Better County Economics.
Fairfax County is supposedly one of the richest counties in the country. Yet, like so many, the County Budget still lives paycheck to paycheck – demanding tax increases and new taxes every year to keep from going under. Why? The Board of Supervisors over the past 24 years has been “Penny”-wise and pound foolish.
- Trying to keep passing a meals tax referendum for “the schools” when it’s really to delay the ticking time bomb pension problem.
- Nickel and dime-ing citizens by increasing fees and fines, then calling them “budget cuts”
- Failing to do what’s right and necessary… converting defined benefit pensions into defined contribution 401(k) plans
Gary’s education and professional experience in analyzing companies and managing budgets for organizations large and small: There’s all sorts of inefficiencies resulting from 24 years of “Gross”-mismanagement of Fairfax’s budget.
Development. Is there a plan?
They say there’s a comprehensive plan. If so, it’s pretty poorly managed in Mason.
Did you know that only 30% of Fairfax County’s policemen and firemen live in Fairfax County? The people we depend on to rescue us, to teach us, and protect us, can’t afford to live here. After a 12 hour shift, and a two hour commute, they go home to their families tired and we expect them to be ready to do it again the next day. “Thank you for your service” is what citizens say. Gary Aiken believes the Board of Supervisors has a duty to do better.
- Bring innovative workforce housing initiatives to Mason District.
- Revitalize Downtown Annandale.
- Convert empty big box shopping centers into dense mixed use.
- Sell county properties outright or into public/private development partnerships.
Gary’s been in real estate development and lending for 18 years. He knows programs that are working in other parts of the U.S., even across the river in DC. It takes a smart leader to get things done.
Transportation. For real, we’re still talking about that.
Toll roads and extra tax district money definitely pays for mass transit. Also, putting the metro above ground was clearly the right answer. The Silver Line to Dulles is the second WMATA project in five years to have serious issues with concrete and structure.
Gary can’t help the sarcasm. He can help get transportation right. Penny has been a member of lots of boards. She’ll tout this board and that. Yet, transportation still sucks. Here’s what Gary will champion:
- New underground metro lines for Route 50/7 and Columbia Pike/Route 236.
- Second Potomac Bridge northwest of the American Legion Bridge
- Encourage autonomous vehicle experimentation and development in Fairfax County.
Let’s be bold about transportation. Bike lanes and sidewalks won’t solve congestion. Technology and Bold Initiatives will.
Crime and Punishment.
Mason District has been the scene of multiple horrific Antisemitic and Racist attacks in the past 18 months. The JCC was attacked twice. The Bethlehem Lutheran Church was attacked several times. County leaders give us thoughts and prayers and let’s come together as a community. No one has been caught.
Drugs, gangs, opioid problems. What’s the response? To make our cops wear body cameras. To refuse to find affordable local housing solutions from their families. To cut their budgets.
Mason District is the most diverse in Fairfax County. 18% Asian Americans. 18% Mexican, Central and South American. 10% African American. That diversity is growth and strength. Still, our immigrant and poor communities are the most vulnerable to crime. Gary Aiken will fight for your right to be safe in Mason.
Open Mason up for Business.
Virginia used to be #1 for business. Today we’re #4 and dropping. Our people is what keeps us high in the ranking. Our big problems are Quality of Life (19th), Infrastructure (20th), and Cost of Doing Business (34th). Now you know where Gary Aiken’s coming from.
Have you ever tried to start a business in Fairfax? It’s a mess. The booklets are forever long. The rules, regulations, taxes are impossible to read quickly. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get back to #1. It can start right here in Mason District, Fairfax County. We have incredible opportunities for growth. We need to get the government to do what it’s supposed to do and stay out of the way on the rest.
- Eliminate all regulations that don’t materially protect the public (and the cost of compliance and administration with it!).
- Attract new information- and bio-technology-based businesses
- Create better amenities spaces that attract entrepreneurs and young families
Education. Teach Your Children Well.
The Board of Supervisors doesn’t directly manage the school system. As the parent of third and fifth grade students in FCPS, one of whom is going through the famous FLE curriculum, Gary Aiken will always prioritize public schools. But…
- No new government buildings until we renovate every school and build a couple new ones.
- No more name changes. More Teachable moments.
- No bussing students. Start every class in Fairfax County before 9am.
- Emphasize American History and Civics and the obvious goodness of America.
- Pay our current teachers better today. No more future retirement promises we can’t keep.
“One Fairfax”. What’s That?
“One Fairfax” is a new county-wide policy to ensure equity. Doesn’t that sound nice? We all want equality. That’s what the United States is all about: equal rights, equal protection, equal opportunity. Congress and Richmond have passed laws and Fairfax County has hiring practices that ban many forms of discrimination.
That’s not what One Fairfax is about though. One Fairfax is about equality of outcome. If that’s not clear enough, then try this: It’s about dirty politics. It’s a top down, bureaucratic mission to direct county contracts and cushy county jobs not necessarily to the most qualified, but to the interest group that’s the most aggrieved at that moment. And who’s going to monitor that “progress”? More bureaucrats. Will they make the parks cleaner? No. Will they reduce crime? No. Will they protect us from fire or rescue us in medical emergency? No. Will they make wise development analysis? No. Will they mean more teachers and newer schools? No. Will they ever achieve perfect equality or even be able to measure it? Never.
Then what exactly is the point of “One Fairfax”? Ask Penny.