Challenger for Sully Supervisor
Town of residence: Chantilly
Family: Husband Steve, 4 children Brian, Kyle, Andrew and Stephanie; daughter-in-law Leah and 3 granddaughters Kathy Cate, Meredith and Caitlynn
Education: B.A. in Sociology and Elementary Education
Offices held, dates: Fairfax County School Board Member, Sully District from March 2002-present, Chair 2004, 2008, 2009
Occupation and relevant experience: Elementary teacher 7 years and School Board Member for 13 years
Community involvement: PTA President at Poplar Tree ES, Rocky Run MS and Chantilly HS; Board member Fairfax County Council of PTAs
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter handle: kathysmithsully, Facebook KathySmithSullyDistrict
Name three favorite endorsements: I’m proud of all my endorsements: Fairfax Education Association, Fire Fighters Local 2068, Northern Virginia Board of Realtors, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and LiUNA (Laborers)
What is one issue that defines your call to serve, why does it matter, and how will you tackle it?
Education is my passion, and this compelled me to serve as PTA president, become a member of the Fairfax County School Board and to run for the Board of Supervisors. Good schools are essential not only to the well-being of each individual child, and to the welfare of the community as a whole. Good schools mean successful kids, good jobs and higher property values. They attract business and provide opportunities for children and adults. As a member of the Board of Supervisors I will fight to ensure that our schools have the resources necessary to meet the needs of our growing population and changing demographics.
What distinguishes you from your opponent(s) and why should voters choose you?
My opponent and I differ in many ways. We see the job of supervisor and the role of local government very differently. The most important distinctions between us are:
- I will be a full-time supervisor, working only for the people of Sully District and Fairfax County.
- I have moderate views which reflect the values of the district and will work in a non-partisan manner to find common sense solutions to the challenges we face as our population ages and changes.
- My 13 years on the school board give me the knowledge and experience necessary for effective leadership, especially dealing with the budget. I have worked with the current Sully Supervisor on many issues and know how to get things done. Representing the district for 13 years has given me unique perspectives on the needs of the community.
More than half of the county budget is devoted to the local school system. A significant budget gap looms for the next budget cycle, both for FCPS and Fairfax County. What are the top county priorities and how will you assure funding and manage the budget? What ideas do you have for increasing revenue? Name two areas/items you would cut or reduce.
The top priorities for the county must be education, transportation, and essential services such as fire, police, emergency mental health care and senior services.
Education tops the list and takes the largest share of the budget which is appropriate considering that an excellent school system is vital to strong communities and a vibrant economy. Good schools provide a skilled workforce and attract both families and business.
The issue of transportation requires a comprehensive approach. In the long term, we must link regional land use planning with transportation resources, focusing on relieving traffic congestion. I will organize community groups and make sure their concerns about state highway projects are heard in Richmond and our area gets top priority in the distribution of state and federal highway funds. On the local level we must include bicycle and pedestrian initiatives, improvement to intersections and roads, and expansion of bus, Metro and VRE.
We have a responsibility to care for the most vulnerable among us, so resources must be allocated wisely to provide essential services like mental health care and senior centers.
Careful evaluation of all programs and efficient use of all resources are an essential part of the budget process. Eliminating duplication of services and seeking creative and innovative ways to deliver services are the best ways to find savings. In January the Board of Supervisors will begin its Lines of Business review, which is central to an understanding of programs and their effectiveness. This process will provide information about where consolidation or cuts could or should take place. It is premature to suggest cuts without this review.
We need to diversify our source of revenue, so that we are not overly reliant on fluctuating real estate values. Virginia’s Dillon Rule significantly limits the ability of local governments to find new revenue sources, but letting the voters decide on a meals tax, is one possibility that I support.
How many hours a week of outside employment do you anticipate while serving on the Board of Supervisors?
None! I will work full-time as the Sully District Supervisor; the taxpayers of Fairfax County will be my only employers. The Sully Supervisor has always worked full-time serving the residents of the district, and they deserve full-time attention.