Opioid Roundtable Planned — The discussion, scheduled for the Fairfax County Government Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, will be hosted by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Sharon Bulova, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The event is open to the public. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]
Reston Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Gang-Related Killing — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, entered pleas to abduction and gang participation Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors. She was among 10 members and associates of the gang MS-13 charged after the January killing of 15-year-old Damaris A. Reyes Rivas. She may face up to 30 years in prison when she is sentenced in May. [Washington Post]
Herndon Adds Parking Enforcement Position — The part-time officer was hired Oct. 3 and will work 30 hours a week, which has at least one resident worried about “end[ing] up like Reston Town Center.” [Connection Newspapers]
Silver Line Phase 2 Hits Two-Thirds Point — More than 5 million hours have been spent on the $2.78 billion project so far, according to updates expected to be presented today to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board. [WTOP]
Herndon Woman 10 Years Into Breast Cancer Fight — On her 50th birthday, Anita Hyman got the call that she had breast cancer. After a mastectomy, she is now celebrating her 60th birthday with her family. [WUSA]
SLHS Band Honored — The South Lakes High School marching band won first place in its class for best music, overall effect, percussion and visual at the USBands NOVA Regional recently. [South Lakes Band/Twitter]
Bulova Among ‘Most Powerful Women’ in DC Area — Washingtonian says Bulova’s “role in getting the Silver Line’s first phase completed, despite Metro’s budget problems” has cemented support for her. [Washingtonian]
No Change in County Unemployment Rate — The unemployment rate in Fairfax County in August was 3.1 percent, unchanged from July. That’s ahead of the 3.8 percent rate in Virginia and the 4.5 percent rate nationwide. [Inside NoVa]
Reston Company Provides Tablets to Inmates — Reston-based Global Tel Link is working with jails, including in Indiana’s Allen County, to provide secure tablets to inmates. The inmates are using them for communication, music, games and other activities. [Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette]
Ribbon Cutting for Clothing Store — Scout & Molly’s (11944 Market St.) hosted its official ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning. Among attendees were Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax), Fairfax County Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, representatives of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and more.
Summer Meals Program Starts Today — The Free Summer Meals for Kids Program provides free, healthy meals to children ages 5 to 18 at designated meal sites in Fairfax County. [Fairfax County]
Officials Talk Metro, Fields, More — Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and more addressed the Vienna Town Council recently to give updates on the Silver Line, placement of athletic fields and more. [The Connection]
Kids Can Earn Prizes for Reading — Kids who complete the summer reading adventure at any Fairfax County library by Sept. 2 can win a coupon book with dozens of free and discounted fun treats like ice cream and miniature golf. [Fairfax County]
Image courtesy Powers Brand Communications LLC
Following President Donald Trump’s recent announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, Fairfax County is joining the Mayors Climate Action Agenda.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors endorsed joining more than 200 other municipalities nationwide in an effort to combat climate change. The three main takeaway points from the Mayors Climate Action Agenda are the development of a community greenhouse gas emissions inventory, the setting of near- and long-term emissions reduction targets, and the development of a climate action plan.
Ten years ago, Fairfax County was part of a similar agreement called Cool Counties. Cool Counties committed Fairfax County to cut the D.C. region’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.
— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) June 7, 2017
Through Cool Counties, the county has since reached its initial goal of cutting its per capita emissions by 10 percent. Helene Shore of local environmental activism group 350 Fairfax argues that this hasn’t been enough, but she’d glad the county has recommitted itself.
“We’d like to see 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. We wish that other mayors would hop aboard — it’s important that we address this at a local level and that local governments keep working towards renewable energy, since our central government won’t be doing much work it seems. We don’t have much time left and it’s important that we keep working forward.”
Fairfax County is encouraging residents to get involved, especially in reducing their electricity emissions. Residents can sign up for discounted solar panels, get expert advice on energy savings, checkout a thermal camera from the library and apply for a matching grant to fund any possible projects that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) officially adopted its budget for FY2018 on Tuesday, with a 2.79-percent increase in funding for schools and nearly $2 million in additional funding for assistance to those suffering from mental illnesses.
County supervisors also voted to keep real estate taxes at the same rate of $1.13 per $100 assessed value of a property.
In a statement released around 11 a.m. Tuesday, following the BOS meeting, Chairman Sharon Bulova said “few changes” were made to the proposed budget that was previously advertised.
Though it falls roughly $47 million short of what education advocates told the County they needed, the superviors approved a 2.79-percent increase in funding for schools, bringing Fairfax County Public Schools’ annual budget to $2.17 billion for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. The increase is equivalent to an additional $53.4 million over FY2017.
In total, funding for schools is equal to 52.8 percent of the County’s total annual budget, Bulova said.
Another area that will see increased spending in FY2018 is the county’s new “Diversion First” program for those suffering with mental illness.
The program aims to divert individuals with mental illness away from jail and into treatment programs.
“In 2016, 375 people were diverted from potential incarceration, and I am proud to continue supporting this effective public safety and human services initiative,” Bulova said.
Bulova said, looking ahead, FY2019 will likely see even more budget challenges, particularly in areas like schools, housing, human services, the environment, and Metro.
“Metro is anticipated to require a significant increase in funding from local jurisdictions to promote safe and reliable service delivery,” she said. “As always, Fairfax County will remain vigilant to any future changes that may impact the local budget in the upcoming fiscal year.”
Read more about the county’s adopted budget on the Fairfax County Government website.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at their meeting Tuesday morning marked up the proposed FY2018 budget, and the current real estate tax rate remains.
Upon approval of the budget, the real estate tax rate will remain at the FY 2017 level of $1.13 per $100 of the assessed value of the home, as proposed by the county executive. (The average Reston real estate assessment has gone down by 0.33 percent in 2017.) Board chairman Sharon Bulova said the stable rate “ensure[s] Fairfax County continues to be an affordable place to live for seniors and families.”
At the board’s Feb. 28 meeting, Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (Hunter Mill District) supported an amendment that would have raised the advertised real estate tax rate to $1.15 per $100. The amendment, introduced by Supervisor Kathy Smith (Sully District), failed by a vote of 7-3, with Supervisor Daniel Storck (Mount Vernon District) casting the third vote in favor.
Changes in the marked-up $4.1 billion budget include:
- an additional $1.7 million in funding for Fairfax County Public Schools above the amount in the county executive’s proposed budget, for a total transfer of $2.17 billion (52.8 percent of the budget)
- just under $2 million and 18 new positions to support the second year of the county’s Diversion First initiative, which helps divert individuals with mental illness from jail into mental health treatment
- more than $13 million in reductions and nine position eliminations, resulting from agency reductions and continued savings in fuel and retiree health expenses
The marked-up budget was approved by an 8-2 vote of the Board, with Smith and Storck dissenting.
The board is expected to officially approve the budget May 2, and it will go into effect July 1.
Document-Shredding Program Set for Saturday — The Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program will sponsor a secure-document shredding event at the North County Human Services building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive) on Saturday morning. Residents can have up to four boxes of materials of a sensitive nature, such as tax documents and financial records, shredded. [Fairfax County]
Board of Supervisors Adopts Resolution on Diversity, Inclusion — At their meeting Tuesday, Supervisors voted to reaffirm that the county is “a welcoming and accepting community where residents of all backgrounds deserve to feel respected and safe.” [Sharon Bulova/Facebook]
Checkers to Expand in D.C. Region — The fast-food chain plans to open 20 locations in the Metro area and is currently in the process of seeking franchisees. [Washington Business Journal]
Longtime Coach Goes Into Local Hall of Fame — Al McCullock, who won 235 games and two regional championships in 15 years as Herndon High School’s baseball coach, was recently inducted into NOVA Baseball Magazine’s “Home Plate Club” Hall of Fame. [NOVA Baseball Magazine]
Beware of Bears as Weather Warms — The Fairfax County Police Department is sharing precautions for how to keep bears away and what to do should you encounter one. They say while bears tend to avoid humans, they sometimes wander into suburban areas in search of food. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Image via @NickDowsett on Twitter
CenterStage Has Full April Schedule — Programming next month at CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) will include concerts by Trout Fishing in America and Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares, as well as performances from The Reduced Shakespeare Company and more. [Reston Community Center]
Founder’s Day to Feature Several Local Authors — Kristina Alcorn, Eric MacDicken, Watt Hamlett, Jill Olinger Vinson, Chuck Cascio, Chuck Veatch, Claudia Thompson-Deahl and Karen See will all be showcasing their work at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) at part of Founder’s Day festivities April 8. [Reston Historic Trust]
County Reaffirms Focus on Curbing Hate — At an event over the weekend in Annandale, representatives of Fairfax County police, schools and government gathered to hammer home the county’s stance against hate speech, bias and hate crimes. Sharon Bulova, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, plans to continue the discussion at the board’s April 4 meeting. [WTOP]
Reston Company Faces Delisting by Nasdaq — NCI Inc., an IT services provider, has not released its 2016 financial information in a timely fashion, the stock exchange says. [Washington Business Journal]
Lieutenant Governor in Reston Tonight — Ralph Northam, Virginia’s lieutenant governor and a Democratic candidate for governor in the 2017 election, will be a guest speaker tonight at a meeting of Herndon-Reston Indivisible. Other speakers will be Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) and Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax/Loudoun). The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. at Sunset Hills Montessori School (11180 Ridge Heights Road). [Herndon-Reston Indivisible]
Bulova: ‘Painful Cuts’ in Proposed Federal Budget — The chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors says she is hopeful the local congressional delegation will address what she sees as a number of problems with the Trump administration’s budget proposal, unveiled last week. [Sharon Bulova/Facebook]
Arrests Made in Chantilly Gun Store Heist — Two 23-year-old men and a 19-year-old man have been arrested in connection with the theft of 35 guns from a Chantilly store earlier this month. The men are also charged in the theft of firearms from two shops in Fredericksburg. They each face up to 10 years in prison. [U.S. Department of Justice]
Digital Marketing Agency Opens New Office — Baltimore-based Jellyfish has opened a new office at RTC West (12120 Sunset Hills Road). The office will house more than 20 employees and serves as the development and technology hub for the agency. Five job openings are available. [Jellyfish]
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday to kick off construction of a new parking garage at the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, which will service the forthcoming Herndon Metro Station as part of the Silver Line extension.
Several local elected officials were on hand with shovels to make the first ceremonial dig, including Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.
“As we celebrate the ground-breaking of this new multi-modal parking facility, we reaffirm our efforts to provide alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles, to improve mobility, and to provide greater opportunities for people to connect with the entire metro region and the rest of the world,” Bulova said in a statement.
The new garage will have spaces for 2,007 cars, as well as feature a pedestrian bridge leading from the new garage to the future Metro station, and connections for both cars and pedestrians to the existing Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride lot, which contains 1,745 parking spaces.
The new garage also will have secure bicycle storage facilities, a spot for bus pick-offs and drop-offs and a “kiss-and-ride” area.
Construction of the garage, done by Manhattan Construction Co., will cost $44.5 million, and is expected to wrap up in the spring 2019, Fairfax County officials said.
Though officially named the Herndon Metro station, the stop is technically located at 12530 Sunrise Valley Dr. in Reston, just across the street from the border with Herndon.
Photo courtesy of Fairfax County Department of Transportation
Board of Visitors serve a four-year term and may be appointed to an additional term. Another high-profile person from this area, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Ingrao, is on the UMW Board.
“I thank Governor McAuliffe for this appointment and am honored to serve in this capacity,” said Bulova in a release. “The University of Mary Washington is a top-notch institution and I look forward to working with board, faculty and staff members of the university. My daughter Karin graduated UMW in 1993 and has many happy memories of her years on campus.”
Said McAuliffe: “Virginia’s economic future runs through our colleges and universities, and the leaders I appointed to Boards of Visitors this year understand the imperative to strengthen our academic institutions and make them more accessible to students from all walks of life. I ask each [Board member] to use his or her knowledge and experience to foster innovation at their institutions, to keep the burden of tuition as low as possible and to emphasize access and completion for every student.”
Sharon Bulova/file photo
Bulova sent out this statement Monday:
The Board of Supervisors will not be meeting during the month of August and during the first week in September.
I will be taking advantage of this time to address a medical issue that began in March when my right vocal cord became paralyzed, affecting my ability to speak. My voice has returned, but testing as a result of this episode revealed a nodule on the right side of my thyroid.
In mid-August, I will be undergoing a medical procedure to remove the nodule and part of my thyroid. This will be outpatient surgery and hopefully will not require a followup procedure.
My office has declined a number of invitations for events that have been scheduled during this time period. I am sharing this information to explain my absence and also to assure the community that, as always, I will be in constant contact with e-mails, my office and County staff.
I look forward to being back in the saddle after the Labor Day holiday weekend and serving as your Chairman.
Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
McAuliffe on Thursday signed signed Executive Order 28, which establishes the Commission to Ensure Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government.
The order comes in the wake of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and wife Maureen’s convictions for corruption.
Says the governor’s office: “The executive order identifies the broad priorities of the governor in his pursuit of a better state government, including meaningful rules for the ethical conduct of state officials, procedures for ensuring accountability to the electorate, and policies guiding the selection and service of high quality public servants.”
The 10-member commission will provide the governor with recommendations in December 2014 on ethics laws and policies with the goal of pursuing legislation during the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 session, which begins in January, a release from the governor’s office said.
The commission will continue to meet in 2015 in order to study and make recommendations on other good government topics, including campaign finance, the selection and service of judges and other public officials, and gubernatorial terms.
“I am creating this commission because it is imperative that we foster a culture of professionalism in state government that attracts future leaders of the highest caliber,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I want to guarantee superior service to the next generation of Virginians. And I want to establish an enduring culture of integrity on which this state can prosper. These are not merely my values. They are the essential covenant of democracy.”
McAuliffe, a Democrat, pointed out that the commission is bipartisan. It will be co-chaired by former state senator and U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher (D), of Abingdon and former Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling (R).
Other members of the commission:
- Viola Baskerville, of Richmond, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia and former House of Delegates member
- John T. Casteen III, of Keswick, President Emeritus at the University of Virginia and former Virginia Secretary of Education
- Christopher Howard, of Hampden Sydney, President of Hampden-Sydney College
- Susan A. Magill, of Alexandria, Vice President for Advancement at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- Courtney M. Malveaux, of Henrico County, a business attorney at ThompsonMcMullan and former Commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry
- Joe T. May, of Loudoun County, former Virginia House of Delegates member and chairman of its transportation committee
- John Sherman, Jr., of Richmond, former President and CEO of BB&T Scott & Stringfellow, Inc.
Photo: Fairfax County Supervisor Chair Sharon Bulova/ file photo