Tuesday was a busy day for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with a focus on the future. The board selected a successor to retiring county executive Tony Griffin, and approved moving forward on Phase 2 of the Rail to Dulles project. At the end of the day, the board began public hearings on the proposed FY2013 county budget.
Outgoing county executive Anthony H. Griffin announced publicly last November that he would retire after nearly 23 years of county service, including the last 10 years as County Executive. Tony promised the board that he would see them through the adoption of the budget on May 1. Tony’s intimate knowledge of the county and the region has been invaluable as the board makes tough decisions about policy, funding and new services. Tony’s calm, unflappable demeanor, even in difficult situations, reflects his long-ago training and service as a Marine Corps officer, when he led troops in the difficult days in Vietnam. He will be sorely missed, but richly deserves his well-earned retirement.
For a successor, the board didn’t have to look far. Former deputy county executive Edward L. Long has agreed to come out of retirement to succeed Tony as the new county executive, effective on April 25. The board voted on Tuesday to approve his appointment and authorize Chairman Sharon Bulova to sign an employment contract with Mr. Long. In his 34 years with the county, Mr. Long started as a budget analyst, and eventually became the county’s Director of Management and Budget and Chief Financial Officer. In times of constrained revenues and growing service demands, Mr. Long’s budget background may be especially helpful in developing strategies for the future, to maintain and enhance the quality of life and opportunities Fairfax County residents demand and expect. Congratulations, Mr. Long!
The board also confirmed the county’s participation in Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, also known as Rail to Dulles. Phase 2 will extend Metrorail from Wiehle Avenue in Reston west to the airport and Loudoun County. In approving the next phase, Fairfax County also agreed to pursue all alternative financing sources available, including using the C & I (commercial and industrial) special tax funds paid by businesses on real estate holdings. The Dulles Rail project is the most expensive undertaking in county history, more than $3 billion over time, but the long-term project is critical to the future redevelopment and success of the Tyson’s Corner area as the economic engine of Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, and the entire metropolitan area. The vote was unanimous (Springfield District Pat Herrity was absent from the meeting, due to recent cardiac surgery).
There are a few days left to get federal income tax help from AARP volunteers at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale. Tax filings are due on Tuesday, April 17, this year, so you have two extra days to file! Help hours are: Mondays and Thursdays: 1 – 8 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org