Local Commentary

Editorial: Snyder, Connelly, Sze & LaJeunesse

For the first time since 1977, Virginia is about to elect a governor of the same party as the sitting U.S. president. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is ahead by double digits in the polls, and indicators point to a Democratic sweep at the top of the ticket in next Tuesday’s election. Although not enough to overcome the GOP majority in the House of Delegates, Democrats are looking to surprisingly good results in those races throughout the commonwealth, as well.

To remind our readers, this newspaper has firmly endorsed all three Democratic statewide candidates. We’ve also endorsed the Democrat, Marcus Simon, in the race in Falls Church’s 53rd Delegate district.

Last week, we endorsed a “Yes” vote for the sale of the Falls Church water system to Fairfax County. It is important that City voters know why this needs to happen. Any gain the City will accrue from the sale of the system would be forfeited if voters said “No,” and the City would wind up far worse for it.

In this last edition before next Tuesday’s election, it comes to the News-Press to endorse its candidates for the Falls Church City Council. There are five candidates seeking election to four seats in the first-ever local election held in November, instead of May or June.

We will not dwell on the considerable number of local candidates running unopposed next Tuesday, all the School Board and Constitutional Officer candidates, because we like them all and choose to focus for our readers’ sake on contested races.

We found all five City Council candidates to be outstanding and worthy of an opportunity to serve our City’s 13,300 residents. But the ones we single out as most qualified to elect this time are these: Vice Mayor David Snyder, former Councilman Dan Sze, Marybeth Connelly and Robert LaJeunesse. Left off our list of endorsements is Karen Oliver, an intelligent and articulate candidate, but new to the City with no experience on City boards and commissions. We hope that if she is not elected next week that she will seek appointments to such bodies where she will be a major asset.

Snyder has served on the City Council since 1994. By a wide margin, he brings the most institutional memory to the job. He’s been around not only longer than anyone else on the Council, but any major player on the City staff, as well.

Sze served with distinction on the Council from 2006 to 2010, choosing not to seek re-election at that time. He is a thoughtful proponent of responsible growth and environmental goals.

Connelly has been active throughout the community not only as an outreach person for the City Schools, but also on the Chamber of Commerce board and in other civic capacities. She’s well known and well liked throughout the community.

LaJeunesse, a government economist by day, brings a badly-needed expertise on matters of budgets and economic priorities that will serve the overall Council well.