Alexandria's Official Resident Newsletter • May 11, 2018
Welcome to FYI Alexandria!
In this issue of FYI Alexandria, read about City Council's adoption of Alexandria's FY 2019 Budget; find out if absentee voting is an option for you; and mark your calendar for Bike to Work Day and other events.
In this Issue:
City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2019 Budget
By a unanimous vote on May 3, the Alexandria City Council adopted a General Fund Operating Budget of $748.4 million for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, which represents a 2.7% increase over the current year. The approved budget includes $252.7 million in operating funds and debt service for public schools (a 4.2%, or $10.1 million increase over FY 2018 funding), and invests $2.2 billion over 10 years in Alexandria's Capital Improvement Program.
The adopted budget adds investments for City and School infrastructure, implementation of the City's Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, improvements to the King Street retail corridor, expanded opioid treatment, and enhanced employee support including an additional $3.6 million for public safety recruitment and retention initiatives. The adopted budget also includes $4.3 million in operating budget reductions across City departments.
City Council Adopts Plan to Accelerate Combined Sewer Outfall Remediation
On April 24, City Council voted unanimously to adopt a Long Term Control Plan Update (LTCPU) and approve an agreement to transfer ownership of the City's four combined sewer outfalls to Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew), in a continuing effort to accelerate remediation of the City's combined sewer system. The City will continue to work closely with AlexRenew for the duration of the remediation.
AlexRenew was created by City Council in 1952 as the first independent wastewater authority in Virginia. With a proven track record of delivering complex water infrastructure projects for more than 60 years, AlexRenew now operates an advanced, award-winning facility that serves as a model for safe, innovative wastewater treatment nationwide. AlexRenew cleans over 13 billion gallons of wastewater every year, for more than 320,000 people in Alexandria and Fairfax County.
Eleanor E. Breen Named City Archaeologist
In 1977, Alexandria added a full-time staff archaeologist position and became the first city in the United States to establish an archaeological commission. In 1989, City Council adopted one of the nation's first ordinances requiring the protection of archaeological artifacts during residential and commercial excavation. Today, the City Archaeologist directs the nationally accredited Alexandria Archaeology Museum, leads a small team of staff archaeologists and educators and a cadre of hundreds of community volunteers, and works with private archaeologists and developers to protect artifacts pursuant to the Alexandria Archaeological Code.
The City Archaeologist also serves as the primary staff liaison to the Alexandria Archaeological Commission and the Friends of Alexandria Archaeology. The City's archaeology program represents over 40 years of archaeological investigation, research, and dissemination; more than 200 recorded archaeological sites and two million artifacts and associated primary records; and volumes of documentary research.
SolarizeAlexandria, a program that makes it easier and more affordable for residents and business owners to install solar power systems on Alexandria homes, will hold its fourth annual campaign through May 31. This year's program provides a free solar site assessment for homes or businesses; discount pricing through bulk purchasing; project facilitation and qualified installation; financing and federal tax incentive options; and possible qualification for the City of Alexandria's Solar Energy Equipment Tax Exemption.
SolarizeAlexandria is part of Eco-City Alexandria, the City's strategic effort to achieve sustainability.
CIRT Provides Support in Critical Times of Need
At some point, many of us will experience a crisis — and how we respond to that crisis will affect how well we overcome it. Emergency Services Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) offers specialized supportive responses for critical incidents that occur in Alexandria.
Following a critical incident, such as a shooting, hostage situation or an unexpected death, CIRT brings support to individuals in the community with the goal of decreasing stress and disseminating resources for further services.
Absentee Voting Underway in Alexandria
Democratic and Republican primary elections will be held in Alexandria on June 12. The Democratic Primary is to nominate Democratic candidates for Alexandria Mayor and City Council; the Republican Primary is to nominate a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Planning to be out of town that day? Got a tough commute? Absentee voting is underway!. Visit the City's Elections page to check registration status, get a voter registration application, view sample ballots, and learn more about absentee voting.
Alexandria and Arlington County Receive 2018 Governor's Environmental Excellence Silver Medal
A collaboration between the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to restore the Four Mile Run tidal wetland and shoreline has won a Silver Medal in the prestigious Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards. The honor was announced in April at the 29th Environment Virginia Symposium in Lexington.
The Governor's Environmental Awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in four categories: sustainability, environmental project, land conservation, and implementation of the Virginia Outdoors Plan. They are given to businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies.
King Street Complete Streets Project Earns Kudos from Smart Growth America
The City's King Street Complete Streets Project was named one of the Best Complete Streets Initiatives of 2017 by Smart Growth America. The City was highlighted for using "a street resurfacing project on a section of King Street as an opportunity to make significant Complete Streets improvements," including the addition of more crosswalks with pedestrian refuge islands, buffered bike lanes, updated bus stops, and other upgrades that made this portion of King Street a safer and more accessible street for people of all ages and abilities. During the first year after completion of the project, there were zero traffic crashes along the corridor (down from an annual average of seven), and average vehicle speeds were reduced by 18 percent.
Alexandria was one of 12 cities nationwide, including Philadelphia and Baltimore, that earned this distinction. Visit alexandriava.gov/CompleteStreets to learn more about Alexandria Complete Streets projects.
Alexandria Assistant City Attorney Wins Award
Alexandria Assistant City Attorney George McAndrews has received the A. Robert Cherin Award for Outstanding Deputy or Assistant Local Government Attorney. This award, presented by the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc., was presented to McAndrews for distinguished public service that reflects a personal commitment to the highest ethical and professional principles and enhances the image of local government attorneys in the Commonwealth.
McAndrews has served in the City Attorney's Office for more than 26 years. He represents numerous City departments, including Community and Human Services, where he advocates for the best interests of Alexandria's children. He is an active member of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, and has served in many capacities including former vice president. He is a graduate of both Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Law School.
Director of Commonwealth's Attorney Victim/Witness Program Wins Award
Judy Holl, Director of the Commonwealth's Attorney Victim/Witness Assistance Program, received the Attorney General's Unsung Hero Award in April, recognizing outstanding service and support to victims of crime in the Commonwealth. The Award is presented annually to individuals who exemplify the Attorney General's commitment to victim services.
Holl has served as a victim's advocate for her entire 29-year career, and has directed the Victim/Witness Assistance Program for the past 16 years. In addition to her supervisory duties, Holl acts as a victim advocate in the most serious cases the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney prosecutes, including the Charles Severance serial murder case.
Photo Caption: The honorees for the Attorney General's "Unsung Heroes" Awards. Center: Attorney General Mark Herring, with Alexandria's Victim/Witness Assistance Program Director Judy Holl standing to his left.
City Employee Named "Public Servant of the Year"
Alexandria Assistant Director of Finance Kevin Greenlief recently earned the 2018 Katherine Hanley Public Servant of the Year Award by Leadership Fairfax for his prior work in Fairfax County's Department of Taxation. As director of that department for more than 30 years, Greenlief managed 300 employees and a budget of $25 million. He directed oversight, supervision and adjudication of the assessment and collection of all taxes in Fairfax County, a jurisdiction with more than 1 million residents and a budget of $4.1 billion. Instead of retiring in 2016, Greenlief came to Alexandria and now leads the Revenue Division of the Department of Finance.
The award was given in recognition of Kevin's outstanding career of public service. Leadership Fairfax noted that Greenlief's legacy in Fairfax County "is that of a selfless leader who inspires others to be their best and attain results with a common sense approach."
City Debuts Alexandria Student Academy
April 9 marked the pilot session of the Alexandria Student Academy. That day, 54 social studies students from T.C. Williams High School came to City Hall to learn about City government operations. The pilot Alexandria Student Academy was inspired by the Alexandria City Academy, a program that provides adult residents with the opportunity to learn about City government.
Mayor Allison Silberberg welcomed the students and City Manager Mark Jinks provided an in-depth look at how Alexandria's government is structured and the responsibilities of managing a local government. Throughout the session, students engaged in spirited discussions with staff from City departments as they examined the relationship between local government and the public. The students discussed issues such as teen wellness, mental health, the opioid crisis, gun violence, affordable housing, development projects, and environmental concerns.
St. James Plaza Affordable Housing Project Officially Opens
On April 14, members of the Alexandria City Council, City officials, partners, and residents joined nonprofit developer AHC Inc. for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open St. James Plaza, which provides 93 new affordable apartments (featuring a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom units) to the Beauregard neighborhood.
Working together, nonprofit developer AHC Inc. and the City successfully transformed three acres previously owned by St. James United Methodist Church into a vibrant, mixed-use, mixed-income community. Families began moving into St. James Plaza in mid-March.
Be Prepared! Staying Safe in the Age of Cyber Crime
Cyber crime is at the forefront of headlines and horror stories about identity theft, fraud, and data breaches. As technology changes, so do the methods of criminals and scam artists. The City urges residents and businesses to be prepared. Learn how you can fight back against cyber crime.
Transportation & Environmental Services Open House - May 19
Curious about the department that collects trash and recycling, plans streets, and drives the City's environmental sustainability efforts? Learn more at the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services Open House on Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at 2900 Business Center Drive. Climb in one of the City's trucks, take a tour of the traffic center, play games and more at this free, family-friendly event! Fun activities for everyone, in keeping with the goals of the Eco-City Alexandria initiative, to promote environmental education and a green and sustainable future.
City Holds Session on Understanding Hoarding
The City will host "Understanding Hoarding: Communication Strategies and Practical Approaches," on May 15, from 1 to 3 p.m., at Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center (1108 Jefferson St.). Trainer Matt Paxton will highlight the necessary steps to deal with hoarding, which is the accumulation of clutter that may disrupt one's ability to use their living or work spaces and may pose serious health risks.
Paxton, one of the top hoarding clean-up experts in the United States, is the author of The Secret Lives of Hoarders, and has appeared in more than 80 episodes of the television show HOARDERS.
The event is open to the public, but registration is required: Register online. Parking is limited; carpool if possible. For more information, call 703.746.5955.
City Event Spotlights Mental Health in the Workplace
With 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiencing a mental health disorder each year, mental health conditions certainly affect employees at work — a fact that is often overlooked because these disorders tend to go unrecognized. On May 16, the City is hosting Resilience: What Employers Need to Know about Mental Health in the Workplace, from 8 to 9:30 a.m., at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, 901 Wythe St. Employers and other interested individuals are invited to this event.
Join expert panelists in a discussion about improving mental health in the workplace. Guests include Darcy Gruttadaro of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation; Jessie Joachim of the Inova Employee Assistance Program; Rob Krupicka, owner of Sugar Shack and Captain Gregory's, former Virginia State Assembly Delegate and former City Council member; and Rhonda Williams, a clinician with the Department of Community and Human Services.
City Celebrates Historic Preservation Month
May is Preservation Month, a time when communities across the country celebrate historic preservation locally. The City is hosting a series of events to highlight Alexandria's historic preservation initiatives, whether you want to hear experts on a panel, learn about hands-on preservation practices, tour a site or raise a glass with other preservationists. Visit the City's website to learn more.
Judy Noritake Named 2018 Environmental Excellence Award Winner
The City of Alexandria Environmental Policy Commission and Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) presented the 2018 Ellen Pickering Environmental Excellence Award to Judy Noritake, a longtime former chair of Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission, at the City's annual Earth Day event on April 28.
Noritake, who served on the Alexandria Park and Recreation commission for 22 years, has been an advocate for preserving the City's open spaces and is a leading voice in the community for environmental conservation and natural resource protection.
Bike to Work Day
On Friday, May 18, an estimated 16,000 commuters will participate in Bike to Work Day, which recognizes biking as a fun, healthy, affordable, environmentally-friendly way to travel. Bike to one of Alexandria's five pit stops for refreshments, prizes, and more! To register, visit alexandriava.gov/GoAlex.
City of Alexandria Holds Annual Memorial Day Ceremony to Honor 67 Alexandrians KIA/MIA in the Vietnam War
For more events, visit alexandriava.gov/Calendar