Hyland Urges Residents: Rally for Passage of $30 Million Flooding Fix
Supervisor talked to Huntington Community Association Thursday to offer advice on how they can get bond referendum passed in November.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerry Hyland urged Huntington residents Thursday to take a proactive stance to push for passage of a $30 million bond referendum for flood prevention measures in Huntington on ballots this November.
Hyland called local residents to action Thursday evening at the monthly meeting of the Huntington Community Association. He acknowledged that a referendum that affects Huntington solely could be a hard sell to residents in other parts of the county.
“Because it’s the only issue on the bond for flood control for this community, it means that everybody in this room, everybody in this community, is going to be challenged to find a way to reach out to others in the county to ask them for their support for help in this community to keep the water where it belongs, and not in Huntington,” Hyland said.
On May 22, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 6-3 to approve the bond referendum, a month after Huntington residents formally urged the board for flood protection improvements after last September’s severe flooding forced 200 people to evacuate the area.
Also on Thursday, Hyland expressed frustration with partisanship over the referendum vote and the separation of the Huntington flood control bond from issues in other parts of the county.
“I’d like to say it was a clean process,” he said. “I’m not happy with the vote, and I’m not happy with the way it broke down. Fortunately I had my fellow Democrats that supported me and my fellow Republicans did not, and that did not please me.”
Hyland urged local residents to form a group to begin strategizing about how to promote the bond’s passage, fundraising and working with existing county organizations to get the word out that Huntington deserves flood protection. He offered the support of his office in publicizing a “yes” vote on the referendum.
“That effort, I think, needs to be done, because there are people in the rest of the county who need to know about the problem and why it’s so important to pass it,” he said.
Harry Shepler, president of the Huntington Community Association, said a group is planning to meet next week to brainstorm ideas on how to promote the cause, with most of the behind-the scenes legwork occurring during the summer.
“We want to be geared up to have something out there right around Labor Day and really begin a blitz, and work what we can work now, but really work it in September and October,” Shepler said.
Huntington resident Trevor Specht, whose family was evacuated due to flooding, provided words of encouragement.
“If we get motivated, if we do our work, I think we have a fighting chance,” he said.