To the Editor:
I am responding to the letter from Deedee Collins ["Credit to Albo," Connection, Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2005], for whom I have great respect. It's one thing for a politician to embellish or tell a half-truth, but quite another to promote an untruth.
When this newspaper recently asked Del. Dave Albo (R-42) "What is your top public service accomplishment?" he answered "Helping the South County parents build their new South County Secondary School. Their land swap idea together with my Albo-Rust Public-Private School Construction Plan‚ built the fantastic new school." In the same questionnaire, he later wrote "In fact, the Public-Private Education Act, which was based upon my Albo-Rust Public-Private School Construction Plan‚ built the South County Secondary School." Additionally, his Web site reads "I developed the mechanism to build the new South County Secondary School!"
The truth is the long-standing Virginia Public Procurement Act was used to build the South County Secondary School (SCSS), not the Public-Private Education Act. Furthermore, the Public-Private Education Act was modeled on the Public-Private Transportation Act, and its chief patrons were Sen. Walter Stosch (R-12) and Del. L. Preston Bryant Jr. (R-23). In short, the Albo-Rust Plan was not used to build SCSS. Ms. Collins is misinformed, his plan never was "legislation"; even Albo fails to make this claim.
Moreover, Ms. Collins is mistaken when she writes "four years ago, Dave Albo was the only person who thought we could have a new high school before 2010." There were many others who held this belief, although admittedly, there were some who needed to be persuaded. It should be noted these partnerships are not new to Fairfax County, in January 2000, the Board of Supervisors approved the public-private partnership which was used to build the South County Government Center. And while I don't know who was the first elected representative to suggest SCSS be built in this fashion, I do know, for example, Supervisor Gerry Hyland (D-Mount Vernon) was one of its earliest proponents. The well-founded disbelief in the ill-conceived Albo-Rust Plan should not be confused with the juxtaposed belief in, and acceptance of, SCSS‚ public-private partnership.
There are many reasons why I'm voting for Greg Werkheiser (D), some of which are enumerated in my earlier letter; this SCSS situation is just one. The unedited version of my original letter can be found online.
Elaine Auby O'Hora