Office sought: Sugarland Run District Supervisor
Party Affiliation: Independent
Previous offices held: Sugarland Run District Supervisor (2000-2004)
Incumbents: when elected to this position: November 1999
Occupation: Project Manager
Current employment: Unisys Corporation, 8008 Westpark Dr, McLean, VA 22102 (May 96 - Present)
Previous employment: Hyperion, Inc, Vienna, VA (Feb 95-May 96)
Unisys, McLean, VA (Nov 85-Feb 95)
US Marine Corps, Washington, DC (Jul 74-Nov 85)
Education: Washington and Jefferson College, BA; 1974
University of Southern California, MS; 1984
Community ties: Have resided in Sterling for 17 years. Children are graduates of Loudoun County Public Schools. Active in homeowner's association. Affiliations with Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout, various Adult Leader roles), Loudoun Restoration and Preservation Society and numerous other organizations and general community activism prior to election in 1999.
ENDORSEMENTS: Loudoun Education Association, Voters to Stop Sprawl, Clean Water Action
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment? Incumbents: Describe the top accomplishment of your last term. Why shouldn't voters blame you for current problems in your district?
Although there are many accomplishments I am proud of, I feel that bringing Community Policing to the Sugarland Run District is my top accomplishment. This program has proven very successful and has been well received. Most of the problems in the Sugarland Run District are known to have their roots in decisions, policies, and practices from the 1980's and 1990's. I will continue working to resolve existing problems and introduce policies and practices that will foster livable communities.
2. What are the top five problems facing your constituents and what approaches will you use to solve them? Describe one challenge (or more) in your district that is different than other parts of the county.
The top five problems and concerns facing my constituents are: traffic congestion, improving schools, maintaining public safety, taxes, and affordable housing. The biggest relief for traffic congestion will be the development of mass transit options. Improving our schools is an ongoing effort and I am willing to commit the resources necessary to maintain public safety. Tax relief will come when growth is fully controlled and tax reforms are implemented. Affordable housing is addressed in Question 10. Most of my District is already constructed making it harder to implement changes and improvements.
3. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
As the current District Supervisor, I bring the insight gleaned from four years of direct, hands-on experience as the Sugarland Run District Supervisor plus seventeen years of Loudoun residency, community involvement and activism. I have a personal, proven commitment to improving our quality of life and preserving our community identity. I am concerned about the welfare of all residents and willing to work with those who seek to make positive changes.
4. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
The solutions I offer are based on experience, understanding the problem/issue and direct community involvement as opposed to dogma and what might sound good. An insinuation that our budget should only grow at the same rate as the population ignores the actual cost of schools and libraries. A suggestion that computer control of the traffic lights on Route 7 will solve our traffic problems sounds good, but someone aware would know that traffic signals in Loudoun are already linked to VDOT's Smart Traffic Signal System. The problem is simple; too many cars. The solution is complex and requires knowledge and experience.
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.
The Transportation Trust Fund needs to be constitutionally protected so that it cannot be raided for other purposes. Additionally, the share of the fund directed towards mass transit should be increased. In light of the looming air quality/Federal transportation funding disaster, we must give preference to bus, car pools and other actions that reduce the number of cars on area roads. Rail service in the Dulles corridor is a must. Transportation issues must also be addressed regionally.
6. The majority on the current Board of Supervisors have followed a "Smart Growth" policy. How has it been successful? How has it failed? What remains to be done?
The primary successes have been the development and implementation of the Revised General Plan and the Revised Zoning Ordinance. The General Plan will provide growth policy guidance for the next 20 years and the Zoning Ordinance will implement those policies. Since these documents are still new (the Zoning Ordinance revisions have been in effect for about 10 months) the full benefits may not be readily apparent and it is too early to fairly judge the outcomes. I look forward to the development of Community Plans and full implementation of the General Plan policies.
7. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.
Addressing air quality issues will be paramount over the next four years. The Washington area is in eminent danger of losing federal transportation funds for failing to meet air quality standards. Water quality is also of serious concern. Fairfax Water Authority, the supplier of the drinking water in Eastern Loudoun, extended their intake pipe further into the Potomac so they could draw clean water. Preservation of open space is also an environmental priority. Open space contributes positively to water/air quality, provides recreation areas and contributes to the value of our homes.
8. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality of life issues?
Recent surveys of Loudoun residents indicate that the vast majority feel "very safe" in their neighborhoods. Ensuring that "very safe" is a reality will continue to be a priority for me over the next four years. Regarding balancing homeland security with other safety and quality of life issues, I believe we have been able to meet our requirements through broadened training, effective utilization of resources and financial support from the Department of Justice.
9. 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?
What concerns me most about the PATRIOT Act is the lack of judicial and legislative oversight of its implementation. While the section lowering the standard for access to records (i.e. looking at your library records) has received the most publicity, there are several other sections that, in the hands of unscrupulous individuals, pose serious threats to the civil liberties we enjoy under the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. The good news is that many of these provisions sunset in 2005.
10. 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? What do you propose to address the needs of these families?
All workers are important to the local economy but, in particular, the basic needs of low-wage workers must be addressed. Affordable housing should be addressed not only by building more affordable dwelling units but by providing incentives for renovation of older properties, providing a variety of home ownership options and making full use of the Virginia Housing Development Authority and the Fannie Mae Northern Virginia Partnership Office. Childcare and health care are excellent opportunities for an alliance between charitable organizations and local government. Basic transportation needs can be provided via a robust mass transit system.
11. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?
Yes. The primary source of County revenue is property taxes. I would like to see local property taxes reduced and the revenue replaced from sources such as local levies on tobacco products.
12. What proposals do you have for mitigating the effects of soaring property values and related taxes?
I support true tax reform that would better balance ability to pay, benefit received and the ease and efficiency of collection. By broadening the base of revenue sources, real property taxes can be reduced. We should also look at revising the requirement to assess property at its highest and best use. This would require authority from the legislature to set different tax rates for different classes of land but would allow for local government to recognize the actual use of a property.
13. What campaign finance reform do you support? 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?
I believe there should be a reasonable cap on the amount of money spent on campaigns. The public would get to see how a candidate lives within a budget and our mailboxes wouldn't be choked with negative, childish advertisements filled with half truths and twisted facts. To avoid conflict of interests, candidates should not accept large amounts of money from persons with business before the Board or their Political Action Committees.