Incumbents Easily Returned to Council

By Amy Gardner
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Voters in the Fairfax County town of Vienna overwhelmingly returned three incumbents to the Town Council yesterday despite an attempt by two challengers to win office on a promise of protecting the community against encroaching development.

Voters chose incumbents Daniel M. Delinger with 1,655 votes, George E. Lovelace with 1,633 votes and Maud F. Robinson with 1,416 votes, according to unofficial returns from the Fairfax County Board of Elections.

Challenger Deborah T. Brehony received 866 votes and Susan Yancey Stich received 858 in an election in which 22 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

The election centered on how Vienna, a central Fairfax community of 14,500, can retain its small-town charm.

The town is surrounded by booming development. To the northeast looms Tysons Corner, which is poised to add high-rise offices and apartments that will pour traffic onto Vienna's main street, Maple Avenue. To the southeast is Merrifield-Dunn Loring, a once-quiet crossroads with new condos and retail. And to the southwest is the planned MetroWest development, where 2,250 homes are expected to be built alongside the Vienna Metro station.

Brehony, 50, who runs a custom home-building business with her husband, was a first-time candidate who campaigned on the promise to take a more aggressive approach in retaining Vienna's identity as a "magical place." One proposal was to relax the town commercial center's 35-foot height restriction.

Stich, 44, a stay-at-home mother, finished fourth in last year's council race. She campaigned this year to change zoning along Maple Avenue so that multi-use development could revitalize the area.

Robinson, 80, was appointed to the council in 2000 after the death of her husband, Charles Robinson, Vienna's mayor for 24 years. She said during the campaign this year that she, too, is committed to preserving Vienna's character, but she said there is nothing wrong with Maple Avenue.

Dellinger, 57, a project manager for a Falls Church construction company, faced his first election after being appointed to fill an unexpired term last year. He also campaigned on the idea of improving Maple Avenue.

Lovelace, 70, ran unsuccessfully last year against Mayor Jane Seeman. He served on the council from 1982 to 1996 before being elected to the General Assembly. He returned to the council in 2003.

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