Supporting Our Schools and Our Children
I am enormously proud of the achievements of our Fairfax County school system and believe that we have an obligation to ensure that our students have the resources and skills to succeed in the 21st century economy.
As a former PTA President and lifetime member of the Virginia PTA, I have always advocated for, and supported funding for, our schools, which account for 53% of the total county budget. I always have sought to find the most efficient use of resources for schools while still balancing the needs of our schools with other community priorities. I am proud of the work we have done together to responsibly and effectively improve education here in Mason District and Fairfax County.
As Supervisor, I strongly supported the full-day Monday initiative at the elementary level as well as later start times for upper grades, changes and improvements that support Mason District students and their families. I also am very proud that, in recent years, three new schools have been built in Mason District — Glasgow Middle School, Mason Crest Elementary School, and Bailey’s Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences. These facilities represent significant public investment in Mason District’s future.
All three of our children attended and graduated from Fairfax County public schools and received a well-rounded education that provided the foundation for success in their adult years. The advocacy of a mom for her children that I developed years ago continues in my job as Supervisor today: to make Mason District a great place for our children to learn and grow.
Promoting Our Community and Parks
A unique place, Mason District has approximately 116,000 residents living in more than 41,000 households. I have always encouraged steady commercial renewal and popular retail offerings that encircle the area, and am committed to maintaining natural resources for outdoor enjoyment.
The district is situated mostly inside the Capital Beltway with access to other parts of Northern Virginia, the national capital, rail, interstate highways, and between two major airports. The proximity to diverse commerce and strong real estate values is matched by the area’s availability of top-notch healthcare, educational resources, entertainment attractions, and senior citizen outlets.
Mason District enjoys a network of more than two dozen county parks, trails, stream valleys, and recreational facilities. As Supervisor and an active park volunteer for 35 years, I have always tried to provide all residents with opportunities to participate in our park programs — farmer’s markets, free summer concerts, playgrounds, turf fields, and horticultural centers. From Mason District Park to Ossian Hall to Green Spring Gardens to Providence Recreation Center to Hidden Oaks Nature Center to the Cross-Country Trail, we celebrate and retain the most valuable investment that a community can enjoy — Quality of Life.
Building Infrastructure for Our Future
Mason District is transitioning from a suburb of the nation's capital into a dynamic and cosmopolitan community, reflective of the area’s growth in ethnic, social, and economic diversity. Planning for this growth requires public investment in schools, libraries, fire stations, parks, and other facilities and amenities that build a strong foundation for our great community.
As Supervisor, I have encouraged community members, non-profit organizations, faith communities, and my fellow elected officials to work together to meet the challenge and opportunity that this growth presents, balancing present needs with what we wish to become in the decades to come.
We have vastly upgraded our public facilities in Mason District, with the new Bailey's Fire Station 10 completed last year, and the Jefferson Fire Station on Route 50 scheduled for replacement next year. In March, the renovated and expanded Woodrow Wilson Library opened, both on time and under budget, while attaining LEED Silver certification. During my tenure as supervisor, more than 200 acres of parkland have been acquired in Mason District, most recently with the purchase of 10 acres near Edsall Road, to be called Monch Farm Park, and 2.4 acres adjacent to Green Spring Gardens.
Wider sidewalks are now found in the heart of Annandale, accompanying the construction of the new Walgreens. The AMF Annandale Lanes bowling center will be redeveloped as a mixed use residential development. These projects, along with other redevelopment in downtown Annandale, signal increased investment in our community. Sidewalks have been installed along Columbia Pike, by the Annandale United Methodist Church, and from the Mason District Governmental Center to Lincolnia Road. Sidewalks have also been installed along Leesburg Pike, between Seven Corners and Bailey's Crossroads, protecting pedestrians along this busy corridor. The Elmdale Walkway Project is currently underway and is expected to be completed later this year.
All these features help create a the foundation for a vibrant Mason District, where all people can live, work, play, worship, and learn for decades to come.
Creating Safer Roadways and Reducing Congestion
I am proud of the strides we have made to create safer and less congested roadways in Mason District. I have always fought for every dollar and every cent to make our byways pedestrian-friendly, business-friendly, and commuter-friendly. And I will continue to do so every day that I am in office.
Working in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the state agency responsible for maintaining Fairfax County roadways, we have successfully improved traffic flow along major corridors by successfully advocating for the approval for traffic signals at Route 236/Little River Turnpike at Pinecrest Vista Drive/Willow Run Drive, dedicated left turn signals on Annandale Road at South Street/Bill Page Shopping Center and, coming soon, Columbia Pike at Powell Lane.
Approximately 40 bus stop locations along primary and high volume secondary roads were improved by adding shelters, benches, and sidewalk connections. In Mason District, you can see new bus stop locations along Annandale Road, Route 50/Arlington Boulevard, Braddock Road, Columbia Pike, Hummer Road, Route 7/Leesburg Pike, Route 236/Little River Turnpike, and Patrick Henry Drive.
Pedestrian and vehicular safety also improved in neighborhoods through the collaboration between my office, the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, and residents who wanted relief from speeding, and other traffic issues, and got it through the Traffic Calming Program; establish a Residential Permit Parking District (RPPD); a Community Parking District (CPD); or Through Truck Restriction (TTR). In Mason District, three RPPDs, one Temporary RPPD, and one CPD project were completed recently. Two traffic calming projects and two Through Truck Restriction Projects are in various stages of completion.
As your Mason District Supervisor, I worked hard to secure funding from the voter-approved 2007 Transportation Bond to build sidewalks along major corridors: Route 7 / Leesburg Pike, Route 50/Arlington Boulevard, Route 236/Little River Turnpike, and Route 244/Columbia Pike. All of these projects have successfully increased pedestrian safety and provide access to the central business districts of Annandale and Bailey’s Crossroads/Seven Corners. Some sidewalk projects include pedestrian-controlled signals to cross major highways, and improvements to bus stops for safer access to mass transit.
We also succeeded in securing funds from the voter-approved 2014 Transportation Bond to build more sidewalk projects for increased connectivity from neighborhoods to parks, libraries, and other recreational destinations.
I am proud of the strides we have made to create safer and less congested roadways in Mason District. I always have and, always will, fight for every dollar and every cent to make our byways pedestrian-friendly, business-friendly, and commuter-friendly.
Working for the Community Through Constituent Service
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has responsibility for a vast array of local policies and services that affect our daily lives. My office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. weekdays, to help Mason District residents connect to the resources they need.
I always enjoy visiting community and homeowner associations in Mason District, where I can listen to neighborhood concerns and answer all types of questions about county (and some state) issues. Every winter since 2007, I also have hosted Saturday morning leadership sessions for civic and homeowner associations, where leaders can learn more about county services for their neighborhoods. Mason District’s Kaleidoscope, our monthly dialogue on diversity, gives residents an opportunity to reflect on the variety of perspectives found in, and challenges facing, our community.The popular Mason District Citizen Handbook, published by my office and posted on my county website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mason, contains useful, up-to-date telephone numbers and contact information for schools, libraries, and other essential county services. The “Mason Matters!” monthly electronic newsletter is a must-read of local events and activities, and is complemented by my semi-annual printed newsletter delivered to more than 30,000 households. My monthly “Mason Matters!” television show on cable channel 16 is available on-line, and you can read my weekly column, “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” in the Falls Church News Press. Whether in person, by print, TV, or the Internet, I work to bring the county to you.
Campaigning is easy; governance is hard. You have my unwavering, full-time commitment to a local government that works for all Mason District residents, long-time resident or newcomer. If you have any questions or concerns about county government, please contact me. My door is always open to you.
Making Our District Environmentally Friendly
Local government is where the action is, getting things done for the community, and leaving a place better than it was when found. When it comes to improving the environment in Mason District, green isn’t just the color of leaves and grass, but a commitment to future generations.
Recent achievements toward a greener Mason District include:
But there still is more to do. I encourage you to join me in working to ensure that Mason District is a healthy, happy, green community in which to live, work, play, learn, and worship now, and for generations to come.