I respect Anna Urman and appreciate her input anytime. In her recent article, she points out some things that I would agree can be improved in Fairfax County Republican Committee. In the military, we have a process known as After Action Review. Typically, after an operation or exercise, the leader asks for three things that went well, three things that didn’t, and suggestions for improvement. This is important for any leader to hear, because as we all know, to err is human. Chairman Tim Hannigan is a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel and I know that he appreciates this type of feedback.
Anna is right: Tim was elected to bring change and, I believe, that Tim has delivered on much of what he set out to do. At the same time, we should all be willing and able to learn from our shortcomings. That being said, I believe that Anna’s assertions fall short of reality.
First, Tim has solidified the Committee’s financial footing. When Tim assumed the Chairmanship, the Fairfax County Republican Committee had less than $20,000, much of it bolstered by Tim’s supporters who paid to vote for him. In the months shortly thereafter, and through Tim’s leadership, the FCRC raised more than tripled funds. Since then, a steady stream of funding has flowed into the Committee. And while Anna may not like it, it is part of the Chair’s responsibility to call for membership dues payments and other funding requests.
Second, the Executive Committee has agreed to the monthly format. By our charter, we have to conduct business as is normal for any not-for-profit organization in the Commonwealth. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for “getting down to business.” Much of that grassroots work is done at the magisterial level with guidance from HQ. The invited guests are part of the plan to educate the base on current issues and was integrated after listening to many members who said they wanted this type of forum in our meetings. Can this be improved? Absolutely! I’d welcome Anna’s thoughts on what other “business” is needed to be addressed so we can ensure as much participation and member satisfaction.
Third, the FCRC has restructured organizationally to help candidates get elected. We knew going in that that this would not be a one-year effort. Tim, using his past experience both in the military and private sector, has developed a very structured approach to support our candidates. Through his leadership, Tim has made available a new Voter Relation Management tool that candidates can track volunteers, funding, and events. This tool is in the process of being integrated into the larger voter database that is so sorely needed for our candidates. In fact, two Saturdays ago, Tim met with all announced-candidates in the newly refurbished FCRC HQ basement to talk about election strategy, messaging, tools, and fundraising. We will be testing the efficacy of the new structure and candidate tools this year and ask that all Committee members help our candidates through this new process.
Finally, I have come to know and appreciate Tim very much. Tim is at the FCRC headquarters every day – including Saturdays! – at 7am. He doesn’t leave the office until the sun has set and even then, he often stays later. A few weeks ago, with a tone of guilt, Tim told me he would not be available for 5 days because he was taking a vacation he had postponed earlier in the winter. I would venture to say, that no other Chairman has ever done what Tim is doing for this Committee: both in effort and results. His commitment is hands down second to none. It is for this reason precisely, that I believe Tim would listen to and adjust accordingly had he been given the courtesy of a call from Anna. As I said at the top of this letter, I respect Anna and nothing she said has changed that, but I would hope that in the future she would take an approach that doesn’t hurt the Committee, the Party, and the people who work to make it better.
1st Vice Chair
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