September 17, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

First, let me extend my warmest wishes to those in the Jewish community celebrating Rosh Hashanah beginning tomorrow evening. L'Shana Tova!

This Tuesday, September 15, the Board of Supervisors held its first meeting in the Board Auditorium with masks, plexiglass dividers, and social distancing. We heard hours of citizen testimony and took a number of significant actions, adjourning at 2:30 am. I’ll summarize some of the highlights, but you can also read the full agenda and Board package.

Guns on County-Owned Property

For decades, Fairfax County has sought authority from the General Assembly to ban weapons from our government buildings, community centers, libraries, rec centers, and parks. This year, the General Assembly granted that authority and the Board voted 9-1 to exercise that authority. 

I appreciate that there are strong views on both sides of this issue and I spent a lot of time engaging in respectful dialogue with constituents on this issue. But on a fundamental level, I believe that Fairfax families should be able to take their children to a park, library, or rec center with the knowledge that no one is allowed to bring a deadly weapon into those facilities.

Fairfax RISE Grants

In the wake of the pandemic, the Board of Supervisors developed Fairfax RISE, a small business grant program designed to help local businesses and nonprofits make it through these tough times. To date, we have received 6,280 applications. We allocated an additional $12 million to ensure that every eligible application is funded. 

One of my priorities this year has been to help our local neighborhood pools survive the COVID-19 disruption to their operations. That’s why I’m particularly pleased that several neighborhood pools in our community have received Fairfax RISE grant funding.


For nearly 20 years, Board Members like Gerry Connolly and Sharon Bulova have asked the General Assembly to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. Thanks to the work of Delegate David Bulova and others, that authority was granted this year. No one should face discrimination of any form because of who they are or who they love and I was proud to cast my vote to implement this authority.

Confederate Monuments

Since 1904, a monument to Captain John Marr, the first Confederate soldier killed in the Civil War, has stood on the grounds of the historic Fairfax Courthouse. The Marr Monument is accompanied by two Howitzer cannons. An historical marker noting the skirmish that led to his death stands nearby. The Board voted to remove the monument and two cannons while beginning a process to replace the existing marker with one or more markers that tell a more detailed history of the site.

The unveiling of the Marr Monument in 1904 coincided with the end of Reconstruction in Virginia, a period in which Black citizens of Fairfax County voted in elections and held elected office. Sadly, organizations like the United Daughters of the Confederacy funded monuments like this one across the South as part of a campaign to glorify the “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy. That Lost Cause mythology was key to their political goal to strip Black citizens of the rights they enjoyed during Reconstruction and impose the decades-long system of racism, brutality, and violence known as Jim Crow. 

While I believe there should be an historical marker that notes the skirmish that led to Captain Marr’s death, along with other historical events that took place at the site, I don’t believe that monuments to the Lost Cause belong on public property. This is another issue on which there are strong views on both sides and I’ve appreciated hearing from many of you. As a lifelong Virginian whose family came here in the 18th century, our history is important to me. But preserving our history means acknowledging the full truth of that history, however painful it might be. 

School Funding

On Chairman McKay’s motion, the Board approved $20.1 million in federal CARES Act funding for the Fairfax County Public Schools response to COVID-19. The funding will cover health and safety needs, like additional cleaning supplies and PPE, as the school system considers a phased return to in-person learning. It will also ensure equitable access to learning by allowing the School Board to eliminate a $50 laptop fee.
Yours in Service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
Upcoming Election Information
General Information

  • September 18: Absentee in-person/early voting begins at the Office of Elections, 12000 Government Center Pkwy., Fairfax, VA Ballots will be available beginning September 18, 2020. All absentee applications and voter registration forms must be approved and will be processed in the order of receipt.

  • October 12: Office of Elections/Absentee Voting Closed for Columbus Day

  • October 13: Voter Registration Deadline. In-person: 5:00 p.m., online: 11:59 p.m.

  • October 23: Deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail, 5:00 p.m.

  • October 31: Final day for absentee in-person/early voting, 5:00 p.m.

Returned Ballots:

  • November 3: Deadline to hand deliver absentee ballots to Office of Elections is 7:00 p.m.

  • November 6: Deadline for mailed absentee ballots to be received by Office of Elections is 12 p.m. (noon). Ballots must be postmarked no later than November 3.

Returning an Absentee Ballot
The Virginia General Assembly has approved the use of drop boxes at precincts and satellite locations as well as the Office of the General Registrar (Office of Elections).

During the dates and times that the Office of Elections is open, voters can return their ballot to the Office of Elections. During the dates and times that the satellite locations are open for absentee person/early voting, voters can return their ballot to the satellite locations. On Election Day, November 3, from 6:00 am – 7:00 pm, voters can return their ballot to any precinct.

Important Notice
Only when the Office of Elections or absentee in person/early voting satellite locations are open can a voter return their ballot to those locations’ drop box.

For information on the Virginia Constitutional amendment and the 4 bond questions about Public Libraries, Parks, Transportation and Health & Human Services, please visit the elections website.

Article II. Franchise and Officers. Section 6. Apportionment. Section 6-A. Virginia Redistricting Commission 1 Ballot Question

Should the Constitution of Virginia be amended to establish a redistricting commission, consisting of eight members of the General Assembly and eight citizens of the Commonwealth, that is responsible for drawing the congressional and state legislative districts that will be subsequently voted on, but not changed by, the General Assembly and enacted without the Governor’s involvement and to give the responsibility of drawing districts to the Supreme Court of Virginia if the redistricting commission fails to draw districts or the General Assembly fails to enact districts by certain deadlines?

Bond Ballot Question
There are four bond questions on the Nov. 3, 2020, general election ballot, and voters will be asked to vote YES or NO on each of these questions:

Shall Fairfax County, Virginia, contract a debt, borrow money, and issue bonds in addition to the public library facilities bonds previously authorized, in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $90,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds, with any other available funds, to finance the cost to provide public library facilities, including the construction, reconstruction, enlargement, and equipment of existing and additional library facilities and the acquisition of necessary land?

2) Parks
Shall Fairfax County, Virginia, contract a debt, borrow money, and issue bonds, in addition to the parks and park facilities bonds previously authorized, in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $112,000,000 for the following purposes: (i) $100,000,000 principal amount to finance the Fairfax County Park Authority's cost to acquire, construct, reconstruct, develop, and equip additional parks and park facilities, to preserve open-space land, and to devebelop and improve existing parks and park facilities; and (ii) $12,000,000 principal amount to finance Fairfax County's contribution to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to acquire, construct, reconstruct, develop, and equip parks and park facilities?

Shall Fairfax County, Virginia, contract a debt, borrow money, and issue bonds, in addition to the transportation improvements and facilities bonds previously authorized, in the Maximum aggregate principal amount of $160,000,000 for the purpose of financing Fairfax County's share, under the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Compact, of the cost of constructing, reconstructing, improving, and acquiring transportation improvements and facilities, including capital costs of land, transit facilities, rolling stock, and equipment in the Washington metropolitan area?

Shall Fairfax County, Virginia, contract a debt, borrow money, and issue bonds, in addition to the human services facilities bonds previously authorized, in the maximum aggregate principal amount of $79,000,000 for the purpose of providing funds, with any other available funds, to finance the cost to provide community health and human services facilities, including the construction, reconstruction, enlargement, and equipment of existing and additional community health and human services facilities and the acquisition of necessary land?
Fairfax County COVID-19 Data Update
The Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) continues to respond to the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

Below is the latest data dashboard update provided by the County Health Department.
Opening on the Board of Zoning Appeals
The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) has an opening for one member. The BZA consists of seven members appointed by the Circuit Court for staggered five-year terms. The BZA’s powers, duties, and procedures are set forth in the Virginia Code and are further detailed in the Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance. Those duties and powers include:

  • Hearing and deciding appeals of administrative decisions made pursuant to the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Hearing and deciding on applications for special permits and variances as authorized by the Zoning Ordinance.
  • Hearing and deciding on applications for interpretation of the Zoning Map where there is uncertainty about the location of a zoning district boundary.

The appointment for this open position will be effective until June 13, 2025. BZA members receive a bi-weekly stipend of $357.69 for their service. Applicants must be residents of Fairfax County.

Any interested candidate should submit a resume by September 18, 2020 to the Honorable Bruce D. White, Circuit Court of Fairfax County, 4110 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4009.

Learn more about the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Upcoming Stuff the Bus
On Saturday, September 26, Fastran buses will again be parked at 21 locations from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to collect food donations. Buses will be located in less-frequented lots throughout the county, including many Board of Supervisors’ offices and the Fairfax County Government Center, to allow donors to comply with social distancing recommendations.

In the Braddock District, buses will be located at the Braddock District office at 9002 Burke Lake Road Burke, VA, the Government Center at 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA, and Oaks Community Center at 5708 Oak Leather Dr. Burke, VA.

For more information, including donation sites, a list of most-wanted items and information about donating virtually, visit the Stuff the Bus website.
Long Branch Stream Valley Project Update
On Thursday, September 10, the Fairfax County Park Authority, Braddock District Park Authority Board Member Kiel Stone, and I hosted a well attended community meeting to discuss the Long Branch Stream Valley Trail Project.

The Park Authority has decided to phase the project in response to concerns voiced by residents worried about the impact of the construction during this time of high trail use.

The Park Authority will split Phase III of the project (between Guinea Road and Woodland Way) into two separate phases. Phase III will now be from Guinea Road to the steel bridge over Long Branch, and Phase IV will be from the steel bridge over Long Branch to Woodland Way.

For more information regarding this project contact Project Manager Ed Deleon at (703) 324-9569 or email at, or contact the Public Information Office via email at

Details of the project and the challenges associated with trail maintenance are detailed in the meeting presentation.
Watch the recorded virtual meeting.
Local Flu Shot Offerings
With the COVID-19 pandemic still in full force and Flu season now starting, it is more important than ever that everyone do their part to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. Health experts urge everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot this year and every year. Most health insurance plans cover flu shots for free.

The Fairfax County Health Department is offering flu shots for children and adults at the following locations by appointment only:

To make an appointment for any of the locations, call (703) 246-7100, TTY 711.

The flu vaccine offered at the Health Department protects against four different strains of the flu and is preservative- and latex-free. To ensure safety, strict protocols are in place and all will be asked to observe proper masking and social distancing at all times.
Need your flu shot but prefer to get one outdoors? The Safeway store located at 5727 Burke Centre Parkway will be holding an outdoor flu clinic in their parking lot on September 25 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., and October 17 from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (weather permitting).

The Twinbrook Safeway at 9525 Braddock Road, Fairfax, 22032, will also host an outdoor clinic on October 9 from 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. They will have the regular flu shot and the 65+ flu shot available.
Personal Property Tax Deadline
The Personal Property Tax Deadline is October 5, 2020. With a variety of payment options, you don't need to go to the Fairfax County Government Center to pay (expect long lines if you do).

You can avoid long lines and pay your taxes by:

  • Using MyFairfax Secure Portal.
  • MyFairfax an ongoing, county-wide initiative to provide you with faster and easier access to all of your county information in a secure environment.

  • Phone
  • If using VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, call (703) 222-6740, TTY 711 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

  • Mail
  • Make checks made payable to "County of Fairfax".
  • Use envelope provided with your bill or mail to: Department of Tax Administration, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 223 Fairfax, VA 22035
  • Do NOT send cash.
  • Payment must be postmarked on or before the due date to be considered on time.

  • Droping off your payment at any of the following drop off box locations:
  • Government Center - 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA
  • Fairfax County Library locations 
  • Reston - 11925 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston
  • Sherwood - 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria
  • George Mason - 7001 Little River Turnpike, Annandale
  • Dolly Madison - 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue, McLean
  • Oakton - 10304 Lynnhaven Place, Oakton
  • Burke Centre - 5935 Freds Oak Road, Burke

  • Automatic Installments
  • Prepay real estate and vehicle taxes through automatic installments debited electronically from your bank account.
  • For more information, refer to the Automated Payment Program - Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact DTA's office.
Watch this video for detailed information on the variety of payment options.
GMU's Climate Future Panel
Mark your calendar and join Delegate Rip Sullivan, local community leaders, George Mason University (GMU) faculty, and me on Sept. 24 at 5:00 p.m. for a live-streamed discussion on Virginia’s Climate Future. Register and send us your questions now!

Local Volunteer Opportunity
Fairfax County has collaborated with Volunteer Fairfax to designate a volunteer space to make masks for kids. The sewing center at Audrey Moore RECenter — 8100 Braddock Road, Annandale — will be open daily from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m.

Volunteers will be socially distanced and required to wear a face covering while present. The sewing center will have all the supplies available that you need.

Sign up today and sew for a cause!

Have questions? Contact Tejas Patel, Volunteer Fairfax emergency response program manager, by phone at (931) 981-9698, or by email.
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