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Town Meeting Set To Answer Citizen Questions

Activities scheduled Saturday at Mt. Vernon High School

More than 50 exhibitors, representing Fairfax County agencies, non-profit organizations, public utilities and transportation spokespersons will be available to answer questions at Mount Vernon's 15th Annual Town Meeting.

Hosted by District Supervisor Gerry Hyland, this year's event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Mount Vernon High School's Little Theater, 8515 Old Mount Vernon Road. It kicks off at 8 a.m. with registration, coffee and donuts.

This is followed by an hour for attendees to interface with the exhibitors. It is scheduled to conclude by 1 p.m.

"We consider this event to be an informational county fair," Rose Lambert, Hyland's chief aide explained. "There will be representatives from various family service agencies, Fairfax Fire and Rescue, the Park Authority, Animal Control, Tax Administration and others."

Lambert noted Virginia Dominion Power will have an exhibit table and a representative available to explain the nuances of power deregulation which went into affect this year. Fairfax County served as a test area when the program was under consideration by the Virginia Legislature.

Personnel from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project and transportation staff will be available to discuss not only the bridge and the accompanying work at the Route 1 and Telegraph Road interchanges but also the Route 1 Transportation Study and Springfield Interchange projects.

"We normally get about 300 to 400 people in attendance," Lambert said. The first Town Meeting was held in 1988.

TO EXPLAIN, TO LISTEN, TO SERVE

The formal program commences at 9 a.m. with Supervisor Hyland again taking his constituents on a virtual bus tour of areas experiencing new development. This will include the Mount Vernon Government Center and the Richmond Highway corridor.

Beginning at 9:45 a.m., there will be the following presentations:

* County Highlights 2001 — The Year in Review. Katherine K. Hanley, chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

* Facing the County's Challenge: Maintaining Current levels of Service in an Economic Downturn, Tony Griffin, county executive.

* Fiscal Year 2002-2003 Budget Overview — Ed Long, chief financial officer.

* Revitalization of Richmond Highway and Effects of the Economy, Dana Kauffman, Lee District supervisor.

* Public Safety - 2001 in Review and the Challenges Facing Public Safety — Captains Shawn Barrett and Jim Morris, commanders, Mount Vernon and Franconia Stations

* Fort Belvoir Highlights— Colonel Kurt Weaver, garrison commander.

* Mount Vernon Schools - Successes and Steps for Continuing Improvements— Dr. Daniel Domenech, superintendent and Isis Castro, school board member.

Two 15-minute question and answer periods are scheduled at specified intervals during the two hour program. One will be held following the budget overview and the second immediately preceding Domenech.

Upon completion of the various topics, an hour will be devoted to citizen comments and questions. This will be followed by a 15- minute wrap up from 12:45 to 1p.m.

In addition to the scheduled speakers, Congressmen James Moran (D-8) and Tom Davis (R-11); State Senators Toddy Puller (D-36) and Patsy Ticer; (D-30) and State Delegates Kris Amundson, (D-44) Marian Van Landingham, (D-45) Tom Bolvin (R-43) and David Albo (R-42) have been invited.