Mount Vernon Matters

Mount Vernon Town Meeting Gives a Detailed District Overview

Panelists included, from left, Storck, Fairfax County Board Chair Jeff McKay, County Executive Bryan Hill, and FCPD Chief Kevin Davis/ (Photos: Steve Hunt)

By Steve Hunt

Alexandria, VA – Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck carried on the 36-year-tradition of hosting an annual town meeting initiated by his predecessor, Gerry Hyland, which features remarks from local, state, and federal officials about the current status of the district and question and answer sessions, on Saturday, February 11, at Mount Vernon High School.

Mt. Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck held the 36th Annual Mt. Vernon Town Meeting on February 11.

In addition to Storck, speakers were U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th), Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, County Executive Bryan Hill, Fairfax County Police Department Chief Kevin Davis, Fairfax County Board Member Karen Corbett Sanders (Mount Vernon), and FCPS Supt. Dr. Michelle Reid. U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-11th), who was unable to attend, provided recorded remarks.

Before the formal presentations in the school’s Little Theater, hundreds of residents stopped by the exhibit hall in the cafeteria to meet representatives from county departments and agencies, civic and community groups, and nonprofit organizations.

Storck began the meeting with a welcome to all (including Hyland, whom Storck described as “the heart of Mount Vernon” and who sat in the front row for the entire nearly three-hour program), introductions of Mount Vernon residents serving on county boards, his staff members and other elected officials in attendance including state Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36th) and state Dels. Paul Krizek (D-44th) and Mark Sickles (D-43rd).

Connolly spoke about attending the town meeting for over two decades and recalled when Hyland presented him with a singing lobster and a six-pack of Moxie in recognition of their shared New England roots. “I still have it,” he said of the lobster, which sings the tune “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”

He described local government as the most noble and also noted accomplishments during the past two years in Congress, including new laws protecting the environment, improving infrastructure, and on gun legislation. Regarding unemployment, which surged to 30 percent during the pandemic but has dropped to 3.4 percent, the lowest since 1967, he applauded the creation of 500,000 new jobs in the last month alone.

In his video recording, Rep. Beyer said the previous Congress “was the most productive Congress in our lifetime.” Locally, his office has assisted 3,500 local residents on a wide variety of matters.

Regarding the issues surrounding the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Beyer stated that increased funding is needed for road improvements like what is being done on the northern end of the parkway. To curb speeding, he supports installing speed cameras and crosswalks for enhanced pedestrian safety.

County Executive Bryan Hill addressed the crowd.

McKay cited the county’s strong economy, noting that according to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, there are 130,000 vacant jobs in the metro area, the majority in Fairfax County.

On creating more affordable housing units, McKay said the Mount Vernon District “led in all corners of the county” last year. On transportation infrastructure improvements, he pointed out that the widening of Richmond Highway and the installation of bus rapid transit lanes on the corridor are the top two projects in the county with more than $1 billion in costs.

Hill noted that regarding Covid-19, “the county has surged past it,” and the economy is strong, with 10 Fortune 500 companies headquartered here. He also commented that the One Fairfax, equity for all, is progressing, citing more than 400 county parks that are accessible to all.

Chief Davis said police are cracking down on the surge in auto thefts and have created an auto crimes enforcement squad. Regarding pedestrian safety, he said there have been no pedestrian fatalities in the county so far this year. On drugs, specifically fentanyl, he said police are cracking down on dealers.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis provided an overview of his department’s accomplishments.

He was asked about aggressive panhandling in the corridor, especially by individuals who walk out in traffic and knock on car windows. He urged motorists not to give money to them because it only encourages more.

Corbett, Sanders, and Reid discussed the high graduation rate in the county at 92.4 percent, with South County High having the third highest rate after Langley and Thomas Jefferson. In addition, 65,000 FCPS students earned career and technical education degrees to prepare them for careers after graduation, and last year’s graduating class received $20 million in scholarships.

Storck provided a handout, “Mount Vernon District HOT Topics Summary 2023,” which detailed key projects, including Carbon Free Fairfax, Fairfax Peak, the George Washington Parkway and Mount Vernon Trail Study, the Infill Development Task Force, North Hill Development, the Original Mount Vernon High School, Richmond Highway Widening and Embark/BRT and several others.

Mt. Vernon School Board member Karen Corbett Sanders and FCPS Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid spoke.

The formal program concluded with a pre-recorded virtual tour of the Mount Vernon District followed by the Taste of Mount Vernon with restaurants including La Brasa Chicken, Momo & Poke Hawaiian Food, Dishes of India, 2 Jefes Tex-Mex, Domino’s, Della J’s Classic Southern Cuisine, America’s Best Wings, Shrimp Shack, Capital Chicken, McCalister’s Deli and Moe’s Southwest Grill.

To view the entire town meeting online, go to and search “36th Mt Vernon town meeting.” DVD copies are available for checkout from Supervisor Storck’s office and the Sherwood Regional, Martha Washington, and Kingstowne libraries.

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