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Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: McKay seems on a mission ... to move up

Editor’s Notebook: McKay seems on a mission … to move up

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Much like when popes issue their Christmas greetings to the world, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay likes to issue pronouncements for public consumption.

(One could say “McKay ain’t no pope,” but that is pretty much assumed, on many levels.)

The board chair’s latest missive-cum-broadside was his take on the General Assembly’s/governor’s actions on school masking. I scrolled through it and, some free advice to Mr. McKay, get a copy editor to take a weed-whacker to your verbiage. Too wordy!

I’ve been doing this news-reporting gig since before Mr. McKay knew there was such a thing as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, I suspect, so I’ve already deduced that he wants to keep his name (and his leftward-ho bona-fides) in the public eye for an eventual march up the political food chain.


At the moment, there’s nowhere to go. All three U.S. House seats in the local area are ocupado; Virginia is unlikely to ever elect a Fairfax board chair to statewide office; and U.S. Senate seats, also ocupado, are perhaps a leap too far for a local official.

State Senate? Maybe. House of Delegates? Seems like his ambitions are too big for that.

And when an available job becomes open, expect half the elected officials in the local area to jump into the fray. McKay will be just another face in the crowd.

But hope springs eternal. Two previous Fairfax board chairs ended up in the U.S. House (Tom Davis and, currently, Gerry Connolly). McKay seems to have all of the single-minded abrasiveness of Connolly, although he is lacking in Gerry’s charm. (Yes, I think Connolly has charm. We Irish stick together!)

So expect to hear a lot more from McKay as time goes on, increasingly on issues that are beyond the scope of his responsibilities. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a statement on Russia-Ukraine next. (Hey, if Mark Warner can wheedle his name into that contretemps via press release after press release, why can’t McKay?)

PROOF WE’LL WHACK ANYBODY AND EVERYBODY: Who doesn’t love Rip Sullivan? We’re certainly fans of the McLean delegate here at Sun Gazette World Headquarters.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to whack him around, now and again, if and when deserved.

The Ripper – I have received dispensation to use that moniker – recently sent out a note to constituents on the school-masking issue topic. In it, he criticized Gov. Youngkin.

“[W]hen he says he is ‘listening to parents,’ he means he is listening to some parents. He means he is listening to parents who agree with him,” the delegate said of the governor.

That’s probably true. But it’s also true I’m not sure I heard the delegate raise a stink when Youngkin’s predecessor, Gov. Northam, overrode local authority and imposed a blanket mask mandate and other constitutionally questionable if practical edicts.

Northam was listening to parents who agreed with him, too, and from Democrats now so suddenly concerned about local authority on schools, we heard nary a complaint or criticism. (Chap Petersen being an exception.)

So swing and a miss, Del. Sullivan. We still love ya, but there’s no need to stoop to cheap political point-scoring and posturing. You’re better than that.

KUDOS FOR GETTING IT RIGHT: Yours truly walked into the Shirlington Library on Friday (masked up for safety!) to find a sign on the door that got it right.

It said the library would be closed Monday (today) for “George Washington Day,” noting that that’s the official name of the holiday in Virginia.

Today is not “Presidents’ Day” (with or without apostrophe), unless your idea of fun is celebrating, along with our presidential standouts, the likes of Millard Fillmore, Warren G. Harding, James Buchanan, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Zachary Taylor, Chester Arthur and Franklin Pierce. There’s a collection of mediocrities for ya.

We, meaning those of us in the holiday-naming-enforcement patrol, would accept “Washington’s Birthday,” which is the title of the federal holiday. But the fact that the library system was savvy enough to use the state name is worth acknowledging and even celebrating. (Although points off for this: the library system uses “Presidents Day” on its Website. Clearly the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.)

  • Scott McCaffrey
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