Get ready to board "Gerry's bus" for the 18th year.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald "Gerry" Hyland's Annual Town Meeting will be held Feb. 5 at Mount Vernon High School, 8515 Mount Vernon Road, from 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kicking off the event, as always, will be "Taking a Virtual Bus Ride with Gerry."
In his customary fashion, Hyland plans to don his cap and jacket to take the audience, assembled in the high school's "Little Theater," on a 30-minute tour of the various changes that have taken place, in the last year, and are anticipated to take place, in the year ahead, throughout Mount Vernon District. It is scheduled to pull out at 9:15 a.m.
Prior to that, attendees are invited to enjoy coffee and donuts and interact with a variety of exhibitors in the school cafeteria from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. Representatives of county, state and federal government offices are available to answer questions from citizens. They will be joined by spokespersons from nongovernment organizations offering a wide range of services.
DRAWING ON his New England heritage, Hyland started the town meetings when first elected to office "to bring government directly to the people." It is also presents an opportunity for attendees to hear from federal and state elected leaders, representing both sides of the aisle, that serve the constituents of the Mount Vernon District.
"This year we are going to recognize two individuals that have served the Mount Vernon District and its residents and have made real contributions," Hyland said. The meeting normally draws between 400 and 500 people.
DURING THE TOWN MEETING, which allows for audience questions at intervals throughout the three-hour time frame, presentations will be made by the following:
* 9:45 to 9:55 — "County Priorities" by Gerald Connolly, chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
* 9:55 to 10:05 — "Challenges and Opportunities for Fairfax County in 2005" by Anthony Griffin, County Executive
* 10:05 to 10:15 — "An Overview of Fiscal Year 2006 Budget and Taxes" by Ed Long, chief financial officer, Fairfax County
* 10:15 to 10:30 — Question and Answer session #1
* 10:30 to 10:40 — "Fort Belvoir Update" (including Woodlawn Road) by Col. Thomas W. Williams, Garrison Commander
* 10:40 to 10:50 — "Transportation Plans for the Coming Year" by Lee District Supervisor Dana Kauffman
* 10:50 to 11:05 — Question and Answer session #2
* 11:05 to 11:25 — "Public Safety: Overview of Department Priorities" by David Rohrer, chief, Fairfax County Police Department, and Michael Neuhard, chief, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department
* 11:25 to 11:45 — "Mount Vernon Schools' Successes and Challenges" by Dr. Jack Dale, superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools and Dan Storck, Mount Vernon District School Board member
* 11:45 to 12:45 — Question and Answer session #3
* 12:45 to 1:00 — Wrap-up