Fairfax: Meet the Candidates for City Council in May 3 Election

Fairfax: Meet the Candidates for City Council in May 3 Election



Michael J. DeMarco

How long you’ve lived in your community: 16 years

Family info: Wife Joanne and children Anna, 23, Emilia, 22 and Antonio, 15

Profession: Global Strategic Alignment Manager, ExxonMobil Corporation, 25 years

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position: Four years

Why are you running for election or reelection to this office?

I am running for City Council to ensure that the City is competitive with its surrounding jurisdictions. To do so, we must build a stronger economic base. We are making progress, but it’s slow and steady. We must stay the course, and I want to help lead us toward that vision.

What are your qualifications for it?

In addition to my two terms on Council, I previously served as the chairman of the Economic Development Authority. I have strong work experience and a solid, educational background that have allowed me to develop a skill set well-suited for public office.

Platform – your issues:

We must put forward our best efforts to attract new investment in the city. This will enable us to preserve and improve our neighborhoods, to retain our sense of place, to continue to have the highest quality services and education, to have a mix of housing choices for a diverse demographic, to live in a safe, healthy and secure environment, and to have the assets and the characteristics that will attract the next generation of residents, workers and businesses to the City.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job?

I am an attentive, thorough and diligent individual, and will always give careful consideration to all issues, without regard to self-interest or whim.



Jeff Greenfield

How long you’ve lived in your community: Lifelong City resident.

Family info: My wife Lisa and our daughter Alexandra reside in Windy Hill.

Profession: Small-business owner.

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position: Since 1994.

Why are you running for election or reelection to this office? Experience matters. The City is at a crossroads, and experienced leadership is necessary to move the City forward. I have enjoyed making the City a great place to live and raise a family, and I am thankful for the support I have and continue to receive from the residents of Fairfax.

What are your qualifications for it? Master’s in Public Administration, GMU; B.A. in Political Science, GMU; Fairfax High School grad; Eagle Scout; member of the Livable City Task Force, plus the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and Northern Virginia Transportation Authority. Also serves on the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments’ Board of Directors, Metropolitan Development Policy Committee, Human Services and Public Safety Policy Committee, and Region Forward Coalition.

Platform – your issues:

*Quality Education – We must continue to work with our School Board to ensure we provide the necessary funding to guarantee that our four schools remain in outstanding condition and that they work closely with the Fairfax County School Board to secure our children’s success.

*Fiscal Management – The Council will grapple with tough budgets. It will take experience and discipline to adopt budgets over the next few years that maintain the lowest tax rate consistent with sustaining our outstanding services.

*Economic Development – We must continue to focus on a vibrant economic development program in order to continue providing outstanding services. It is our strong economy that permits us to have low tax rates. Continued redevelopment of the Fairfax Boulevard (Route 50) corridor will place the City in a strong position to continue providing those services and to be able to compete in the region.

*Transportation – Dedicated regional transportation funding now available to the City will enable us to focus on projects and initiatives that will help manage traffic in our community and support our outstanding CUE bus service.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job?

My reasons for running today are the same as they were in 1994: My love for the City, my desire to help people and my belief in giving back to my community. I have a record of demonstrated, effective leadership while serving on the Council. I have worked to maintain and improve the quality of life residents have come to enjoy and will continue to do so. I respectfully ask the residents to continue to place their trust in me and return me to their City Council on May 3.



Nancy Fry Loftus

How long you’ve lived in your community: I was born and raised in Fairfax City, the youngest of six kids. My parents, Clif and Sharon Fry, still live in Country Club Hills. I am a proud graduate of Fairfax High School, Virginia Tech and George Mason University School of Law.

Family info: Nearly 20 years ago, I married fellow Fairfax City native, Connell Loftus. His mom, Jane, lives in Old Lee Hills in the home where he grew up. Connell and I are blessed with two daughters, 14 and 10. We love our Little River Hills neighborhood and appreciate living within walking distance of parks, shops, restaurants and, of course, the grandparents. We have two dogs, cats and a few fish.

Profession: I have practiced law for more than 20 years, with 17 years in local government law as an Assistant County Attorney for Fairfax County. Currently, I am serving as staff counsel for an international company. My career has focused primarily in the areas of tax, bankruptcy, real-estate development, land-use law and civil litigation.

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position: I am serving my first term on the City Council.

Why are you running for reelection to this office/ what is your platform – issues? I ran for Council in 2014 on three main issues: The budget, new development and to help defeat the plan to double the term in office for Mayor and Council from two years to four. I am glad that City voters overwhelmingly agreed that the terms should not be extended. However, the City’s ballooning budget and the trajectory of development in the City remain very important issues.

In just five years, the City’s real estate tax rate has surged from 0.942 cents to the now proposed $1.0815. To counteract this profligate spending, I suggested several solutions, including a plan to trim just 1.5 percent from the proposed increase in discretionary spending, without a single cut to schools, fire or police. However, these ideas were overruled – and taxes went up. If reelected, I will continue to oppose unrestrained spending.

The City is also in the process of completely rewriting the Zoning Ordinance. I do not think the public is aware of many of the planned amendments which will completely change the residential character of our City. For example, under the new law, most residential side-lot lines in the City would be reduced to just five feet. If adopted, this would allow homeowners in existing City neighborhoods like County Club Hills, Green Acres, Mosby Woods or Lord Fairfax Estates to build a new house, or addition, just five feet from their neighbor. Moreover, the new law will allow developers to build six-story residential buildings in the downtown area – by right, without any Council or citizen input or oversight – completely overshadowing our historic district. If reelected, I will fight to keep development from overtaking our City.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job?

My professional experience as an attorney, especially in local-government law, tax, fiscal policy, real-estate development and land-use law, are an asset to the Council. In addition, I have demonstrated over the last two years that I am a strong, independent advocate for the people of Fairfax City. If I am re-elected to serve on the City Council, I will continue to fight for Fairfax.



David Meyer

How long you’ve lived in your community: 35 years

Family info: Married to Cindy; two children, Louisa and Elliot

Profession: Senior Executive, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position: I have served on the Council for eight years (I was first elected in 2008).

Why are you running for election or reelection to this office? Serving the residents of the City is a distinct privilege. I want to continue to work with my colleagues on the Council to sustain and strengthen our City by maintaining sound financial management of our resources, continuing our outstanding services, and positioning our City to be a vibrant place to live in the years ahead.

What are your qualifications for it? B.A., Political Science, Randolph-Macon College; M.P.A., American University. I have extensive professional experience in government budgeting and financial management.

Platform – your issues: The City has unsurpassed municipal services for its residents and has the overall, lowest tax burden of any municipality in the region. While this is laudable, the City needs to have targeted, high-quality redevelopment of its commercial tax base to create new sources of revenue to keep our schools, public safety, public works, cultural programs and parks and recreational facilities the best in Northern Virginia.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job? I try to be accessible to our citizens, listen to their concerns and be responsive to their requests for assistance. I believe I can contribute to creating a strategic vision for the City as we plan and invest for future generations.



Janice Miller

How long you’ve lived in your community? City resident since 1970. Homeowner in Providence Square Condominiums.

Family info: Widow, four adult children (Tim, Ben, Adam and Betsy) and four grandchildren (Drew, Matt, Zach and Alexa).

Profession: Travel counselor, former middle-school teacher

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position: Two terms: 2014-2016 and 1992-1994. City School Board member nearly 30 years.

Why are you running for election or reelection to this office?

I am running because I believe in this community and I want to represent residents’ views on City Council. I bring a strong voice and decades of community experience to City Hall.

What are your qualifications for it?

My qualifications include extensive experience as an elected and appointed official, as well as an active school and community volunteer. Over the past two years, I’ve been an active and attentive Council member. In the past, I’ve provided robust leadership on the City of Fairfax School Board as chairman, and I’ve held leadership positions with youth organizations such as Fairfax Little League (first female president), FPYC (Girls Basketball Coordinator) and PTA organizations. I have a solid record as a consensus builder working collegially with other elected officials, residents, fellow volunteers and City staff members to get the job done.

Platform – your issues:

Local government is all about taking care of business. Issues demanding thoughtful analysis and conscientious deliberation include:

Rewriting the Comprehensive Plan as a strategic tool for sensible, economic growth;

Supporting neighborhood renaissance and planning for diversified housing options;

Working with communities to encourage walkability through sidewalk and trail connectivity;

Partnering with the School Board to provide outstanding opportunities for all students; and

Preserving our excellent City services at the lowest possible tax burden.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job?

My years of public service offer me a unique perspective of our community, and my leadership in elected and volunteer positions has taught me many lessons. My commitment to continuing as a dependable, productive, hardworking and caring member of the next City Council remains as strong today as it was two years ago. I value collegial working relationships with other elected officials and staff, thoughtful review and analysis of City business matters, listening to others and providing outstanding constituent services to all citizens. I pledge to do my best for each City resident and members of the business community.



Eleanor D. “Ellie” Schmidt

How long you’ve lived in your community and family info:

My family moved to Fairfax City in 1969. I grew up in the City and attended Fairfax Elementary School, Lanier Middle School and graduated from Fairfax High School. I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri and chose to return to the City to live after graduation. I currently reside in Country Club Hills.

Profession: I am Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at Cardinal Bank.

If an incumbent, how long you’ve served in this position:

I am currently serving my third term and am seeking reelection to a fourth term.

Why are you running for election or reelection to this office?

The City of Fairfax is a special community with our own sense of place where neighbors work together on common causes and where our business owners live and invest. I grew up in the City and have enjoyed its many benefits. Giving back to the community is very important to me. I would like to continue my work to preserve the unique quality of life we enjoy.

What are your qualifications for it?

In addition to my work on City Council, I have served on many boards and commissions and in leadership positions in service organizations, including the City of Fairfax Band Association, Historic Fairfax City Inc., Kiwanis Club of Fairfax and the Independence Day Celebration Committee. My 40 years of service to the community, coupled with my business experience, provide the qualifications needed to be effective on City Council.

Platform – your issues:

In order for us to protect our distinctive community, we do need to look ahead. We are facing redevelopment opportunities. We have aging commercial and residential areas that need attention. While these projects provide the potential to strengthen our local economy, we must take a balanced and sensible approach. This is particularly important as we complete the work on our zoning ordinance rewrite and begin the process of updating our Comprehensive Plan.

I would like to continue my work on Council dealing with these opportunities. During the next two years, I will continue efforts to:

*Preserve the residential character of our neighborhoods – Encourage rejuvenation and revitalization of our aging neighborhoods.

*Promote economic development – A vibrant business community is crucial to the success of our city. A strong commercial base will provide economic vitality and a strong balance between the commercial and residential tax base.

*Review development and redevelopment opportunities – It is essential to take a balanced approach as we move forward to enhance and redevelop aging commercial and residential areas in a way to appeal to a broad range, including families, seniors and the university community, while maintaining the character of the City.

*Maintain a well-disciplined approach to budgeting and spending – We need to manage our fiscal responsibilities in order to keep overall taxes as low as possible, yet attend to our infrastructure. We also need to preserve our quality services and our outstanding bond rating.

Why should people vote for you – why are you the best person for this job?

It is a true honor to serve the city on City Council. I share the love our citizens have for Fairfax City and want to continue to work hard to preserve our quality of life. My years of service to the community, coupled with my business experience, provide the qualifications needed to be effective. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue my service to the community.



Jon Stehle

How long you’ve lived in your community: I have been a homeowner at Oxford Row Townhome Condominiums since 2007.

Family Info: I am married to Stephanie Stehle and we have two children, Zoe, 7, and Cooper, 3.

Profession: I am a Strategic Performance Management Lead with MITRE. Previously, I worked as a Senior Analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) where I worked on GAO’s High Risk program and Key Issues website.

Why are you running for election?

The City is the place Steph and I chose to start our family and make our new hometown. I will bring a new voice, the voice of the next generation of our City, to the critical decisions facing the next Council. These decisions include: Creating a new Comprehensive Plan, adopting an updated zoning policy, addressing issues such as affordable housing and how to partner with business to grow our economy, and reviewing large redevelopment applications.

Currently, I am serving our community as chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, a member of the Providence PTA, an FPYC girls’ lacrosse coach, a member of the Green Acres Feasibility Committee, and a member of the Fairfax City Branding Committee. The more our family grows with our City, the more I want to work to ensure it remains a great place to live, now and for future generations.

What are your qualifications for it?

It has been and continues to be my job, both professionally and as a leader in community organizations, to analyze, advise and track the improvement of programs. For the past five years, I have served as president of the Board of Directors of Oxford Row Townhome Condominiums. During this time, the board has paid off a loan six months early, reduced our monthly condo fees and, most importantly, positioned the community to be ready to make future investments.

For the past year-and-a-half, I have also been the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for the City. Working with my fellow board members, including representatives from the School Board, Planning Commission, Community Appearance Committee, Commission on the Arts and NOVA Parks, community members and students from Fairfax High School, we have advised Council on how to implement the Strategic Plan the City adopted in 2014 for the future of our parks, recreation, trails, open space, events and cultural arts.

I have a Master of Arts in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.


If elected to City Council, I will ensure you continue to get value for your tax dollars with top-notch services, move our economy forward and keep our City’s small-town feel. To accomplish this, I will:

Focus on integrating targeted, smart development and redevelopment opportunities that include a variety of housing and transportation options.

Engage with our business community to find ways to work together to ensure the City will continue to have a healthy and prosperous commercial base for the future.

Partner with our School Board to continue to provide outstanding opportunities for our students.

Be available to all residents and listen to your views so that I can better advocate for the future of our City.

Why should people vote for you?

The next team of six on City Council will have the opportunity to set the direction for the future of the City. As I emphasized at the opening of Old Town Square last year, I believe it is the responsibility of this next generation of the City of Fairfax to ensure that, 10 years from now, Old Town Square looks as good, if not better, than the day it opened. I bring experience and commitment to our City and look forward to learning from our current leaders and working with them to shape our future. I will serve you with integrity and dedicate myself to representing your needs on the Council.