To the Editor:
I too appreciate the League of Women Voters candidate’s forum at the Sherwood Hall Library. I hope more forums occur as these contests are critical to the future of the MV District. A question was posed to Supervisor candidate Dan Storck on whether he supports the transfer of the donated land from Elizabeth Fairchild to the Fairfax County Park Authority to become a community park. He was criticized [in a letter] in this paper as not knowing the issues surrounding the transfer of this property. That criticism is unfair. I know that candidate Storck is well informed of the issues as is his opponent Jane Gandee. Both candidates have discussed the Fairchild property with me in great detail and have been presented with accurate information about the problems associated with this transfer. Mr. Storck has visited the site first hand with me where the issues are better understood when directly visible to the eye. Ms. Gandee has been invited to visit the site for the same purposeful reason but as yet has been unable to do so. I certainly hope that she takes the walk through this property before the election and with the same visual understanding of this beautiful yet challenged property responds to the same question presented to candidate Storck but not to her.
I know that Ms. Gandee is today better informed of the connections between the environment and revitalization and redevelopment on Richmond Highway as I saw her attending the Southeast Fairfax Development Corporation Summit on Sustainability and Resiliency on Sept. 24. The presentations by the speakers are available by going to this internet link. http://www.sfdc.org/whats-happening/events-2/sustainability-resiliency-summit/
The expert speakers from business and government conveyed to the attendees that there is great opportunity to integrate open space, parks, trees, forest, restored watersheds, solar energy and better building and site design into areas undergoing revitalization and redevelopment. The challenge is bringing government, business and community stakeholders together to understand the compelling evidence for the economic benefits that increase business profits and value along with environmental benefits fostering aesthetics, better health and a deeper sense of community by planning the Richmond Highway corridor through designing a sustainable and resilient future. Candidates should consider telling voters how they are best qualified to fulfill the challenge of bringing these stakeholders together to develop a plan for the corridor adhering to these sustainability and resiliency objectives. In that context, beautiful, challenged properties like the donated Fairchild land can serve to benefit both the citizens and businesses of the Mount Vernon District.
On the Mount Vernon School Board contest, I observed both candidates possessing very pleasant smiles during much of the discussions but was unable, based upon their smile to determine which was more qualified. It is the content of their resumes and the level of their volunteer service and commitment to the Mount Vernon School District that is shaping my opinion as which one is the better choice.