Local Commentary

Editorial: Yes on Library Bonds, Clinton, Beyer, Bennett

Two powerful entities with no business doing so – Russia and the FBI – have intervened in our democracy to influence a presidential election by vastly improving the chances of real estate crook Donald Trump to get elected next Tuesday. Still, we do not see Virginia falling into the Trump camp. Credit for that goes to the wise and moral thinking of Northern Virginians, but it has come to the point now where nothing can be taken for granted, and we urge above all a record turnout in Falls Church and environs.

It should be noted that in the race for president, five candidates are on the ballot in Virginia. In addition to Democrat Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia’s own Tim Kaine, both of whom we’ve endorsed enthusiastically, Republican Trump, Libertarian Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Evan McMullen, who has made a stir in his home state of Utah as a significant potential factor in upending Trump there, are also on the ballot here. McMullen has been cited by local Republicans who can’t stomach Trump as a good ballot alternative, although six-term City Councilman David Snyder, the City’s most prominent Republican, announced last week that he’s going all the way over to vote for Clinton.

Falls Church’s favorite son Don Beyer is expected to win a second term as the U.S. Congressman from the 8th District that includes the City of Falls Church, and we certainly support that idea. Next door in the 10th District that juts up against Falls Church and winds way out to Purcellville in Loudoun, there is an excellent chance that Democrat LuAnn Bennett will upend Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock. We want that to happen. Bennett’s extensive TV advertising has focused on linking Comstock to Trump, quoting a News-Press editorial in doing so.

On City of Falls Church ballots is a referendum asking voters whether or not to authorize a City bond issue of $8.7 million to expand and renovate the Mary Riley Styles Public Library, an immensely popular institution in mid-City. As the jurisdiction with the highest percentage of college and secondary degrees in its population of any in the U.S., the role of the library here has always been critical to citizens of all ages. Yes, it will cost some money, but the payoff for the whole community will be far greater.

Looking down the road at other costs is no way to look at this measure. Major new economic development will cover most costs of maintaining our critical needs.

Two statewide constitutional amendments are also on the ballot. One calls unnecessarily baking into the state constitution anti-labor “right to work” provisions that are already in the state code. We say Vote No. The other allows localities the option of exempting from real estate taxation surviving spouses of law enforcement and first responders killed in the line of duty. We say Vote Yes.