To the Editor:
I received e-mails informing me that the 25th Annual Lobsterfest to be held by Supervisor Hyland would be "A Benefit for United Community Ministries (UCM)." Since Supervisor Hyland is not running for re-election, I assumed the event would be politically non-partisan for the sole benefit of a worthy charity.
I was disappointed when I found the entrance driveway into the hosting farm lined with campaign signs supporting seemingly every Democratic candidate for office in the upcoming election. Not a single Republican sign was on display. Call me naive, but an event advertised as solely for the benefit of UCM and hosted by a non-candidate should not have been conducted as a partisan political event. Had I known the event would be conducted in this way, I would have instead sent my $100 contribution to UCM directly. A CPA I asked couldn't say with certainty that contributions payable to "Hyland For Supervisor - UCM" as requested would be deductible, because the checks are not payable to UCM directly and Mr. Hyland is not a political candidate. Presumably, UCM realizes that those who support its efforts in our community are not limited to Democrats, as demonstrated by the extensive list of donors of money and auction items.
Although attendees to the Lobsterfest would be unaware from the displayed signs that any Republicans are running for office, the Mount Vernon supervisor race has a Republican candidate who would make an outstanding supervisor. Jane Gandee is that person. She started a business in Mount Vernon with her husband almost 30 years ago and it has grown to the point at which they now have over 30 employees. The business has a large headquarters building in Hybla Valley. Developing that building gave Jane keen insight into the regulatory morass now existing in Fairfax County when one wishes to develop one's property. She intends to address development issues and reduce "red tape" so businesses are encouraged to establish themselves in our county. Disappointments like the demise of the Kings Crossing Town Center proposal, and the inability of the owners of the DAKS restaurant to obtain timely county approval for their environmentally friendly development proposal must never recur. North Hill is unchanged from its status in the early 1980s prior to Supervisor Hyland's first term in office. Millions were squandered on the Lamond property (now McCutcheon Park) which is usually inaccessible to the general public. This is unacceptable. Jane will apply a business-like approach to development issues while ensuring due care is given to issues of community concern, including environmental, educational, communication and transportation issues.
Jane is vice-president of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the board of directors of Rising Hope Mission Church, well known for serving the less fortunate in our community and is chairman of the Advisory Board of the Alexandria Salvation Army, another organization benefiting the poor.
Jane signs payroll checks for her employees and will be a responsible steward of taxpayer funds. With the county budget stressed in recent years, a level-headed business woman is just what the doctor ordered to represent Mount Vernon on the Board of Supervisors. I encourage voters to consider voting for Jane Gandee.
H. Jay Spiegel