Facing $400 Million Deficit, Fairfax Co. Sets 20 Public Meetings
In an extraordinary move, Fairfax County officials announced today that no fewer than 20 public “dialogue sessions” with the public are being set between September and November, months in advance of next year’s budget deliberation process when the county’s Board of Supervisors will face a projected $400 million deficit.
According to a county press release, the deficit “must be addressed through a combination of spending reductions and other strategies.” The 20 meetings are intended to glean public sentiment prior to County Executive Anthony Griffin’s presentation of a proposed budget to the supervisors in February. In addition, a budget hotline has been established at 703-324-9400, and comments can be made online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/budget.
F.C. Schools Holds Annual Staff Convocation
Teachers and staff of the Falls Church City School System were honored at an annual convocation breakfast and ceremony at George Mason High School Monday that included the confirmation of the appointments of Mary McDowell as the Interim Principal at George Mason H.S. and Vincent Baxter as principal at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin moderated the ceremony, and presented longevity service awards to employees of the system, based on increments of five years. The longest-serving employee honored Monday was George Mason H.S. guidance counselor Nancy Goldman, who has completed 25 years. Honored for 20 years service were Maria Chico, Kathy Halayko, Marie Harbison and Jean Lewis. Those who completed 15 years included Lisa Allan, Katie Clinton, Paul Ferentinos, Nancy Hendrickson, Bobby Kaplow, Pamela Keller, David Morales, Denise O’Neil and Patricia Smith. All schools in the Falls Church system begin classes next Tuesday.
Obama Speech Watch Party at State Theatre Thursday
The Obama Presidential Campaign has rented the State Theatre for a free-admission party to watch on the State’s giant TV screen the acceptance speech of presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama this Thursday night. Doors will be open at 7 p.m., ward meetings to discuss how people can get involved in the campaign will begin at 8 p.m. and Obama’s speech will begin about 10 p.m. There will be a cash bar and food service. Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult in accordance with the State’s house rules.
DWI-Related Deaths Down Sharply in Fairfax County
According to Fairfax County Police, four people in Fairfax County have lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes so far this year, compared to 13 for the same period a year ago. As of Aug. 20, officers arrested 1,975 people for driving while intoxicated, compared to 1,578 for the same period of 2007. In the county police’s latest sobriety checkpoint operation last Friday night, eight arrests for DWI and one for drunk in public were made in Franconia. County police were joined by Virginia State Troopers in the cooperative effort.
Trespasser Enters Falls Church Home
Fairfax County police responded to the 2800 block of Hollywood Road in Falls Church, seeking a man who entered an apartment there at 1:40 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, and touched the leg of a 45-year-old woman who was sleep in the apartment at the time. The woman awoke and reached for a telephone, and the man fled through a sliding glass door. The suspect was described as black, about 5 ft. 10 in. with a medium build. He had short, black hair and was not wearing any clothing. Those with information are urged to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-8477.
Correction: Tom Horn Still at Mason A.D. Helm
The News-Press apologizes for publishing a letter to the editor in last week’s edition that contained a significant factual error. The letter claimed that Tom Horn was leaving as athletic director at George Mason High School, which is untrue.