The news was heartening this week of the deserved dismissal with prejudice of a recall petition brought against yet another Fairfax County School Board member, Laura Jane Cohen, reported elsewhere in this edition. An elected Republican official assigned as a special prosecutor for the case found there was no merit to the allegations as presented and sought the dismissal. Dismissed “with prejudice” means it cannot be refiled.
The 2022 General Assembly session reached the halfway point known as crossover earlier this week. While many of you were celebrating Valentine’s Day on Monday, the Virginia House of Delegates spent nearly 12 hours on the floor, reviewing over 300 bills and resolutions. Tuesday was the deadline for the House to finish its review of all the House bills and the Senate to finish theirs.
Fairfax County is one of more than 3,000 counties in the United States and, every winter, county commissioners and supervisors (the titles differ but the governance role, essentially, is the same) gather in Washington, D.C. for the annual National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference. The focus is on federal legislation of interest to local governments, but existing federal policies, or appeals for new or amended policies, consume a lot of NACo’s steering committee work.
Occupational hazard of serving on our county board: You must thicken your skin to endure brickbats from critics.
Every year, County Supervisors from across Virginia gather in Richmond for VACo /VML Legislative Day. The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) and the Virginia Municipal League (VML) sponsor the day-long event; last week, more than 500 local elected officials joined in the advocacy day, calling on state senators and delegates to support, or oppose, legislation making its way through the General Assembly process. Given the pace of the legislative process at this point in the session, a bill can be killed in committee before the advocates get a chance to speak. Nonetheless, explaining the effect of a bill on a locality often proves eye-opening to General Assembly members.
Online commenters on Nextdoor are bemoaning our “McMansion pandemic,” described also in letters to the editor as “monsterfication” of Arlington’s suburban housing stock.
The debate focused on a county ordinance to add prevailing wage language for work performed under county construction contracts.
Last November, Glenn Youngkin won the gubernatorial election with a 1.9 percent margin over his opponent, Terry McAuliffe. By most standards this slim margin would not be considered a license to change the course of a well-run state rated the number one place to do business and amongst the best in the nation to raise a family. What it does reflect is a great division within our Commonwealth and our communities more than just the obvious of urban vs. rural.
So finally we say goodbye to both the Washington Redskins and the “we try harder” Washington Football Team.
Checking the two lead stories in this edition, the City of Falls Church is really on a roll when it comes to economic development. One story touts the imminent advance of yet another mixed use project in the center of town, and the other highlights the impending opening of the long-awaited new multi-screen, dine at your seat movie complex. Both stories include lots of other things going on around these developments, as well.