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Jack Herrity

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Jack Herrity

Jack Herrity
Chair of the Fairfax County
Board of Supervisors
In office
1976–1988
Preceded by Jean Packard
Succeeded by Audrey Moore
Personal details
Born Washington, D.C.
Died February 1, 2006(2006-02-01) (age 75)
Falls Church, Virginia
Political party Republican
Children Pat Herrity
Alma mater Georgetown University
John F. "Jack" Herrity was a politician from Fairfax County, Virginia. He served as the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors from 1976 to his defeat for reelection by Democrat Audrey Moore. He has previously served as a member of the board, representing the Springfield district, from 1971 to his being elected Chairman in 1975.[1] He was the father of current member of the Board of Supervisors and Congressional candidate, Pat Herrity.

Herrity served as Chairman during Fairfax County's period of growth in the last few decades of the 20th century, when the County, previously known as a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C.; became the high population center of the Dulles Technology Corridor that it is known as presently. During that period of growth, the Board advocated for the construction of Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway and for the Dulles Toll Road, as well as for a major expansion of Tysons Corner, Virginia, which now is home to many employers in the information technology industry.[2]

Herrity's legacy remains important to Virginia and D.C. area politics. Herrity re-imagined the office of Board Chairman from that of a parliamentarian to that of a de facto Mayor who was the spokesman for county government and the public face of the county. The increased profile of the Chairmanship would subsequently help Herrity's successors Tom Davis and Gerry Connolly to use it as a springboard to consequential careers in the U.S. Congress.

More importantly, Herrity used the office of Board Chairman to promote aggressively pro-growth economic policies that contributed to the enormous population and job base in Fairfax County today. In addition to his support for road construction, Herrity helped expand the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and was indefatigable in attempting to attract employers to Fairfax County. As a result the commercial tax base of Fairfax skyrocketed, which allowed the county to lower personal property taxes while maintaining an elite school system and other high-quality public services.

The constantly worsening traffic system in Northern Virginia made Herrity a controversial figure and was decisive in his 1987 loss to Audrey Moore. Nevertheless, Herrity correctly anticipated that Fairfax County would shift from being a commuter suburb of Washington to being an economic powerhouse in its own right. Herrity's policies helped to urbanize Fairfax County, but they also led to the county becoming a more prominent and prosperous community.


He died of an aortic aneurysm at Inova Fairfax Hospital on February 1, 2006. At the time of his death, he was considering a run against Gerry Connolly for his old position as Chairman in 2007.[3]

References

Further reading

  • McGuire, Matt. "The Mayor of Fairfax County". Fairfax County Stories. 2007

External links

  • Washington Post


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