C2M Deputy News Editor Frank Muraca

Fairfax passes 1-cent increase in tax rate, closes budget gap

Faced with reduced federal government spending, a $169 million budget gap and sequestration, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a compromise budget for the 2014–2015 fiscal year.

The budget presented by Fairfax County Executive Ed Long initially proposed a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax rate, but the board ultimately decided on a 1-cent increase. According to a county press release, the increase will cost the average county homeowner an additional $216 in real estate taxes.

Fairfax County Public Schools announces new superintendent

Garza will replace Jack Dale as superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools system (photo courtesy of FCPS).

After a nearly yearlong search, the Fairfax County School Board has decided on a new superintendent to replace Jack Dale, who will be leaving the position after nine years.

Karen Garza, a Texas native who has held positions as a schoolteacher, principal and administrator over the past 26 years, was chosen to replace Dale.

According to an article in the Washington Post, members of the Fairfax County School Board believed Garza to be “uniquely suited to lead Fairfax” because of her history as a teacher and administrator in different environments. 

Garza received her doctorate from the University of Texas and currently serves as superintendent of the Lubbock Interdisciplinary School District in Texas.

Mason students propose “pop-up developments” for new Silver Line stations

With the final pieces of the Metro Silver Line project being completed, students at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy are looking for ways to draw people to the new Metro stations.

While the Silver Line was being planned, Fairfax County officials used the opportunity to propose changes to the Tysons Corner area, taking steps to increase its residential population and business presence, and to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

Former news anchor Jim Lehrer speaks at Mason

At a discussion on April 10, former news anchor Jim Lehrer spoke at George Mason University about his experience in journalism, and his views of the industry.

Lehrer served as both an executive editor and an anchor on Public Broadcasting Services’s Newshour.

Jack Censer, dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, moderated the discussion, which was sponsored by the CHSS, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Mason Wrestling Team.

Lehrer was invited to speak at Mason by his great nephew, Matthew Stull, a wrestler at Mason.

Students, Mason officials agree to keep polling location at University Hall for coming year

After an hour long discussion between students and George Mason University officials, both parties agreed to keep the on-campus polling location at University Hall for another year.

“I don’t feel like we have enough information to make a different decision than one we have at this point,” said Rose Pascarell, vice president of University Life, at the March 29 meeting. “I think this needs to stay at University Hall for the next year until we have enough information for a reliable alternative.”

Mark Warner to deliver 2013 commencement

Senator Mark Warner has delivered the commencement address before in 2003 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia).

In a closed session on M

Students speak out against polling location change

At a public hearing held by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, students spoke out in opposition to a motion that would have changed the polling location on campus from University Hall to Mason Hall.

“There were challenges with the University Hall location. We had people voting in a concession area rather than in a closed room,” said Cameron Quinn, general registrar for the county. “There have also been issues with parking over at University Hall.”

County supervisor to hold online discussion with students

Supervisor John Cook will hold an online discussion with students on March 7 (photo courtesy of Fairfax County). 

George Mason University’s representative on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold an online discussion with students through Mason’s subreddit.

John Cook, who was first elected to the board of supervisors in 2009, will answer students’ questions on March 7, between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.