Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova announced today (Dec. 6) her plans to retire after her term ends Dec. 31, 2019. Her departure adds to the list of supervisors who have also decided to retire.
Supervisors Linda Smyth, for the Providence District, and John Cook, for the Braddock District, recently said that they won’t seek reelection.
Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay plans to run for the top seat, as well as Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity, who faces a Democratic challenger for his district seat, The Washington Post reported. The upcoming election for the county’s Board of Supervisors will take place on Nov. 5, 2019.
Bulova, who hits the 10-year mark in February for leading the board, joined the board in 1988 as the Braddock District Supervisor.
The announcement arrived in her monthly newsletter. In one section, she wrote:
Local government is an awesome place to be. It’s the level of government closest to the people you represent. It’s the place where you can truly make a tangible difference, touch lives, and engage with the community in a personal, positive way. Deciding when to stop is just as hard as making the decision to start down the road of elective office. For me, however, that time has come.
When questioned by Tony Olivo of the Washington Post about my plans for running, I told him I was going to use the Thanksgiving holiday to think about it, and to talk to my family and friends. On Thanksgiving Day my son David arrived for dinner equipped with a large flip chart and colored stickies for voting. He titled the Chart “Family Decision Making Matrix” and separated it into “Pros” and “Cons.” It was a fun, light-hearted after dinner activity. Many of the items listed on the “Pro” side of the chart were some of the reasons that had already persuaded me to not seek another four-year term. More time with family and grandchildren, time for travel, to entertain, to smell the roses. It has been an honor to serve the Fairfax County community on the Board of Supervisors. During these past thirty years, I have been privileged to work alongside dedicated elected officials at every level of government, with talented, caring county staff and a county full of enthusiastic community volunteers. While I will not be running for re-election in 2019 I sure do have a lot to look back on with satisfaction.
Congress members representing Virginia have applauded Bulova’s leadership style and accomplishments.
“As former mayor to a city of 200,000 people, I have enormous respect for Sharon Bulova’s leadership of a county of 1.1 million,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said in a statement. “Over the past 30 years, Fairfax County’s population has grown by nearly half, and Sharon’s service during that time has played a major role in ensuring the prosperity and quality of life accompanying that growth.”
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who was the chairman before Bulova, said in a statement that Bulova “is a true community treasure,” whose time on the board will be remembered for decency and commitment to improving Fairfax County.
“Under her leadership, she turned the idea of the Virginia Railway Express into a reality,” Connolly said. “As Chairman, she guided the county through the worst of the Great Recession, while still maintaining the critical investments and services that Fairfax residents have come to expect.”
Reston Now reached out to Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins for a comment and has not heard back.
Pat Hynes, the Hunter Mill District representative for Fairfax County Public Schools, board supervisors and Eileen Filler-Corn, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing Fairfax County, took to Twitter this afternoon:
It’s been a privilege to serve on the school board during Sharon Bulova’s county bd chairmanship. A humble servant of the community, seeking input, investing in the long view, knowing that in local govt, today’s adversaries may be tomorrow’s allies. A model for future leaders. https://t.co/uxPzeugEC8
— Pat Hynes (@VotePatHynes) December 6, 2018
Congratulations to Supervisor Linda Smyth (Providence District) on announcing her retirement at today’s Board meeting. Thank you for your years of dedication and service to Fairfax County.
— Supervisor Pat Herrity (@PatHerrity) December 4, 2018
.@SharonBulova is a great example of collaborative leadership. No one has been better at pulling together disparate views and finding consensus on difficult issues. 2/3
— John Cook (@JohnCookVA) December 6, 2018
— John Cook (@JohnCookVA) December 6, 2018
Thank you Chairman @SharonBulova for your tireless work, first as Braddock Supervisor and then as Chairman of the @fairfaxcounty Board of Supervisors. You have been an incredible advocate for our county and an incredible mentor to me and so many women and men. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/etFn46MB54
— Eileen Filler-Corn (@EFillerCorn) December 6, 2018
Photo via Fairfax County. Second photo via Evan Michio Cantwell.