Pat Herrity Lays Out His Accomplishments, Vision for Fairfax County
Today, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (Springfield) stood at West Springfield High School and spoke about his record, laid out his vision for Fairfax County, and announced his plans for the 2019 campaign.
You can read Pat’s full remarks below:
Welcome. Thank you for joining my wife Nancy and me here this morning at West Springfield High School. As most of you know, this is home to me. This is where it all started, I grew up right down Rolling Road on Portree Court where my mom still lives today.
That is where I learned about the County from one of its great leaders and my Dad, former Chairman of the Board Jack Herrity. I not only learned about the County and its issues but about leadership and most importantly – public service.
My Dad loved this county – he actually watched Board of Supervisors meetings right up until the day he died. I share his great passion for public service and for the County we so dearly love.
I began my public service early in life and during my successful business career. I was recognized by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Virginia Technology Council with its highest leadership awards. I organized a sports league and coached a number of sports teams. I was also a leader in my local civic associations.
Twelve years ago I made the decision to take that public service to a higher level and run to become Springfield District Supervisor because I did not like the direction the County was heading. Taxes had doubled in 8 short years form $2,400 to $4,800, our teachers’ salaries were slipping and we were mired in congestion.
The citizens of Springfield District had faith in me and elected me their Supervisor in 2007, again in 2011 with 97 percent of the vote and again in 2015 with over 80 percent of the vote.
Over those years we have accomplished a lot to make Springfield District and Fairfax County a better place:
- I led two rounds of pension reform efforts to address the county’s unsustainable pension plans and balance our compensation program
- I led the development of Fairfax County’s 50+ Committee Action Plan
- I led the effort to open the I-66 HOV ramps during non-rush hour times and the use of the old shoulder lanes during periods of congestion.
- I led the effort to stop the 10% tax on meals that was overwhelmingly defeated by Fairfax County voters
- I led the County’s response to the opioid public health crisis
- I am the only Supervisor to ever receive the President’s Award from the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers for my leadership in improving teachers’ salaries
- I led the effort to get this very school behind us renovated after it was overlooked in the renovation queue
- I led efforts to reform the county’s zoning and permitting process to reform siloed processes and a culture of “no”
- We renovated Pohick Library, we have an exciting new driving range and clubhouse at Burke Lake Park, and you can Go Ape on the ropes course at South Run Park
- Every year I work with my colleagues on the Board to host Teen Job and Opportunity Fairs across the county.
- I have been honored to be recognized by the Sun Gazette for the last two years as Fairfax County’s Best Public Servant.
- I created and led the County’s Sports Tourism Task Force to diversify the county’s revenue stream with tourism dollars and build high quality sports venues for our community
- I led the effort to remove the blight of illegal signs from our roadways
- And I could list many more
Twelve years later I still have a passion for public service and getting things done to make Fairfax County a better place.
I still have the passion to address the transportation congestion that keeps our residents from enjoying the quality of life they deserve. We have almost $400M in multimodal transportation projects underway in Springfield District including widening Routes 28, 29 and Rolling Road and eliminating the bottleneck at Fairfax County Parkway and Popes Head Road. I want to ensure the County focuses transportation funding on projects that relieve congestion. I want to make sure the Fairfax County Parkway stays free of tolls and that we build the enforcement ramps to address the speeding issues on the rural roads of Clifton.
I still have the passion to use my business skills and knowledge of the County to get spending under control and stop the ever increasing tax burden on our residents. Taxes on the average homeowner have increased over 25% in the last 5 years – a rate that is not sustainable. I will continue to provide opportunities to set priorities, improve efficiencies and get cost under control.
I still have the passion to grow jobs and our economy so our children will have high paying jobs and stay and raise their families in Fairfax County. We must also grow our commercial tax base to reduce the tax burden on our homeowners. We need to continue to improve our zoning, permitting and regulatory environment so we can create and grow businesses in the County.
I still have the passion to make our school system the best in the nation by funneling resources into the classroom and on the teachers, not on administrators and administrative burdens. To return the focus to academics so that all of our children have the opportunity to succeed in life. I will work to address overcrowded classrooms in schools like Orange Hunt Elementary School and across the county.
I still have the passion to protect our suburban neighborhoods from blight, crime and gangs. We have much more to do in battling the opioid public health crisis, human trafficking and gangs. We need to give our police department the resources it needs to attract and retain the best officers to keep our community the safest jurisdiction of its size in the country. I want to work to update the successful 50+ Community Action Plan with achievable, actionable and affordable initiatives to improve the lives of our seniors. I want to continue my efforts with the Sports Tourism Task Force to diversify our economy and bring the county exciting new sports venues like an indoor track and indoor downhill skiing.
There is a lot of change coming to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with the retirement of Chairman Bulova, Supervisor Hudgins, Supervisor Smyth and Supervisor Cook, the only other Republican member of the Board. There is the possibility that half the Board will be new. The need for experienced voices on the Board is clear.
As I weighed my decision to run for reelection or to run for Chairman of the Board, I reached out to constituents across the county. What I heard loud and clear from both Republicans and Democrats was the need for balance, the need for a common sense, fiscal conservative voice, the need for experience, the need for a public servant focused on local issues instead of divisive national issues.
Public service is not about what you want to do — it’s about doing what is right for the community.
For me, this county will always be vitally important to me, but the Springfield District is my home. It’s such an important part of the fabric of my life, of my family’s life, of our past, our present and our future.
That’s why I will be asking the residents of the Springfield District to give me the opportunity to finish the many things we have underway here in the Springfield District, the opportunity to shape the direction of Fairfax County, and to reelect me as their Springfield District Supervisor.
Thank you again for being here. And thank you for putting your trust in me. I’m counting on you all to help, and I solemnly promise to be a public servant with your best interest at heart.