Providence's Smyth Picks Up Company for Nomination


(Saturday, March 31, 2007 11:16 AM EDT)

Supervisor Linda Smyth, D-Providence, has picked up an intra-party challenger.

Local activist Charlie Hall has announced a bid to unseat the one-term incumbent in the June 12 Democratic primary.

Hall, a former reporter who now works in media relations for the American Bar Association, played an active role in the fight to scale back the MetroWest high-rise project in Vienna, and he is concerned with the Board of Supervisors' overall approach to Fairfax County's development.

“There have been a lot of concerns, ever since MetroWest, that the Board of Supervisors is not in touch with the general public,” Hall said in a recent interview. “What we have consistently seen from this board is that they've approved projects with ‘pixie-dust planning,' some very wishful solutions. Most people I know don't buy these solutions.”

Hall said he understands that there is going to be development, but he wants it to be balanced. For all the high-rises that are built, schools, parks and roads must be expanded as well, he said.

“I have really spent the last two or three years working in the community, as this whole concern of development has developed,” Hall said. “I feel like I have developed a very close touch with the general direction people want to go.”

Other priorities for Hall include eliminating stand-alone trailers in schools, exploring cost-effective rapid-transit strategies and reviewing the county budget.

“One of the mysteries I hear people talk about is that this jurisdiction, one of the wealthiest in the United States, never seems to have enough money for crucial services or basic construction,” he said. “I just want to make sure the money is being spent as wisely as possible.”

So far, Hall said he has received positive feedback on his decision to run.

“People seem eager for a change,” he said. “I've been very pleasantly surprised at how receptive people have been.”

A former member of the Planning Commission, Smyth was elected for her first four-year term in November 2003.

The Providence District runs through the center of Fairfax County.�� The district has produced Fairfax County's last two board chairmen: Kate Hanley and Gerald Connolly.

Charlie Hall plans to challenge Supervisor Linda Smyth, D-Providence, in the June 12 primary.

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