With 2021 soon to be in the history books and 2022 arriving soon, the Sun Gazette takes a look back at some of the issues that the paper was covering during the past year, two months at a time.
• Fairfax County supervisors peppered county staff with questions Jan. 12 about why a flood of callers the previous day quickly swamped the county’s Mass Vaccination Registration System. County leaders said they’d had little preparation time since Gov. Northam’s expansion of COVID-vaccine eligibility a few days earlier and vowed to use online or Web-based forms to reduce call volume and share a common-message communications strategy with the public.
• Former Vienna Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals member Donald Chumley, lauded by town officials for his thoroughness and civic-minded contributions, died Jan. 17 at age 87.
• Fairfax County supervisors on Jan. 26 honored retiring Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. and said former chief David Rohrer temporarily would lead the department starting Feb. 1. Roessler, a 32-year department veteran, boldly advanced needed reforms, said Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay (D).
• Vienna officials broke ground Jan. 29 for the new Vienna Police Headquarters. The new two-story, 30,000-square-foot station, designed by Dewberry, now is being built by Hoar Construction at a cost of $13.9 million. The station will be built on the site of the previous station at 215 Center St., S., plus an adjacent property at 114 Locust St., S.W. Construction will take up to two years.
• Dawn Butorac, Fairfax County’s public defender, told the Board of Supervisor’s Public Safety Committee Feb. 2 that her office needed more funding to cope with the surge of body-worn-camera footage that will need to be reviewed as county police fully implement their camera program.
• Fairfax County leaders on Feb. 4 cut the ribbon for the new Scotts Run Trail, which connects the Pimmit Hills neighborhood with the McLean Metrorail station. The 2,500-foot-long asphalt trail project, which cost $4.5 million, runs between Chain Bridge and Magarity roads and traverses Westgate and Scotts Run Stream Valley parks and features curves intended to discourage use by bicyclists.
• McLean Citizens Association board members passed a resolution Feb. 3 urging Fairfax County officials to more proactively curb running bamboo, which spreads aggressively.
• Fairfax County earned an 88-out-of-100 score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index in 2020, up from 53 points the previous year, but the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 9 decided to seek perfection on upcoming rankings.
• The Board of Supervisors agreed Feb. 9 that Fairfax County employees whose jobs place them at high or very high risk of contracting COVID-19 would receive $2,000 hazard-pay bonuses. More than 4,000 employees qualified under standards defined by the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health risk assessment.
• The Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance change Feb. 23 to ban the use of plastic bags for yard-waste collection, starting March 1.