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Did Herrity's Dad Make Developers Jump?

Steve Fehr

Transportation proffers are generally not the stuff of vivid anecdotes. But Pat S. Herrity, Republican candidate for the Springfield seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, has been recounting one to election-season audiences.

Herrity, who is running against Democrat P. Mike McClanahan, promises to toughen the county's approach to extracting cash from developers for road and transit improvements to accompany new construction. As an example, he describes a mid-1980s meeting between his late father, then-board chairman John F. "Jack" Herrity (R), County Executive J. Hamilton Lambert and Milton V. Peterson, co-developer with John T. "Til" Hazel, of the 620-acre Fair Lakes project near the Fair Oaks Mall.

Herrity said his father was so insistent on significant concessions for the massive office and residential venture that Peterson lost it.

"Milt Peterson got so upset he took his jacket off, threw it on the ground and started to jump up and down," Herrity told the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 17. Peterson eventually agreed to provide about $22 million in road improvements.

Difficult to say how much of this is true and how much is a story that's improved with the telling over the years. A spokesman for Peterson said he had no memory of the episode. Lambert also failed to return a call.

Feelings between the Peterson and Herrity clans can't be too hard, however. According to campaign finance reports, Jon M. Peterson, son of Milton and executive of the Peterson Companies, gave $10,000 to Herrity's campaign in August.

By Steve Fehr  |  October 31, 2007; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Election 2007 , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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