Home Local Politics Fairfax County Democratic Board Fires Back at Surovell, Puller

Fairfax County Democratic Board Fires Back at Surovell, Puller


A week ago, the headline at NLS was “Toddy Puller and Scott Surovell Take On Democratic Board in Fairfax County.” The subject of the story was Puller’s and Surovell’s Washington Post op-ed, “A fair shake for Fairfax’s other business corridor.”  In sum, Puller and Surovell made the case for Fairfax County to divide up resources more evenly between the Silver Line/Tysons Corner and the Richmond Highway Corridor (U.S. Route 1), asking, “When will the focus — and the money — shift our way?”

Well, today they received their response in the form of another Washington Post op-ed, this one by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, plus two other Democratic Supervisors (Jeff McKay, Gerry Hyland). According to Bulova et al., the op-ed by Puller and Surovell was “simply mind-boggling,” “unbelievable,” and “pit[ting] one end of the county against the other, and the county against the state.”  As the expression goes, “dem dere’s fightin’ words.”

To the contrary, the Fairfax County Board Democratic members write, “While the transformation of Tysons Corner has received quite a lot of media attention as the Comprehensive Plan Amendment has worked its way through the approval process, there has been no less commitment to other needs in the county, especially in the Richmond Highway Corridor.”  They point out that “Fairfax County’s State Secondary Fund allocation has dwindled from $29.4 million in 2004 to a measly $1,989 this year — not even enough to install a traffic light.” And they suggest that Puller and Surovell “turn their attention toward becoming real partners for transportation funding…start[ing] with getting the Virginia Department of Transportation to repave Route 1 and cut the grass in the medians throughout Fairfax County.”

So, the battle is joined in Fairfax County. Anyone else care to weigh in?

  • robsmithiii

    “Unbelievable” is being used to describe the Surovell/Puller op-ed, yet the secondary fund appropriation has languished to less than what it costs to buy a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar?  If some of the supervisors want to devote real estate tax revenues to further development in other areas other than the US-1 corridor, Puller & Surovell are absolutely right in claiming that that type of push has caused inequity.

    So what’s the problem?  Vis-a-vis, Tyson’s is getting more of a lion’s share of funding, right?  The revitalization steps she mentioned are important but not as transformational as getting a Metro extension.  South of Old Town, US-1, with all of its residential developments, could really use the greater flexibility offered by several more Metro station extensions.   Mobility in an area brings  about change, not whether or not the grass is cut on the median — which was a little bit of a patronizing statement.

    If Bulova believes that Delegate Surovell isn’t holding up his end of the bargain and is AWOL in the transportation funding arena, she “just hasn’t been paying attention.”  Where are the Comprehensive plan numbers?  How much more is Tyson’s getting?  Am I missing a point or two or three?

  • jsrutstein

    I think the following is the key point of the Puller and Surovell argument that is completely ignored by Bulova, McKay, and Hyland: “if Tysons Corner’s landowners want to create their own tax district to fund their own improvements, that should be facilitated.”

    On the Fairfax County School Board’s vote to close Clifton Elementary, commenter HisRoc, with whom I usually disagree, made the same point at novacommonsense.com.  When a relatively small group will disproportionately benefit, perhaps they should pay for their own improvements, especially if public money is hard to find and doubly especially when the beneficiaries are relatively wealthier than the average individual taxpayer.

    Bulova, McKay, and Hyland are playing with fire by pretending that the pitting of the less well off part of Fairfax County against the more well off part of Fairfax County is something that either Puller and Surovell invented or shouldn’t talk about.  Elected officials may need the campaign contributions of big business, and they may need to think about securing their part of big business profits when they leave office, but when the interests of big business and a critical number of voters diverge, too obviously choosing big business over individuals will cause those officials to confront being out of office sooner than they may hope.

  • kindler

    That way, when the Repubs rush our barricades we can be caught unawares while bleeding from our own self-inflicted wounds.

    This strategy worked brilliantly in last year’s gubernatorial election and it’s great to see that we’re still pursuing the same wise strategy!