Letters to the Editor: November 9 – 15, 2017
Now That Election is Over, Time to Get to Work
I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you the Falls Church community for participating in this week’s election. Thank you for your confidence in me and your vote to move the GMHS Campus project forward.
The election was important, but it is also just another day in the history of Falls Church – another day that helped to define what our City believes, and how the citizens want to go forward into the future. The essential work of being a community continues. We have a strong City because we are engaged and involved. We don’t always agree, and that’s a good thing. Now that the votes are tallied, we need to come together and get to work.
I’m so grateful to all the people who volunteered throughout this election. First, to the candidates who stepped up to run. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, and you did it with great enthusiasm. Volunteers organized candidate forums, created voter guides, asked tough questions, joined campaign teams, knocked on doors, displayed signs, and posted comments.
Now let’s get to work — together!
Vice Mayor, City of Falls Church
A Few Suggestions For F.C. Elected & the Electorate
On Election Night I fell short of earning the trust and confidence of the people of Falls Church to serve on your School Board. As a relative newcomer to the City, having only moved here a little over two years ago, I really enjoyed meeting so many of you as I️ went door-to-door. As my colleagues prepare to take up their duties and as my fellow citizens prepare to go back to theirs, I’d like to share a few suggestions for both the elected and the electorate:
1. Embrace your inherent civility. Though I personally did not win, I am incredibly proud of my campaign, the candidates and the voters for rejecting the fearmongering, negative attacks and vitriol that have gripped our politics both local and national. Keep it up.
2. Ask better questions. Throughout the campaign I was asked one question over and over: how you gonna vote on that bond? It’s an interesting questions but not a highly relevant one. My vote on the referendum counted as much as yours. The better questions to ask would have been, pass or fail, how are you going to govern? How will you oversee borrowing money, selecting plans and developers, overseeing construction, ensuring continuing operations during construction, and efficiently spending taxpayer money? Moving forward, we all need to ask ourselves and our candidates better questions.
3. Focus on governance. Now that the bond passed, the sitting and elected City Council and School Board members will meet to figure out how to govern themselves as they oversee construction of the new high school and development of the adjacent land. Before they go about setting up joint-committees, subcommittees, or other governing bodies, they should first discuss the hard outcomes and soft outcomes. By first concentrating on the outcomes they and the people want and need, they can then put in place a process and structure to achieve them. We as citizens should make sure that they do.
Backed by one of the smartest and most civic-minded electorates in the nation, armed with better questions, and supported by an outcome-centered governance process, I have no doubt that we will build schools and a school system that will be a beacon and a model to our Commonwealth and our country and that our Little City will be the Mighty Little City.
Richard J. Crespin
If I Were the Mayor Of Falls Church
The City of Falls Church is very diverse and unique, however, I feel like changes must be made to make it a home for everyone. This city has a huge history, and we live up to its reputation. My ideas will provide for everyone and provide a great future for kids, adults, and the elderly.
If I were mayor, I would provide for the people’s needs. I would do monthly surveys where people could send their struggles, ideas, and any comments they may have to make their lives better. I would add more affordable housing, as many members of the American State Department go through here, and would need a temporary home for a few years, and should not need to pay as much for a temporary home. I also feel like we need more bike trails so that riding bikes would be encouraged to reduce pollution and help with personal fitness. It also allows people to get closer to nature, which some people really want and need. I would create a tax system so that whenever you buy something with plastic, (plastic water bottles, plastic bags) you would have to pay a little bit more, and that money would go towards helping the environment. I would also have a hospital here in Falls Church, because if there is an emergency here, the ambulance would have to drive from Fairfax and back, and the victim could not get proper medical attention in a reasonable amount of time, however if there was a hospital here, it would save many more lives. I would also use some of the taxes to improve the sewage systems, which have been used for many years, and because of the poor draining systems, floods have occurred. I would also improve the quality of the strip malls so that people would have to travel less to receive their necessities. As a mayor, I would help the people help in volunteer projects, to make our community better. I would make sure that the people would be happy, even more so than me. I would provide the needs, and provide a future.
Disturbing Guest Commentary in the News-Press
Reverend Ohmer’s guest commentary was a bit disturbing to say the least. In the interest of improving dialog he’s suggesting discriminating against the views of certain Americans based on their gender, sexual orientation, race, societal status and religion. Basically, the merit of someone’s words is some superficial characteristic rather than what is being said.
Equally disturbing is that the News-Press would give this bigotry space in its paper. But let’s follow the reverend’s suggestion and listen to the words of a man who fits one of his checkboxes:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
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