Mason District Home
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
Welcome to the Mason District homepage! It is designed for easy use, and I hope you will find the information both helpful and timely. Special features include Mason Matters!, my twice-a-year newsletter, information about reserving the public meeting rooms at the Mason District Governmental Center, and other meetings and activities throughout Mason District. Links to county agencies also are included. Please refer to the Web site often, and don't hesitate to contact me.
Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor
The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny - Students in Fairfax County return to classes next week following a summer break that, for some, probably seemed much too short. Some bell schedules have changed, so the familiar start and end times at your local school may create different traffic patterns as you head to work or errands. Motorists are reminded that the speed limit in school zones still is 25 mph, and passing a stopped school bus is illegal, so please exercise caution and follow the directives of school crossing guards.
The recent state budget surplus announced by Governor McAuliffe means that school divisions will receive a little extra money, about $4.7 million for Fairfax County, for teacher salary increases. However, state funding for K-12 public education overall still is below the high point of FY 2009, and the picture becomes more dismal with student growth numbers and inflation are factored in. Every county in the Commonwealth exceeded their state mandated "required local effort" (RLE) in FY 2013, according to the most recent reports available. RLE mandates that sufficient local funds must be budgeted to meet all state required local effort, and required local match amounts for the Standards of Quality (SOQ). In FY 2014, the average support by local school divisions in excess of RLE was 84.06 percent. Fairfax County funds its schools at 127.86 percent of the required RLE, but new state changes to the SOQ also lack the corresponding, and needed, state funding. Clearly, the Commonwealth and the General Assembly need to ensure that our youngest residents benefit from investments in public education. A strong public education system is a must for our community, and budget figures at the county level reflect substantial, and consistent, support for our Fairfax County Public Schools. Together, we need to advocate for the Commonwealth and the General Assembly to do the same.
Back to School Nights 2015 Scheduled – The 2015-16 School Year is fast-approaching and that means Back to School Night! To view a complete list of Fairfax County Public Schools' Back to School Nights, visit the Web at www.fcps.edu/news/backtoschool/region2.shtml, or contact your child's school.
September is National Preparedness
Month – Do you have an action plan and supplies to help
withstand the first three days after an emergency? It is
important that every individual, family, business, and organization is
prepared in the home, workplace, and vehicle. To learn how to
make emergency plans, kits, and more, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency.
To sign up for Fairfax Alerts, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts/.
For answers to your questions, contact the Office of Emergency
Management (OEM) at 571-350-1000. The OEM is responsible for
coordinating preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for
significant emergency events that may occur in our community.
Frequently Used Links:
*Get a Kit: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/make-a-kit.htm
*Stay Informed: Blog Subscription www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog; Emergency Alerts www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts; Newsletter Subscription www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/outreach/newsletter.htm;
*Make a Plan: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/prepare/make-a-plan.htm; and ReadyNOVA http://readynova.org/.
Help Make A Difference for Those Who Need It Most! – Fairfax County administers a competitive countywide grant program, the Consolidated Community Funding Pool (CCFP) that provides limited funding for programs and services that fill critical human services needs among the most vulnerable populations. There is a need for community volunteers willing to participate on the Selection Advisory Committee to review and provide recommendations about how to distribute funds among the many applicants from across the county. The review period for FY 2017-2018 applicants runs from January – March 2016. Orientation sessions will be held. If you are interested in learning more about this critical volunteer opportunity, please contact: Alice Morris, email@example.com, or Michelle Brizzi, firstname.lastname@example.org, from Fairfax County's Department of Administration for Human Services. Additional information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ccfp.
Participate in Operation Medicine Cabinet Cleanout! – The United Prevention Coalition (UPC) of Fairfax County, in partnership with local businesses and in collaboration with the Fairfax County Departments of Police, Health, Public and Private Partnerships, Neighborhood and Community Services, Public Works and Environmental Services, and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, will collect unwanted, unused, and expired medications on Saturday, September 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents may take their prescription drugs to designated police stations. Stations serving Mason District include: Mason District Station, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale; Franconia District Station, 6121 Franconia Road in Alexandria; and West Springfield District Station, 6140 Rolling Road in Springfield. Keep the prescription medications in their original containers and cross out personal information. Disposal is free, confidential, and safe. For more information and drop-off locations, call UPC at 703-938-8723, or visit the Web site at www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org. A list of all drop-off sites with addresses is available at www.unifiedpreventioncoalition.org/assets/09-2015-drug-take-back-day-poster.pdf.
Green Spring Gardens Hosts Fall Garden Day – Scheduled for Saturday, September 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Fall Garden Day features numerous local plant vendors, a silent auction, bake sale, live music, and food to round out the festivities. Support one of Virginia's most innovative and exciting public gardens – Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria. For more information, call Green Spring Gardens at 703-642-5173, or visit the Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/greenspring/.
Save the Date for the Annandale Fall Festival Parade! – The Annandale Chamber of Commerce will host the 65th Annual Annandale Fall Festival Parade on Saturday, October 24, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Participants may register online at www.annandalechamber.com/fallfestival_and_parade.rhtml by October 7, 2015. For more information, visit www.annandalechamber.com.
Semi-Annual Book Sale at George Mason Regional Library! – The Friends of George Mason Regional Library will hold its semi-annual book sale October 1 - 4 at the library, 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale. The hours are Thursday, October 1, 3 - 9 p.m.; Friday, October 2, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 3, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and Sunday, October 4, Noon - 5 p.m. (Library services begin at 1 p.m.) For more information, send an e-mail to email@example.com, stop by the library, or call 703-813-6616. Community service hours are available for middle school and high school students. Interested students must sign up no later than Thursday, September 17 via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selling to Fairfax County Workshop Set for September 16 – The Fairfax County Small Business Commission (SBC) and the Department of Purchasing and Supply Management (DPSM) is pleased to announce an upcoming workshop, "Selling to Fairfax County" to be held on September 16, 2015, from 9 to 11 a.m. in Conference Rooms 9/10 at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. Learn about the public bidding process, contracting opportunities, and have your questions answered about how to conduct business with Fairfax County. Space is limited so registration is requested. For more information, and to register, visit the Web site www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpsm/osb/workshop.htm, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or call 703-324-3201, TTY 711.
Absentee Voting Begins in September at the Office of Elections and Seven Satellite Locations – In-Person Absentee Voting is available at the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Conference Rooms 2/3 in Fairfax, from September 18 - October 9, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday. The Office of Elections and all Satellite Locations will be closed for in-person absentee voting on Monday, October 12 in observance of the Columbus Day holiday.
- Expanded voting hours at the Office of Elections begin on October 13, with in-person absentee voting open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Saturdays, September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31, in-person absentee voting is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- In-Person Absentee Voting at Seven Satellite Locations, including the Mason Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, begins weekdays starting from October 13-30, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Last Day to Apply for an Absentee Ballot by Mail, Fax, or E-mail: October 27 at 5 p.m.
- Last Day to Vote Absentee In-Person: October 31.
- Deadline for Emergency Absentee Voting: November 2 at 2 p.m.
- For Inclusion in the Election, Absentee Ballots must be returned to the Office of Elections by 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, 2015.
Additional information about absentee voting for the November 3, 2015 election is available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee_locations.htm, or by calling the Office of Elections at 703-222-0776; TTY 711.
Election Officers Needed! – Fairfax County needs Election Officers a few days a year, including the upcoming General Election on Tuesday, November 3, 2015, at each of the 240 precincts in Fairfax County to run the polls and assist the voters. Election officers must be registered voters in Virginia and complete required training and forms. Election Officers are offered a stipend of $175 for serving a full day. Bilingual citizens are urged to serve, as language assistance is needed in many precincts. Residency in Fairfax County is not required. For more information, visit the Office of Elections Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/working.htm, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-324-4735; TTY 711.
Mason Matters! The Television Show – The September edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Sandy Evans, Mason District Representative and Vice Chairman to the School Board, and Dr. Fabio Zuluaga, Region 2 Assistant Superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). With the blink of an eye, summer is over, and for many, a new school year begins. Students focus on adjusting to new classes, teachers, and peers. Parents help...or worry...about school supplies, assignments, and just about anything else school-related. Whether a novice or a seasoned school veteran, each school year is always different. Preparing for and starting a new school year can sometimes be stressful until you get the hang of things. Nationally recognized for its school system, FCPS continues to yield proud results for its students and the community, further proving why Fairfax County is a great place to live, work, learn and play! Mason Matters! airs on Cable Channel 16 every Thursday at 7 p.m., and every Friday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m., and daily on-line at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason.
The Quick 411 – Is the Gypsy Moth a concern in Fairfax County? Yes. The gypsy moth is an invasive forest pest that poses a serious threat to trees in Fairfax County. Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on the leaves of hardwood and occasionally on evergreen trees. High populations of caterpillars may defoliate trees, causing stress that may lead to tree death. Urban foresters conduct annual monitoring surveys for gypsy moth egg masses during the summer to predict gypsy moth population levels and potential defoliation events the following spring. To help Fairfax County find gypsy moths, urban foresters seek volunteers to search their properties for egg masses. When volunteers see gypsy moth egg masses on their properties they may report their findings to Fairfax County's Urban Forest Management Division. For more information or to report gypsy moth egg masses in your neighborhood, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/environmental/gypsyffx.htm or call 703-324-1770.
More news and information can be found at the NewsWire.