Drummond for Council

Drummond for Council

Friday, March 30, 2012

City Council Candidates' Version of "Question Time"

The British Parliament has a unique way of putting people on the spot. Actually, it's usually just one person - the Prime Minister - who must, during "question time," answer some very pointed questions asked at often times high decibels by Members of Parliament. Sometimes the questions are serious, while others are meant to "poke" the Prime Minister. To see what it's like click here.

In the United States we have a different tradition of ensuring that our elected officials - and those who want to serve - answer these tough questions: the questionnaire. It can come from a particular group, a news outlet or even individual. The goal is to have a candidate be "on the record" and provide his or her views points on a wide array of topics.

Those running for Mayor and City Council have recently received some of these questionnaires. The questions have been thoughtful and I have enjoyed responding to them. As they are published by various news outlets and organizations I will post them here so you can see my answers. I'll also include a link to the full questionnaire/article to compare my answers to other candidates. As a candidate for re-election City Council you have a right to know where I stand on the issues.

First up, is The Connection. Here's a link to this week's edition and below are my answers to some of their specific questions.

Editor’s Note: The Connection asked all City Council and City of Fairfax mayoral candidates to provide answers to the following questions, and to limit their answers to 100 words or less. 1. How do you balance and maintain vibrant economic development in the City of Fairfax with the city's "historic" quality of life? 2. Tell us how you would close the gap in the city's budget deficit? (Would you consider selling the city's water to a utility?). For more information on the City of Fairfax, go to www.fairfaxva.gov.

1. Q: How do you balance and maintain vibrant economic development in the City of Fairfax with the City's "historic" quality of life?

Drummond: The City has a unique "sense of place" that continues to separate us from other localities in Northern Virginia. We protect our residential neighborhoods, insist on high quality development projects and seek to strike a balance when it comes to the "size and scale" of a project. As the economy continues to improve we need to increase our efforts in attracting top

class retail shops, grocery stores and restaurants that complement the unique character of our City while providing the amenities residents want and deserve. To do this we should focus on redeveloping existing older commercial sites around the City, especially along Fairfax Boulevard, to ensure that we continue to be a destination for businesses and people alike. As part of this, I believe we need to consider higher density, mixed use projects that will provide people the opportunity to call the City home.

2. Q: How you would close the gap in the City's budget deficit: Would you consider selling the City's water to a utility?

Drummond: The City is facing one its most challenging budgets in its 50 year history. We face the need to fund ever-increasing costs for high-quality government services residents deserve, including providing a top-notch education for our growing K-12 student population while at the same time keeping taxes low, especially as the economy continues to recover. The straight truth is that we will need to increase the real estate tax rate, make some additional cuts that don’t directly affect services and delay some capital projects. It’s about striking a balance and I look forward to working with my colleagues on Council to find common ground just as we always have. With regard to the City’s water treatment system, any money it collects (i.e., through the sale of water) goes right back into the system and cannot be used for the general fund, including for covering any budget gaps. The Council is currently examining options to ensure we have a safe and reliable system that charges a fair price for water.


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Dan, Family and Friends in the 2013 Fourth of July Parade

Dan, Family and Friends in the 2013 Fourth of July Parade
Riding the coolest car in the parade