls outside of those parameters, then a problem exists.  The BOS should not micro manage the staff, but set out clear objectives such as constituent satisfaction and it's up to the County Executive to achieve those targets.  Overall, we must implement the management reforms mentioned in item 13 above.

15. What campaign finance reform do you support?

Full disclosure of all contributions.

How should the county avoid conflict of interest, or even the appearance of conflict, given the Board’s role in approving development and zoning changes and contributions by development interests?

BOS should not receive cash or any item exceeding $35 in value, other than fully disclosed contributions, from any commercial or residential developers.  Our campaign is one of the only local races on the VPAP Honor Role.