At A Glance
- Born: Brooklyn, New York
- Education: University of Pennsylvania; Catholic University of America
- Occupation: National Program Director, GeesePeace and DeerPeace
David Feld believes it’s time for Mason District to embrace its full potential and become the community it was always meant to be. That’s why he’s challenging incumbent Penelope Gross for the Mason District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“[Fairfax] is an affluent county, yet we have problems even smaller communities seem to solve better than we do… when you go through the public areas [in Mason District] like Little River Turnpike and Columbia Pike, the whole look of the area doesn’t look like it belongs in Fairfax County. That’s just the visual part of the problems,” said Feld.
Feld, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, has lived in the Mason District area for over 30 years. Although this is his first time running for political office, he has served as president of the Lake Barcroft Association and was vice chair of the Mason District Council last year.
His experience in those community roles and his background as a lifelong engineer are two reasons Feld is confident he’ll win in November. While he doesn’t want the focus of his campaign to be about personal attacks, Feld said he feels there is a lack of leadership in Mason District.
“The leadership that I will provide is solving the problems before anybody realizes there’s a problem. It’s better to solve a little problem instead of waiting until a crisis and then not have the resources to solve them,” Feld said.
Feld received his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania before pursuing his Master of Science in water resources planning and engineering at Catholic University of America. He has spent much of his career with the United States Department of Agriculture in various roles. Before he joined the USDA’s Farmers Home Administration, Feld spent three years in Kenya as a hydraulic officer with the Peace Corps. His last position with USDA was as the chief of operations research and system development with the Rural Housing Service.
Feld believes he can use the skills he used as an engineer to fix the problems in Mason District and improve the quality of life for its residents. His campaign slogan is “coming soon, a great Mason District.”
“We need to stop planning and doing without making any progress to actually implement anything,” said Feld. “As supervisor, I intend to take my skills, not only in problem solving, but with creative cooperation between folks with similar interests, and take those problems that are not solvable and fix them. I did that in Lake Barcroft with the Canada geese.”
Feld left his job with the USDA in 2000 to start the non-profit, GeesePeace, which is geared toward helping communities remove high geese populations in a humane way. “I never thought I’d do the GeesePeace program, but I saw this was a solution that needs to be shared. I find that the main driving factor in the success of that project is the leadership. And that’s what I bring to this supervisor race,” Feld said.
His campaign platform focuses on several issues including transportation, fiscal responsibility, and education, among others.
“Education is an essential component to what governments do. By withdrawing resources from the best education our children can have, we will not see the bad effects of that for several years, but they will when they cannot compete with jobs. We will have saved some money at the expensive of a future generation that was not responsible. That’s not right,” said Feld. “We should strive for the best education systems and not second guess the School Board, but to help them in any way they can so they can make the best decisions they can. The School Board is not the enemy of the Board of Supervisors.”
Regarding public transportation, Feld said the “highways belong to the communities that serves” and thinks Fairfax County reacted too late to stop BRAC-133. “We knew [BRAC] was going to be a problem here eventually, yet we did very little other than having meetings to put in place any solutions other than talking about solutions,” said Feld.
"It's time for a change in Mason District. I don't believe in band-aid solutions. I promise to deliver effective leadership and open communication between the residents and elected officials," said Feld.
To learn more about Feld, visit his website.
Read Patch’s previous coverage of Feld at Mason District candidate debates here.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated Mr. Feld's last position was the chief of energy systems and innovative technology in the farmers home administration. His last position was as chief of operations research and system development with the rural housing service. The story has been updated to reflect this change.