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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gross, Loeffler clash over school plan for Willston Center

From the left: Penny Gross, Mollie Loeffler, Sandy Evans, and a League of Women Voters representative.
Plans for a school at the Willston Center in Seven Corners drew the most heat at a candidate forum featuring Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, challenger Mollie Loeffler, and school board member Sandy Evans Oct. 21 sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area and other organizations. 

The need to reduce school overcrowding by building a school at the Willston Center was a huge issue for local residents during dozens of meetings about plans to revitalize Seven Corners over the past two years.

Gross told a large crowd packed into a meeting room at the Woodrow Wilson Library in Bailey’s Crossroads that a new East County Human Services Center, which previously had been slated for the Willston site, will be built at the southeast quadrant of the Columbia Pike/Route 7 intersection. She said the county’s Capital Improvement Program, which still lists an office building at the the Willston center, will be amended next year to identify the new location.

Gross said the Seven Corners plan approved by the BoS has language in it calling for the Willston Center to have a community school combined with a county facility that will include a day care center, other programs housed at Willston Multicultural Center, and health services for the community. “The language is there. Don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t there. I made sure it was in the plan,” she said.

Loeffler said she is happy that a community school is slated for the Willston Center, but it’s happening “because of the pressure we placed on the supervisor.” Residents and the school board repeatedly pushed Gross to consider a school for that site as part of the Seven Corners revitalization plan and submitted a petition with over 500 signatures, she said, and “the supervisor repeatedly stalemated us on the issue.”

Then, a year ago, the community learned that Gross had been quietly planning to put a $125 million East County office building on that site. “Imagine the anger of parents that our children were put in a retrofitted office building [Bailey’s Upper Elementary School] while she saved a five-acre plot of land for a building for office workers when we are facing the highest office vacancy rate we’ve seen in 23 years,” Loeffler said.

“I’m in favor of not building anything right now we can’t afford to build,” Loeffler said. “We have a 32 percent office vacancy rate in Bailey’s Crossroads. We should use vacant space in existing buildings.”

Loeffler also blasted Gross for ignoring proposals by the community to add classroom space during the renovation of the Wilson Library to relieve overcrowding at Bailey’s Elementary School next door. “Unfortunately, because the current supervisor did not take action at that time, we are now spending $350,000 a year to bus children” to Upper Bailey’s, when they could have walked to the library, she said.

Most parents and teachers are pleased with Bailey’s Upper, Evans asserted, and a playground will be put in next summer.

Taxes, spending, and the school budget deficit were also big issues at the forum. Gross, a Democrat who has served five terms on the board, said she has in the past raised property taxes and lowered them. “When we need additional revenue we have to look very, very carefully at our tax structure and what is the burden taxpayers can support,” she said.

Regarding the possibility of a tax on restaurant meals, Gross said she supports “building coalitions that would support a meals tax. It will not pass if there are no coalitions to support it. That has to be done first.” Noting that a meal tax failed miserably the last times it was on a ballot referendum, she said, “it will fail again without coalitions to support it.”

As an alternative, she called for the General Assembly to raise the hotel tax – it’s now 2 percent – and allow the revenue to be used for a broad range of uses. Now, the revenue can only be used for tourism.

Loeffler, who’s running as an independent, would be open to putting a meals tax on the ballot but doesn’t support raising property taxes, because, “the middle class is bearing a lot of the burden already.” She would look for other revenue services, including more state and federal funds.

Loeffler called for more oversight in the budget and eliminating duplicate services, such as combining facilities management for county buildings and schools. She opposes the use of Economic Development Authority bonds for new county building, as those bonds are supposed to be used to attract new businesses.

The school budget shortfall, an estimated $75 million, is due to enrollment growth – 22,000 new students in the last eight years – and increased costs mandated by the state for employee pensions and health benefits. Evans called for more funding from the state to help close the gap, but also said, “we need to be prepared to make very deep cuts.” Even so, raising teacher salaries is critical, she said, and hopes the school board won’t have to cut music and arts.

Both candidates were asked to address the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, released Oct. 20. The Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee will discuss the report Oct. 27.

When asked why the board waited 17 months before dealing with the police-involved shooting of John Geer, Gross said, the board put too much trust into the police. “We learned there were questions we needed to ask that we were not asking.” 

“We learned there needs to be less of an us versus them and more transparency about how we handle these kinds of unfortunate situations,” she said.

The Geer situation was a tragedy and a lot of people are upset about how that was handled and the failure to inform the public, Loeffler said. “I want to make sure we have good rapport with the police and reach out to them, have more transparency, and build more trust with the police force.”

Gross disputed the claim of a resident who asked why Mason District has a deteriorating quality of life. The resident said Mason has more school trailers than any other district, more homicides and sex crimes, and more unenforced building code violations.

“We have a great quality of life here in a great county,” Gross said. There were only a couple of homicides in Mason last year and only 15 in the whole county. “That’s not a huge number and most of them were domestic in nature. We’ve got to do more to address domestic violence.” 

To relieve school overcrowding, Gross suggested using two former school buildings – the Leis Center, which used to be Walnut Hill Elementary School, and the former Graham Road Elementary School. 

“We should build community from the inside out,” Loeffler said. Her prescription for improving the quality of life in Mason includes re-engaging neighborhoods, helping neighborhood leaders restart civic associations, encouraging neighbors to talk to one another, reinvigorating Neighborhood Watch, and getting youths involved in that effort.

She would also step up code compliance and improve community engagement with the police by helping them reach out to other cultures and building trust, she said.

Loeffler also vowed to seek more investment in business districts. “Mason is being left behind when it comes to revitalization,” she said. “Other districts are getting new town centers and transportation improvements while Mason is neglected. And when something is proposed here, citizens don’t feel like they’re getting a voice.” 

Gross noted that there is language in the Comprehensive Plan calling for town centers in Annandale, Seven Corners, and Bailey’s Crossroads, but it takes time for that vision to be realized.

Loeffler would like to see revitalization now with “more mom and pop stores to complement the great restaurants we have in Annandale.”

Loeffler said she is running for supervisor “so we can have responsive leadership, new ideas, new energy, and a fresh approach.”

Evans’ vision for the future includes individualized learning for every student, ensuring students are ready for the workforce as well as college, less standardized testing and more of a focus on analytical thinking and creative thinking.

80 comments:

  1. Penny got dragged kicking and screaming into supporting a school at Willston. Despite that, she still won't let go of her obsession with building Penny's Palace there along with the school. That's notwithstanding the current glut of office space in which such a facility could be more cheaply housed. I suspect that Penny wants to anoint this "community" school with her name as a farewell legacy project regardless of its practicality. After her Trolley Folly, she literally doesn't have anything else concrete to show for her time in office. So, it's time to send her packing before she can force taxpayers to pay the price for her vanity

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  2. So Gross succumbs to constituent pressure in an election year. That should be the headline.

    20-years in office and she finally sees the wisdom in giving her constituents what they've been needing and requesting for years: a school at Willston.

    Mollie and other parents worked diligently for years to keep the pressure on Gross for a community school at Willston. Four other supervisors refused to approve her Seven Corners Plan until she did. Go going everyone. Better late than never.

    Now, if only there was a way to recoup the multiple millions of dollars Gross wasted by not giving FCPS the lands they needed in the first place.

    And, yes, people have been asking about the Southeast Quadrant in Baileys and what is happening there. I am so relieved Gross gave up her insistence to put another high rise elementary school in a commercial district. Surprise! Another election year concession from Gross...and last minute at that. 11 days to the election.

    Tigers don't change their stripes and Gross won't either. Enough of the cloak and dagger behind the scenes transactions. Remove Gross Nov. 3.

    Mollie proved last night that she knows her stuff.
    I will cast a vote for transparency and a voice for the people. Mollie is my candidate.

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  3. OMG, now Gross is blaming the police for not knowing there was a problem in the John Geer shooting. She is supposedly the Vice Chair of the BOS. How is it that residents knew there was problem right away. Come on. Time for a change!

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  4. Loeffler wants more revitalization but basically opposes any and all re-development. She want developers to invest in Mason District, but yet depicts them as the root of all evil. She. Does. Not. Make. Sense.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous 10/22/15, 1:25 PM, thank you for your comment. With all the Mollie drones commenting on this blog I thought I was the only one who thought Loeffler is being two-faced on development in Mason District.

      As a Mason District resident who lives close to the Southeast Quadrant of Bailey's Crossroads, what I see is Mollie caring only about the wealthy who live in Lake Braddock and Sleepy Hollow, and not giving a darn for the less well-off residents of Mason District.

      I will enjoy exercising my right as an American citizen to vote for Mollie's opponent on Election Day.

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    2. Mollie does not oppose development. This is more about the process of development decisions like not shouting down citizen input at a civic association meeting, ramming a divided bailey's elementary down peoples throats, and actually listening to the community instead of paying lip service.

      Its time for a change in tone for the Mason District

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    3. When and where does Mollie say she opposes any and all redevelopment above? To give you the benefit of the doubt, I went back and re-read the article. Huh. She never said that. She mentions town centers and transportation improvements as well as “mom and pop” stores. I’d love to see a mosaic district in seven corners! Example: the old Bloom/Magruders has been vacant since January 2012. Coming up on four years empty: good job on that one, Penny!

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    4. “Anonymous 10/22/15, 1:25 PM, thank you for your comment. With all the Mollie drones commenting on this blog I thought I was the only one who thought Loeffler is being two-faced on development…” “…what I see is Mollie caring only about the wealthy who live in Lake Braddock and Sleepy Hollow, and not giving a darn for the less well-off residents of Mason District.”
      Response: I’m a Mollie drone, I guess. There is a difference between opposing all development and wanting development done properly and transparently. I suppose you’ll next try to convince us that Penny had the best interests of Mason residents at heart with her opaque shenanigans concerning the East County office building? What a joke.
      As for you second statement, you clearly have not been paying attention if you are making such an uncorroborated statement. In fact, you are easily refuted by the facts: She lives in Parklawn and has worked across many neighborhoods via the Mason District Council. Why don’t take a moment to educate yourself?

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    5. @mgates - pay not mind to the Anonymous comments that bash Mollie without any backup or substance. They are paid Penny staffers. I've dared them to stop posting anonymously and be counted - I can respect someone who stands by their thoughts and beliefs rather than hide behind anonymity. Only slightly more credence to those who post anonymously but actually have substance to their posts and are at least respectful.

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    6. Penny has done some great things like promoting the spotlight by starlight concert series and helping push for having Mason Crest Elementary School built. Rejuvenating (that is the right word) Seven Corners and Bailey's Crossroads takes vision and energy. Neither Penny or Mollie is perfect. Penny is a very nice lady but Mollie has boundless energy that will allow her to achieve those tasks.

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    7. Lake Braddock isn't in Mason District and I'm sure the people that live there could care less about our BoS election. The people who live in Lake Barcroft, Ravenswood, Sleep Hollow (all 3 of the neighborhoods with SH in the name), and elsewhere in the district all pay taxes, shop (or try to) and live in Mason. We (yes, I live in Sleepy Hollow) have the same rights to exercise our opinion as you do. And BTW look at the election results from these 'hoods - all vote for the Dem candidates in Federal and State elections. So just face facts that you're losing your base this time because people are sick of the b.s.

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  5. Go, Mollie! Nothing will change if Gross is elected yet again.

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  6. Way to pick the least fair picture of Penny to put up there. Can't the Blog at least pretend it is not working for Mollie :) !

    Either way, no matter what the same 20 people who comment on here say (and I am sure they will now pile on), Penny has the experience, the knowledge, and the common sense to lead. Mollie is a great community person, and I hope after she loses this election she continues to do petition drives, bake sales, forums, and other stuff like that.

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    Replies
    1. What’s unfair about the photo? Penny is looking at her hands? The blog is also “working” for the Eden Center, the Columbia Pike Animal Hospital, and Remax! If the blog worked for Mollie, your comment wouldn’t have made the cut, right? I actually agree with your statement about the limited number of commenters. Commenting here just makes the commenter feel better. That’s it. I view Penny’s experience in a negative light. She knows how to exploit back channels to keep her constituents in the dark.

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    2. uh, Barak Obama was a community organizer just a few years ago. Look where that got him. #watchwhatyousay

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    3. What would you rather have the blog do? Take a campaign photo of Penny and photoshop it?

      No wait... that's more Penny's style... Taking Mollie's copyrighted and trademarked campaign photos and photoshopping them and sending them in a mailer. Yeah, that sounds EXACTLY like Penny.

      All jabbing aside, its not a great or bad photo of any of the candidates, but then there wasn't a photo op last night, so any pic was going to show candidates looking down or whatever. I don't think it makes any candidate look either good or bad.

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    4. I don't get what is unfair of the photo. It is a photo. What does she deserve exactly? A glamour shot?

      ~ Mollie volunteer (I dont "work" for special interest developers like Penny's paid "workers" do)

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  7. To: Anonymous10/22/15, 1:52 PM

    Mollie. Makes. Perfect. Sense. Mollie advocates that we fix our roads and infrastructure before new development. We the people are in need now. Then we can prepared for future residents.

    Mollie understands that attracting new businesses to Mason District provides a tax base for future development.

    Gross is tax and spend, tax and spend. She wants to use bonds that we don't get to vote on to pay for her buildings. They are called economic development bonds and they circumvent voters. EDA bonds are a huge part of the county deficit.

    If a person can't afford to buy or build, they rent. In this case the county is running a deficit, so they can't afford to buy or build without hitting up the taxpayer to pay more debt. Gross will have to increase taxes to pay for her new buildings.

    Bailey's has a 32% office vacancy. Help stimulate the economy by leasing. The county doesn't have the money to build. I don't want to pay for more unnecessary government buildings. The Merrifield Center is a joke. Last I looked, right next door, Dewberry has 187,000 sq ft. building for lease. But we the people are paying off an $80,000 EDA bond used to finance it. Now Gross wants the same for Bailey's.

    I'm done with Gross. Vote for Mollie.

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    Replies
    1. Over all I agree with Mollie, but if she wants to attract new business why is she helping prevent the development of Charles St & Rte. 7?

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    2. From what I can tell that project doesn't even have fairfax county staff support at this time - they just recommended that it once again be rejected. Too many issues still with the developer's proposal.

      Look at what DC just went through with negotiating with Excelon and Pepco - DC rejected the terms until they got a ton more concessions and the terms tipped in their favor. Why should Mason District be any different? We are Fairfax County's threshold into DC and Arlington. We are a desirable location for developers by our location alone. We can do better in our negotiations than Ms. Gross has done.

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    3. b/c she wants biz that sticks to the county plan. not a CVS with a drive thru that goes against smart growth and long term goals. others have wanted to develop the lots before that penny turned down. maybe they didn't get her enough $

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  8. i'm voting for Mollie as I'm anti Penny but a bit disappointed with her lack of knowledge on even simple issues. i hope if she wins she can grow into the job.

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    1. I'm voting for Penny because issues like PUBLIC SAFETY are too important to be put in the hands of a ballroom dancer/Annandale Blog employee.

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    2. The Fairfax Chapter of the Benevolent Police Association endorsed Loeffler over the 20 year incumbent. Guess they want to cha cha onto victory.

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    3. public safety is not something penny has been strong on. maybe you should walk around mason at night. give some examples on how penny has been strong.

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    4. and why belittle the fact someone was a ballroom dancer. what did penny do before becoming supervisor exactly?

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    5. Anon 5pm: Chauvinist pig ?

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    6. Anonymous10/22/15, 5:00 PM
      “I'm voting for Penny because issues like PUBLIC SAFETY are too important to be put in the hands of a ballroom dancer/Annandale Blog employee.”

      Hyperbolic response: I won’t vote for Anonymous 10/22/15, 5:00PM because he/she enjoys calligraphy and used to work at Kohl’s. Sounds stupid, right?
      Check the numbers for yourself: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/police/crime/statistics/2013/2013-2014arrestcitationsstatisticalreport.pdf

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    7. Penny is endorsed by all the major police and fire unions outside of the "fringe" Benevolent group (look them up). And Penny had 30 years of legislative experience while Mollie was busy doing the tango and the cha cha.

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    8. Do not forget folks, she was ASKED TO RUN BY TOM DAVIS.

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    9. Anonymous10/22/15, 8:42 PM: So endorsements dictate your vote? 30 years of experience is meaningless if you are out of touch with your constituents.

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    10. I'm trying to figure out by the tone of Anonymous @5:00 and 8:42pm if they are:

      1) a Penny staffer (probably)
      2) the same Penny staffer that sent out the circus/tea party attack ad (probably)

      or...

      3) Is even old enough to vote.

      Seriously man. You want to criticize Mollie on issues, feel free - lets have a civil debate. Your original point was that you don't think Mollie had enough experience. I disagree, but you are free to make that point. But to then go and denigrate her experience in the arts is a smack in the face of all of us with artistic backgrounds and has no place in a civil conversation.

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    11. Ronald Reagan
      Arnold Schwarzenegger
      Clint Eastwood
      Shirley Temple
      Sonny Bono
      Fred Thompson
      Al Franken
      Jerry Springer
      Melissa Gilbert

      What do they all have in common?

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  9. Supervisor Gross. Check your data. The police report I saw said Mason District had 10 murders out of the 15 in the County. That makes us the district with the most murders.

    Don't minimize the significance of crime rate in Mason District. You should have been doing something about it.

    I learned this morning that the Mason District police precinct has lots of vacancies. Why?

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    1. No doubt in your mind -- it's all Penny's fault.

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    2. Well, Penny has murdered public confidence in her office...

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  10. I can't wait for this election to over..the vapid comments on this blog from Mollie and her Tea Party minions is really wearing thin.

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    1. Address the issues and stop spreading smears of those who you disagree with. Mollie is a true independent and all this Republican Tea Party nonsense is the siren call of a desperate campaign. Penny Gross is the new Alan Howze

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    2. Mollie is an "Independent" because Mason District has voted Democratic for years, and a Republican would have a hard time winning. How politically naive does she and her supporters think Mason District residents are.

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    3. Well, then where are those big GOP bucks? All I've seen so far is a grand from Tom Davis. Not exactly the sort of haul you'd expect a Tea Party or GOP candidate to be raking in. In fact, that's Penny's department. She's been the recipient of a hoard of cash from developers and real estate companies. That makes her about as Republican as any candidate currently running in Fairfax. So, nice try, but its Penny not Mollie who will have to answer to those big money donors if she wins.

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    4. Your vapid comment included? Trying to get the whole Tea Party label to stick is really wearing thin. If name-calling is all you can bring to the table, well too bad you can't come up with something more creative.

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    5. Yawn. There's that same old republican argument again. Bulova and Evans have trumpeted her accomplishments as citizen of the year (http://www.mollie4mason.com/#!awards/c16v). Sooo, are they closeted republicans? I think not. Independent is just that, independent. Let go of of this failed argumentation and be free.

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    6. My question is why does it matter what party she is or isn't affiliated with. All that should matter is that she wants only the best for the Mason District and has worked hard and has shown that she can work with everyone. Mollie has shown she does not care about parties but cares about the District. I find it sad that we can not look past the parties and vote for the best.

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    7. Tea Party? That comment is asinine. I know many of my neighbors - many of whom are active Democrats - are voting for Mollie this time around. Your desperation to paint her as some Trojan Horse Tea Party nut is just lame.

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  11. Twenty years. I guess we were just too busy to notice.

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  12. The figure Ms. Loeffler stated was 23% office vacancy. Not a huge difference but I think it should be corrected. I don't dispute this number, I just don't know where it comes from. The most recent report I can find from the Economic Development Authority of Fairfax County which states a 14.9% direct vacancy rate. Further, they say "a healthy office vacancy rate is in the 10% to 15% range in NOVA."

    I can't seem to find current info on their site b/c it appears to be unavailable right now.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2015/advertised/volume1/16.pdf

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason/sevencorners/sevencornerstaskforce_20130212_minutes.htm

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    1. The office vacancy rate in Bailey's is Much Higher than stated last night. Bailey's Office Vacancy is 42%!!

      See page 13 here:
      http://www.fairfaxcountyeda.org/sites/default/files/publications/rerYE14.pdf

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    2. You reversed your number. Mollie's press release states there is a 32 percent office vacancy rate in Bailey's Crossroads.

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    3. She stated it was the highest in 23 years in Fairfax County. I think 42% in Baileys is the correct info.

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    4. No matter the office vacancy rate numbers you are discussing are very high. The economy in Mason District is tanked.

      We need to stimulate business to increase our tax base so we can afford to give the schools the money they need and address our aged infrastructure around here.

      First things first.

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    5. Thanks for the correction. I could not load the EDA site yesterday for that link. Bailey's is indeed 42% but -- also in Mason -- Seven Corners is 18% and Annandale is 14%, both on par with the county.

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    6. Also one of the big points made time and time again by John Tillman during the Seven Corners Revitalization discussions was that office building were just not worth building anymore in Fairfax County. Vacancy rates were through the roof, etc. Yet Penny is pushing to build another office building. Seems like a great use of public money.

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  13. This election is a pretty good example of what happens when a supervisor is allowed to languish in office for too long without significant opposition. The last time Penny had to make a real effort to campaign was in 2003 when Republican Buzz Hawley was her opponent. During the following 12 years, Penny has become increasing out of touch with her constituency. That was demonstrated this year when she has had to first fend off a stronger than expected primary challenge from Jessica Swanson and then run hard against the determined challenge of Mollie Loeffler. In both races, Penny has had exceptional difficulty defending her record or, more appropriately, the lack thereof. If I've learned anything, it's that Penny hasn't changed with the times. She's takes it for granted that she speaks for the electorate even though she hardly consults with them. That attitude is clearly attributable to not having been held accountable by the electorate for far too long. If Penny is reelected, it'll likely be because the voters are voting according to party affiliation without a clear perception of the candidate herself. Hopefully, it won't come to that because Penny is clearly no longer able to provide voters with the representation they need.

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  14. TO: Anonymous10/22/15, 2:46 PM

    So Penny was caught not paying attention. Awwww.

    Isn't that normal for her?

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  15. Change is good! Mason needs new leadership.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. Supervisor should be term limited.

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    2. Mollie should say she will term limit herself to 2 terms, that would be a winning issue

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  16. Last night, Penny G mentioned she used to be involved in the PTA. I had never thought of her having kids, nor a husband (or partner). Anyone know? Most politicians have a picture of their family along the way...have I missed any?

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  17. http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason/md_bio.htm

    http://patch.com/virginia/annandale/profile-penelope-gross-mason-district-supervisor

    She does have a husband and children.

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  18. Highlight of the night was when Gross tried to claim Willston. That and when she said she was a "very responsive supervisor". One guy almost lost it when she said that.

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  19. so mollie isn't qualified for being a dancer but penny was for being a co-manager of Girl Scout Service Unit 52-4 for nine years? Ok...

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    1. Read Penny's bio...Penny also served as a staffer for a member of the United State Senate, thus had experience in dealing with complex policy issues. While the Tango is a difficult dance, knowing how to do it doesn't mean you are ready to manage a multi-billion dollar budget...

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    2. Whoa, hold on. Sharon Bulova's Bio is not that different than Mollie Loeffler's (and she manages the multi-billion dollar budget).
      Early Life
      ...Bulova was elected vice president of the Kings Park West Civic Association, then became president when the existing president moved to Korea.[5] It was Bulova's work as president of the Kings Park West Civic Association that brought her to the attention of Annandale District Supervisor Audrey Moore, who hired Bulova in 1985.[6]
      Political career
      In 1987, Bulova was working as a legislative aide to Annandale District Supervisor Audrey Moore when Moore decided to challenge Republican Jack Herrity for the Chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.[7] Moore encouraged Bulova to replace her on the Board, and despite being a political novice, Bulova declared her candidacy in April 1987.[8]

      Bulova defeated Republican D. Patrick Mullins for the Annandale District seat in the November 1987 election, and was sworn in the following January.[9]

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    3. A staffer? She photo-copied things and took phone calls. PALEEEEEASE. Loeffler's bio says she was the Director of Advertising for the Navy League of the United States - hardly a secretarial position like "staffer."

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    4. i was a staffer for a senator, that just means you take phone calls and make faxes!

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  20. Have you seen the latest mailer from Penny that claims she is endorsed by The Washington Post. She isnt'!
    WAPO doesn't even mention Mason District.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-fairfax-board-of-supervisors/2015/10/16/2275571e-72b7-11e5-9cbb-790369643cf9_story.html

    It appears Gross is mistruthful not only about her opponent, but also about herself.

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    1. Penny was endorsed by the Washington Post in June during the primary against Jessica Swanson:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/on-the-ballot-in-northern-virginia/2015/05/22/cb3ba600-ff67-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html

      The reason there wasn't an endorsement for Mason District in the article you referenced is because the Post is maintaining its endorsement they gave Penny back in June.

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    2. No they're not. If they were, then they would publish it again. They didn't take a position on this seat.

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  21. In the past., Mason District* is a "one button" district for the majority of its participating voters - surely many of these folks have not voted for any candidate other than the Democratic Party candidates in many years with the exception of when they voted for Tom Davis.

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  22. Personally I am an independent. I vote for the person I consider to be best for the job. In this case I am voting for Mollie. Why? Because I believe that Ms. Penny has been around too long, has lost touch with our community and marches to the beat of her own drummer (i.e. considers her opinions to be the only ones worthy of consideration).

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  23. This pretty much narrows down to Mollie is a Tea Partier and Penny is a socialist. Crap this sounds the legislative branch across the river.

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    1. This probably explains why Mason District looks like a fusion of Venezuela, Mexico, El Salvador and the former eastern block countries. We have the very rich NIMBYs in Lake Barcroft and Sleepy Hollow and the slums of Culmore, while the middle class continues to escape the wrath of poor representation and economic stagnation in this District. Someone needs to knock on these candidates' doors: knock-knock……socialism is a proven failure and trickle down economics goes drip-drip.

      Arlington is a success story because it invests in what the community wants and needs: good transit options, great schools, bike lanes that actually take you somewhere safely, density that supports and attracts urban nesters that don't drive white vans, and that provide income to support businesses, stimulating social activities, and commercial gateways that attracts trending demographics that would bolster our tax base and help support the human services for the less fortunate without strangling the rest of us. What Fairfax need are progressives like Jay Fasette (who is a cyclist btw and understands the changing dynamics of the expanding urban nesters) to swing Fairfax back to a desirable place of diversity, economic growth and a healthy quality of life.

      Fairfax needs to insert leaders that will inject another governing paradigm that is reflective of the community's needs to grow Mason District back to a healthy, viable and a desired place to live, while moderating its multiple classes and cultural changes without annihilating the middle class; and perhaps one of these candidates may have a chance of being successful

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    2. That's just what Mollie plans to do! Thanks for spelling it out so nicely. Instead of stereotype her for one stupid tea party letter (hello we need some border control) VOTE FOR HER.

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    3. I think I tend to agree with you. Autocratic socialism appears to be the way of governing here and it has been nothing but a failure. Look around: vacant store fronts, poor infrastructure, poor mass transit options, no bicycle lanes and a lack luster lure of big businesses and the middle class to make Mason home. The only thing Mason can offer is bargain rate leases for third rate rug stores or government back offices.

      Whoever gets in office, I hope that person would throw away this way of leadership and re-direct her energies to the middle class and re-position to a more progressive and centered policy of governing that would make Mason the envy of the County. Tall order, probably not going to happen.

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  24. on one hand I loath Penny Gross.
    she seems to be in the pocket of the developers who are destroying Fairfax county,

    On the other hand, there is a cancer in America, the tea party, the tea baggers.

    Financed by the Koch Brothers, dedicated to lowering taxes for the ultra rich 1%ers, who are already paying lower taxes than ever before and robbing the economy of needed funds. The only way to stop tea baggers at a national level is to stop them at a local and state level.

    Penny Gross campaign says Mollie Loeffler is a closet tea bagger, not an independent. Maybe so, maybe not.

    Mollie claims she is Independent.

    Hmmmm

    I'd like to see Mollie Loeffler loudly and publically repudiate all ties to the tea baggers and the Republicans party!

    I won't vote for her until she does..

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    1. Please look at what she stands for and her record. Demands do not help the Mason District.

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    2. So Penny's campaign makes up the Tea Party connection (where is there any evidence???) and you now say she has to repudiate it? Go back under you rock you troll.

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  25. Why does the BoS not consider it a priority to add additional resources to the task force against human trafficking. The county still has one officer assigned to that unit? The problem continues to spread rapidly.

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  26. I worked with Mollie at the Navy League, for which she had to develop a familiarity and relationship with the U.S. military and major defense contractors. She was an able director who increased revenues across several print and online communications. Additionally all Navy League managers participated in membership efforts for the 70,000-member civilian organization & supported the largest maritime exposition in the world, Sea Air Space, with speakers including the Secretaries of Defense and Navy, the Marine Corps Commandant and occasionally the Vice President, as well as exhibits by all major defense contractors. No chump job. She also taught me & my husband ballroom dance in what little spare time she had while working full time. Dancing probably contributed to her boundless energy/stamina and upbeat nature, but it is just one of her many talents. She is also a wife and mother who struggles with many of the same community and family management issues we all do. I'm also a liberal voting for Mollie because I know how bright she is, how well she listens, and know she is truly independent--a moderate consensus-builder like Tom Davis, the only Republican I ever voted for.

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