- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 1, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Fairfax County voters go to the polls Tuesday to select the next chairman of their County Board of Supervisors. Of the four candidates on the ballot, only two, Vice Chairman Sharon Bulova, the Democratic Party nominee, and Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, the Republican nominee, have a serious chance to win.

Mrs. Bulova, a member of the the Fairfax County board for more than two decades, is the favorite. She has a significant lead in money raised, and Fairfax County has been trending Democratic in recent years. But Mr. Herrity, a member of the board since 2007, is by far the better candidate. His brand of commonsense conservatism offers real change from the tax-and-spend liberalism exemplified by Mrs. Bulova and her political allies.

Mr. Herrity, son of legendary Fairfax Board Chairman Jack Herrity, has sought to make the election a referendum on the fiscal policies pursued by Mrs. Bulova and the current board, where Democrats hold 8 of the 10 seats. Mrs. Bulova, thrown onto the defensive by projections of a $650 million shortfall in next year’s county budget, boasts that she and her fellow Democrats have succeeded in holding down the county real-estate tax rate, and she has a point: From 2000 to 2007, the tax rate fell from $1.23 per $100 to $0.89 per $100. But she leaves out the fact that property values soared during that period, and that the non-inflation-adjusted amount of taxes that each household pays more than doubled during that period.

Mr. Herrity is the better candidate on other issues, also. He has called attention to flaws in the county’s handling of the Metrorail extension to Dulles Airport. He questions the idea that taxpayers should provide “affordable” (below-market- priced) housing for families with annual incomes of more than $99,000. And he seems interested in cooperating with federal authorities on immigration enforcement. The Washington Times endorses Pat Herrity for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors


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