Local Commentary

A Penny for Your Thoughts: News of Greater Falls Church

Former Braddock District Supervisor Sharon Bulova was sworn in as the new Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last Friday night in the atrium of the Fairfax County Government Center before an enthusiastic crowd of supporters and county employees.

Circuit Court Judge Jan Brodie, formerly with the County Attorney’s office, administered the oath, which is very similar to the oath taken by President Obama, and flubbed by the Chief Justice. Fortunately, Judge Brodie’s administration of the oath was flawless, and no do-overs were needed!

In her speech to the assembled crowd, Chairman Bulova commented that President Obama, in his inaugural speech less than three weeks before, remarked that sometimes the oath “had been taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.” Now is one of those times, she said. “The nation and the world are roiling from a breakdown in our lending and financial institutions that is unprecedented,” she said, adding that a “house of cards is falling around us, from the lack of Federal regulation, predatory lending practices and foreclosures.” The projected drop in county revenues is estimated to be as much as 14 percent. Chairman Bulova said that it is “critical that we work together” – board, county employees and community members – “in a constructive way to adopt changes that will bring the county budget into fiscal equilibrium, while also protecting our quality of life,” including maintaining outstanding schools and public safety, improving our environment, and taking care of those who need our help.

Chairman Bulova drew on her extensive community background and reputation for consensus building when she commented that Fairfax County residents are “engaged.” “We are creative and involved. We are problem-solvers. We are volunteers and advocates.” It is our nature and culture to put back into our community.” In closing her brief remarks, Chairman Bulova outlined goals for the future: Rail to Dulles; redevelopment of Tysons Corner into a walkable, transit-oriented, environmentally friendly new city; new jobs and economic development from the BRAC relocations; and expansion of the Virginia Railway Express service. She also congratulated Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, the Republican candidate, for a hard-fought, issue-oriented race.

Another special election, to fill Chairman Bulova’s Braddock District seat, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 10. Only registered voters who live in the Braddock District are eligible to cast a ballot in that contest.

Today is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. President Lincoln visited what is now Mason District on November 20, 1861, when he reviewed as many as 70,000 Union troops in Bailey’s Crossroads. Called the “Grand Review,” the event inspired Julia Ward Howe to write the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” A local non-profit community group, Lincoln at the Crossroads Alliance, is working on plans to recreate the Grand Review in 2011, establish a public art commemoration, commission a historically accurate painting of the Review, and encourage the study of Lincoln in all local schools. For more information, log on to cultura@att.net.