As 2012 draws to a close, Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) has shared with Patch his legislative priorities and goals for 2013. They have been published below.
The county faces many challenges in the year ahead and I will be doing everything I can to help to guide us through these tough times in the coming months. But I would like to share with you some of my priorities for the coming year.
Getting a Solution for I-66 Congestion Underway: There’s no other way to say it, I-66 congestions is a nightmare and we need a solution fast. Over the last several years I have worked to restart the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), extend HOV hours, open the Monument and Stringfellow ramps and open the shoulder lanes during times of congestion (coming soon). In 2013, when the EIS will be completed we need to take the next big step toward the solving the congestion problem and giving our commuters transportation choices. I am working to see a plan for Express Lanes put on the table. Much like the I-495 and I-95 Express Lanes projects the benefits of being able to provide additional capacity, express buses, and segregated HOV-3, along with a way to pay for it would do wonders for commuters.
Continuing the Progress on Political Signs: You may have noticed far fewer political signs in our roadways this last election season, and we must keep up that good work. In December of 2011 I asked the Board to endorse a change in the state code to allow Fairfax County to remove political signs from medians, and with the help of Delegate Albo we managed to get that changed in the state code. In 2013, I hope to have the agreement between the County and the VDOT formalized to allow the county to enforce the new law and fine offenders, as well as have the level of self-compliance from the candidates running for office in 2013 that we did from those in 2012.
Make Sure We Don’t Balance the Budget on the Backs of our Taxpayers: It is no surprise that we are running a shortfall in the next year’s budget, our County Executive has warned us that we will face shortfalls for the next several years even before the impact of the fiscal cliff or sequestration. I will work to make sure we don’t balance the budget on the backs of our already struggling taxpayers.
Proffers for Transportation: Currently the county does not know where it is spending the contributions (proffers) developers make for the increased density in their projects. I will continue ask the county to analyze where these funds are going and insist we focus them on our priorities. Traditionally Fairfax County has used these developer contributions to fund necessary transportation improvements. We need to return to focusing these dollars on transportation.
Keeping the Fairfax County Parkway from Becoming a Parking Lot: I want to continue the progress we are making on the Fairfax County Parkway – conversion to a primary road, safety improvements, the interchange at Fair Lakes Parkway, etc. I will be working to add capacity and additional interchanges building off the town hall meeting I held in late in 2012.
Tackling Lyme Disease: I have been an advocate of Lyme awareness and prevention since I joined the Board, and asked the Board for a pilot study on deer bait stations that kill ticks to be done. The study is under way and I am hoping that we have positive news on what the initial findings are in 2013. I will continue my advocacy in 2013, and work with Congressman Frank Wolf to try and eradicate this terrible disease from Fairfax County. My vision, if the study’s results come out how I think they will, would be to partner with the private sector, private citizens, and homeowner associations to roll these deer bait stations out county-wide to combat the growing problem of Lyme disease.