Letter: A Test of Leadership

Letter: A Test of Leadership

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

Late last month, Fairfax County officials announced a $47 million surplus from the 2015 fiscal year, money gained from spending cuts and extra tax revenue that would likely go toward renovating county schools and other infrastructure repairs.

This would be a good opportunity for Springfield Supervisor Herrity to request funds for infrastructure repairs that could provide the activity space(s) that we in the Burke/West Springfield Senior Center have been requesting for eight years – particularly during the Nov. 13, 2014 meeting during which the incumbent said good words about our programs and proposals. He stressed that “expanding use of existing facility makes all the sense in the world to me.”

Since that time, the incumbent has ignored our numerous requests for follow-up meetings for a working group on our proposals for more county activity spaces for health programs for Springfield seniors.

We ask that the incumbent do his job and provide the leadership, community engagement, and effective negotiating skills to improve the quality of life for Springfield residents, including senior taxpayers and their families. Other districts have 17 permanent senior centers; Springfield District, none!

I am running for Springfield Supervisor in the November 2015 election because the incumbent has been unwilling to do the work for which taxpayers have paid him over the last eight years. I am running as an Independent candidate with no fundraising; the incumbent has raised some $400,000 and already spent some $300,000 by May 2015 – demonstrating that he is a big spender when it comes to other people’s money. He has joined me and other constituents in objecting to the 27 percent pay raise that the Board voted for themselves as recognition of full-time job performance. But the incumbent has yet to announce that if he were to be re-elected, he would work full-time, as required by the pay increase; or if he would return to the County the $20,000 annual pay raise that he would not deserve as a part-time employee. We voters deserve performance with integrity from our elected Supervisors.

I hope that the incumbent will respond to the numerous emails from senior members of the Burke/West Springfield Senior Center Without Walls (BWSSCWoW) requesting his leadership in getting needed county facilities for health programs in the Springfield District. We hope he would agree to our numerous requests for follow-up meetings to the Nov. 14, 2014 discussion so we could develop an effective working group to redress the unfairness toward Springfield seniors and taxpayers. We hope the incumbent would see the error of his ways when he stated that with regards to our request for the senior center, he thinks not of districts but of the county – even though I pointed out that he was elected to represent our interests in Springfield District. I interpreted that to mean that he believes it is not important for Springfield District to have a senior center – and he certainly has not been working to support our request for activity space for the Center Without Walls.

Above all, the incumbent should live up to his words: “One of the most important jobs of the supervisor is constituent service. We work hard to address and resolve issues and problems for our residents, be they simple or complex.” So, Mr. Herrity, please stop ignoring our requests for follow-up meetings for a working group on the Springfield Senior Center facility(ies) to develop strategies related to many opportunities to achieve fairness for Springfield senior taxpayers and their families – including the FY2015 $47 million surplus and the renovation of the Pohick Regional Library over the next 18 months.

Corazon Sandoval Foley