“Neurosis is the inability to accept ambiguity” — Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead. After having read this recently, I feel it perfectly captures my state of mind as I’m writing this column. I have a tendency to let my natural intensity overwhelm me during periods of uncertainty. I thrive on working within an environment where things are clear and I have reasonable control of the situation. The current GCA membership drive, as of the end of August, was dramatically behind the results of last year’s drive at this same time. Why? GCA has enacted some major, positive improvements to the community, as will be described below. We have a first class dedicated board, many committed block captains, and a “core” of residents, including renters, that we can count on for support every year. However, in my third year as GCA president, I’ve concluded that, unfortunately, we also have pockets of “apathy” — residents who, year in and year out, will not support the annual membership drive. I take it upon myself not to have properly communicated to those residents how critical the return of the annual GCA membership drive is to the betterment of their homes and the overall community. I simply ask of those: How do you support your community?
Middle Ridge Traffic Calming.
The community approved the proposal to install speed tables on Middle Ridge Drive by a final vote of 294 in favor of and 61 against the initiative. The next step is a formal review by the county board of supervisors with implementation within a month or two. Sincere thanks to all who worked over the last two years to make this happen. Special thanks to Steve Smith, who was instrumental in the overall coordination and follow through of the program. Rest assured that the parents, who were the main impetus of the initiative, will sleep better knowing their children will be safer.
Greenbriar Commons Park Sidewalk Replacement.
I received word from the Fairfax County Park Authority that the work to replace the sidewalk in the park was to begin in September. Our only financial obligation is for the initial $8,000 submitted to the county. The Park Authority has assured us that the rest of the expense will be covered by a grant application submitted by Shawna Burciaga — great work by her that assures a much-needed improvement to the park. A serious look at adding strategically placed benches and picnic tables would be the most logical next step to upgrade the park.
GCA Scholarship Award.
Brandon Gotwalt, the new district 1A rep, recently presented an idea to createa scholarship award for a Greenbriar resident. An ad hoc committee, comprised of Brandon and his wife, Rebecca, secretary Barbara Levermann, district reps Jim Rybicki and Reggie West, and block captain Mike Thornton, quickly formed. The committee presented a fully fleshed-out plan that would award, initially, a $2,500 scholarship to a Greenbriar student. It would go to a Greenbriar resident who is currently attending or planning to attend a fully accredited higher education program. It could be a high school student, college student working toward an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, online education student, or a senior going back for a degree. The committee created an application form that will appear in the Flyer upon implementation of the program. The GCA board unanimously approved the proposal during our September 1 board meeting, with a possible award as early as May 2016.
Deer Culling Program in Rocky Run Stream Valley.
If not already aware, Fairfax County has approved the culling of the deer population along Rocky Run Stream, which runs through Greenbriar. It began in mid-September and will run through mid-February 2016. Hunters using bows and arrows will operate from strategically placed “deer stands.” The county has assured us that measures are in place to ensure the safety of those who use the trail. But do keep an eye on your pets and, in particular, your children as you take them through the trail.
Rocky Run Middle School Traffic Patterns.
A resident contacted me with concerns about the altered process for picking up and dropping off students at Rocky Run Middle School in light of the new traffic patterns created by the widening of Stringfellow Road. The inability to make U-turns at certain locations, among other factors, seems to be driving traffic through Greenbriar streets. I contacted VDOT, and a Senior Project Manager of the Location and Design area of VDOT will arrange for a thorough review process. VDOT will undertake careful monitoring of the current patterns, and the official has assured me that “necessary changes will be made if problems are identified.”
Shepherd’s Center of Western Fairfax County.
Just a reminder that the Shepherd’s Center offers free rides, with some restrictions, for medical and dental appointments and trips to the WFCM food bank for residents 50 years or older, regardless of income. See page 18 for details.
Again, it’s the reward of my job to have met so many more Greenbriar residents. Thank you for the kind words. Keep in touch.