10 Comments

  1. That would mean the MCA opposition came only 3 weeks before the Planning Commission hearing?
    Talk about waiting to the last minute!
    No wonder Falls Church was caught off guard!
    Would probably have been more helpful to have mentioned they had a problem before the referendum 7 months earlier.

    1. FCCPS was not taken off guard. They had the information but marched forward thinking they could steam roll their agenda at taxpayer expense. $1MM and counting.

      Additionally, City Council and the city manager should have opted for a different type of bond to mitigate risk.

      Two blunders.

    2. I was at the MCA meeting where Dr. Jones was told the plan was too big and was “not good” but told the City Council when questioned a few days later that everything was just fine ( that meeting was recorded). Please start questioning your City leadership and stop blaming the County!

      1. @Sarah, I have seen the video and you are correct. I will see if I can find the link.

      2. That’s not quite true, is it Sarah? In fact, in the MCA meeting held May 6, 2015, in the days before Dr. Jones addressed the City Council meeting that your referenced on May 19th, there is not one mention of Mount Daniel expansion period.

        Here’s the minutes:
        http://mcleancitizens.org/boardMinutes/Final_Minutes_May2015.pdf

        What’s even more odd is that the Planning and Zoning Committee met with County Planning Staff which told them they were recommending approval on April 28th…just a week before. And not one word of such abhorrent opinions of the Mount Daniel project was mentioned during Mr. Zetts report.

        1. She was at the April 28 planning and zoning meeting as was I. You are referring to the board meeting. She knew April 28 verbally that the plan was problematic and kept it from you. I would be angry too. The June 3 committee notes address Mt Daniel after the committee did due diligence and talked to the neighbors.

  2. This just in from FCCPS:

    Mount Daniel Update
    Wednesday, June 29, 2016
    On Tuesday, June 28th, the Falls Church City Public Schools filed an amendment to its April application regarding the expansion of Mount Daniel Elementary School. The filing, with the Fairfax Department of Planning and Zoning, is in preparation for our 2232 Hearing before the Fairfax Planning Commission scheduled for July 21st.

    After additional meetings recently with the McLean Citizens Association, as well as with Mount Daniel and Ellison Heights Homeowners Association members, it was clear that, for these groups, concerns about the extent of the expansion remain. To address those concerns the amendment calls for the maximum enrollment as a result of the expansion to be reduced from 704 to 660 children. This change reduces the original expansion plan by six classrooms and means the school is likely to reach capacity in 12 years rather than 20 years if current UVA-Weldon Cooper projections hold.

    The amendment also addresses enforceability concerns centered around enrollment and traffic management, providing a way for the County to enforce Falls Church School Board promises to follow through with long-term traffic mitigation and other assurances regarding associated concerns shared by all three associations.

  3. Lyn:

    This is the link you are thinking about. This is the May 19, 2015 School Board meeting where Dr. Toni Jones reports to the School Board what she wants them to hear about the meeting with the McLean Citizen’s Association.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-UmSLVe6Bg

    Advance to 26:25 time and listen for yourself. Dr. Jones reports to the school board that it was a very positive meeting. That is inconsistent with what others say happened at that meeting as mentioned above. Dr. Jones’ ‘omission’ is well known.

    To David, I would say that the only way that Falls Church has been caught off guard is by the degree to which Dr. Jones spins information, provides false information, fails to share accurate information and withholds information from the community, families and children she serves.

    I look forward to the day when our school board acts in the best interest of those aforementioned groups and ends the reign of this totally unacceptable leadership.

    1. Thank you @Alison for providing the link to the video!

  4. It is difficult to understand how in the world this happened! The City knew this would be a tough sell. When the last renovation was done, the County apparently told the City they would not approve any more expansion. Were we just arrogant to the point where we thought we could steam roll the County? If so, think again. That was very poor judgement. The superintendent clearly misled everyone when she said everything was going very good when the neighboring residents were not very engaged. So the City Manager goes ahead without formal assurance from the appropriate County management and issue bonds which has cost taxpayers considerable money with nothing in return. And think, the school superintendent and same school board members which did not do their due diligence and oversight now are speaking in a lead role on a high school rebuild project that will cost much more then the mis-managed Mount Daniel project. On Mount Daniel, the best the City can hope for now is a scaled back renovation that is only going to meet the City’s needs for about 12 years. What happens at the 12 year point? So should we now knowing that we are not going to get the renovation that City taxpayers and parents want and voted for, admit that major mistakes have been made, cut our losses, and look for another site for a school that will have a much longer life span?

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