Monthly Newsletter from Chairman Sharon Bulova

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova


In This Issue
New Year Reception
Who Represents You
Flag Box
Winter Weather

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Did You Know?
The Board of Supervisors approved its first purchase of land for public parks on August 1, 1953.

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                     December 2018

Memory is funny. If you asked me what I did last Tuesday I would be hard pressed to fill in the details. Some things, however, remain frozen in time, down to seemingly insignificant details.
Lunch at Hunan West on January 11, 1987 is one of those memories. I was working as an Aide to Annandale District Supervisor Audrey Moore. She had pretty much made up her mind to run for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors against incumbent Jack Herrity. My co-workers, Florence, Carolyn and Janet, and I had escaped the office for lunch in the Kings Park Shopping Center.
We began discussing Audrey's plans, then the subject shifted to who would run for the open Annandale District seat. "Sharon Bulova" announced Florence Naeve. I looked up from my Sweet and Sour Pork laughing, thinking that she was joking. To my horror, my friends' expressions were electrified. They excitedly began listing all the reasons why this was a good idea. I countered with a list of my shortcomings, why I couldn't possibly run for office, starting with a phobia about speaking in public.  Carolyn smiled broadly and exclaimed, "And see! You're so modest and organized!"

The Fairfax Journal - April 22, 1987

Sometimes routine events like lunch with friends can prove pivotal. Despite all my doubts and misgivings, I did, indeed run for office, and went on to serve as Annandale - later renamed Braddock - District Supervisor for the next twenty years. When then-Chairman Gerry Connolly was elected to Congress in 2008, I ran for his open seat in a special election on February 3, 2009. This coming February will mark ten years since I have served as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Local government is an awesome place to be. It's the level of government closest to the people you represent. It's the place where you can truly make a tangible difference, touch lives, and engage with the community in a personal, positive way. Deciding when to stop is just as hard as making the decision to start down the road of elective office. For me, however, that time has come.
When questioned by Tony Olivo of the Washington Post about my plans for running, I told him I was going to use the Thanksgiving holiday to
Grandchildren Alex and Josie and step son-in-law Sean adding their perspectives to the family flip chart 
think about it, and to talk to my family and friends. On Thanksgiving Day my son David arrived for dinner equipped with a large flip chart and colored stickies for voting. He titled the Chart "Family Decision Making Matrix" and separated it into "Pros" and "Cons." It was a fun, light-hearted after dinner activity. Many of the items listed on the "Pro" side of the chart were some of the reasons that had already persuaded me to not seek another four-year term. More time with family and grandchildren, time for travel, to entertain, to smell the roses.
It has been an honor to serve the Fairfax County community on the Board of Supervisors. During these past thirty years, I have been privileged to work alongside dedicated elected officials at every level of government, with talented, caring county staff and a county full of enthusiastic community volunteers. While I will not be running for re-election in 2019 I sure do have a lot to look back on with satisfaction. At the top of my list are:
  • My role in founding the VRE Commuter Rail System
  • Piloting the Silver Line over the finish line to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County through cost containment agreements/strategies that ensured federal financial support
  • Successfully navigating the Great Recession and federal Sequestration cutbacks while retaining Fairfax County's coveted triple AAA Bond rating
  • Initiating Faith Communities in Action and Fairfax County's Communities of Trust
  • Convening the Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission, which resulted in a re-engineering of our outstanding Police Department including greater transparency, a new philosophy with an emphasis on the sanctity of life and de-escalation, an Independent Police Auditor, and a Police Civilian Review Panel
  • Working alongside other leaders and agencies to launch Diversion First (1,200 people suffering from mental illness to date have been diverted from potential arrest and into treatment instead)
  • Hosting the 2015 World Police & Fire Games
  • Overseeing the transformative vision for, and re-planning of, Tysons
  • Beginning with the Braddock Nights concert series, sparking countywide summer performances in our County parks
  • Serving on Fairfax County's Governing Board to Prevent and End Homelessness. (During my time as Chairman, homelessness in the County has been reduced by almost 50%)
  • Promoting environmental stewardship through policies, programs and events including:
    • Environmental Vision (Since I've been Chairman, county government buildings have reduced carbon emissions from electricity and natural gas by 19%)
    • New Energy Strategy
    • Private Sector Energy Task Force
    • Environmental Showcase
  • Spearheading and supporting numerous history and arts initiatives:
    • Braddock's True Gold/A Look Back at Braddock
    • The Fairfax County Asian American History Project
    • Fairfax County's 275th Anniversary Celebration
My term does not end until the end of next year. Between now and then there is still much to do and to contribute. I look forward to working with you during these months ahead and thank you for your engagement and participation in your community.


Sharon Bulova
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

Fairfax County Podcast Interview with Chairman Bulova
Tune in to Fairfax County's podcast, "Connect with County Leaders" with host Jim Person, to hear more about my journey in local politics and my decision to not seek re-election in 2019. 

New Year Reception  |  January 8, 2019

This annual event is my opportunity to thank County employees, volunteers and active neighbors who help make Fairfax County the exceptional place it is to live, work and play. Light fare and desserts will be served. Members of my staff will be collecting canned foods for Stuff the Bus or pet food for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter.  All Fairfax County residents are welcome to attend. Hope to see you there!

Fairfax County Fast Facts:  Who Represents You?
As a Fairfax County resident in Northern Virginia, many elected officials represent you at the federal, state and local levels of government. Check out some "fast facts" about which leadership positions are elected, which ones are appointed, and how to connect with your representatives. 

Who Represents You in Fairfax County
Who Represents You in Fairfax County
County Invests $1 Million in Innovation Hub Refraction's Expansion
As part of our ongoing efforts to foster more innovation and entrepreneurship, Fairfax County will contribute $1 million to help Reston-based innovation hub Refraction expand. The investment is anticipated to generate 800 new tech jobs, train 2,500 workers and lead to $200 million in new capital investment over the next 5 years. It will also support the nonprofit's new apprenticeship program (jointly developed with Northern Virginia Community College) to train talent for startups and high-growth companies. In addition, Refraction will partner with the county's Chief Equity Officer and FCPS to train girls and students from underrepresented and economically disadvantaged communities on entrepreneurship skills. This supports the county's racial and social equity policy called One Fairfaxas well as the tech industry's efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce. Read more on NewsCenter.
U.S. Flag Box at Fairfax County Government Center
If you own an American flag that is worn, tattered or torn, Fairfax County offers an easy way to retire your flag with dignity and honor. I have arranged for a U.S. flag disposal box to be placed in the lobby of the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Pkwy) where residents can bring old flags in need of proper disposal. The American Legion Post #177 has agreed to periodically stop by the Government Center, pick up the flags, and conduct a formal flag retirement ceremony. This is a simple yet meaningful way to  honor the symbol of our nation and the people who fight to protect our freedom. I am grateful to the National Association of Counties (NACo) , the  National Flag Foundation  and the  National Sheriff's Association for providing us with this complimentary flag box for our residents to use.  More flag box locations throughout the County
Let's Talk Environment at EQAC Public Meeting
Each year, EQAC holds a public hearing to obtain input on issues of environmental concern.  The next public hearing will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 AT 7:30pm in conference rooms 4 and 5 of the Fairfax County Government Center. Written testimony can be emailed to or mailed to:

                      Joseph Gorney, Senior Planner
                      Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning
                      12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 730
                      Fairfax, VA  22035
Video testimony is also available! Residents are encouraged to participate in EQAC's public hearing to share views on the state of the environment and to identify environmental issues applicable to Fairfax County.  Environmental issues considered by EQAC include water quality, air quality, noise, hazardous materials, solid waste, stream valley protection, wildlife management, light pollution, visual pollution, climate change response and adaptation, energy conservation, land use, transportation and the use and preservation of ecological resources. 

Residents are also invited to attend any EQAC meeting and to submit correspondence for EQAC's consideration at any time!  More information .
Hypothermia Shelters & Winter Weather Reminders
Coordinated by the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and four nonprofits, the annual Hypothermia Program provides hundreds of additional emergency shelter beds throughout the winter (December to March). Forty-four faith communities provide safe places to sleep indoors, as well as meals, transportation and often extras such as clothing donations. During the freezing weather, the county also provides overnight shelter with a "no turn-away" policy at all of our emergency homeless shelters. If you see someone who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county's non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. For more information on this lifesaving program, contact the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness at 703-324-9492, or visit this NewsCenter article.

Fairfax County's Guide to Snow  compiles what you need to know about snow and its removal (plowing, shoveling and more). Hint: VDOT plows most roads in Fairfax County! It's always good to be prepared for whatever Old Man Winter may throw our way. 
Upcoming Events & Ways to Get Involved
Coat and Blanket Drive for Syrian Refugees | NOVA Relief Center | donate now through 12/7
Santa's Ride 2018 | Police Department and Sheriff's Office | donate toys for kids by 12/10 at 9am

Ending the Silence Volunteer Information Brunch | National Alliance on Mental Illness | 12/8

Public Forum | Police Civilian Review Panel | 12/10

Taste of Braddock | Braddock District | 12/12
Madeline's Christmas | Creative Cauldron | 12/6 - 12/23
Celtic Music Holiday Concert | Sully Historic Site | 12/28
MLK Celebration 2019 | Reston Community Center | 1/19 - 1/21