Getting To Know ... Marcia Hanson

Getting To Know ... Marcia Hanson


As Supervisor Gerry Hyland's right-hand at public meetings, Marcia Hanson has been serving the Mount Vernon district since 1988. The mother of two children, one who was raised in Fairfax County Pubic Schools, and a founding member of the South County Federation, she is our People Profile this week.

Number of Years in the Community: Moved to Fairfax County, Mount Vernon area in 1973; moved to Lorton in 1981 and I am still a very proud Lorton resident.

Family: Jessica Vallette, my daughter, was raised through the Fairfax County Public School System, went onto college in Wisconsin and is now an educator in New Hampshire.

James Vallette, my son, lives with his bride in the Bar Harbor, Maine area. He is research director for a non-profit organization; travels world wide in that capacity and is currently working with local gulf coast communities on finding environmentally correct solutions relating to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Education: Associates degree in business.

Current job/primary occupation: Since 1988, I have been the ombudsperson for the southern area of the Mount Vernon Magisterial District for Supervisor Gerry Hyland. I meet with his constituents to resolve issues and concerns facing them. I also work with various non-profit organizations, merchants and proprietors and make recommendations on land use cases. To get answers to constituents issues the bulk of my work involves connecting constituents with the right people and organizations.

Achievements: Raised my daughter in the Fairfax County School system. Was elected a board of director for 13 years in my condominium association; founder of the South County Federation (1984). In 1982, formed a Lorton-wide coalition to fight back the mass burn incinerator which resulted in getting state-of-the-art environmental equipment installed before there were federal regulations and the coalition worked with Fairfax County local government to institute the Fairfax County recycling program which met the state recycling goals before any other county in the Commonwealth. I was honored to be selected by my peers to be the 2005 Grand Marshall of the Lorton Parade. (That was fun!) Equally to that is my working with Supervisor Gerry Hyland for 19+ years which is the majority of my professional career!

Activities/interests/hobbies: Discovering the many new communities in South County via riding by bicycle; biking on the new Mason Neck Trail and the Cross County Trail; and kayaking the Potomac River and its tributaries.

I am building my retirement home at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. That means I will continue to be able to spend the majority of my life along the tidewater of the Potomac River, which I dearly love especially the history made along the river. We also live on top of the historic vault found in the ground and next to public places that cannot be found anywhere else in America which is indeed hard to fathom.

Favorite local restaurant or place in the southern area of the district: For the restaurant: The Polo Grill at Gunston Plaza, Lorton. For my favorite places: The forests, trails and water access available on Mason Neck public lands.

Community concerns: My concerns are especially the high cost of living for retirees and affordable entry level work-force housing. To help retirees: if a retiree has been gainfully employed, lived in Fairfax County and paid taxes for 30 years, give them a tax break by not making them pay county taxes for the remainder of their life spent in Fairfax County. As for work force housing — work with developers giving them additional incentives to build a higher percentage of entry level, work-force housing when they build a new community.

Community hidden treasure: All of the history we have in the Mount Vernon District and throughout Fairfax County; the incredible public park systems and the many programs that are available to all Fairfax County residents which can be found on the county's Web site at:

Personal goals: To continue the privilege of giving good public service to constituents in the southern area of the Mount Vernon Magisterial District until I retire at the end of 2007.