Village News, 3/3/22

Dear Village Neighbor / Friend,

1. Runaway Real Estate Property Taxes - As of last year, my RE taxes have gone up 49.4% since 2013 and if this proposed budget passes without markup reductions in levy or a realistic look at comps for assessment purposes – my RE taxes will increase 75.6% since 2013. Granted the BOS did include a “feel good” opportunity for us to request tax relief. But that relief is for those whose gross family income is $90,000 or less. Not sure how many can own these homes on an annual income of $90K or less but hope they and you qualify.

They also included relief opportunities for veterans with disabilities or surviving spouses of dead service members who had disabilities as long as that service member died before 1 January 2011 (?). Also included are spouses of military service members killed in action as long as you haven’t remarried. Spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty may also qualify for exemption as long as you haven’t remarried. Why didn’t they include spouses of deployed service members or spouses of federal employees detailed overseas? Reckon they don’t want to feel too good about themselves.

$4.8 Billion budget proposal with $80 Million discretionary for BOS unknown initiatives? Really? Chair McKay and the BOS almost have to toss us a bone and reduce the levy by 1 or 2 cents. If they do 2 cents – my taxes still increase by 15.5% which I still find absurdly unacceptable. Or they can adjust the comps away from “sold” price to a realistic “fair market” or even the “asking” price. Even if we used “asking” price it would help add some sanity to assessments based almost exclusively on comps.

Have you heard enough?  If so – write them or go to a meeting to testify. If you want, I will send you what I submitted for your edits before forwarding as your own. Will also include Chair McKay’s response, but it’s mostly a congratulatory email about how seriously he takes his position overseeing the tax burden of county residents. This is your chance to guide other supervisors and the BOS Chair. Whether you support or oppose RE tax hikes, raise your voice. Don’t go quietly into the night.

FYI – our Springfield District Supervisor has been and continues to be that one “Nay” vote to any tax increases. He hosted a Lines of Business Committee that I participated in several years ago. The product of that committee’s work was completely ignored because it limited spending initiatives by a small matter of revenue.

Here are a few ways you can be heard:

  • Call Chairman McKay’s office (he is also Chairman of the Board’s Budget Committee) and the other Board members and/or email the entire Board at ClerktotheBOS@fairfaxcounty.gov. You can find the contact information for the other Board offices here.
  • Sign up to testify at the Budget Public Hearings 12-14 April. You can provide testimony via phone, pre-recorded video, or in person. You can also send written testimony to the entire Board through the Clerk’s office.
  • Attend the Springfield District Budget Townhall on Wednesday, 30 March at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the West Springfield Government Center with County Executive Bryan Hill and Phil Hagen from the Department of Management and Budget. I invite you to come share your concerns and questions with me then. 

2. Village West Pool News:

  • Aerobics classes, yoga classes, and early-morning adult lap swim - Village West Pool is considering adding these and also whether to make these activities available to the wider community. We need to know if you're interested! If you are not currently a pool member, please take this very brief survey https://forms.gle/PpBPUw58pYpmQ3Tf9 to let us know if any of these activities would interest you. (Pool members, we want your input too, but please use the survey recently sent out through the pool mailing list instead.)
  • Summer Jobs at Village West Pool - Village West Pool will be hiring its own staff directly this year, and is ready to begin receiving applications for our lifeguard, pool operator, assistant manager, and manager positions. Applicants must be at least 15 years old and possess a valid lifeguard certification (through either Red Cross or Ellis) by May 27. In addition to competitive pay and a great work environment, we offer various benefits, including help with training and guard swimsuit costs, uniforms and supplies, and concessions discounts. Full position descriptions and many more details are available on the application form itself. The application form can be found at https://forms.gle/5dHKGkTeXmvAWQa79. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone who might be interested in working at our pool this coming season. For questions, contact the pool president, Jen Guernsey, at villagewestpool@gmail.com.

3. Yard Debris Collections – did they pick up your yard debris yesterday, 2 March? Please keep in mind those young people hanging onto the trash trucks are someone’s parent, child, sibling or spouse. Please do what you can to make their job easier and perhaps more pleasant. Bag you household trash, but don’t bag recycle waste.  

4. 2022 Community Directory Advertisers – We all need a contractor or a business for those tasks that are beyond our time and talent to accomplish. Look to the businesses who placed ads in our community directory and if you contact one of them, please let them know you saw their ad there. If you are looking for estimates, consider getting one from one of the advertisers in our directory.

Their ads make the hard-copy directory possible. We can’t nor will we recommend them just because they advertised, but most are often recommended if or when I’m asked. Here’s a summary of their ads:

  • The Royster Hearth Group, Tim Royster, Realtor and West Springfield Resident. 571/275-0871, tim@roysterhearthgroup.com, www.roysterhearthgroup.com whether you’re buying, selling, updating your home or just wanting to discuss options.
  • D2D Computer Services, Bob Havey, Upgrades, Repairs, Troubleshooting, Virus/Spyware Cleanup, Software Installation, Networking plus Website Development & Maintenance. 703/569-8195, havey@dtwod.com.
  • Mr. Gutter, Owner Richard Sumner, Cleaning, Screening, Repairing and Roof Repairs, 703/323-4671.
  • HB Home Services, Harry & Barbara Hink, Home Improvements Inside and Out (Roofing, Siding, Windows, Kitchens, Basement, Additions, Decks and Bathrooms). Complementary Estimates, 703/764-0498, www.hbservices.biz
  • HRM Automotive, Tim O’Connell, ASE Certified Honest, Reliable Mechanics, 703/866-0602, www.hrmautomotive.com, 8086C Alban Road.
  • Donna’s Nails, Professional Nail Care for Men & Ladies, 6442 Landsdowne Circle (Corner of Telegraph Road and Beulah Street), 703/339-9510.
  • Breathe, Body & Mind – Your Place to Take Care of You, Yoga, Pilates, Barre, Core Conditioning, Strength Training, Personal Training, 703/829-0167, https://breathebodymind.com, Info@breathebodymind.com.
  • Rice & Spice, Authentic Thai Lunch and Dinner, Two Alexandria Locations (703/750-1084 at 6466 Landsdowne Drive and 703/339-9775 at 6244 Little River Turnpike), www.asianineva.com. Supporting Local Schools and Our Community.
  • West Springfield Car Care, Foreign and Domestic Repairs plus VA State Emissions and Inspections, All Major Brand Tires, 8400 Old Keene Mill Road, 703/912-2900.
  • Rotary, Join the Rotarians who are “People of Action” Committed to Creating Positive Change in the World. Contact Jim Kirkpatrick at 703/866-7078 for more information. Rotaryofwestspringfield.org
  • Comfort One, Heating and Air Conditioning, 1-800/472-2408. Mention Code WS152 for 15% Off. Plus $1,200.00 Off any New Heating & Cooling System (call for details).
  • Marcel’s Home Building & Improvement, Custom House & Remodeling, Additions, Concrete & Stone Work, Decks, Garages, etc. 571/233-4290, marcbonafeiii@yahoo.com.
  • Davis Roofing, Residential Roofing Specialists (New, ReRoofing, Repairs), Seamless Gutters and Downspouts (All Colors), 703/569-3388, www.davis-roofing.net.      
  • NuHome, total roof replacements, replacement windows, complete siding jobs and doors, 0% financing available, 703/273-0101, www.nuhomeonline.com.
  • PropertySistersHome – The Mary and Cathy Team at Long and Fosters, when it’s Time to Buy or Sell call 571/276-9421, www.propertysistershome.com. Rated “Best” by Washingtonian for the last 6 years.
  • Flooring America Fairfax – locally owned and operated, licensed and fully insured, serving northern Virginia since 1979. Hardwood, carpet, vinyl flooring plus kitchen, baths, additions, and remodeling
  • Printing Ideas, Printing, Signage, Banners, Window Displays, Graphic Design and much more, web@printingideas.com or 703/591-1708. These are the good folks who print our directories!

5. 2022 Fairfax County Teen Job Fair – Springfield District Supervisor, Pat Herrity announced the annual Teen Job Fair Series. Last year, over 124 business representatives and over 1,000 students participated. This year’s fairs will be back in-person at West Springfield High School on 12 March from 1 – 3:00 PM and Chantilly High School on 19 March from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

These fairs provide an invaluable opportunity for students to interact with employers. Local businesses are expected to be eager to hire and students who are hopeful to start new opportunities that may have been put on hold by the pandemic. Countless students report that this is where they landed their first job. For businesses, it’s a great opportunity fill vacant positions and put a bug in the ear of younger job seekers who may apply in years to come.

Most job seekers attending the fair are between ages 16 to 18, but limited opportunities are sometimes available for students as young as 14. Job opportunities at the fair include full-time, part-time, seasonal, volunteer, and internship opportunities. In addition to job opportunities at the fair, students will also be able to attend a career-building workshop, like a Resume Workshop and Interviewing 101. The best part of this fair is that it is completely free for students and participating businesses.

Students can register at - 2022 Fairfax County Teen Job Fair - Student Registration Survey (surveymonkey.com). Businesses can register at - 2022 Fairfax County Teen Job Fair - Official Business/Organization Registration Survey (surveymonkey.com). After you register, you will receive confirmation and further information about the fair if your registration has been approved. Registered businesses will be provided a table space at the fair to set up materials and interact with students. Please note, businesses and organizations registering for the fair must be offering positions for their entity. Job hiring services, preparatory services, and advertising platforms not offering direct hiring will not be permitted. There will be limited space for businesses at the fair and want to reserve every opportunity for employers offering positions to students.

For more information on the fairs, you can visit here. If you have any questions or concerns about the fair, feel free to call Supervisor Herrity’s office at 703/451-8873 or email springfieldbos@fairfaxcounty.gov

6. Calendar:

  • 4 March                                FCPS Student Holiday
  • 13 March                              Daylight Saving Time Begins
  • 14 - 16 March                      RVES PTA Spirit Event at Rice & Spice
  • 16 March                              Rice & Spice Neighborhood Food Drop at RVES
  • 27 March – 1 April             RVES PTA Online Auction
  • 1 April                                    Student Holiday (Teacher Workday)
  • 4 – 8 April                             Holiday (Spring Break)
  • 30 May                                  Holiday (Memorial Day)
  • 10 June                                 Last Day of School (Early Release)
  • 19 June                                 Juneteenth

7. Recycling Electronics:

  • Goodwill - will receive any computer brand in any condition, as well as most computer gadgets
  • Best Buy: accepts old electronics, chargers, headphones, wires/cables
  • Amazon: takes electronics, video games in exchange for gift cards
  • Greendisc - you can mail in your old cds to them
  • Apple - store credit for qualifying products, but recycles all electronics!
  • T-Mobile - accepts phones from any carrier Find a location near you!

Here’s a list of items this program accepts: https://worldcomputerexchange.org/get-involved/give-computers/

8. Recycling Batteries, Chargers, Headphone, Wires & Cables:

  • Best Buy - accepts any condition wire/cables, chargers, headphones, old electronics
  • Staples and Office Depot - gives $2 per printer cartridges (with a limit per # monthly)
  • Office Max and Staples refill ink cartridges Recycling Batteries link to find a location near you: https://www.call2recycle.org
  • HP - takes back their ink cartridges
  • Epson - takes back their ink cartridges
  • Canon - takes back their ink cartridges

9. Contractor Recommendation Requested - Anissa Craghead is looking for a recommendation for a company that will put a bathroom into her basement for a reasonable price. Currently there is no bathroom there, not even roughed in. Please contact anissa_c@yahoo.com with any recommendations.  

Stay safe, dry, and healthy.

John Cooley
CAWSV

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