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News Listening to Constituents

From Page 3

mind during the 2010 legislative session.

For the past several years, Northern Vir- ginia legislators have tried and failed to get a transportation package through the Gen- eral Assembly that would eventually pro- vide more road and transit funding to the region.

In general, the senate, where Democrats hold a majorit , is opposed to passing a package without a statewide tax increase to fund transportation. In recent years, Puller, for example, has voted for bills that included an increase to Virginia’s gasoline tax, which been a flat 17.5 cents since the middle of the 1980s.

Photo by Julia O’Donoghue/The Gazette

But Virginia’s House of Delegates, con- trolled by the Republicans, has refused to implement a statewide tax increase under any circumstances. In fact, several Demo- crats in the House, particularly those from rural areas, have also been opposed a hike in the gasoline tax, saying it would be diffi- cult for their residents to afford.

Del. Scott Surovell (D-44) held a meeting in Mount Vernon Jan. 23.

Ministries, which provides social services to Mount Vernon’s low-income residents.

“If the gas tax goes up, the lowest income people suffer the most,” said David Dale, a member of the Mount Vernon Council.

SOME MOUNT VERNON community members are also opposed to gasoline tax increase, even if they believe taxes should be raised for transportation funding in gen- eral.

“I am really supportive of increasing taxes to help pay for services we need. But there are people that I work with in our commu- nity who can’t really afford to put gasoline in their car right now,” said Cynthia Hull, executive director of United Community

Surovell said he was in favor of bringing back the estate or “death” tax in Virginia to help deal with the commonwealth’s general financial shortfalls, not just those related to transportation. He said the tax, which impacts families worth over $1 milllion, would not affect most of his constituents.

“I don’t have a lot of people in my district with $1 million. This median income in this house district is $61,000, lower than any other House district in Fairfax Count ,” said Surovell.

Week in Mount Vernon

Student Designs at Crystal Couture

West Potomac Academy Fashion Design students will be participating in the second annual Crystal Couture fashion event on Thursda , Feb. 4, sponsored by the Crystal City Business Improvement District.

Students will showcase a runway collec- tion based on the Crystal Couture event theme — Jungle, Jeans, Tats, and Tees — from 6 to 10 p.m. They will also staff a bou- tique display area to sell prom gowns and original garments; all proceeds will benefit the West Potomac Academy Fashion Design program.

Events are free and open to the public. Available retail space at 23rd Street and South Crystal Drive in Arlington will be turned into a runwa , boutique, and night club featuring fashion trunk shows, live the- ater, disc jockeys, comedians, and dancing. Local non-profit groups will also be on site to collect donations of new or gently used clothing and footwear. Representatives from Go Red for Women, an American Heart As- sociation movement to teach about and pre- vent heart disease and stroke in women, will also be present.

New Officers, Board Members at SFDC

The Southeast Fairfax Development Cor- poration (SFDC) has elected new officers and has six new members appointed to its board of directors for 2010.

Kyle Talente of RKG Associates was elected president of the board, succeeding Richard F. Neel, Jr. who had served as board president for the past eight years. Other newly elected officers include First Vice President John Thillmann of Landmark At- lantic Holdings, Second Vice President Roger Reutershan (retired), and Treasurer Steven Blanco of Virginia Commerce Bank.

Nancy Lindgren of M&T Bank, Ed Rowan of Cox Communications, and Derek

Sauerwine of Baywood Hotels were named to at-large positions on the board.

The Mt. Vernon-Lee Chamber of Com- merce named Jeff Todd of Roy Rogers and Philip Son of Sun Florist to the board.

Mt. Vernon Supervisor Gerry Hyland appointed Tamara Wichelns of Hampton Inn & Suites Belvoir/Mt. Vernon to the board.

The Southeast Fairfax Development Cor- poration promotes the economic revitaliza- tion of Richmond Highway by assisting busi- nesses in identifying and procuring prop- erty to suit their needs. Visit www.SFDC.org to learn more.


Mount Vernon Gazette January 28 - February 3, 2010 7

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