Former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairman Jack Herrity's piece on the county's fiscal situation {"The New Math in Fairfax," Close to Home, Aug. 19} provides a timely reminder of why his leadership was overwhelmingly rejected by the voters in 1987.

While in office, Mr. Herrity authored and promoted development policies that took no account of the price taxpayers would ultimately have to pay both in dollars and in diminished quality of life. Builders were given free reign while the cost of underwriting development was left for a future reckoning.

With forward-looking leadership from Mr. Herrity, we would have had an adequate transportation system in place to move commuters now living in the western part of the county. Instead, we have choked transportation arteries, which make the task of getting to and from work an aggravating ordeal.

To build the roads and commuter rail we need now, the county is obliged to buy right-of-way through built-up areas at great expense. The transportation system could have been built relatively cheaply if we had a balanced approach to development under Mr. Herrity.

While chairman, Mr. Herrity enthusiastically supported needed teacher salary increase of 33 percent over a three-year period beginning in 1987. But what he conveniently forgets is that this is the largest single element in the increases in the county budget.

Mr. Herrity bears major responsibility for the problems we now have. He is not in a good position to deliver lectures on fiscal responsibility to a board that is moving successfully to control spending while bringing development back under control. MARY B. ROBERTS McLean