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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Feld challenges Gross for leadership of Mason District

David Feld, the Republican nominee for Mason District supervisor,  believes he has an excellent shot at defeating Penny Gross in November.

What it will take, he says, is “inspiration and leadership.” He plans to target the “stay at home voters who have given up on thinking they can have an impact” and also hopes to gain support from “Democrats and Independents who like the ideas I represent.”

According to Feld, Gross “has not demonstrated the ability to deal with county problems that meet residents’ expectations,” and she “is not concerned with maintaining the character of neighborhoods.”

He intends to create “a model for proactive government that solves problems through cooperative efforts to bring together citizens, non-profit organizations, businesses, and the county”—without raising taxes.

Feld has never run for office before, while Gross has been on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for 15 years. Feld, however, has been active in community affairs, having served as president of the Lake Barcroft Association, vice chair of the Mason District Council, vice president of the Bailey’s Crossroads Revitalization Corporation, and been a member of the Annandale Regional Planning Study Committee and the Fairfax County Public School Adult Education Committee.

Among his accomplishments, Feld cites ridding Lake Barcroft of its geese problem and doing it in a humane way. He is taking a leave of absence from his position as executive director of GeesePeace, an organization he founded, to concentrate on his campaign.

Despite having hosted a fundraiser for his friend, Del. Kaye Kory, a Democrat, Feld says he has the full support of the Fairfax County Republican Committee. But he doesn’t feel bound to follow the GOP line, noting, “They don’t tell me what I can say.” Feld calls himself a “fiscal conservative and social liberal.”

As such, he says he opposes raising taxes, stating that is “an easy way to achieve what leadership cannot accomplish,” adding, “I don’t believe increased taxes should mask inefficiencies.”

Feld’s goal is to make Mason District and Fairfax County “the best they can be and the top places to live and visit in Northern Virginia.” “We need to discard the notion that we can’t have these things without raising taxes,” he says. “To make that happen takes leadership.”

He supports policies to address quality-of-life issues and maintain the character of communities. He also wants to improve “the quality of the streetscape,” adding that “people should look forward to a faster commute to work.”

Feld calls the failure to take action six months ago to ensure a free flow of traffic on Columbia Pike after the BRAC-133 complex opens in September at the Mark Center  “a mistake of leadership.”  He is working on a plan to alleviate the cut-through traffic likely to affect neighborhoods in the Mason District, but he isn’t ready to announce the details.

Feld feels strongly about the need to revitalize the area along Columbia Pike. Redevelopment plans, approved as amendments to the Fairfax County comprehensive plan are supposed to encourage new, mixed-use development in Bailey’s Crossroads and Annandale, but “that is illusory,” Feld says. “Most people think it won’t happen for 40 years.”

Although some people are hopeful that a streetcar line under development for Columbia Pike through Arlington will eventually extend to Annandale, Feld says, “that will never happen. There is no funding for it.” If elected, Feld says he would work with Arlington County to improve the traffic flow along Columbia Pike by creating pull-off zones for buses, so they don’t block traffic at bus stops.

Feld believes improving bus service “makes a lot more sense than saying there will be trolley line that will never happen.”

When it comes to the county budget, he says freezing employee pay was a mistake. But instead of implementing an across-the-board increase, he would like to establish a pay-for-performance program.

He also proposes more incentives to provide affordable housing to enable public service employees—such as police officers and firefighters—to live in the county.

“Nothing’s impossible if it’s a good idea and the leadership is there to support it,” he says. To Feld, “Leadership is the result of taking action to achieve a vision to inspire citizens, non-profits, businesses, and the county to work together to share resources, cooperate, and achieve that which is thought to be impossible.”


  1. You go David! We need someone who has ideas to protect the established communities and not just go along with the developers and do the same things over and over again. Look forward to heating you more and at a debate with Penny Gross!

    It's time for a change!

  2. Gross has done a great job, we should continue to support her.

  3. Will you come and talk to us at Ravenwood Park Asssociation??

  4. The County board and County School board are on two separate planets. The County board (Bulova) believes that spending millions to ensure that affordable housing is in place so that socio-economic classes mix at the expense of taxpayers is a important thing, and they back it up with those millions I mentioned.

    The School board, and I guess more appropriately the FCPS at this point (since the School board hasn't voted yet) has recommended stripping out the middle class neighborhood of Wakefield Chapel out of Annandale High School, after already removing the middle class neighborhoods of Ravensworth, Moore and Keith, and Ramblewood the past two years.

    Why the great disparity in county actions? On one hand they want the mixing of socio-economic groups because of the benefits (Bulova's own words), on the other the school system (and School board) have been steadily eliminating the middle class from Annandale High.

    I don't get it, and when great disparities occur it is usually politically driven or there is money involved.

  5. It says he has taken a 'leave of absence' from his job as the Exec. Director of Geese Peace to focus on this campaign. Question - if elected, will he resign his job at Geese Peace to be our a full-time supervisor? Or will he try and do both?? I would like to see a commitment from him that if elected he will be a full-time supervisor and not distracted by the Geese job. If not, than he shouldn’t be running…

  6. I will be a full time Mason District Supervisor with a full time commitment to building a Great Mason District and a better Fairfax County. GeesePeace will do very well without me.

    The success of GeesePeace's voluntary program at Lake Barcroft in solving wildlife problems humanely will benefit all of Fairfax County as a model of community problem solving through voluntary cooperation, coordination and sharing of resources.

    David Feld

  7. Thank you, David, for representing the unrepresented middle. Stand by those words - fiscal conservative, social liberal - and you will do well. Fairfax isnt all bleeding heart liberals. We know we need to get the fiscal house in order and we also need to show respect for property owners in established neighborhoods and not cow tow to land developers. Both can co-exist, there is plenty of land to develop in Fairfax, but let's develop in places and in ways that makes sense. Not in areas where roads and transportation systems have been woefully neglected for two decades. Our inside the beltway location should be an opportunity for Mason District to become a real suburbia for Arlington. Instead, we've been steered down the path of the likes of Newark and Jersey City. Let's get the District back on the right tracks.

  8. I offer a thought of advice for David on getting elected. I remember hearing some good words of advice about how Tom Davis got elected: get out and go door to door to meet the citizens.
    Also, I thought that many VA elected jobs,like Assembly and Senator and Lt Governor, are not full time, so we should not expect our Mason District rep to be full time. I note that doesn't say anything on whether supervisors are full time or not, not does it even say what their salaries are. So much for full disclosure. But clearly many have other duties and even jobs. Like Gerald W. "Gerry" Hyland, a Democrat, Business and Personal Background:
    - 1973 - present - Private law practice, Hyland and Hyland
    - 1981 - present - working farm on eastern shore of Virginia