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What would our next Mayor do?

by on 12/20/2016

Fairfax City will elect a new Mayor on February 7. The three candidates (in alphabetical order) are Michael Demarco, David Meyer and Ellie Schmidt. All currently serve on the City Council.

Fairfax City Citizens for Smarter Growth sent the following questions to each of the Mayoral candidates to learn their priorities for how the City of Fairfax should develop and plan its future. We will be posting their responses in early January.

Please vote on February 7. Local elections matter.

1) As Mayor you will be required to provide leadership to a relatively small City in the heart of a rapidly developing Fairfax County.

  • What is your vision for the City over the next 20 years?
  • What are the five most important things that need to be accomplished by the City in the next 10 years?
  • What are the three most important things you would aim to accomplish during the next two years?

2) Property tax revenues comprise over 47% of General Fund revenues (FY2017 Budget, General Fund Revenue Overview, C-8). The cost of providing quality education currently comprises 40% of our General Fund expenditures (FY2017 Budget, Budget Summary, B-10). An increased commercial tax base is necessary to relieve the burden on residential property taxes to maintain our excellence in education, and fund the quality services and parks system that the City is known for, as well as maintenance of our streets, pipes and other infrastructure. How do you propose to expand our commercial tax base?

3) The City has several retail and commercial areas that would benefit from redevelopment. These include Northfax, the Courthouse shopping center, the area between University Drive and 123 south of Sager, and Kamp Washington. What is your vision for redeveloping these areas?

4) The City is in the midst of updating its comprehensive plan, including a major update of its transportation plan. The Mayor and City Council also agreed on a set of goals in transportation, redevelopment and other areas for 2016-18. A good plan is tracked over time, to ensure it is being implemented and guides major City decisions and investments. What is your perspective on how we improve our plans and their implementation to enable the City to advance our goals?

5) Complete Streets is a transportation design practice that aims to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities.  Do you support a Complete Streets approach to new road projects and road improvement projects? Why, or why not?

6) The City must continue to address meeting the housing needs of a diverse population. People working in and around the City have a wide range of household incomes, and there is a corresponding need for a wide range of housing options. How can we address this?

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