March 30, 2004 Newsletter
Report of March 23 Members' Meeting
The CWCA members' meeting was well-attended, with more than 90 members present,
and it was productive. After a half-hour of socializing, with refreshments, the business
meeting began at 8:00 PM with introduction of each of the fifteen block captains present
and recognition of the valuable service these unsung heroes provide.
Our principal speaker, Dranesville District Supervisor Joan DuBois, discussed in
some detail the budget problems and tax issues faced this year by the County. In recent
public hearings more than 90 persons representing various groups spoke about their need
for more funds, while only four speakers appeared to speak in favor of tax reductions.
About 53% of the county budget goes to the school system, which prepares its own budget
and has asked for a 9.7% increase in funds from the county, a much greater increase than
the 4.7% which the County Board has established as a guideline for all other county programs
to avoid exceeding the tax revenues expected. Finding solutions will be difficult; but Ms.
DuBois said the Board is determined to find them and not to seek additional taxes.
Additionally, Ms. DuBois noted the increase in assessed values of residential properties
and acknowledged the increasing burden on older residents with limited incomes, a problem
which will be further studied in an effort to find a solution. She said the increased
assessments are in line with the continued increase in market values of homes and that
some county residents are not opposed to the increases because they help support higher
sale prices for their homes, which many expect to sell in a few years.
Ms. DuBois responded to a number of questions from members and invited residents
to contact members of her staff on any questions or issues of concern. (Look on page 3
of your CWCA Directory for phone number.) She also announced the forthcoming initiation
of an e-mail newsletter from her office to any Dranesville District resident who wishes to
subscribe. (The first issue was circulated March 26. To subscribe for future issues send your
e-mail address to email@example.com. You may use that address also to send queries
or concerns to Ms. DuBois or her staff.)
Chip Gilliland of Dominion Power gave a report on the actions already taken and those
yet to come for the purpose of increasing the reliability of power distribution to Chesterbrook
Woods. The final task, now about to start, is to connect our subdivision to the Falls Church
substation near Sycamore Street and I-66, with the Maddux Line connection from the Langley
substation then placed in a backup status. The company expects these improvements to reduce
the number and duration of power outages in the future. Mr. Gilliland offered to respond to
any questions or problems from residents who wish to call him at 703 359 3168 or e-mail him
Approval of 2004 Budget and Dues
Treasurer Charles Hoyt presented the expenses and the dues received for 2003, then
presented a proposed budget for budget year 2004, which begins now. The members voted unanimously
to approve the proposed budget and to approve 2004 dues of $30 per household to support it. The
budget provides for funds for snow removal and sanding, for expenses such as printing, patrol
and administrative costs and a reserve to cover additional expenses that might occur in case of
heavy snowfall or extended periods of icy streets next winter.
Of course, obtaining the funds to support the budget requires that the great majority of
households pay the approved dues amount. A separate letter to all residents accompanying this
newsletter requests members to pay dues by May 15 and provides a form for each resident to use
in sending the dues payment and updating or providing directory information if required. Note: form in pdf format so you'll
need Acrobat Reader to read it. If you don't have it, you can download it free from www.adobe.com. You may type in the requested
information before printing out the letter.
Election of officers
In accordance with our bylaws Brian Wilkerson, Chairman of the Nominating Committee,
presented the nominees for this year's officers. The members voted to elect the following
Roger Nucho, Chairman of the snow removal committee, described the improved provisions
of our snow removal contract. These will cause a minor increase in cost for plowing and sanding
services. He also noted that we have marked some street storm drains with little candy-striped
poles that alert snowplow drivers to avoid covering the drains with snow which could result in
flooding. These poles will be taken up soon and then re-installed before the next snow season.
Tim Daley reported on the relatively few crime or vandalism incidents during the past year
and reminded all to inform the police and then report to him any incidents they experience. He
suggested that all residents continue to be careful about keeping doors locked, especially garage
doors, and suggested we all continue to be vigilant and report suspicious persons or activities
in the neighborhood.
The "gypsy season" is approaching. Some of these are clever about distracting a person working
outdoors while a confederate enters the garage or an open door.
As always, volunteers are needed as patrol drivers, monthly patrol schedulers and weekly
patrol supervisors. Contact Virginia Dillon or Ione Braswell.
A member asked about publishing a list of teen-agers interested in providing services
such as baby sitting, pet care, snow shoveling, leaf raking, lawn mowing, etc. In recent years
hardly any teen-agers have offered their names for such lists on our web site or in newsletters.
Many residents need such services and would welcome publication of a current list. Teen-agers
who wish to earn money in this way are invited to submit their names to Alice Chambers. Include
your age, type of service you can offer and your phone number.
Members were informed that the current installation of overhead and underground fiber
optic cables by Verizon throughout our community is intended to support new high-speed internet
data service and possibly new phone service. The services may be offered later this year.
Kevin Connelly circulated a helpful handout with info he obtained about lead contamination
from the Falls Church water utility, which supplies our water. They have periodically tested the
water in compliance with the EPA Lead and Copper rule of 1992 and they recently tested over 200
residential properties and schools, finding only two with lead content exceeding the EPA standard
of 20 parts per billion. Both were traced to fixtures in the buildings. The City of Falls Church
is taking appointments for testing individual homes or do-it-yourself kits can be obtained by
calling 248 5071.
If you have previously submitted your e-mail address for the master confidential
list but did not receive this newsletter by e-mail you should send your current e-mail address
to Maureen Hurley so that she can add or correct your address. Some e-mails that she sends to
the community have been bouncing back, causing extra detective work which she would prefer to
avoid. Don't forget to inform her if you change your address in the future.
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