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Chairman Candidates Discuss Control of County Roads

In their response to the first of six questions posed by Patch, the candidates for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors discuss county versus state control of area roads.

The four candidates running for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors answered six questions by email for Patch.  We will feature one question over the next six days, with the unedited answers by each of the candidates.

Incumbent Democrat (website, Facebook, Twitter)

Independent (website, YouTube)

Republican (website, Facebook)

Independent (Facebook, YouTube)

Question #1: Should Fairfax County take local control of its roads, as some surrounding jurisdictions, or allow VDOT's continued control?  Explain.

Sharon Bulova

The State is increasingly making overtures about turning the road system (which is now pretty much entirely a State responsibility) over to Fairfax County.  Without sufficient State funding being spent for maintenance, primary, secondary and neighborhood roads have been left to deteriorate. Taking over would be equivalent to VDOT running the car out of gas, with all of its safety inspections having failed, coasting it into the County’s driveway and saying “it’s yours!” 

Make no mistake about it; if Fairfax County were to take over the road system, it would cost our taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.  We should instead be insisting that the Commonwealth of Virginia allocate sufficient funds to maintain roads in Fairfax County at the same level they do other parts of our State.

Christopher DeCarlo

I would allow VDOT's continued control.  It appears that Fairfax County has difficulty even managing the current projects.

Will Radle

I advocate for transparent, accountable government.  Therefore, I support local control, local responsibility and local accountability for the construction, improvement and maintenance of our local roads.  When our residents complain about traffic and the conditions of our roads, I want the power to provide effective solutions, not excuses and a telephone number to Richmond.

I remind my friends concerned about increased costs with increased control, that the General Assembly has been providing Arlington and Henrico Counties, the only counties with local control, more funding per mile than it sends to Fairfax County.  Besides, where do you think the General Assembly gets the money it is doling out?  As a team leader with statewide influence, we will work across political lines to effectively advocate our community’s best interests.

The Board of Supervisors, in recently reviewing this issue, consulted with cities and counties who exercise local control.  Each consulting locality prefers local control and would not adopt Fairfax County’s status quo of powerless complaints about traffic and road conditions.  Clearly, we need local control, local responsibility and local accountability.

Michael “Spike” Williams

Virginia has in recent years begun to encourage counties throughout the commonwealth to take control of maintenance, construction and operations for their secondary roads in a way similar to how Arlington and Henrico counties do today. The state has created a Devolution Guidebook in order to lay out the options and challenges associated with having the state hand this responsibility down for county control. That being said there are real benefits and concerns for Fairfax County should we decide to go down this road. The primary benefit in my mind is local accountability for mowing, snow removal and pot hole repair that will amplify the voice of every resident when they need support. There are many concerns that will need to be addressed in negotiation with the state, one being how much more of our money are we going to get back from the state to cover the increased costs to Fairfax County. Another, what equipment and or facilities will Fairfax need to acquire and how much of this will be included in the transfer, bearing in mind that our tax dollars have paid for what is used by the state to perform this activity. At the end of the day this will come down to a negotiation between Fairfax County and the state, I am in favor of taking control but not at any cost, the terms will have to benefit the residents of Fairfax County. As your Chairman I will ensure that the deal is to our benefit.

Following are links to the subsequently published questions and responses.

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Billie Lyllton November 02, 2011 at 12:14 PM
I think both Mr. Radle and Mr. Williams takes on the matter are better than Ms. Bulova. In a way it seems like the current Board of Supervisors doesn't want local responsibility because they either don't know how to deal with it or don't want to trouble themselves with dealing with it. Sharon Bulova's position seems particularly like the ostrich. I think the time has come for her to be replaced.
Will Radle November 02, 2011 at 12:46 PM
I am standing to provide effective, sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting our community. The incumbent whom I am challenging is Chairman Bulova. I reside in the Lee District and have been regularly attending the Braddock debates to listen to the concerns of local residents. Perhaps, because my opponents do not attend and do not listen, you have been confused to think I was a candidate for Braddock Supervisor. Reality is I am the most experienced, best qualified challenger for Fairfax County Chairman. I listen and will take responsible action. A. Will Radle, Jr. Independent Candidate for Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors FairfaxAdvocates@gmail.com http://YouTube.com/WillRadle1
Linda Bartlett November 02, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Amen to Billie, and apologies to Mr Radle. I support Spike Williams, but either would mean at least two on the board who have a realistic outlook concerning transportation in the county and therefore in northern Virginia s a whole. And, that would most definitely be an improvement. At the core this is a competency issue, and I just don't get voting for someone who is a known incompetent just because of the letter beside their name on the ballot, whether that letter is a "D," "R," or "I."
Will Radle November 02, 2011 at 03:48 PM
I agree the incumbent has shown a disturbing lack of common sense and a failure to advocate for our community's best interests. Experience Still Matters in electing the Fairfax County Chairman. Linda, I ask for your vote. We agree on the issues and I will maximize our alliance for change as the person best able to work with others and achieve important results. I like Spike. However, Spike has ZERO experience working on public committees, ZERO experience working with Democrats to develop solutions on important public issues, ZERO experience working with traffic mitigation, storm water management, soil conservation, land use, zoning ordinances and the comprehensive plan. He has ZERO experience leading human service organizations including organizations focused on affordable housing. I possess all of this essential relevant experience, plus we agree on the issues and I bring professional experience as a financial advisor. Further, I personally know what it takes to overcome homelessness at the age of 18 in Fairfax County. I am the only candidate for chairman with a plan to achieve fair treatment for Fairfax County taxpayers and students. Together we will achieve important milestones our community has sought for several decades with little or no progress. Thank you for making an informed decision on Tuesday, November 8.
Will Radle November 02, 2011 at 08:36 PM
Remember, to see whether taxes are increased, maintained or lowered, we need to look at the assessment and the rate. She has been increasing the dollars you pay. When I share my plan to lower real estate taxes from $1.07 to a target 93 cents, I am using a static number (using a specific point in time, specifically the budget we just adopted). Basically, we will lower real estate taxes you pay by over 13 percent. At the same time, by achieving fair treatment for Fairfax County taxpayers and students, we will increase the county's revenues by $273 million annually. We will invest these resources in our highest priorities of transportation, etc. A. Will Radle, Jr. Independent Candidate for Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors FairfaxAdvocates@gmail.com http://YouTube.com/WillRadle1

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