Mason District Home


Penelope A. "Penny" Gross 

Penelope A. "Penny" Gross
Mason District Supervisor

Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003

Phone: 703-256-7717, TTY 711
Fax: 703-354-8419
mason@fairfaxcounty.gov

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

 

News


The Board Corner: Perspectives from Penny – Is it February already?  The beginning of a new term for the Board of Supervisors, welcoming two new Board members, and an extended "snow-cation" made January fly by.  The historic blizzard, dubbed Winter Storm Jonas, in late January reminded many Mason District residents of Snowmaggedon in 2010, but without the heavy wet snow damage.  Fortunately, very few power outages were reported across the county, which made being stuck inside much more comfortable for residents awaiting a snowplow.

Fairfax County does not plow snow on public roadways; snowplowing, like filling potholes and repaving, is a maintenance responsibility of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a state agency. According to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, costs of snowplowing for Jonas may top $200 million statewide.  In Fairfax County alone, VDOT used more than 4000 pieces of equipment to push snow, and finally resorted to calling in motor graders, bobcats, and front loaders from as far away as Connecticut to remove snow when pushing it was no longer effective.  By the third day after the storm, most neighborhoods were accessible, although not perfect.  My office fielded hundreds of calls and emails about snow plowing and, although plowing is not a county service or cost, we were able to notify VDOT staff directly about Mason District streets that needed attention.  Sight distance still may be a problem in some neighborhoods and on major roadways, due to snow piled at corners.  Rising temperatures soon will alleviate that problem, but please exercise extra caution when you come to intersections.  Hopefully, by the time I write the next Board Corner, Jonas will be a distant memory, and we can look forward to spring, and budget discussions!

AARP Tax Preparation Volunteers Return to Mason District Free tax assistance by AARP Volunteers is available beginning Monday, February 1, 2016, at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  Because Emancipation Day (April 16) is a holiday in the District of Columbia and will be observed on Friday, April 15, the deadline for federal taxes this year is Monday, April 18.  File Virginia taxes before the deadline on Sunday, May 1.  AARP volunteers will provide walk-in service from February 1 through April 18: Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 8 p.m.Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  Please note that walk-in hours will be closed President's Day weekend, February 13-15, 2016.  All returns are filed electronically.  Remember to bring documents, such as last year's tax return, a photo ID, and all Social Security cards.  Residents with illnesses or infirmities, which confine them to their homes, may schedule appointments with AARP for tax preparation services by calling 703-594-6576.  For more information about AARP Tax-Aide, visit www.aarp.org/money/taxaide, or call 1-888-227-7669.

Help Feed Fairfax County Families by Stuffing the Bus To help restock depleted food pantries, Fairfax County operates "Stuff the Bus," a food pantry giving program that partners with nonprofits, grocery stores and MV Transportation.  On Saturday, February 13, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the  "Stuff the Bus" program will be at the Annandale Giant, 7137 Columbia Pike, and will benefit the Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA).  A Fastran bus staffed by MV Transportation personnel will collect food donations.  Volunteers for local non-profit food pantries will be available to collect donated food from local shoppers.  In 2015, more than 30,000 meals worth of food was collected and distributed through the food pantry network.  For more information about the "Stuff the Bus" program and a list of donation sites, collection dates, and times, call 703-222-9764; TTY 711, or visit the Web site  www.fairfaxcounty.gov/living/food/stuffthebus/.

Mason District Governmental Center Features Art by the Vienna Arts Society – Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross is pleased to host, as our quarterly art exhibit, the original artwork of the members of The Vienna Arts Society (VAS).  Founded in 1969 by artists residing in nearby Vienna, VAS has grown to include prominent artists from the wider Washington Metropolitan region.  The many award winning artists encompass various media and are exhibited in local galleries, as well as throughout the United States and abroad.  The exhibit will be featured at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale, from February through April 2016.  The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.  Artist demonstrations, classes, and additional artwork are available at the Vienna Art Center, 115 Pleasant Street N.W., in Vienna.  VAS is funded partially by the Arts Council of Fairfax County.  For more information, call 703-319-3971, or visit the Vienna Arts Society Web site at www.ViennaArtsSociety.org.

Mark Your Calendar: Senior Citizen Tax Relief 2016 Workshops Coming to Mason DistrictSupervisor Penny Gross, in collaboration with the Department of Tax Administration (DTA), is hosting free tax relief workshops on Wednesday, March 16 and Friday, March 18, 2016from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, at the Mason District Governmental Center, 6507 Columbia Pike in Annandale.  DTA staff will be on-site to assist residents with completing the 2016 Tax Relief application form and answer questions.  No appointment is necessary.  Bring your 2015 tax returns or proof of 2015 gross income from all sources, and all asset information as of December 31, 2015.  Real estate tax relief is available for older adults and people with disabilities who meet certain qualifications.  Qualified residents also may be eligible for car tax and rent relief.  For more information, visit the Web site www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta, or call 703-222-8234; TTY 703-222-7594.

Mason Matters! The Television Show – The February edition of Mason Matters!, the television show that brings you news and information about our Mason District community, hosted by Supervisor Penny Gross, features Danielle Wynne, an ecologist with Fairfax County's Stormwater Planning Division, and Parks Talley, a beekeeper and member of the Beekeepers Association of Northern Virginia (BANV).  When we think of bees, honey and stings are common thoughts, but most of us know that bees serve a much greater purpose.  While we enjoy the products that they help make possible, we don't always think about their significance to our ecosystem.  However, beekeepers are very much in tune with bees.  You may be surprised to know that beekeeping has been around for thousands of years, and here locally urban beekeeping is on the rise!  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.

Mason News and Updates – If you know someone who would like to receive news and updates about Fairfax County services and events in Mason District, send an e-mail to mason@fairfaxcounty.gov to subscribe.  If you do not wish to receive this newsletter or the news and updates, please send an e-mail and include unsubscribe in the subject line to remove your e-mail address from the subscription list.

The Quick 411 – Does Fairfax County currently need volunteers, and is there a place to search for opportunities?  Yes, and yes!  Volunteers for Fairfax County contribute thousands of hours of services annually in more than 30 program areas and on 85 Boards, Authorities and Commissions.  It's far more than doing a good deed, it's a way to develop skills, learn more about career options, make professional contacts, socialize and, more importantly, have an impact on your community.  Interested in volunteering?  Fairfax County has a new volunteer site, which allows you to search for opportunities or sign up to receive information about future opportunities.  For more information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/volunteering.

VDOT Resources Help Us Get Through Winter Storms The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is the state agency that controls and maintains the roads in Fairfax County, and clears our streets of snow.  Residents may use the following VDOT Winter Resources to get information about road conditions, while at home or work:

Election Officers Are Needed in Fairfax County – The Office of Elections currently is recruiting voters to serve as Election Officers a few days a year, including the upcoming 2016 elections (www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/upcoming.htm).  Election Officers are needed at each of the 242 precincts in Fairfax County to run the polls and assist voters.  In order to be an Election Officer, you must:

  • Be fluent in English;
  • Be a registered voter in the Commonwealth of Virginia;
  • Be able to fulfill the Federal I-9 employment eligibility requirements;
  • Attend a 3-hour training class;
  • Arrive at the polling place at 5 a.m. and remain until all work has been completed after the polls close at 7 p.m.; and
  • Have basic computer skills.

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 and to apply, call the Office of Elections at 703-324-4735; TTY 711, send an e-mail to elect@fairfaxcounty.gov, or visit the Office of Elections Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/working.htm.

Voter Registration and Absentee Voting in the 2016 Presidential Primaries – The League of Women Voters of the Fairfax Area (LWVFA) reminds Fairfax County residents to ensure their voter registration is current, and that it is not too late to register to vote.  The deadline to register, or to update voter registration if you have moved or changed your name, is Monday, February 8, 2016 at 5 p.m. for mailed applications, or 11:59 p.m. for online applications.  To register to vote online, visit the Virginia Department of Elections' Web site at www.vote.virginia.gov.  Following is additional information about deadlines for upcoming elections.

Absentee Voting Applications: 
Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 5 p.m. by mail or online: www.vote.virginia.gov.

Fairfax County Office of Elections
Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 323, Fairfax, Virginia 22035; Call: 703-222-0776; TTY 711; E-mail: voting@fairfaxcounty.gov; Absentee Fax: 703-324-3725; Web site: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm.

For the Presidential Primary Only:
When applying, you must indicate your primary party preference.  Republican voters: You may be asked to sign and include with your ballot a statement indicating you are a Republican.

Absentee Voting Schedule:
By Mail: January 15 - March 1, 2016, 7 p.m.

Fairfax County In-Person: January 15 - February 27, 2016
Fairfax County Government Center: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday, February 27, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Closed holidays
Satellite Locations: Saturday, February 27 ONLY, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; for satellite locations visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/elections/absentee.htm, this includes the Mason District Governmental Center.

Information about LWVFA is available by calling 703-658-9150, or by visiting the Web site at www.lwv-fairfax.org.

More news and information can be found at the NewsWire.


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