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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Greed is good? (Fairfax-style)

Editor’s Notebook: Greed is good? (Fairfax-style)

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Off-topic for just a moment: Remember when, back at the start of the Wuhan unpleasantness in March 2020, local leaders from across both Northern Virginia and the broader, cough, “DMV” swore on a stack of whatever they swear on that the region was going to work in coordinated fashion to, as Joe Biden once thought it appropriate to put it, “crush the virus”?

Though it was no laughing matter, we laughed and laughed here in the newsroom. Like Virginia was going to pay attention to Maryland, Maryland was going to pay attention to Virginia, and D.C. was going to pay attention to either. And, here in Northern Virginia, like big-kahuna Fairfax was going to let the pipsqueak communities (no offense) that orbit it to have an equal say in its decision-making. Suuuure.

We were proved correct; the coordinated response quickly collapsed into an everybody-for-himself-herself-or-somewhere-in-between approach that continues more or less to this day. How’s that working out?

But now back on track, and in this case I am talking about Fairfax County playing ball with the rest of the Northern Virginia localities. Or rather, not playing ball.


Well, Fairfax is not necessarily known for playing well with its neighbors, and has not been for a long time. Such was the case when the 399-square-mile behemoth submitted projects for the latest round of moolah for transportation projects through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission’s I-66-inside-the-Beltway funding regime.

Based on Brian Trompeter’s reporting (and he’s never led us astray), there is an estimated $12 million in funding for the region available in the coming two years. Fairfax is seeking funding for four projects . . . totaling $11.52 million.

(From the Elvis song: “I ain’t greedy baby … all I want is all you got.”)

Now, to be fair to Fairfax — somebody has to be — there are much smaller jurisdictions in the region that also shoot for the moon when it comes to getting funding from these pots of cash. And they might as well ask for it all; the worst the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission can say is “no”, after all.

WHAT THE [HECK] IS WRONG WITH ‘SPRINGFIELD’? Speaking of Fairfax County, its version of China’s Cultural Revolution remains in full force. Next stop: Renaming supervisor districts because they don’t comport with modern sensitivities.

In what I’m sure will be a brilliant, albeit as-yet-unwritten, editorial in next week’s Sun Gazette will put it, it’s not the changing names that is going to be the annoyance, it’s the sanctimony with which Fairfax leaders will do it with. These people truly, truly believe that, in a governance sense, their [poop] does not stink. (If only.) Some Fairfax elected officials are so obnoxious in this regard, they really should be considered honorary Californians.

As a previous editorial said, it’s clear that “Lee District” is a goner, and probably “Mount Vernon,” too. But also on the firing line, for some reason, is “Springfield District.” Brian and I tried as best we could to determine what offense “Springfield” could cause (unless one hates “The Simpsons”). Maybe it was added to the list simply to screw with Pat Herrity, the lone Republican on the body and the occupant of that didn’t.

Given the pettiness of a few Democrats on the Board of Supervisors, that wouldn’t be a surprise.

— Scott McCaffrey

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