Vienna, Herndon Mayors, Delegate Watts Honored

Vienna, Herndon Mayors, Delegate Watts Honored

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recognized three local honorees. "Certainly, we did not want to wait any longer to recognize the tremendous work that they've done on behalf of our community and to publicly thank them," said Board Chairman Jeffrey McKay.

Dean Lynch, Executive Director, Virginia Association of Counties (VACo), presented the Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award to Vivian Watts, member of the Virginia House of Delegates (D-39). He said Watts helped to get equal taxing authority to Virginia counties. After receiving the award, Watts said, “I had to try to bring members to understand that the situation of 70 percent of the state's population, after a century almost, to be tied to what is essentially a colonial base of taxation of just real estate… Thank God it's at least there for us to know that with a breadth of economy that we have got to have a breadth of revenue sources so that when any one portion is hit hard, we still have that breadth. Supervisor John Foust, (D-Dranesville District), said, "You've been an amazing advocate for local government.”

Next, the Board recognized Laurie DiRocco for her 17 years of service to Vienna, as Mayor, Town Councilmember and member of the Planning Commission. According to McKay, Di Rocco did things that were "pretty revolutionary" for Vienna. "I think my favorite one is organizing Friday morning walks... a good reminder of the importance of that small town, community feel,” he said. Supervisor Walter Alcorn (D-Hunter Mill) described DiRocco as an advocate. "The Patrick Henry Library project…the new police station... your advocacy during COVID for all the small businesses in the town, and working with the County on the RISE program," he said.

The Board's next resolution recognized Lisa Merkel, Mayor of Herndon. According to McKay, Merkel was elected Vice Mayor of the Town of Herndon in 2010 and in 2012 became the first woman elected mayor. He said the town thrived under Merkel's leadership. "The Downtown Redevelopment Master planning, the Herndon (Metrorail) Station... the new fire station... attracting over 100 new businesses to the Town of Herndon... The success that Herndon is having...translates into success for the County." Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) described Merkel as passionate, approachable and an amazing ambassador. He said, “Your legacy is going to be very, very impressive."