Tysons, VA

Little City Incumbents Celebrate Reelection — “All four incumbents won handily in Tuesday’s City of Falls Church City Council and School Board elections and their success was touted as a ‘vote of confidence.'” [Falls Church News-Press]

Tysons Building Off The Market — Rubenstein Partners and Griffith Properties “completed the sale of Centerstone at Tysons, a six-story office building located at 1550 Westbranch Drive… The sale follows the announcement earlier in 2019 that Centerstone at Tysons was brought to full occupancy through a single 150,000-square-foot lease at the property.” [Cision]

French Cuisine Coming to Mosaic Soon — “Parc de Ville, a French bistro set to feature classic cuisine for brunch, lunch and dinner… is set to open for dinner service on Monday, Nov. 18.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Women-Owned Businesses Booming in Falls Church — “Across the Washington metropolitan area, the highest rates of business ownership for are in Falls Church City, and Prince George’s County, as 12 percent of establishments. In Falls Church City, 12 percent of workers work at business establishments owned by women.” [DC Policy Center]

Vienna IT Firm Working With Defense Department — “Vienna IT consulting firm Rightstar Inc. secured a spot on a $820.45 million blanket purchase agreement (BPA) Friday [Nov. 1] to supply the Department of Defense with commercial-off-the-shelf software.” [Washington Business Journal]

Former Falls Church City Attorney Dies — “Paul Terrence ‘Terry’ O’Grady, age 81, formerly of Falls Church, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Soaking Up The Sun in Vienna — “Vienna’s zip code is the top place for solar energy system installations in Northern Virginia, according to numbers from the Solarize NOVA program.” [Patch]

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The three incumbents for the Falls Church City Council — David Tarter, Phil Duncan and Letty Hardi — won reelection yesterday.

The city announced the official results today, saying that 45% of the 9,910 active, registered voters in the city voted in the election.

“The last ‘off-year election’ (with no federal or gubernatorial races on the ballot) was Nov. 3, 2015, where 42.1% of active voters participated,” the press release said.

Here are the results for the City Council race:

  • Letty C. Hardi: 31.1%
  • David Tarter: 30.3%
  • Philip Duncan: 25.2%
  • Stuart Whitaker: 12.5%

The councilmembers will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (300 Park Avenue). The City Council will then vote on the mayor and vice mayor on Monday, Jan. 6.

For the city’s school board, Philip Reitinger was re-elected and will be joined by newcomers Susan Dimock and Laura Downs.

Here are the results for the school board race:

  • Laura Downs: 31.5%
  • Susan Dimock: 30%
  • Philip Reitinger: 24.1%
  • Douglass Stevens: 13.7%

Democrat Parisa Dehghani-Tafti was newly elected as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church.

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Come January, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is set to see four new faces — and all of them are Democrats.

Democrat Dalia Palchik defeated her Republican opponent for the Providence District seat, which represents Tysons and Merrifield.

In addition to Palchik, new faces on the 10-member board will include Democrats James Walkinshaw for the Braddock District, Walter Alcorn for the Hunter Mill District and Rodney Lusk for the Lee District, according to unofficial election results.

Voters reelected Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust, along with Penny Gross (Mason District), Daniel Storck (Mount Vernon), Kathy Smith (Sully) and Pat Herrity (Springfield).

With Republican John Cook, who represents the Braddock District, retiring, Herrity will be the only Republican on the board.

Current Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay won the board’s chair.

In a celebratory newsletter thanking her supporters, Palchik wrote, “I am proud to be the first Latina to hold this position.”

Palchik, who currently who is the Providence District member on the Fairfax County School Board, ran on a platform focused on education funding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In an interview with Tysons Reporter, Palchik said that she wants to tackle affordable housing — “the number one challenge… in the Tysons area” — and finding solutions to the last mile challenge.

“Big Win” for Democrats

Del. Kathleen Murphy (D-34) called yesterday’s election a “big win” for Democrats in Virginia. For the first time since 1993, Democrats took control of both the State Senate and the House of Delegates.

Murphy told attendees at a Democratic watch party last night to think about the “misery we felt” when former Rep. Barbara Comstock won the 10th congressional district.

“We never wanted to feel that way again,” Murphy. “So what did we do? We went out and we won.”

Voters Approve Funding for Public School Renovations

Fairfax County voters also OK’d a $360 million school bond referendum that includes $2 million in planning funds for a new “Silver Line elementary school,” along with:

  • $19.5 million in construction funds for adding an addition to Madison High School in Vienna
  • $49.6 million in construction funds for renovating Cooper Middle School in McLean
  • $1.7 million in planning funds for renovating Louise Archer Elementary School in Vienna

Fairfax County uses bonds to pay for renovating and building new schools.

Kalina Newman contributed to this story. 

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(Updated at 10:30 p.m.) School Board member Dalia Palchik defeated Republican Eric Anthony Jones to win the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Meanwhile, John Foust was reelected to the Dranesville District seat, defeating his Republican opponent Ed Martin. Foust was first elected to the county board in 2007.

Palchik received roughly 70 percent of the vote, while Foust received about 64 percent of the vote — voting figures cited are unofficial.

Palchik celebrated her win at the Arlington-Fairfax Elks Lodge in Fairfax with Karl Frisch, who won the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, and Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, who won reelection.

Palchik will replace Linda Smyth, who announced last December that she wouldn’t run for reelection this year.

“I’m overjoyed. It’s been a long year,” Palchik told Tysons Reporter. “We’ve come out with a stronger community and a stronger county.”

Meanwhile, at the watch party at the McLean Community Center for Foust and other Democratic candidates, attendees appeared stressed around 8 p.m. when an “error” message appeared on the Virginia Department of Election’s webpage with the live results.

“People who care about our future are being elected to office,” Foust told Tysons Reporter. “I think the type of leadership we need to move forward in Fairfax County is in place.”

Current Lee District Supervisor Jeffrey McKay won the Board of Supervisors’ chair with roughly 65 percent of the vote, beating Republican Joe Galdo.

Democrat Steve Descano won the race for the Commonwealth’s Attorney position in Fairfax. Descano ousted current Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh in the June primary.

Democrat Elaine Tholen won the Dranesville District Seat on the Fairfax County School Board.

More from social media:

Catherine Douglas Moran, Ashley Hopko and Kalina Newman contributed to this story.

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Updated at 4:25 p.m. — As of 4:23 p.m., county-wide turnout is at 25.1% for in-person voters, Fairfax County tweeted.

With just a few hours left before the polls close this evening, Tysons-area voter turnout has steadily increased throughout the day.

Contested races are underway for the Providence and Dranesville District seats and the chair on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

As of 1 p.m., voter turnout was at 15.9% in the Providence District, 18.2% in the Hunter Mill District and 18.4% in the Dranesville District, Fairfax County tweeted.

Around 2 p.m., Tysons Reporter spotted a full parking lot outside George Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike). As of 1:57 p.m., 991 people had voted at the high school.

A polling official at Marshall told Tysons Reporter that it’s been a “great steady flow” all day.

The Chief Election Official at Langley High School in McLean told Tysons Reporter earlier today that most voters tend to come between 5 p.m. and when the polls close at 7 p.m.

Registered voters can find their polling locations with the My Neighborhood Map or through the portal on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Tysons Reporter interviewed the candidates running for the Providence and Dranesville District seats on the Board of Supervisors: Dalia Palchik, Eric Anthony Jones, John Foust and Ed Martin.

Additionally, we have a guide about who is running in the local races for the Tysons area.

Kalina Newman and Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this story.

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Today is the last chance for Fairfax County voters to head to the polls.

More than half of the seats are contested on both the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board.

While many of the Board of Supervisors candidates are incumbents — like John Foust, Penny Gross and Pat Herrity — some new faces are also vying for seats due to officials retiring, like Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth.

Voters will also decide the fate of a $360 million bond referendum for Fairfax County Public Schools.

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(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Election day is here and Fairfax County voters are out at the polls.

At Langley High School (6520 Georgetown Pike), two women sitting in the back of the large room where the voting is taking place have been volunteering together for elections for the last 10 years.

Chief Election Officer Amanda Bridges and Assistant Chief Election Officer Virginia Norton said that there has been a “good turnout” so far with 198 voters as of 8:50 a.m. at the McLean school.

“It’s slow but steady,” Norton said.

They expect most voters to come between 5-7 p.m. No issues have been reported at the polling location, they said.

Bridges said that she loves the process of voting, while Norton said that volunteering is “giving back to the community.”

As of 10:30 a.m., the number ticked up to more than 300 voters.

Over at George Marshall High School (7731 Leesburg Pike), more than 600 people have voted so far this morning as of 10:30 a.m., according to Jenne Faubell, the Chief Election Officer at the location.

Outside the Falls Church area high school, Kim Mislock, a canvasser for the Republican Party, told Tysons Reporter that she feels like parents’ voices aren’t being heard when it comes to the Fairfax County School Board.

“I care deeply about the transparency on the School Board,” she said.

“I feel like people are definitely informed [voters],” Dalia Palchik, a current School Board member and candidate for the Providence District seat on the Board of Supervisors, told Tysons Reporter. “Here at Marshall, there has been a steady stream of people.”

The estimated turnout across Fairfax County was 8.4% around 10 a.m., according to the county.

Voters can find their polling locations with the My Neighborhood Map or through the portal on the Virginia Department of Elections website.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Tysons Reporter interviewed the candidates running for the Providence and Dranesville District seats on the Board of Supervisors: Dalia Palchik, Eric Anthony Jones, John Foust and Ed Martin.

Additionally, we have a guide about who is running in the local races for the Tysons area.

Catherine Douglas Moran and Ashley Hopko contributed to this story.

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Absentee Ballots Rushed to Voters — “Roughly 1,300 new ballots were sent out Oct. 16 and 17 to accommodate the new Republican candidate, Eric Anthony Jones, on the ballot, Fairfax County’s general registrar Gary Scott told the News-Press.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Advisory Firm Moves to Tysons — Capstone Strategic, Inc. announced Friday that it has moved to 8521 Leesburg Pike, Suite 230. [Benzinga]

Facebook Considered Tysons For New Spot — “Social media giant Facebook Inc. has reached a deal to take a large block of office space in Reston Town Center after weighing other potential locations, including Tysons.” [Washington Business Journal]

Calling All Volunteers — “The City Council is looking for seven volunteers to join the newly-created Stormwater Task Force, which will update the list of stormwater improvement projects in the City’s Watershed Management Plan.” [City of Falls Church]

New Glass Recycling Container in Vienna — “We worked with Fairfax County to get our very own exclusively glass purple recycling container that is hungry and waiting at its location on Mill Street NE in the gravel shoulder next to Capitol Building Supply.” [Town of Vienna]

Car Crash Closed McLean Road — The 1800 block of Great Falls Street in McLean was closed due to a car crash on Sunday. The road has now reopened. [Fairfax County Police Department]

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To prepare for the upcoming election, Tysons Reporter looked into how Board of Supervisor candidates in Fairfax County are funding their campaigns. 

Both Democrats in the races for the Providence and Dranesville District Supervisor seats have much larger war chests than their Republican opponents by thousands of dollars.

Tysons Reporter took a look at where the donations to the four candidates’ campaigns are coming from.

Providence District Supervisor Race 

Democrat Dalia Palchik has raised just roughly $110,000 in monetary campaign contributions. 

Major donors include the Jefferson Village Association LP — real estate developers in Bethesda, Md. who have donated $25,000 — and Alison Georgelas, a managing consultant at IBM, with $5,000.

Palchik also received smaller amounts from individuals or organizations like the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics — IAFF Local 2068, who donated $1,500 and openly endorsed her. 

Karl Frisch, who is running for the Providence District seat on the Fairfax County School Board, assisted Palchik with in-kind donations including campaign buttons costing $260.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), around $34,000 of Palchik’s campaign funds came from construction or real estate groups. 

Besides political consulting, one of Palchik’s largest expenses was a $1,700 food tab at Inca Social for a fundraiser.

Republican Eric Jones only reported one $200 donation to his campaign from Andrew Finlayson, a retired veteran and member of the Republican Party in North Carolina. Jones told Tysons Reporter that he paid for the rest of his campaign expenses out of his own pocket.

So far, he spent $7,880 of the roughly $9,700 going towards his campaign.

Jones did not report any in-kind contributions and reportedly spent money on a P.O. box in Merrifield, political consulting and signage, among similar things.

Dranesville District Supervisor Race

This year, Democrat John Foust received $81,000 in monetary campaign contributions, according to campaign finance reports.

About $20,000 came from lawyers, according to VPAP.

Foust’s biggest donors so far include Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, who donated $5,500, and several McLean couples.

One couple has donated $9,500 — Sophia Lynn, the head of Crow’s Nest Research Center, gave $4,500, while appellate attorney David Frederick donated $5,000.

Wedding designer and decorator Prabha Bhambri, while Inder Jit Bhambri donated $4,000.

Karen DuVal, who owned a McLean property connected to the War of 1812 and the Civil War, donated $3,500.

He also received $3,000 from Felipe Rodriquez, the CEO of Sterling-based Aeronautical Systems.

Back in September, Foust spent about $1,200 on photoshoot expenses and about $2,300 on the production and design of walk cards.

Meanwhile, Republican Ed Martin — who has missed campaign finance deadlines — told Tysons Reporter that he’s raised about $3,000.

Two campaign finance reports covering April to the end of August say he didn’t raise or spend anything. A new campaign finance report, which was filed yesterday, says that he received $50 in September.

Martin provided Tysons Reporter photos of checks showing the Virginia Republican Victory Fund gave him $500 and the Patriot Republican Women’s Club gave him $50.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this story.

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Editor’s Note — Tysons Reporter is running Q&As with the candidates running for the Dranesville and Providence District seats on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors this week. The stories have been lightly condensed and edited for clarity. 

Featured here is Democrat Dalia Palchik, who is running against Republican Eric Jones for the Providence District seat. 

Dalia Palchik currently serves as the Providence District Representative on the Fairfax County School Board. But next week, she’s hoping voters will choose her to represent the district on the Board of Supervisors.

Palchik grew up in the area after immigrating with her family to the United States at an early age from Argentina. She was elected to the school board in 2015 and currently chairs the Public Engagement Committee and is a liaison to the Planning Commission Schools Committee and the Minority Student Achievement Oversight Committee.

Just days after current Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth announced in December that she wouldn’t seek election, Palchik jumped into the race.

She won the Democratic nomination back in June, promising “progressive leadership” for the entire community.

Tysons Reporter sat down with Palchik at Caboose Commons to speak with her about her priorities if she is elected.

Tysons Reporter: What would you do to tackle affordable housing?

Dalia Palchik: This is key. To me, this is the number one challenge we have here especially in the Tysons area.

We are at the point where it is not just non-profits and the government that want to tackle it, but the private sector knows that people like us can’t move here and afford to live here. Our workforce is having a hard time living close as well as those who are hoping to retire in place.

So yes, we are hoping to continue and grow the good work that is happening in the county. The county is starting to do affordable housing and we need to increase that. I really want us to have a master plan the way Arlington has a master plan to tackle that. But more specifically I think we really need to figure out how to work together with the government, the private sector and the non-profits to really expand.

We are not going to get the units we need in the region, we need over 300,000 units in our area. We absolutely have to work together. You are not going to get all those to unite just through public funding and government programs.

For me, it’s really listening and bringing different stakeholders to the table. I would form a working group or task force to tackle the issue from different aspects.

TR: What are the three ways you’re hoping to tackle climate change? 

Palchik: Number one, we are starting with this joint environmental taskforce. I sit on that committee now and that’s really looking to lead by example. This task force is looking at what the schools in the county can do.

The big area is looking at how we help incentivize and remove barriers on the private side for homeowners and businesses. One of those is C-PACE. C-PACE is a program that helps incentivize privately owned buildings to get some upfront funding to help increase their efficiency and the emissions that are going to be produced by their buildings.

Virginia, unfortunately, requires some changes at the General Assembly level. So that’s going to be the other thing, helping to get some of these bills through.

TR: What are your transportation project priorities?

Palchik: We need to figure out the last mile challenge, how do we help people of different abilities, income levels, have access to getting to public transit. I was just talking to a friend last night she said, “I am one mile to the Metro one way and a mile to the Metro another way and I don’t feel safe enough to bike.”

Number two is continuing to support and establish the Metro system that’s there, the expansions, working with WMATA to make sure our systems funded and that we increase ridership.

Tysons has been doing really well with the Silver Line and we want to see that across the board. I used to take it every day. Finally, figuring out that balance. Just the other day I was at a meeting for Route 50. You wanna make sure that people have alternative solutions.

TR: What is your plan for the budget? 

Palchik: Schools are number one. We need to continue to support and fund our schools. I also think we need to find ways to, first of all, fill some of our empty office space, diversify our economy, support small local businesses.

We need to make sure we are a county that supports and attracts larger businesses but also homegrown ones to increase our tax base. In the next couple of years, the Providence District is going to be more commercial than residential real-estate.

Number one beyond that is making sure we are leaders that our employees are paid well enough that they are able to live here, that they are supported and that we are not growing programs at the expense of those who work for us.

TR: The county is currently looking at adding a new school to Tysons. Is that enough to address capacity issues? What should be done for all the incoming students?

Palchik:  You bring up the word boundary changes, and it becomes a very contested and political challenge. I’ve had people ask me to redo a boundary around their home.

As a community, we need to make the best dest decision about what’s best for the kids. One of the challenges we’ve had, in the county we can no longer afford to buy new land to build schools.

We have to address capacity. As a supervisor, and Supervisor [John] Foust has done this, I would be dedicated to knowing where we need more capacity for schools.

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