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The State of NoVa
Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

Don’t you know, they’re talkin’ bout a revolution/It sounds like a whisper


Now-retired Supervisor Elaine McConnell. “How could we fail?” (JOEL RICHARDSON - FOR TWP)
Chatter about Northern Virginia seceding from the rest of the state is nothing new, and came up again promptly in the State of NoVa’s live chat the other day. That reminded Mary Kimm, publisher and editor of the many fine Connection newspapers of Northern Virginia, of the time in 2002 when they put this question to assorted NoVa leading lights:

What would it mean if Northern Virginia were to form its own state, and separate from the Commonwealth of Virginia? Here are a variety of views from around the region.

A number of folks soberly pointed out that it wasn’t a good idea. Some embraced it. Here’s what they told The Connection:

"When you only get 19 cents like we get now, how could we fail?"— Fairfax County Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R-Springfield)

“Dreadful idea. Fairfax County has no discipline in spending. The Fairfax County taxpayer's best friends are the downstate rural legislators."— Arthur Purves

“More incorporated communities would reduce the amount the counties would have to do. Reston should have incorporated years ago.” — John De Noyer, Herndon Town Council

“This is an opportunity to cut down the size of government. County boundaries no longer make sense in the new state.”— Dennis Husch, Herndon Town Council

“It would be suburban hell, that’s what it would be. It would be economically thriving, but there wouldn’t be any diversity in the culture.”— Randy Davis, curator, Loudoun Museum

“Culturally, it would be devastating to the whole state. Our history is one history.”— Edgar Hatrick, superintendent, Loudoun County Public Schools

"Don Quixote tilted at windmills but never really got anything solved, and talk of secession sort of strikes me as in the same mode. It might make us feel better, but it really isn't a solution."—Michael Frey, Fairfax County Supervisor (R-Sully)

"I cannot imagine a cold day in hell when the Virginia State Legislature would approve a separate state of Virginia, since we provide so much funding for the rest of the state."— Sally Ormsby, Soil Conservation Board

"The idea of splitting us off is disastrous … We have toyed with the idea of independence over the years, particularly in the context of roads and transportation. It is overwhelming." — Gerald W. Hyland, Fairfax County Supervisor, (D-Mount Vernon) 

"Instead of splitting off, local government needs the power to do what they do best and state government needs to retain what it does best."— Dana Kauffman (D-Lee), Fairfax County Supervisor

"We could probably implement a tax cut because we generate a healthy amount of revenue. With that influx, we could reduce class size, build new schools, renovate old ones, implement Project Excel in all the schools, have all-day kindergarten in our elementary schools, enhance technology, pay staff the wages their entitled to and we would basically be able to implement the CIP."— Daniel Domenech, superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools

"I don't see a downside. The only major drawback would be for the state of Virginia. Mississippi would have something to celebrate, they would no longer be 50th."— Daniel Domenech, superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools

"Our rights of self-determination have been abridged and I don't understand why our ability to meet our financial needs are curtailed by a delegate from Amherst, [Speaker of the House Del. Vance Wilkins (R-24).] People are feeling raw and troubled."— Mitch Luxenberg, president, Fairfax County Council of PTAs

"It's insulting not to let us decide our own fate as far as the tax referendum is concerned. The sales tax referendum would have let the voters in each jurisdiction decide. To thwart that desire is a definite insult."Gerald W. Hyland Fairfax County Supervisor, (D-Mount Vernon)

“The biggest loss would be the hit Northern Virginia parents would have to pay in out-of-state tuition for their kids to go to colleges and universities downstate.”— Del. Marian Van Landingham (D-45)

“It would make the rest of the state look like Mississippi. It would gut the public services in the rest of the state."— Stephen Fuller, professor, George Mason University

"You need a whole new state offices and that cost money but there would be a lot more money to run projects quicker." — Steve Titunik, Springfield Interchange Project

“The formula for funding school construction in Northern Virginia requires that we pay 500 percent more than the actual cost of a project. We have to pay 500 percent because we give 400 percent away to the rest of the state."— Del. Jeannemarie Devolites (R-35)

“It’s fine with us if you do [secede]. That’s what the Civil War was about. You can cut it off at Bull Run or the Rappahanock.”— Mike Marshall, director of academic communications at the University of Virginia

"What makes us think [the Northern Virginia delegation] could get along if we were a separate state? We've got to start playing as a team — otherwise, we're going to keep getting the short end."— Ron Koch, Sully Planning Commissioner

“The last time states tried to secede, it resulted in a war."— Del. Jeannemarie Devolites (R-35)

"This divergence is going to continue to grow. The transfer of revenue is going to get so big that it will become politically untenable."— Wayne Purcell, Rural Virginia Poverty Commission, Virginia Tech

"One thing that economic history teaches us is that times change. I'm not predicting that Northern Virginia is going down the tubes," but it is "simplistic" to assume it will always maintain its current rate of growth.— John Knapp, Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, University of Virginia

“Personally, I think it would be a desirable thing for Northern Virginia because of the economics. The whole southern portion would fight this tooth and nail — Northern Virginia is a cash cow.”—J ohn De Noyer, Herndon Town Council

“I don’t believe in the Marxist redistribution of wealth, but you must show some compassion. The rest of Virginia would become like a third world country – I’m concerned about that. The southern and western parts of Virginia really depend on our economic engine.”— Dennis Husch, Herndon Town Council

"If we became a state, I would recommend that Fairfax be divided into two or three counties. The county has become so large that it is difficult to provide services, particularly health and human services. You can provide services much better when you are small."— Del. Jeannemarie Devolites (R-35)

"The inner beltway gets more support from downstate than we do from Loudoun and Prince William. Loudoun, which needs 24 schools voted against the education referendum. Prince William worked against the education referendum.”— Marian Van Landingham (D-45)

"Some legislators I've run into would be glad to wash their hands of us."— State Sen. Leslie Byrne (D-34)

"Tidewater's no slouch. ... The Richmond area has a large banking community. It's not like the rest of the state is Tobacco Row."— State Sen. Leslie Byrne (D-34)

“Rather than form a new government, regional leaders should form a foundation – a non-profit, with a clean purpose, for example transportation or education, to do the things government isn’t doing, rather than form failed institutions.”— Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling)

 “Prince William and Loudoun would be asking how much of what they send to Northern Virginia would they get back and Fairfax County residents would be questioning why money goes to Loudoun and Prince William.”— Dennis Husch, Herndon Town Council

“You don’t form a government to solve a problem caused by government.”— Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling)

"We have enough brilliant minds in Northern Virginia, I'm confident we could come up with a tax system for the 21st century that meets the needs of our residents."— Stuart Gibson, Fairfax County School Board

By  |  10:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

Categories:  Secession | Tags:  NoVa secession, Virginia

 
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