Led by former board chair Sharon Bulova (D) the task force met for the first time on Monday, June 26 at the Fairfax County Government Center. The task force includes former Braddock District supervisor John C. Cook (R) as well as a representative from the county park authority, community members, and environmental groups. Current Braddock District Supervisor James R. Walkinshaw is part of the group too.
The first meeting of the task force followed the theme of "Setting the Stage," and will be followed by others throughout the summer, moving the process to a decision.
Sharon Bulova opened the meeting and let Walkinshaw add a few remarks about the format of the meeting, reminding everyone about being polite and agreeing to disagree. "Bring your expertise," he said, recommending that everyone read the background documents that are on the web. Although this was meeting Number One of a series of meetings with the task force, "it will take the time it takes," he said, leaving the schedule open.
They went around introducing about 21 members of the task force seated at the table, and each had a background that is needed on this kind of thing. There are HOA members, environmentalists, Friends of Lake Accotink, biologists, watershed experts, tree planners, joggers and many with a short story about their experiences at Accotink as a child. There were many participants in the back of the room that were introduced as well. Everyone shared the reasons why they were there, but it didn’t seem that there were any on the side to leave it as is and let the silt turn it into a wetland.
The meeting wrapped up with a look towards the next meeting on July 10 where the staff's initial recommendation to not dredge will be looked at. That decision was partially due to a significant cost increase to continue dredging to maintain the lake. Bulova reminded everyone that the staff's recommendation was part of their responsibility as county employees. "Staff also has a responsibility to come back and give an honest recommendation," she said.