Last Tuesday’s election results were close, too close in some races, which were decided by as few as 50 votes. The next time someone says “my vote doesn’t matter,” refer them to Virginia’s 2013 election numbers. Every vote does matter. The close results also reflect a broad divergence of opinion. In 1961 his book, The Wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, historian Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976) wrote that “no democratic government can last long without conciliation and compromise,” two qualities often attributed to Franklin. If politics is the art of the deal, it also is the art of compromise. Our newly elected leaders will have to work very hard to identify the middle ground that can move Virginia forward in this competitive age.
In Mason District, the election results were solidly Democratic. The McAuliffe/Northam/Herring ticket swept all 26 precincts; Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe garnered 65.2 percent of Mason votes. Turnout was decent; 65.7 percent of St. Albans’ precinct voters showed up, followed by Barcroft precinct with 63.8 percent, and Camelot with 61 percent. Two newcomers on the ballot won: Stacey Kincaid becomes the first female sheriff in Fairfax County, and Marcus Simon will represent retiring Delegate Jim Scott’s 53rd delegate district. Congratulations to all. Thank you also to the challengers in these races. Running for office is not easy, and they should be thanked for their willingness to participate in our democratic process.
The temporary location for the Woodrow Wilson Library opened earlier this month at 6066 Leesburg Pike, in the Culmore area. The new location is on the main floor of an office building on the north side of Route 7, easily accessible on foot by crossing at the signalized crosswalks at either side of the building, Nevius Street on the west, and Patrick Henry Drive on the east. Both intersections have pedestrian crossing signals, and connect to existing sidewalks, making the trip to the library easy and safe. Parking is plentiful at the side and back of the new library building, and patrons will find familiar library staff to help them. Hours are the same: Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Thursday, 1 to 9 p.m., Friday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The temporary site maintains library services in the community, albeit with a much smaller collection and smaller library space. There is a small children’s area (enough room for a parent and child to sit and read, as a Mom was doing when I visited recently), 10 Internet stations, technology tutoring, and a small conference room. Natural light floods in from Leesburg Pike, making the small space vibrant and cheery. The renovation and expansion of the library on Knollwood Drive, funded by a library bond referendum approved in 2004, will include additional capacity, modernized facilities, and 24 public computer stations. The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete. Fairfax County residents love their libraries. Go explore the newest, and smallest, soon.