Petition Opposing The BOS Raise


Herrity: 45% Pay Hike Outrageous; Board Out Of Touch Union Chief Says

March 20, 2023


By Michael O’Connell

Fairfax County residents have a chance on Tuesday to weigh in on a proposal to give the board of supervisors a 45 percent pay hike.

Clarification: This story was updated with U.S. Census data regarding the annual median income in Fairfax County.

FAIRFAX COUNTY, VA — Whether or not the members of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors should give themselves a 45 percent pay raise is the subject of a public hearing scheduled for 4 p.m., on Tuesday at the government center.

Currently, supervisors are paid $95,000 and the chairman earns $100,000. If adopted, the new pay range for supervisors would be between $125,000 and $130,000, and $140,000 to $145,000 for the chairman.

While David Walrod, president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, acknowledged board members do important work in keeping the county running and certainly deserve to earn a living wage, he questioned how a 45 percent pay increase could be justified while many teachers and county employees struggle to make ends meet.

“I think that really speaks to, one, what an expensive area Fairfax County actually is to live in, and two, it’s just a little bit out of touch with the actual Fairfax County community,” he said.

Most teachers don’t earn $95,000 a year and those who do are nearing the end of their careers, according to Walrod. Many teachers and public sector employees will never have a salary of $95,000.

“They’re talking about what they’re making now and adding another 45 percent on top of that,” he said. “That’s pretty big chunk of change.”

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust introduced the motion to raise board member salaries at its March 7 meeting.

“In addition to counting base work, the job of a supervisor or chairman requires participation in a growing number of regional bodies, in which most board members participate, but are not compensated,” Foust said, justifying his measure. “Our constituents rightly expect us to always be available to them in this electronic era, which makes the time committed to this job more involved and complex than ever.”

Other board members spoke in support of Foust’s measure at the meeting.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, who like Foust is not running for reelection this year, described the board of supervisors as an executive and legislative board and its members should be similarly remunerated.

“Now that we’re virtual, we’re 24/7,” she said “You’re answering emails because you’re on all the time.”

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik noted that the supervisors’ current yearly salary of $90,000 was well below Fairfax County’s average median income of $127,000 for households, according to data quoted in the measure. The AMI for individuals is $54,000. [Editor’s note: In 2021 dollars, the AMI for households in Fairfax County was $133, 974 and individuals $61,947, according to U.S. Census data.

In order for the board to attract more women and diverse candidates to run for county office, she said the supervisors needed to “make it a little bit easier for those candidates to come forward to make that sacrifice and not to have their families absolutely sacrifice not just the time, but the income in order to be able to live in this county.”

Only two supervisors on the 10-person board voted against the measure: Walter Alcorn (Hunter Mill) and Pat Herrity (Springfield).

“I do not support raising supervisor salaries more than what county employees have received during the past eight years,” Alcorn said after the vote.

The last time the supervisors gave themselves a pay increase was 2016, and Herrity, the lone Republican on the board, pointed out that many of the conditions were the same back then.

“Our employee compensation promises weren’t addressed,” he said. “But it’s worse. This time around we’re again not addressing our compensation promises. We’ve got retention issues across multiple resident-facing agencies, specifically the police department and paramedics and psychologists.”

At the same meeting that Foust introduced his pay raise measure, the board chose not to increase the real estate tax rate. This means that when the board votes on the final fiscal year 2024 budget, the tax rate will stay $1.11 per $100 of assessed value.

Even with a flat tax rate, property owners whose property assessment values went up would see higher tax bills. Fairfax County homeowners had an average increase of 6.97 percent in their 2023 real estate assessments. The average tax bill will increase just over $520 under the current tax rate.

“We’re in the midst of high inflation … high gas taxes and other post-pandemic challenges, and we still have a substantial tax bill increase on the table for the average homeowner,” Herrity said. “I don’t know how we give ourselves a 45 percent raise with all of that. Prioritizing a board salary increase without addressing those issues is outrageous.”

The board is only allowed to adjust its compensation during an election year and is required to hold a public hearing and vote on a pay change before April 15. Any change they approved would be applied to the new board that was sworn in after November’s general election.

The proposal as written contains a clause that if the measure passes, individual board members are not required to take a pay hike if they so choose.

Herrity said that clause was clearly political maneuvering during an election year.

After a majority of the board voted to approve Foust’s measure on March, the public hearing was set for March 21, so that supervisors could vote on whether or not to give themselves a raise before the April 15 deadline.

Ed Nuttall is running against Fairfax County CA Steve Descano in Democratic primary

March 16, 2023

7 News

By Nick Minock

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (7News) — Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano’s Democratic opponent says Descano has failed the people of Fairfax County repeatedly.

“There is a crisis in the courthouse today,” Ed Nuttall told 7News).

Nuttall is a trial lawyer and has handled cases in Fairfax County for 26 years.

He’s now running for Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney against Steve Descano in the June Democratic primary.

“Crime is up, prosecution is down, victims feel abandoned,” said Nuttall. “Our communities feel like they aren’t getting the results that they want to keep our communities safe. Violent offenders are being released back out to the community because of this office’s lack of leadership and management. And I have a solution.”

Nuttall laid out six reforms he said he’ll make to fix the Fairfax County CA’s Office, including investments in victim services and community outreach, modifying discovery protocols, implementing a mental health docket in Circuit Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, expanding drug courts in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and getting rid of social media positions in the office.

Descano’s staff frequently posts videos of Descano on social media.

“We don’t need social media positions,” said Nuttall. “We don’t need political positions or chief of staff positions in that office. We need to train prosecutors to run that office effectively to give the community what they deserve which is safety. “

Nuttall would replace the positions with a senior lawyer or retired judge to train young prosecutors.

“We see many cases being dismissed or pled out as the [Troy] Reynolds case was today because of prosecutorial errors in discovery protocols,” said Nuttall.

On Thursday, Descano’s office made a plea deal with Reynolds who was accused of driving a school bus drunk with 44 elementary school students on board. The plea deal drops all felony charges and victims’ families were not notified of the plea deal – a common complaint.

“Can you imagine having such an awful thing happen to your kindergartener on a field trip and not knowing this is a result of that case?” asked Nuttall.

“It’s a tragic outcome of the case, which happens often, unfortunately, all too often in the courthouse today due to mismanagement and lack of leadership by the chief prosecutor [Descano],” said Nuttall. “The prosecutor’s office has vast resources to conduct discovery. The county opened their wallets up three years ago, so he could hire additional paralegals and additional prosecutors to conduct discovery to improve discovery protocols so that that office could honor defendants’ constitutional rights. If you don’t train the paralegals and prosecutors how to conduct appropriate discovery, all the resources in the world are meaningless.”

Nuttall points to Descano’s inexperience in the courtroom.

In a 7News interview, Descano acknowledged he hasn’t personally prosecuted one case as the Commonwealth’s Attorney since he was elected in 2019.

“Have you ever personally prosecuted a case as the Commonwealth Attorney in Fairfax County?” 7News Reporter Nick Minock asked Descano.

“Nick, I would tell you that if I personally went up to court and prosecuted a case I would be doing my community a disservice,” Descano replied.

“I will lead from the front,” said Nuttall. “I will try cases on every level in that courthouse. I will try cases in Juvenile Court, General District Court, and Circuit Court.”

In an interview last month with 7News, Descano said he is running for reelection.

“I am very excited about it,” said Descano. “I know the community is behind what we’ve done.”

Nuttall also highlighted the 100 percent turnover rate on Descano’s legal team since he took office.

“The only individuals who remain on the legal staff as attorneys are the chief prosecutor and his deputy,” said Nuttall. “Everyone else has left. I believe over 50 Prosecutors have left that office in the last three years. That’s an astonishing turnover rate for any office. They didn’t leave because the economy was bad. They didn’t leave for better jobs. They left because they were mismanaged. They were overwhelmed, understaffed and under trained, and not respected, and that lack of leadership led them to other areas of the law. What’s left is a poor group of prosecutors, earnest line prosecutors who want to do the right thing, but are mismanaged and undertrained and can’t do what they were hired to do.”

Nuttall has lived in Fairfax County for the past 30 years.

“My wife and three children were born and raised in Fairfax County,” said Nuttall. “I’ve tried cases in Fairfax County for 26 years. That courthouse behind us is my second home. I talked to my wife and with her approval and my business partner’s support, I am running for Commonwealth’s attorney to make the changes that we need to return to a safe Fairfax.”

7News reached out to Descano for an interview on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Descano declined an interview with 7News on Thursday as he did Wednesday when 7News reported how a victim and her family feel they are being retaliated against by Descano.

Supervisors vote to give themselves a hefty raise

March 10, 2023

Fairfax County Times

By Heather Zwicker

Social media sites lit up with comments on posts after a story first reported by WJLA hinted that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering giving themselves a nearly 45% raise. The proposal would increase supervisor pay from about $90,000 per year to between $125,000 and $130,000. The chairman’s pay would go from about $100,000 to between $140,000 and $145,000.

Then Board voted Tuesday on the board matter presented by Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust. The vote was 8-2 in favor of holding a public hearing on the sizeable pay increase for the board members. Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn voted against the measure.

The increase would bring the supervisor’s salaries more in line with officials in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Officials in surrounding Northern Virginia jurisdictions receive much less.

In the matter Foust said that per Virginia law compensation can only be adjusted in an election year and following a public hearing. He recommended that pay for board members be “increased up to $140,000 annually, which is consistent both with surrounding large jurisdictions as well as what compensation would be if they had received the same pay increase as county staff since 2015.” Members of the Board of Supervisors have not received a pay raise since 2015 and since Foust is retiring at the end of the year, he would not benefit from the compensation increase. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, who is also retiring at the end of the year, would not receive a raise; she voted in favor of the matter. 

Interestingly, Foust included in his board matter “that staff develop a mechanism for any Board member who disagrees with this compensation adjustment to return any additional compensation they receive to the County.” That means if approved Herrity and Alcorn would not receive the higher salary.

The board matter comes as county residents are suffering from higher costs on goods and services as a result of inflation. And constituents are already complaining about paying high personal property taxes and their increasing real estate tax bills, making the issue of such a large increase in compensation unattractive to constituents.

In fact, some county residents took issue that supervisors would receive this much salary for what is essentially a part-time job. Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said that the only reason he could consider running is because he already had a pension from his previous 30-year job with the county.

“This could backfire on them,” said Ben of Burke responding to a Nextdoor post. “With higher pay, more local residents may want to run.”

Some residents across many social media platforms decried the low salaries of teachers and law enforcement personnel. “The Fairfax Police Department has the lowest starting salary in the area,” said Stephen of Fairfax. The schools have a horrible staff bloat. Take your self-centered raise and give it to first responders and teachers. They deserve it much more than you do.”

On Wednesday, recently elected Delegate Holly Seibold (D-Vienna) issued a statement saying that she finds the proposal “objectionable.” 

“The people on the ground working for us every single day to ensure our lives and that of our families are safe and prosperous – do not receive fair wage increases,” said Seibold. “Yet the salaries of our elected leaders are in excess.”

Conversely, Springfield Democrats lauded the idea tweeting, “Increasing salary on the Board means that local government is more accessible and representative of our County. Don’t let Republicans twist it: this is a good move towards a more equitable Fairfax County.”

“It is unbelievable that this Board would propose a 37 to 45 percent raise for themselves when our residents are struggling with high inflation, a 50 percent increase in homeowner taxes over the last decade, and in a budget that does not address the staffing crisis in public safety and other critical county positions,” said Herrity, who considers being on the Board a public service.

Alcorn told FFXnow in a statement that he does not support raising supervisor salaries more than what county employees have received during the past eight years. General county and public safety employees have received roughly a 29.84% increase since FY 2015, which includes a 14.76 average merit increase and at 14.08% increase in the market rate adjustment, according to a Herrity staffer.

Additionally, Herrity said that a county car Chairman Jeff McKay pays for out of his office budget should be considered part of compensation. “It would be useful to have that information and take that into account when we’re looking at compensation because compensation is bigger than just a paycheck,” said Herrity.

Before any increase in compensation can occur, a public hearing must be held. Residents can sign up to speak at the meeting on this matter March 21 at 4:30 p.m. For more information visit

March madness Newsletter

March 9, 2023
On top of basketball, March is looking to be an incredibly busy month with Team Herrity from fighting the crazy proposed 45% Board raises, to the St Patrick’s Day party, to three Teen Job Fairs, to three Town Halls (Assessment 3/15, Budget Rate 3/22, Fentanyl 3/28), to the many other campaign activities.

In this issue…

St. Patrick’s Day Party – Sunday March 12th at 7PM (don’t forget to turn your clock back) at Springfield Golf and Country Club- 8301 Old Keene Mill Rd, Springfield, VA 22152 (details below)

Teen Job Fairs – Three opportunities for teens to get their first jobs hosted by Supervisor Herrity (details in the article below)West Springfield High School Saturday March 11th, from 11-1pm at West Springfield High School- 6100 Rolling Rd, West Springfield, VA 22152South County High School Saturday March 18th, 1-3pm at South County High School- 8501 Silverbrook Rd, Lorton, VA 22079 Chantilly High School Fair on Saturday March 25th, 1-3pm at Chantilly High School- 4201 Stringfellow Rd, Chantilly, VA 20151Assessment Town Hall– March 15th at 7pm, televised on Channel 16 (Cox Channel 1016; Verizon/Comcast Channel 16) and streamed online. Details below.

Budget Rate Town Hall– March 22nd at 7pm, televised on Channel 16 (Cox Channel 1016; Verizon/Comcast Channel 16) and streamed online. Details below.

Fentanyl is in Our Neighborhoods and Schools: What You Need to Know and Do– A Town Hall meeting on March 28th at 7pm, in the The Little Theatre and Lecture Hall at Lake Braddock Secondary School.

You get a tax increase, the board gets a raise- At Tuesday’s meeting, I opposed the motion to consider a 45% raise for Board members. It is unbelievable that the Board would propose a 37 to 45 percent raise for themselves when residents are struggling with high inflation, a 50 percent increase in homeowner taxes over the last decade, and in a budget that does not address the staffing crisis in public safety and other critical county positions. This comes on top of a $1.1M increase in Board office budgets last year. Also at the meeting I was the only vote against advertising the tax rate at its current level due to increased assessments and the resulting tax increase. Lots more on this below.

Door Knocking Event- Saturday March 11th, beginning at 9AM at 8245 Backlick Rd. Suite E2, Lorton, VA
St. Patrick’s Day Party On Sunday March 12th at 7pm at the Springfield Golf and Country Club- 8301 Old Keene Mill Rd, Springfield, VA 22152

The Springfield Country Club is graciously hosting our annual St. Patrick’s Day Party again this year; and in addition to Irish music, the mashed potato bar, and great food and beer, we will have Congressman Rob Whitman as our featured guest speaker. 
Please visit the link to reserve your spot, or print and send back the invitation below, or email 
RSVP Link Here: 

Teen Job Fairs Start Saturday– I hope you will join me this Saturday at West Springfield High School from 11am to 1pm as we kick off our Teen Job Fair Series! Registration is free and still open for students and businesses. For the past six years, my office has been hosting the fairs with cosponsors Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), School Board Member Laura Jane Cohen, Connection Newspapers, as well as local businesses and chambers of commerce. In March, I will be hosting fairs at West Springfield High School (3/11), South County High School (3/18), and Chantilly High School (3/25). See the full fair schedule and additional cosponsors below.  

These fairs focus on students and young job seekers looking for a variety of employment opportunities; full time, after-school, seasonal positions, internship opportunities, and volunteer positions. The fairs have provided thousands of teenagers the opportunity to get in front of employers and for our employers to find talented Fairfax County students to fill their positions. Last year, with the return to in-person fairs, we had over 2,000 students and roughly 100 businesses participate.
– West Springfield High School
Saturday, March 11th
11 am to 1 pm
(Final workshops ending at 1:30pm)
-South County High School
Saturday, March 18th
1pm to 3 pm
(Final workshops ending at 3:30pm)
-Chantilly High School
Saturday, March 25th
1pm to 3pm
(Final workshops ending at 3:30pm

Students can register here. Student registration is free and open to all teens in Fairfax County looking for employment, volunteer opportunities, or tips on building their resume.
Businesses can register here. Business registration is also free and open to any organization providing positions for students. Free table space and a complimentary table covering will be provided to registered businesses and organizations to advertise their available positions. Participating businesses and organizations must provide positions for students at the fair; soliciting without offering positions is not permitted.
We will also host resume and career building workshops during the fairs with our Chamber of Commerce partners. Students of any experience level are encouraged to attend these workshops.

For more information on the fairs, please visit the Teen Job Fair Series webpage or email my office at I look forward to seeing you there!
Thank you to my cosponsors who make these fairs possible!

Assessment Town Hall My office has received numerous calls from residents on the assessment process as a result of the soaring assessments over the last few years. In response I have asked the Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration to host a town hall to explain the real estate and car tax assessment process. They will discuss national market data, equalization, office market impacts on residential trends and the appeals process. The Town Hall will be held March 15th at 6PM virtually on Channel 16 and Facebook Live to maximize participation.
Live on Channel 16
Stream live at
Stream live on Facebook @SupervisorHerrity
Assessments are only half of the equation in determining the tax you pay – the other half is the tax rate. I will continue to push for reductions in spending and the tax rate to compensate for the rise in assessments and propose specific reductions as I have done in prior years.  
You can email your questions in advance by sending it to

Budget Town HallI will also be hosting my annual Budget Town Hall on Wednesday, March 22nd on Channel 16 and Facebook Live at 7:00 PM. We are going to have this town hall virtually this year to allow more people to participate. Questions can be submitted via email to or on Facebook @Supervisor Herrity in advance or during the meeting.

Live on Channel 16
Stream live at Fairfax County Government Channel 16 | Cable and Consumer Services
Stream live on Facebook @SupervisorHerrity

Fentanyl is in Our Neighborhoods and Schools:
What You Need to Know and Do – I will be hosting a town hall on the fentanyl public health crisis our county is facing on Tuesday March 28th at the Lake Braddock Secondary School’s Little Theatre and Lecture Hall at 7pm. Come hear what we are seeing and doing to address from the police department, the school system, the county and the Community Services Board.   

You Get a Tax Increase, the Board Gets a Raise– 
At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board voted 8 to 2 to consider a raise for Board members, which I opposed along with Supervisor Alcorn (Hunter Mill). The salary increase would increase Board member salaries from $90,000 to as high as $130,000, with an additional consideration to raise the Chairman’s salary to a range of $140,000 to $145,000. It is unbelievable that this Board would propose a 37 to 45 percent raise for themselves when residents are struggling with high inflation, a 50 percent increase in homeowner taxes over the last decade, and in a budget that does not address the staffing crisis in public safety and other critical county positions. 
This comes on top of a $1.1M increase in Board office budgets approved last year which I opposed.  At the meeting Tuesday, I asked staff how our Board office budgets compare to surrounding jurisdictions. In prior budgets I have proposed reducing the size of Board office budgets.  More than 70 percent of my staff’s time is spent helping residents from across the County navigate the County’s siloed bureaucracy and many regulations and it is getting worse. Instead of expanding Board offices, these funds would be better spent improving customer service and reducing and simplifying regulations.  
The Board is not proposing similar pay increases for police, paramedics, teachers, and  other County employees trying to afford to live in the County As the proposed budget stands, County employees aren’t even getting a full market rate adjustment (MRA) increase despite our workforce challenges 

For those of you, like me, who want to dig into the details of where this “staff recommendation” and the large increases came from, you will note that they used only jurisdictions in DC and Maryland to compute the numbers (purportedly because they were Full Time positions) showing we were below “market” (59% to 66). If they had compared with just our surrounding Virginia jurisdictions, current Board pay is well above market (154% to 166%).  If you include both, we are right at market. Please see the charts here for the details.

As a CFO, I also know that compensation is about more than just the paycheck, it is about the pension benefits, medical benefits and other perks like take home vehicles.  While the Board has not approved take home vehicles for Supervisors, I have asked staff for details on take home vehicles provided to Supervisors as well as to include these other benefits in the analysis for a look at total compensation.
My colleagues have repeatedly rejected my proposals to even look at ways to cut taxes by finding efficiencies and reductions in the budget. This proposal to increase Board salaries is just one of many indicators that this Board is not prioritizing what’s important to residents. I strongly encourage you to sign up to testify for the public hearing regarding the increase on March 21st at 4:30pm. 

Board Approves Advertising Flat Tax Rate Largely missed in the furor over the Board salary increases was the vote to advertise the tax rate – the highest rate we can adopt in May. The Board adopts the FY 2024 budget on May 9th which as advertised includes a roughly 7 percent increase in the tax bill for the average resident, even with a flat tax rate, due to rising assessments. I was the only Supervisor to vote against advertising the current rate. Ninety million dollars in the FY 2024 budget are unappropriated and that should go toward a tax rate reduction. While many Supervisors have indicated that they will not support a budget at the current tax rate, they all voted to advertise at the current tax rate. I will continue to ask the Board to address police compensation in this budget as well as rate reductions for our residents. 

Door Knocking Event Team Herrity will be hosting a door knocking event on Saturday March 11th beginning at 9AM at 8245 Backlick Rd. Suite E2, Lorton, VA. Come down to the office to meet with the Herrity team and help introduce Pat into the new Springfield precincts, and also help gather petition signatures. RSVP by sending an email to 

Virginia county board members advance plan to hike their pay 45% amid cop shortage, crime surge

March 8, 2023

Just The News

By Nicholas Ballasy

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with consideration of a proposal to give themselves salary increases of up to 45%, even as the county, located just outside of Washington, D.C., faces a shortage of police in the midst of a crime surge.

With inflation still high, county residents are facing real estate taxes that have risen 7% on average. In addition, Virginia counties assess the value of personal vehicles and send “personal property tax” bills that residents must pay each year. These bills are at record levels due to the high values of used vehicles. 

The Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 to proceed with consideration of a plan to approve supervisor salary increases from $90,000 per year to between $125,000 and $130,000. The board’s chairman, Jeff McKay, is currently paid $100,000 yearly, according to local media reports. Under the new proposal, his pay would jump to between $140,000 and $145,000.

Residents have a chance to respond to the Board’s action on Tuesday, March 21 at 4:30 p.m., when the proposal comes up for a final vote.

Springfield Supervisor Pat Herrity opposes the pay increases. In a statement on social media, he noted that the county is 200 police officers short as it faces a public safety crisis.

“It is unbelievable that this Board would propose a 37 to 45 percent raise for themselves,” Herrity wrote, “when our residents are struggling with high inflation, a 50 percent increase in homeowner taxes over the last decade, and in a budget that does not address the staffing crisis in public safety and other critical county positions.”

Chairman McKay, who would see a 40-45% pay increase under the proposal, has a county-paid vehicle. Herrity reportedly said at the meeting on Tuesday that the board hasn’t formally approved McKay’s use of the vehicle. McKay didn’t directly respond and changed the subject.

According to local news outlet WJLA, major crime incidents are increasing in the county. A Patch report said that Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, who is not seeking reelection to the board this year, “made the motion to raise the board members’ salaries.”

The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance said the supervisors haven’t earned the raises they are seeking to give themselves. The group also noted that supervisors are able to hold other jobs outside of their board duties.

“For over 20 years they’ve been raising real estate taxes three times faster than homeowner income,” said Arthur Purves, the group’s president. “Their spending is out of control. For example, they give half our taxes to the school board without demanding any accountability. The result is that between FY2018-FY2022, the school budget increased $400M while FCPS SAT scores decreased 27 points. Over the same period, Virginia SAT scores increased 14 points.”

Purves said that “political rhetoric and mismanagement of the police has made it much more expensive to hire police officers, with the bill passed on to the taxpayers.” He added that “tax hikes subsidize and reward mismanagement.”

Jeff McKay’s county-funded car called into question as he votes to give himself $45K raise

March 7, 2023


By Nick Minock

FAIRFAX, Va. (7News) — On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-2 to move forward with massive pay increases for themselves.

Before the raises take effect next year, there will be a public hearing on March 21 at 4:30 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center on 12000 Government Center Parkway Fairfax, Va. 22035. You can sign up to speak in person or virtually, according to a county spokesperson.

Chairman Jeff McKay and other supervisors explained why they felt taxpayers should give them upwards of a 45% raise.

“Some may have been born into a political dynasty and have wealth and have part-time jobs that allow this work to happen,” said McKay. “Others don’t come from that background.”

County taxpayers already compensate McKay $100,000 a year. McKay’s salary may now increase to $145,000 which would also give a big boost to his county pension. Other Fairfax County Supervisors make about $90,000 a year and their salary may increase up to $130,000.

Pat Herrity, who was one of two supervisors to vote against the raises, mentioned how the role of a supervisor is technically a part-time job.

“This is public service,” said Herrity. “This is a board position. This isn’t ten mini-county executives trying to run the county.”

McKay and Supervisor John Foust disagreed.

“I personally consider this a full-time job,” said Foust.

Herrity brought up how McKay drives a county car, which was first reported by 7News. We confirmed McKay drives a Ford Fusion Hybrid which is paid for by McKay’s office budget.

On Tuesday, 7News Reporter Nick Minock asked McKay’s office if McKay is reporting the use of the county Ford Fusion Hybrid as income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and asked if McKay is personally paying for the annual county property tax on the Ford Fusion Hybrid or is he paying the vehicle property taxes from his office budget. 7News will update this story when McKay’s office responds.

“I understand that there are some supervisors that have county take-home vehicles,” Herrity said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I don’t remember that coming before the Board [of Supervisors] but it would be useful to have that information and take that into account when we’re looking at compensation because compensation is bigger than just a paycheck.”

But, McKay changed the topic and brought up how only supervisors who vote ‘yes’ on the proposal would get raises and supervisors who disagree would have to give the raise back to the county.

Critics of supervisors’ and McKay’s massive pay raise said it is a slap in the face for county workers who may only get 2% raises from the Board of Supervisors this year and critics also argue the huge raise is tone-deaf as property taxes and car taxes are rising in Fairfax County –– something the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors could fix if they wanted to.

“Our residents are struggling with inflation, high inflation, they’re struggling with a 50% increase in their taxes in the last 10 years,” said Herrity. “We got a budget in front of us that doesn’t even address public safety and some of the other critical positions.”

But Supervisor Dalia Palchik called the raise a “slight change” and Supervisor Rodney Lusk said the current county salary is a barrier for people to run for the Board of Supervisors.

“When I had to deliberate on running for the Board of Supervisors, this issue was a very significant one,” said Lusk said during Tuesday’s meeting. “From conversations with my wife. She was trying to understand how I could take a salary cut is how she described it because of the compensation that we make on this board. I have two daughters, one that’s in college, she will be graduating this year. And the only reason I could run is because I had spent 30 years working in this county prior and I retired and then I became able to meet the financial requirements that I would have as a parent, father, husband.”

“I look forward to hearing from the community and hopefully we are able to make that slight change so that when we come around to another four years, we have a very representative body and candidates who are able to make that choice,” said Palchik.

The supervisors who voted for pay increases for next year’s Board of Supervisors include Penelope Gross, James Walkinshaw, John Foust, Rodney Lusk, Daniel Storck, Dalia Palchik, Kathy Smith, and Chair McKay.

The supervisors who voted against the pay increases were Pat Herrity and Walter Alcorn.

Fairfax supervisors consider raising board’s salaries

March 7, 2023

The Washington Post

By Antonio Olivio

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering raising the board’s salaries by as much as 45 percent for the chairman’s office and as much as 37 percent for individual supervisors — a move aimed at broadening the pool of applicants who seek a seat on the board, but one that has angered county employees seeking higher salaries.

A March 21 public hearing set by the board Tuesday will kick off a process to consider the board’s first pay raise since 2016, when the chairman’s salary was increased to $100,000 per year and supervisors began annually making $95,000.All of the positions are part time, although most board members treat them as full-time jobs, involving weekend events and time spent on regional boards.

If the plan is approved, the chairman’s salary would go up to between $140,000 and $145,000 per year, and supervisors’ salaries would increase to between $125,000 and $130,000 per year — starting in January, after county elections on board seats are held in November.

The median household income in Fairfax County is just below $128,000 per year.

Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville) — who introduced the motion and would not be affected because he is leaving the board after his term expires in January — said the proposed pay raises are a way to attract more people of modest incomes to run for the county board in a community where many residents struggle to pay mortgages or to find affordable child care.

“Compensation should not be a barrier to run for or serve in public office,” Foust said before the board voted 8-2 to schedule the public hearing. Supervisors Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) and Walter L. Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) opposed setting the public hearing.

But the idea may generate some controversy at a time when Northern Virginia’s most populous jurisdiction is still dealing with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taxpayer groups are unhappy about County Executive Bryan Hill’s proposed budget, which is based on a residential property tax rate freeze that nonetheless means homeowners would pay an average of $520 more in their annual tax bills because of higher property assessments.

The county’s more than 12,000 employees are also angry about what they called insufficient pay raises proposed under that budget, which included a 2 percent pay increase, plus raises based on performance and longevity, instead of a 5.44 increase that was initially calculated.

“Despite our calls for wage fairness for county employees, it appears the county has another priority — raises for politicians,” Tammie Wondong, president of the Service Employees International Union local that represents Fairfax County employees, said in a statement.

Foust’s proposal is based on two calculations made by county staff. First, the percentage increase is roughly equivalent to how much county employee salaries have risen since the board last approved a salary hike for supervisors in 2015.

Also, the proposed amount is about as much as what full-time board members in some other large jurisdictions make, according to the county.

In Montgomery County, the council’s president is paid $171,912.46 per year. The other members receive a salary of $156,284.05, according to that county’s website. The D.C. Council chairman makes $210,000 per year, and council members are paid $154,437.

However, neighboring Prince William County’s board chair earns $49,452 per year for that part-time position, and supervisors make $43,422. Loudoun County recently increased pay for its part-time board by regular increments over the next four years, with the chair’s position going up by 6 percent in January to $91,064.

Herrity argued that Fairfax’s compensation should be more akin to its closest neighbors in Northern Virginia since the supervisor’s position is still technically part time. He also said hiking the board’s salary now sends the wrong message to county employees who are also struggling with the region’s high cost of living.

“This is public service,” said Herrity, who earns a second salary as part-time chief financial officer to a computer security company. “What we’re forgetting here is that our county, our police officers, they’re not even at the average starting salary. We’ve got some work to do there.”

Supervisor Dalia A. Palchik (D-Providence) talked about how hard it’s been to serve her constituents while scrambling to find affordable child care for her 1-year-old daughter.

“My scheduling meeting every single week is a struggle,” she said. “We are trying to figure out how to make child care, which is so unaffordable, work.”

Supervisor Rodney L. Lusk (D-Franconia) said he wouldn’t have been able to get elected as the board’s first African American man if he didn’t already have a stable retirement income from his previous work in economic development.

“I would not be sitting here if I did not have the opportunity that I had,” he said. “And there are many that don’t.”

Crime trends upward across Fairfax County

March 3, 2023

Fairfax County Times

By Taneika Duhaney

At two months into the new year, crimes against person and crimes against property in Fairfax County are on track to outpace 2022. 

The two types of crime are those against persons and those against property. Crimes against a person include assault offenses, homicide, human trafficking, kidnapping, and sex offenses. Crimes against property cover a broader range of offenses, including arson, bribery, burglary, vandalism, embezzlement, fraud, and theft.

In 2022, there were 936 crimes against person cases across the county compared to 1,187 as of Feb. 15. This trend parallels crimes against property, totaling 2,952 for 2022 compared to 3,176 as of Feb. 15, according to data provided by the Fairfax County Police Department.

This data builds on an upward trend in which crimes against person and crimes against property jumped by 10.5 percent and 19.1 percent, respectively, from 2021 to 2022. 

“Our officers, commanders, and Crime Analysis Unit constantly monitor trends within our community to ensure we allocate resources and implement strategies appropriately. Each week, commanders gather at our headquarters to discuss these trends. Commanders share their strategies and collaborate to identify solutions,” said an FCPD spokesperson. 

As the department works to combat the five-year high crime trend, residents continue to post on social media platforms and apps like Neighbors to raise awareness and increase vigilance across the county.  

In addition to residents, county leaders have taken note of this unsettling trend and have sounded the alarm. 

“I recently asked for the preliminary crime rates for 2022 as I was having difficulty reconciling statements by some elected officials that crime in Fairfax County is down with what I’m hearing from residents. It looks like the residents are correct,” said Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity in his Jan. 26 newsletter.

Like Herrity, residents are concerned about the FCPD staffing shortages. A March 2020 to August 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau analysis found that law enforcement employees decreased by 4 percent nationwide.

“Our police department has had to eliminate many of its specialty units (neighborhood policing, speed enforcement teams, etc.) in order to staff patrol positions due to the staffing crisis that the Board [of Supervisors] has been slow to address despite my continued advocacy,” said Herrity. However, FCPD contends that “despite staffing challenges in law enforcement agencies across the country, the FCPD remains dedicated to keeping our county one of the safest jurisdictions of its size. As of Feb. 9, we have an authorized strength of 1,492 police officers and 186 vacancies. Last fall, our department moved to two 12.5-hour shifts and increased our minimum staffing levels. Patrol areas have not been consolidated and remain the same as they have been.” 

As residents and county leaders look to FCPD to stem the uptick in crimes, the department continues to explore various avenues to keep residents safe. 

“Our Crime Prevention and Community Outreach Officers are constantly working to inform the community about the latest trends and ways to help reduce crime. From handing out locks to reduce the Kia and Hyundai thefts, VIN etching events, neighborhood watch programs, Hidden in Plain Sight, home security surveys, and more, we’re working with our community every day to reduce crime,” FCPD said in a statement.

These actions may prove effective. In 2022, research firm SmartAsset ranked Alexandria the sixth safest city out of 200 of the largest cities across the country. 

FCPD continues to encourage community members to report suspicious persons and crimes to help the department identify trends and collect data so resources can be appropriately allocated across the county.

Fairfax County releases proposed 2024 budget

March 3, 2023

Fairfax County Times

By Richard H. Hronik III

The Fairfax County Executive revealed the advertised fiscal year 2024 budget at a Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 21.

This proposed budget assumes no change in the property tax rate, the personal property tax rate, or the McLean Community Center tax rate. It includes an enhanced tax relief program for the elderly and disabled, approved by the board last year, to include the new 75 percent tax relief bracket and tax deferral program.

Also included is a fully-funded recurring school operating request, as included in the superintendent’s proposed budget, compensation for county employees including performance, merit, and longevity increases, a 2% market rate adjustment, and benchmark adjustments. In addition, the proposed budget includes funding to address the impacts of inflation and funding for new facilities.

Revenue projections for this budget are partially based on the existing real estate tax of $1.11 per $100 of asserted value. However, recently released 2023 real estate assessments show an average residential property value increase of 6.97 percent. These increases in value would still result in increased property tax bills across Fairfax County.

“It is no surprise a tax increase on the average homeowner is still on the table with this Board’s unrestrained spending, a declining commercial real estate tax base, and the end of federal pandemic aid,” said Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity. “Surrounding jurisdictions, not to mention prior Fairfax County Boards, have been doing what I have been proposing: looking at ways to cut spending and find efficiencies. This Board has refused and our residents, who are already suffering due to the pandemic and inflation, are paying for it.”

To offset lower-than-expected returns on county retirement pensions for police officers, and uniformed, and non-uniformed employees, the proposed budget includes additions to these pensions. Provisions for other limited, targeted investments are also included to address various needs across the county. All new positions are offset by reductions, with a net impact of no new positions.

Projected revenue growth also includes an increase of almost $2 million in emergency medical services transport fees. 

“This stands in stark contrast to what our state leaders accomplished last year and are trying to accomplish this year,” said Herrity. “Reducing tax burdens on residents and businesses.”

“We are deeply disappointed with the Fairfax County Executive for proposing a budget that undervalues the officers and employees within the Fairfax County Police Department,” said Steve Monahan, president of the Fairfax County Chapter of the Southern States Police Benevolent Association. “This proposed budget will ultimately compromise the safety of our community…Officers within the Fairfax County Police Department feel like they are burning the candle at both ends. They are undervalued, overworked, unappreciated, and increasingly underpaid.”

In total, the advertised budget’s revenue proposals yielded $346 million of additional tax revenues. This leaves a balance of just more than $90 million to be used at the Board of Supervisors’ discretion. This would allow the board to vote for increased spending, slightly lower tax rates, or both.

The McLean Citizens Association and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust will host a virtual public meeting on the proposed FY 2024 county budget on March 9 at 7 p.m. The meeting will feature Fairfax County budget director Phil Hagen who will present information on, and answer questions about, the proposed budget. Similarly, other county supervisors will hold town hall meetings for their districts. The county board of supervisors will hold public hearings on the FY 2024 budget from April 11 – 13. The FY 2024 budget will be adopted on May 9.

Potential GMU cricket facility has county board intrigued but cautious

February 27, 2023


By Angela Woolsey

Fairfax County officials are guarding their wickets carefully as they size up a recent pitch for a possible cricket and baseball facility at George Mason University.

The Board of Supervisors directed county staff last week to monitor and get involved in a feasibility study that Mason and Major League Cricket (MLC) initiated in November.

Since the study is still in its early stages, major questions remain, including what sites are being considered, but there is definitely demand for a regulation cricket pitch, Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk and Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity said.

“I’m just interested in seeing if we have the opportunity to at least have a conversation and to see if there’s any feasibility on this coming to fruition,” Lusk said during the Feb. 21 meeting. “…There are many in the community who have been asking for this and would really enjoy having this opportunity to play cricket in a facility of this nature.”

GMU announced on Nov. 29 that it’s collaborating with MLC to study the possibility of building a multi-purpose facility that could host international-level cricket games as well as the university’s baseball team.

Funding for the study comes from technology entrepreneur Sanjay Govil, a founding investor in MLC, according to the press release. The group aspires to have an operational facility that would serve as a home for an MLC franchise by summer 2025.

A regulation cricket field is the size of three baseball fields, making it “extremely difficult to assemble” within the Fairfax County Park Authority’s standard field dimensions, Lusk and Herrity said in their joint board matter.

“This innovative approach has the potential to fill a recreational void in our community, provide a multi-use amenity of benefit to the entire county, and generate a meaningful economic impact as the sole facility of its kind in the region,” the board matter said.

In the community immediately surrounding GMU’s Fairfax campus, however, the proposal may face an uphill battle.

Though he expressed support for both GMU and cricket, Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw warned it will be “really important to manage this process” to avoid a repeat of “some decisions that the university made that created some real challenges and animosity in the neighborhoods.”

He didn’t specify which decisions he was referring to, but he noted that the proximity of Mason’s existing athletic facilities on the west campus to residential neighborhoods “has presented a lot of challenges over the years.” In addition, one possible, currently undeveloped site at Braddock and Shirley Gate roads is in the Occoquan Watershed.

The new facility’s potential traffic impact could also be an issue. An extension of Shirley Gate Road from Braddock to Fairfax County Parkway is in the works, but that’s about it for planned road improvements in the area, according to Walkinshaw.

“If we’re going to be building a facility here that will bring large groups of people, the university’s got to take some responsibility for how people are going to get to and from the campus, because the existing transportation network doesn’t support it,” he said.

Board Chairman Jeff McKay concurred that the county needs to approach the proposal “with our eyes wide open,” noting that GMU-owned properties aren’t subject to local land use review processes like private or county developments.

The One University and Capstone housing projects near the university campus, for instance, may have ruffled feathers, but the public was still guaranteed opportunities to provide input.

“Unlike the county, [GMU doesn’t] go through our regular land use process,” McKay said. “That’s one of the reasons you’re hearing some of the caution flags about making sure this process works right and the board is informed of what’s going on.”