Letter: An Honorable District Leader

Letter: An Honorable District Leader

To the Editor:

In George Washington's Farewell Address, he implored our young nation to avoid political parties, which would fracture our unity, and instead advised us to choose leaders by exercising the virtue of neutrality - what is the candidate's merit and reputation.

John Foust, as Dranesville District Supervisor, has been an honorable and loyal leader of the District, and has make a tangible difference in our community based on what he heard was important to us...

  • Using his mastery of budgeting, John found sufficient end-of-year spare funds to undertake the handicap accessible renovation of The Grange - which had been agreed by the Fairfax County Park Authority back in 1978 when they purchased the property from the Grangers, but never chose to deliver on...
  • Our community fought mightily over the prospect of a tire-crumb synthetic turf field behind the library. After meeting with community groups and listening to the issues, John had the turf field moved to the Nike Field location and did not use tire crumb but another safer material - which I am sure everyone is very happy about today, now that we know that tire crumb is cancer-causing.
  • An additional five acres of The Turner Farm on Georgetown Pike came up for sale. John saw to it that the property was requisitioned for our community to add to the existing Turner Farm Park - a stroke of genius.
  • The new fire station faced criticism as it did not plan to conform to the septic field practices in Great Falls. John found the savings in the fire station construction project to purchase the Purple House, providing a septic field for the fire station.
  • Bright View was a highly controversial project that John required be reviewed through GFCA. He assumed that they would effectively build consensus and was broadsided when citizens claimed they were not informed of the project. Nevertheless, he could have bailed on GFCA and gone with the opposing view. He remained loyal to the group he counted on for process but added requirements that respected the opponents point of view - more screening, review by the Architectural Review Board, etc. Some may or may not like the end result -- it is much larger than the scale in the original concept documents, others find the building attractive and are glad to hope for additional traffic and more customers in the neighborhood. John worked the issue from the perspective of our community being responsible for achieving our own community consensus. He was willing to listen, and to be changed by what he heard. Shame on us that we did not enter a meaningful dialogue until it was too late.

In the final analysis, we are the ones who are responsible for the soundness of our union. Harassed as we all have been by frantic fundraising emails and calls, it is time to quiet down and ask the "statesman" question: Who has the humility to listen for the authentic wishes of our community? And who has the courage to implement our goals, making the tradeoffs to keep the trajectory as best aligned to our combined yearnings as possible? I believe that John Foust has served with ear to the ground and he has accomplished important results for Great Falls. One thing is for sure - we all realize that we need to participate in community dialogue more wholeheartedly because we know that there is someone for whom the unity of our combined perspective actually matters.

Kathleen Murphy

Great Falls