Office sought: Chairman, Loudoun Board of Supervisors
Party Affiliation: Lifelong Republican, running as Independent
Previous offices held:
Loudoun Planning Commission: 1992-1995
Sterling District Supervisors: 1996-1999
Chairman, Board of Supervisors: 2000 to Present
Occupation: Small Businessman
Community ties: I have lived in Sterling for 18 years.
ENDORSEMENTS: Voters to Stop Sprawl
1. What is your top public-service accomplishment?
Implementing a Smart Growth program that eliminates 80,000+ new houses from being built, saves taxpayers $1.8 billion in infrastructure costs and takes some 750,000 future vehicle trips off our roads. Additionally, I am proud of providing the leadership necessary to implement the agreement necessary to improve 6 intersections on Route 28 with no need for new taxes. Furthermore, I am proud of our public education system having opened 16 new schools over the past four years to meet student population needs and undertaking efforts to attract and retain the best teachers for our children.
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.
Continued Overdevelopment - We cannot back down from protecting our citizens against the developer lawsuits against our Smart Growth Plan so as to protect the savings and protections afforded by the revised Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. Continue to press for developer impact fees.
Traffic - We must continue to look for innovative private/public partnerships like the Route 28 partnership to bring much needed improvements to our roads.
Education - Loudoun's school population continues to outpace population growth. We need to continue to provide the resources to our education system to ensure that we continue to attract and retain excellent teachers and provide classroom facilities.
Public Safety - We have doubled our local commitment to public safety over the past four years. New resources have been obtained for anti-gang efforts and for Homeland Security.
Access to Health Care - I have supported the expansion Loudoun Hospital's facilities as well as bringing additional health care beds to our community. 50% of Loudoun's residents leave our County for health care services and that cannot be allowed to continue.
3. What qualities, qualifications and characteristics will you bring to this office?
As a family person, small businessperson and dedicated public servant I bring the experience and resolve necessary to continue to serve the residents of our County. I have the ability to listen to and bring disparate parties to the table to achieve consensus and protect the public interests. I reject the notion that politics should supersede the needs of the public and have demonstrated time and time again that I have been able to reject politics to ensure the public good. I have a clear vision for the future of our County and continue to work hard to implement it.
4. How will voters best distinguish between you and your opponent(s)?
I have spent my entire career in public service helping the public. My opponent is heavily subsidized by the development community and by those who are suing the taxpayers to overturn the County's Smart Growth plan. I have a proven record of leadership of implementing policies that preserve the quality of life of our residents and hold down taxes. I have a record which has resulted in 22,000 new jobs being created in Loudoun and over 1100 new businesses being created. I also have a track record of working with people and organizations to build consensus to obtain results that benefit the residents of our County.
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 model that we must continue to use is the Route 28 public/private partnership where 6 new interchanges are being built on Route 28 with no need for new taxes. This model needs to be further explored for other transportation improvements as well. I support the extension of rail to Dulles as a key project to take cars off the road. Furthermore, we need to continue to work with our delegation in Richmond to obtain more State funding for our roads. Loudoun has expanded its commuter bus operation to meet customer demand and to take additional automobiles off the road.
6. The majority on the current Board of Supervisors have followed a "Smart Growth" policy. How as it been successful? How has it failed? What remains to be done?
The policy has been successful as it eliminates 80,000+ new houses from being built, saves taxpayers $1.8 billion in infrastructure costs and takes some 750,000 future daily vehicle trips off our roads. The frustration that I and many residents share is the many residential developments that were approved by previous Boards and the developers blocking legislation in Richmond which would give localities the ability to impose impact fees and an affordable public facilities ordinance to make residential developers pay for the cost of their developments. These are the very same developers who are funding my developer attorney opponent.
7. What are your top environmental priorities? Please address air quality, water quality, open space, etc.
The adoption of our revised Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinance sets forth a framework to protect our community and quality of life. For example, by protecting stream corridors we are protecting the sources of our drinking water. By perpetually saving open space we are ensuring that our children and grandchildren will be afforded with the wonderful vistas that we enjoy today while at the same time saving taxpayers millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.
8. Are residents safe enough? How do public safety officials balance new demands of "homeland security" with other safety and quality of life issues?
I never take safety for granted. We have doubled our local resources in public safety to meet population growth demand. We have provided resources for anti-gang activities on a local and regional level and for Homeland Security. Furthermore, we have increased our commitment to our volunteer fire services to ensure that we grow the ranks of our volunteer services and have supplemented stations with career fire service personnel to ensure public safety.
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?
I support efforts that ensure the safety of all Americans. September 11, 2001 was a horrendous day for our country and changed forever for our country and all levels of government how we must respond to the threat of terror on our shores. To that end I was pleased to be able to work with Congressman Frank Wolf and Senators Warner and Allen in obtaining a $4.3 million Homeland Security grant to help bolster the County's ability to respond to emergency situations. I also support anti-gang efforts in our effort to prevent this brand of crime in our communities.
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?
The most important thing that Loudoun can do is ensure a healthy economic environment to create better paying jobs for our citizens. We have led Northern Virginia in creating jobs and over the past three years more than 22,000 net new jobs were created and over 1100 new businesses were established. The Howard Hughes Institutes $500 million investment in biomedical research will allow the County to leverage opportunities for even more jobs. Furthermore, the County provides assistance to those qualified families to ensure that individuals do not turn to welfare.
11. Should counties have the taxing authority of cities?
The issue is not new taxes. The issue is working to get back from Richmond our fair share of funding. Ten years ago Loudoun residents were receiving 33 cents back in State Aid for every income tax dollar sent to Richmond. Today, that has been reduced to less than 20 cents. In addition, the State legislature needs to pass legislation to allow the County to impose impact fees on developers. It is wrong that residential developers can develop properties without having to pay the infrastructure costs that are borne by the taxpayers e.g. schools.
12. What proposals do you have for mitigating the effects of soaring property values and related taxes?
Our Revised Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance saves taxpayers $1.8 billion in infrastructure costs and more than $500 million in operating costs. Furthermore, Loudoun County has worked hard to expand the commercial tax base by creating more than 22,000 net new jobs over the past three years and the establishment of more than 1100 new businesses. We also need to get permission from Richmond to impose impact fees and an Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to ensure that residential developers pay their fair share of the cost of growth. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute's new biomedical research facilities provides the County limitless opportunities to leverage new businesses for our community.
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?
Unlike my opponent, I have not taken campaign contributions from residential developers or from developers or other real estate interests who are suing taxpayers to overturn the County's Smart Growth plan which saves taxpayers $1.8 billion, takes more than 750,000 future vehicle trips off our roads and protects our quality of life. Unfortunately, the State of Virginia has very relaxed campaign finance requirements and allows the developer interests to pour large sums of money into my opponent's campaign. I would support efforts to limit the amounts the special interests can pour into campaigns.