Story Ideas in Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Dec. 18, 2003
Story Ideas in Fairfax County Government
The Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs provides a summary of news briefs designed to inform the media about great story ideas in Fairfax County government. The following information gives the background on newsworthy stories as well as contact information. For additional questions on the Future Features service, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.
Criminals Never Take a
With the holiday season upon us, many will be shopping for that perfect gift. Unlawful activity increases at this time because criminals never take a holiday. Before heading to the shops and malls, you may want to review some preventive measures to make yourself less vulnerable to criminals. For more information on holiday safety, call a Fairfax County Crime Prevention Officer at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.
• When parking, find a location under or near lights even when arriving during the day. When returning to your car, consider asking the security of the retail establishment for an escort. Don’t load yourself down with too many packages. One arm should always be free, car key in hand, for quick entry into your vehicle. Make several trips to your car if necessary. Always store packages out of sight in your car. Exposed goods are an open invitation to theft.
• Minimize carrying large amounts of cash. Professional pickpockets are out in force at this time of year.
• If possible, use credit rather than debit cards to make purchases. Check your monthly statement closely to be sure that there are no unauthorized purchases. If your credit cards are stolen, report this information immediately to the police and credit bureaus.
County Employees Save Money on Behalf of Citizens
Phillip Ballard, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Wastewater Treatment Division, observed that the Clean Air Act permit issued for the Noman M. Cole Pollution Control Plant included continuous emissions monitoring for a parameter unrelated to air pollution. This would have required new equipment that would be costly to operate and maintain. Ballard suggested that the county petition the Virginia Department of Environment Quality to remove the requirement. After review by the state, the permit was reissued without the requirement resulting in a savings of more than $22,000 to the citizens in Fairfax County.
Robin Parker, Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, Wastewater Planning and Monitoring Division, recommended that the county ask the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to reduce the frequency of the CBDO5 testing, a measure of water pollution, from six to five days per week because wastewater remains relatively constant. The change was approved and resulted in an annual savings of $5,200 to the citizens in Fairfax County. For more information, call Debra Bianchi in the Office of Public Affairs, 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.
Public Meetings of Fairfax County
Government on Web site
Meetings held by county government that are open to the public are now listed on the county Web site. The Office of Public Affairs and the Department of Information Technology developed this central Web-based public meeting calendar to provide electronic notice of public meetings. To access the county’s public meetings calendar, go to www.fairfaxcounty.gov/calendar/default.asp. For more information, call Cathy Lemmon, 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.
In Addition …
• Nominations for the annual Fairfax County Champion of Character Awards program are being accepted now through Jan. 5. The Fairfax County Athletic Council established this sports awards program to honor coaches and youth for extraordinary service in pursuing victory with honor. To request an official nomination form or for more details, call Casey Hanes, Department of Community and Recreation Services, at 703-324-5649, TTY 703-222-9693, or visit at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/rec.
• Printed sets of the 2003 edition of the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan are available for purchase at the Maps and Publications Center, Suite 156 in the Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. The Maps and Publications Center is open from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. weekdays and can be reached at 703-324-2974, TTY 711. The Comprehensive Plan is comprised of five volumes, the Policy Plan and Area Plans I-IV. Each volume costs $20. The Comprehensive Plan is also available online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpz. For more information, call the Planner of the Day at 703-324-1380, TTY 711.
• January is National Mentoring Month. Mentoring is a proven strategy to provide guidance and build confidence in youth. For more information, call Kathy Ciro of the Fairfax Partnership for Youth at 703-324-5535, TTY 711.
• The holiday schedule for Fairfax County government may be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/03302.htm. For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935.