April 8, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

The coronavirus pandemic has upended every aspect of life in Fairfax County, including our budget process. Yesterday, County Executive Bryan Hill released a revised Fiscal Year 2021 budget proposal and updated timeline for adoption of that budget. This proposal kicks off an accelerated and altered period of public input. The challenging circumstances notwithstanding, my priority is to hear your thoughts, concerns, and ideas on this budget before its adoption on May 12.

I’ll be hosting a virtual budget town hall at 7:30 PM on April 13. Our Braddock District School Board Member Megan McLaughlin and Fairfax County’s Chief Financial Officer Joe Mondoro will join me. It will be televised live on Channel 16 (COX Channel 1016; Verizon/Comcast Channel 16), streamed on Channel 16’s website , and streamed on my Facebook Page . We will take questions by phone (703-324-1114) , email ( Braddock@Fairfaxcounty.Gov ) , and in the comments section of my Facebook Page

This budget proposal is a dramatic change from the original proposal released in February. Given significant revenue losses, the financial pressures facing our families, and uncertainty regarding the long-term economic outlook, this budget seeks to preserve existing core services and invest in the public health efforts that will allow us to reopen our local economy when it is safe to do so. The current real estate tax rate of $1.15 per $100 is maintained and the proposed admissions tax has been eliminated. 

I’m pleased that my proposal to increase funding for our Health Department and add additional public health nurses and community outreach specialists was included. As I said at our recent Budget Policy Committee meeting ( click here to see video ), the next phase of our coronavirus response must include a significant increase in testing and contact tracing investigations to prevent future cases from spreading. After we flatten the curve and before a vaccine is widely available, testing and tracing will be the key to keep our residents safe and reopen our local businesses. Sadly, we can’t rely on a dysfunctional White House to lead that effort. We will have to do it locally.

Public hearings on the budget have been moved to April 28-30. You can participate in those public hearings in the following ways:
Email ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov , or use the new online submission form .
Submit the sign up form here and indicate that you wish to do so by phone when the Department of Clerk Services contacts you to confirm you are testifying. If providing testimony by phone, you will receive a call, originating from (703)-324-1000, just before your turn.
You can submit video testimony here . Comments must be limited to issues relevant to the budget. Videos should be limited to three minutes (five minutes if a spokesperson for a group). Testimony will appear according to the order of the speakers.

Continue reading for more information on:

  • Yard Waste Collection
  • Cloth Face Coverings
  • Fairfax Connector Service Changes
  • In-Person Food Donation Options
  • Braddock District Spirit
  • Messages from Police and Fire Chiefs
  • Local Restaurants to Support

Yours in service,
Supervisor James Walkinshaw
Yard Waste Collection FAQs
Many residents still have questions about the suspension of county yard waste pickup. Fairfax County’s Yard Waste FAQs list has answers!

While this FAQ list applies directly to residents whose waste is collected by Fairfax County, private haulers are also adjusting service levels during the crisis. If you use a private waste hauler (American, Republic, etc), reach out to them directly for information.
This Washington Post video tells the story of the fears and challenges facing sanitation workers in D.C., but those in Fairfax County face many of the same fears and challenges. Their work protects our community's health, but puts their own at risk. Many of them are also facing childcare challenges due to school closures. Please be considerate of their health and safety by bagging all household trash, limiting the disposal of yard waste, and keeping the results of your spring cleaning in the basement or garage until the crisis ends.
Cloth Face Coverings Help Slow
COVID-19 Spread
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

The CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
Fairfax Connector Temporary Service Changes
Effective Saturday, April 11, 2020,  Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT)  will make temporary adjustments to  Fairfax Connector  bus service due to reduced ridership from the impacts of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Fairfax Connector passengers and operators.
Fairfax County is committed to continuing transit service to residents who have no alternate way to travel during this situation. FCDOT officials would like to thank all Fairfax Connector customers for their patience and flexibility during this difficult time. Click here to learn which routes will temporarily be adjusted.
In-Person Food Donations
Many of you have asked my office where you can safely donate non-perishable food items. Both  Annandale United Methodist Church - Virginia  (7901 Heritage Dr. Annandale) and  St. Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church   (5222 Sideburn Rd. Burke) are accepting non-perishable items for their food pantries! They each have a designated locations outside their building where you can safely leave your items.

As always, making a monetary donation online to one of our local food banks is the safest and most effective way to help.
Braddock District Spirit
The VanBrunt family of Ravensworth Farm have embraced our Braddock District community spirit with beautifully crafted signs of support, hope, encouragement, and hugs posted around the neighborhood.

It's difficult times like these where small acts of kindness can make a world of a difference.

Thank you VanBrunt family for the smiles and compassion you're bringing to Braddock District residents!
Many Fairfax County residents have banded together in efforts to lift community spirits by stepping to their porches and lighting candles.

These candles can represent different feelings that residents have experienced during these difficult times. Lighting candles also serves as a way to honor those who put themselves at risk to protect and serve our Nation, State, and County.

Thank you to those who participated in the Community Candle Lighting. Click here to learn more.
Messages from Chief Butler and Chief Roessler
The following videos are special messages from County Fire Chief John Butler, and Police Chief Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr.

Please take a few moments to hear their message.
Support Local Restaurants
This has been a particularly difficult time for Fairfax County small businesses.
Please consider supporting local businesses while continuing to practice social distancing by ordering delivery or curbside pick up!

Click here to learn more.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram