The measure of whether a town council member ought to be re-elected is what he has accomplished on behalf of Leesburg. Marty Martinez deserves credit for many accomplishments that have made Leesburg a wonderful place in which to live. Without a doubt, Martinez ought to be re-elected.
During his term in office, Martinez has focused on the issues that Leesburg residents care about: transportation, public safety, commercial development and bringing new jobs to Leesburg. His work in these areas can be seen around town: the Battlefield Parkway, Oaklawn’s 100 new jobs, the Courthouse Square redevelopment.
Dwight Dopilka has attempted to shift attention away from accomplishments to attendance records. Presumably if Dopilka had anything to say about Martinez’s accomplishments, he would have done so. Instead, Dopilka is trying to make an issue out of Martinez’s attendance records at town council meetings. A town council member works many more hours outside of town council meetings than in such meetings. It is what they have to show for the totality of their work by which they should be judged. Leesburg would be well-served by re-electing Marty Martinez.
Leesburg“Conservative” when it comes to others
I am totally shocked to see that the so called conservative supervisors are trying to get a 24 percent pay raise. I think all of them have full-time jobs in the corporate world.
One is a vice president at Telos; one is a senior director at 21st Century Energy, an arm for the Commerce Department, and one serves as federal counsel for Sprint.
This Board of Supervisors seems to forget that the people of Loudoun County also are employees of the county. They cut the budgets for everyone else. The school teachers did not get a 24 percent pay raise, and neither did any of the support staff in the county. We were lucky to see 3 percent in the past few years.
They should receive the same amount that they dictate to all the departments. I guess this board is conservative only when it comes to raises for others.
The public should not sit back and let this happen. Let’s put it into the ballots at election time.
School bus driverCOMMUNITY VIEW: Election politics skew facts of Obama years
Sadly, the campaigns now closing emphasized personal attacks on opposing candidates, often based on incomplete, out of context or deliberately misleading negative information. Civil debate on issues is lost in a flurry of 30-second TV slanders.
While neither major party’s messages are free of such distortions, Republicans have tried to make the campaign into a referendum on the president, perhaps to conceal their role in partisan Congressional gridlock. Their tone suggests that the nation’s ills can be attributed to the current administration. For those inclined to believe these attacks, please consider the following before voting.
Barrack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. He inherited a country in deep financial trouble and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the result of George W. Bush’s policies. Even if those wars were “justified” by 9-11, they leave a reservoir of Muslim resentment toward America.
From 2007 to 2009 the U.S. was shaken by the “Great Recession,” a financial crisis with huge financial institutions facing failure as a result of uncontrolled risk taking. That bleeding was staunched by taxpayer dollars deployed through the Troubled Asset Recovery Program, but during 2009 and 2010, 297 smaller banks failed, compared to the 29 failures in 2013, and 14 so far this year.
In 2009 the nation’s Gross Domestic Product decreased; in the following Obama years it has grown modestly at a 2-3 percent annual rate. In 2009 unemployment was 7.8 percent. Today it is 5.9 percent, too high but half way back to 4 percent, considered full employment. Today, U.S. companies are generally healthy, with the Dow Jones stock price index over 16,000, compared to under 7,000 when Obama took office.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are about over, Osama Bin Laden has been dispatched, though the Middle East and the Ukraine remain in turmoil, and Islamist activists still hate the “Great Satan,” America.
The Obama Administration deserves high marks on energy and the environment. Power from renewables is growing. Natural gas discoveries and fracking technology bring us near to energy self-sufficiency. Using administrative tools, the president has improved the nation’s carbon footprint through higher mileage cars and restrictions on coal-fired power plants. Sadly, the best CO2 reduction tool, an emissions fee for burning fossil fuels, is forestalled by congressional Republican denial of the massive scientific evidence that connects climate disruption to human activities.
Finally, the Affordable Care Act offers citizens universal health care, as does almost every other developed nation, and financial regulation has been strengthened to prevent recurrence of the 2007-2009 crisis.
Debt and deficit remain serious problems. A Stephen Bloch analysis is instructive: Expressed in 1983 dollars, the Clinton years were almost stable, and left a $3.3 trillion national debt to George W. Bush. In Bush’s eight years debt grew by $2.2 trillion (wars, tax cuts, a prescription drug entitlement). Under Obama it has grown another $2.0 trillion (economic recession and stimulation efforts).
Other problems remain, an aging population, climate and educational shortcomings among them. But all can be addressed if voters elect a Congress dedicated to collegial governance in place of partisan gridlock. Only your votes on Nov. 4 can do that. Here’s hoping.
Bruce Smart is a former Undersecretary of Commerce in the Reagan administration and a former CEO of Fortune 500 companies. He lives in Upperville.
UppervilleMartinez defends record; cites partisan attacks
As the (supposedly) non-partisan campaign for Town Council winds down, the Loudoun County Republican Party has conducted a coordinated campaign through their endorsed candidates Dwight Dopilka and Tom Dunn, calling existing Town Council members “professional politicians who have been in office too long’” and raising issues of meeting attendance. I’d like to set the record straight.
Lacking any issues of substance, the opposition has raised meeting attendance as an issue. The Loudoun County Republican Committee (and their endorsed candidate Dwight Dopilka) have misstated my actual attendance numbers while ignoring the even worse attendance record of Council Member (and mayoral candidate) Tom Dunn. In fact, the candidate who raised the issue, Dwight Dopilka, has himself missed 45 percent of the commission meetings he was supposed to attend this year. To describe these accusations as hypocritical would be doing a disservice to the word.
During my tenure as a member of the Leesburg Town Council, I have lost my mother, sister and brother. I have had to travel to California to take care of seriously ill family members, attend funerals for my sister, who died from cancer, my mother, and my brother, a veteran of the USAF. I traveled to California to help my family settle their estates. During this time, I have continued to effectively serve the town, and was disappointed that the partisan attacks would take such a nasty turn.
Having lost my sister, Toni, to cancer, I started a team for the Relay for Life event called “Government Steps” to raise money to defeat this disease. I am being accused of missing a meeting (while attending to her illness) that caused a lack of quorum. If you take the time to read the article referenced on the Loudoun County Republican Committee website, you’ll see that it was mayoral candidate Tom Dunn whose tardiness caused that lack of quorum and that I had previously coordinated my schedule with the mayor and staff.
With all of the efforts we’ve made, and the outstanding contributions by Leesburg citizens and businesses, our town has received awards from numerous organizations for the outstanding quality of life offered here in Leesburg. From the excellent assortment of businesses, to the wide variety of recreational opportunities (many provided by Leesburg Parks & Recreation), to the constant Town Council focus on a balanced approach to development, the current council has worked hard to earn the respect of the town’s citizens.
Since being elected to the Town Council, I have constantly focused on cost controls and obtaining the most benefit for every tax dollar. This has included working closely with our town manager to create a workplace culture of “doing more with less,” resulting in a net reduction in town staff over the last few years, even while providing more services as the town has grown. I have focused on optimizing the Planning and Review and Planning and Zoning teams to streamline the application process for businesses. The town had a reputation of being less than business-friendly when I was elected, but through the efforts of the council and the staff, we have worked hard to change the culture and reach out to businesses.
Recently, our outstanding town manager retired, and all but one of the council recognized that we had the perfect candidate already on staff, serving as his deputy.
I will proudly point to our budget stewardship, which has earned Leesburg a AAA credit rating that has everything to do with the current council’s rational and careful approach to spending. Maximizing every tax dollar for services rendered has been our mantra - and most of the folks I meet walking the neighborhoods appreciate our focus. I’ve also brought a healthy dose of reality to the Capital Improvements Process Plan. When I started, there were projects, on the list for over 20 years, that showed no sign of ever being built. We were able to redirect resources to priority tasks taking off any projects that couldn’t be started in five years, so everyone in the community would know that when a project is planned for their neighborhood, it will happen.
I’ve served our country in the United States Air Force, as a member of the American Legion, in the Knights of Columbus and as a coach for several youth leagues; and I’ve served our town as a member of council and as a representative to the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. I also currently serve on the Paxton Campus (a nonprofit that serves our challenged youth) Board of Directors. During this time, I have always been engaged and I listen to our residents. I’d like to continue helping to make Leesburg a great community to live for the next four years, and I ask the people of Leesburg for their support.
Fernando “Marty” Martinez
Leesburg Town Council“Barbara bashing” doesn’t serve issues
The newspapers are reporting that the last debate between Del. Barbara Comstock and Supervisor John Foust turned raucous. I was there and it was not like that - the crowd was upset with the lies Foust was telling about Barbara Comstock. He had nothing positive to say but it was only “Barbara Bashing.”
Foust had a poor way of communicating with his voters. He was not prepared, seemed uninterested in even being there and attacked Barbara Comstock every chance he got. Is that the type of congressman we want replacing Frank Wolf?
But, what stood out to me most was the inability to understand what is really important to the voters. He surprised me the most with his comments on immigration. He actually thinks illegal immigrants – people who have broken our laws and taken advantage of the generosity of America – deserve the same access to healthcare and education as the rest of us. I was most offended by this because I am a legal immigrant. I came to America the right way – by following the laws and waiting my turn in line.
John Foust does not know how difficult that journey was for me and my family. I am a proud American and this is why I choose to vote for Barbara Comstock.
SterlingComstock is not like Rep.Frank Wolf Military veteran supports Comstock Endorsement was “disingenuous” Reader agrees with endorsement Comstock’s positions are challenged Bond referendum would raise debt Supervisor Clarke votes “no” Comstock heeded lessons from Wolf Comstock backs a strong defense Attendance claims skew the facts
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