Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland urged members of the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce to "push your state legislators to do something about our transportation problems."
Substituting for a scheduled speaker who was unable to attend, Hyland told the audience at the Mount Vernon Inn Monday night, "My experience has been that legislators and politicians really do respond when people let then know what they want. If you care about yourselves, reach out to those legislators in Richmond."
On the flip side of that admonition, Hyland lashed out at fellow Democrat, Fairfax County State Del. Robert D. Hull, for introducing a bill, H.B.1368, in the 2006 General Assembly session. It calls for any private or public outdoor athletic facility within 65 feet of residences in the Commonwealth to operate only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and never on Sunday unless approved unanimously by homeowners within the prescribed distance.
That bill, according to Hull, was introduced in response to a request from a constituent whose home is close to an athletic field that has been rented to semi-professional teams that use the facility during hours the constituent and his neighbors find an impingement on their tranquility. It has caused a firestorm among youth sports groups that have brought pressure on both state and local elected officials to defeat it.
Hyland described Hull's action to Chamber members as verging on being "brain dead." However, his main objection to the bill, as expressed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in their meeting earlier in the day, was that it was "not a smart political move."
Introduced by Hull as the Home Security and Tranquility Act, it brought into full view the clash between youth sports and other community interest groups.
ON OTHER TOPICS Hyland told Chamber members:
* "We have to find ways to make the BRAC recommendations for Fort Belvoir work.
* "Our property assessments in Mount Vernon and Lee districts will continue to rise. We must find a way to reduce that burden on home owners. I urge you to reach out to the Board of Supervisors to find a solution to this problem.
* "The Museum of the U.S. Army is coming to Route 1 along with three, if not four, new Marriott hotels. We are also looking for Marriott to put in a conference center at the site of the IMP building on Route 1."
THIS BEING THE CHAMBER'S annual meeting, five new members were elected to the Board of Directors for a three-year term. "We have a 15-member Board with five members elected each year for three year terms. This gives us continuity of leadership," said Holly Dougherty, executive director.
Those elected Monday night were: Patrick Barney, 4 More Travel; Walter Clarke, Bank of America; Dr. Tom Cleary, physician; Kristen D. Holland-King, Redmon Peyton & Brasewell; and Steven Hunt, Mount Vernon Voice newspaper.