I am very concerned that the voters in Fairfax County are being misled about the real issue in the upcoming Board of Supervisors election. I keep hearing concerns expressed about which candidate can "control the growth" of the county. That debate began in the 1950s and '60s and culminated in the 1975 Comprehensive Plan. From 1975 to 1985 almost every piece of land in the country was zoned or committed to some type of development. The major land-use decisions for the region are now going to be made in Loudoun and Prince William counties. Growth is not the issue in Fairfax, transportation is!
Over the past 10 or more years, Fairfax County's staff and politicians have had the foresight to develop an industrial tax base. Arlington County did not have such a tax base, suffered from rapid suburbanization in the post-World War II period and has had to rely heavily on "redevelopment" around Metro stations to build a tax base. Though the Rte. 28 corridor is currently a tremendous traffic problem (and challenge), I believe that someday residential taxpayers will be glad the Fairfax board and planning staff had the guts to stick to their guns on the development of that industrial area, because of its value in the tax base.
The real issue in this campaign is: Who is the best person to get the needed roads built? Gov. Gerald Baliles came to Fairfax County, saw the tremendous traffic problems and responded by getting the legislature to change the highway allocation formula and give more transportation monies to Northern Virginia. He appointed Vivian Watts, an extremely intelligent and capable person, who also is a Fairfax resident, as director of transportation. Despite the governor's best efforts, I am extremely fearful that the Fairfax Board of Supervisors may choose not to build the needed roads under the guise of "controlling growth." The state authorities will spend our tax monies in Richmond, Norfolk or Roanoke if we do not have leaders who will stop talking about the nonissue of growth and start building needed highways.
As a taxpayer who has difficulty getting to work each morning, I want a board that will build an industrial tax base to pay for a better educational system and other needed services, and that will also spend my state and county tax money now, to get the roads built as soon as possible. RICHARD REID Clifton