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Week in Springfield

Design Your Own County Budget?

Want to see a new dog park in Fairfax County? Or would you prefer your favorite rec center to stay open a little longer? The Fairfax County budget is now in your hands. Temporarily.

The Board of Supervisors is currently in the process of crafting the FY 2014 budget, and they want your help.

“We wanted to put you in the chair of a member of the Board of Supervisors, so we created this budget simulation to let you craft your ideal Fairfax County budget,” said Supervisor John Cook (R-Braddock).

Before you is the FY 2014 budget proposed by the county executive. Your job is to amend it as you see fit. Are you satisfied with county services? Are you satisfied with the proposed tax rate? If not, here's your chance to show us what you'd change.

You may find the rules constraining.

“That's because in real life they are as well,” Cook said. “We hope this exercise will help you understand the budget process better, and provide the Board with some ideas on how we should approach this effort in real life.”

Get out your calculator, and go to these links to get started on your budget.

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/braddock/pdfs/letter-simulation.pdf,

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2014/advertised/fy2014-reductions.pdf,

http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dmb/fy2014/advertised/cex-memo-bos-reductions-not-taken.pdf.

—Victoria Ross

Herrity to Host Town Hall Meeting March 26

Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) will be hosting a budget town hall on Tuesday, March 26, (previously scheduled for March 6 but postponed due to snow) to give residents an opportunity to better understand how Fairfax County is spending their money and to have their questions addressed.

County Executive Ed Long and representatives from the Department of Management and Budget will present the budget and will be available to answer questions. The town hall begins at 7 p.m. and is being held in the Community Room of the West Springfield Government Center (Police Station) located at 6140 Rolling Road in Springfield.

Animal Shelter Seeks Volunteers

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is looking for people with spare time who’d like to help improve the quality of life for homeless animals here. Currently, the shelter has around 100 volunteers, but it’s trying to double that number by attracting senior citizens to lend a hand.

Walking dogs, greeting shelter visitors and helping with community outreach, animal socialization and the fostering programs are some of the many tasks available to volunteers. (The shelter is at 4500 West Ox Road in Fairfax).

“Fairfax County seniors have so much to offer in the way of business, communication and animal care skills and experience,” said Community Outreach Program Manager Kristen Auerbach. “They’re a wealth of information and support for shelter staff and animals.”

Shelter staff members also offer tours for senior groups, plus outreach programs in senior communities and centers. “We’ve found that animals have such a strong impact on the quality of life,” explained Auerbach. “Bringing them into senior centers and offering tours of the shelter are great ways to share the incredible animals we have.”