A $24.9 million Fairfax County school bond issue got the blessings of the county's Federation of Citizens Associations last Thursday after heated debate on a cool subject - air conditioning.
The federation membership defeated a move which would have given association support only to the $19.7 million construction and renewal portion of the bond, thereby denying approval to the $5.2 million needed to air condition classrooms and gyms of the county's older schools.
The school bond question, along with a $51.1 million parks bond, goes to county voters June 14.
Federation president-elect John Lynch urged the members to deny support for the air-conditioning portion of the bond question.
"I am concerned that the $5 million question will weigh down the whole bond, and I feel the construction portion should by passed," said Lynch.
Liles Creightion, treasurer of the organization, told members that many of the county's older schools are unhealthy on a hot day.
"There are parts of Lee High School that cannot be used when the temperature outdoors hits 90 degrees. People faint," he said.
Creighton accused the school board of "deception in including air-conditioning for administrative offices in the general "construction and renewal" portion of the bond, while placing classroom air-conditioning in a separate issue.
The federation also voted to oppose a move by Dranesville District Supervisor John Schacochis to restudy the McLean Central Business District (CBD).
The McLean Landowners Association has pushed for a new CBD study, to be done by an out-of-county planning consultant. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 5. Current area and density limitations imposed by the PLUS plan for the central business district are opposed by the landowners.
The federation elected officers for next year: president, John Lynch, an economist with the Office of the Secretary of Defense; first vice president, Carl Ericson, currently a member of the Fairfax County School Superintendent's Advisory Council; second vice president, Maya Huber, former chairperson of the PLUS Task Force on the McLean Central Business District; treasurer, Liles Creighton, currently the association's second vice president; and recording secretary, Blythe Persil, chairperson of the county's Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.