While Congress debates whether to pass a budget plan that will prevent a federal government shutdown tomorrow, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors marked up the proposed FY 2018 county budget on Tuesday, by a vote of 8 to 2. Supervisors Kathy Smith and Dan Storck voted no. The final budget numbers are constrained, but maintain most county services without an increase in the real estate tax rate. Funding for two programs is restored in the mark-up: an additional $1.9 million will support 18 positions for the second year of Diversion First, which provides alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities who are arrested for low-level offenses, and $373,000 for the Community Readiness and Support Program (CRSP), which serves clients who need additional support for mental health and daily life skills. Funding of $150,000 was extended for one year for Insight Memory Services, a non-profit organization that provides day programs and family support for Alzheimer’s patients. The additional one-year county contribution will give the non-profit extra time to address their private fundraising efforts. The $4.10 Billion General Fund budget will be adopted officially on Tuesday, May 2, and becomes effective on July 1.
Mason District volunteers honored at last week’s Volunteer Fairfax Awards Breakfast included Kate Walter, president of the J.E.B. Stuart PTSA and Bailey’s Crossroads Rotary Club member, who won the competitive award for Adult Volunteer; Gail Coleman, former president of ACCA and a vigorous Pancreatic Cancer Network volunteer, whom I selected as Mason District’s Community Champion; and Marie Monsen, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with ACCA, Rebuilding Together, Shelter House, Faith Communities in Action, and Interfaith Communities for Dialogue. We couldn’t do all we do in Fairfax County without dedicated volunteers. Congratulations to all!
The Unified Prevention Coalition (UPC) of Fairfax County, whose mission is to keep youth and young adults safe and drug free, will host a free program tonight, designed to help parents, guardians, and students learn about the dangers of substance abuse and supportive resources in the county. The meeting will be held from 7 until 8:30 p.m. tonight at J.E.B. Stuart High School Cafeteria, 3301 Peace Valley Lane in Falls Church. Child care and refreshments will be provided. The program is sponsored by UPC and Edu-Futuro, a non-profit organization, and will be led by PROTECT (Parents Reaching Out To Educate Communities Together).
Got expired prescription drugs or painkillers no longer used? Don’t flush them! Dispose of unused or no longer needed liquids and pills by taking them, in original containers with personal info crossed out, to any Fairfax County police station this Saturday, April 29, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. No needles or pressurized canisters, please. Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is part of a national effort to dispose of prescriptions safely and legally.
The Culmore Clean-up will step off from the Woodrow Wilson Library at 9 a.m. this Saturday. Plan to join volunteers and neighbors to help spruce up the area. No skills needed!
Penny Gross is the Mason District Supervisor, in the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. She may be emailed at email@example.com.