Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day, and the ballot in Fairfax County is the longest in eight years. You can vote for state senator and delegate, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, District Supervisor, three at-large members of the School Board and the district School Board member, Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, three members of the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board, and the Clerk of the Court. Referenda questions are for school bonds and public safety bonds.
Off, off-year elections have the lowest voter turnout of any election, since they lack the cachet of a gubernatorial or presidential election. Nonetheless, decisions made at the local level affect everyday life more than any made on Capitol Hill. When I first ran for Mason District Supervisor, I promised I would provide “Leadership That Listens.” I promised that I would work as hard as I could to represent Mason District residents fairly and equitably. I promised I would be a “hands on” leader with energy and enthusiasm for my constituents, and for my job. That commitment has never wavered and, enthusiastically, I am seeking another term.
Campaigning is fun, governance is hard. It is easy to make promises; hard to keep them. It is easy to say no; much harder to get to yes to solve a problem. Listening to all points of view, and weighing all the factual information carefully, before making a decision, takes time and thoughtful consideration. Whether working to renovate and build schools, working on new environmental policies, addressing speeding and traffic in neighborhoods, building new walkways, or revitalizing older commercial areas, we work together as a community to achieve mutual goals. All of this is accomplished in an honest and collaborative fashion, for that is the Mason District way – based on facts, respect for differing ideas, and honest and open discussion. I hope you will put my experience to work for you once again, and vote Penny Gross on November 3.
The Washington Post, in its endorsement of Chairman Sharon Bulova, called her “highly effective.” Sheriff Stacey Kincaid, the first female sheriff in Fairfax County’s 273-year history, has illuminated the oft-hidden challenges of mental health needs for prisoners. Mason District resident George Lamb is seeking another term on the Soil and Water Conservation Board, which educates residents about environmental practices to reduce erosion and improve water quality, as well as providing technical expertise. Gerald O. Peters, Jr. is another good choice.
Three incumbents are seeking re-election to the at-large School Board positions. Ilryong Moon, Ted Velkoff, and Ryan McElveen will continue their progressive, mainstream approach to issues, and need your support. Clerk of the Court is on the ballot only once every eight years, and Democrat Bettina Lawton, an energetic attorney and former SEC investigator, is running to improve access to the court system. Your regular polling place will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.
Don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday at 2 a.m. Set your clocks back one hour and enjoy the extra sleep!
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.