What were the key issues or reasons that you joined MCA?
I strongly feel that one has to give back to his/her community. I am not saying that I am anything special. I know that I am not. However, whatever I am, the successes and failures that I have had, the education and the experiences that I have gained throughout the years and any achievement that I have had has been directly and indirectly because of this country, the Commonwealth of Virginia - Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Fairfax County (which I claim as my home). Some think that I am kidding when I say that anything good in me has come from everything that I have learned from the people of this State in one form or another. For this reason, I strongly believe in taking ownership of my community and giving back to it. This was and remains the only reason for my involvement with MCA.
Which of our committees have you been a member of/ what issues have you been involved with as a member?
Budget & Taxation and Membership - I have worked on a team that had dealt with pension issues, safety issues, Police pay issues as well as recruiting of new members to add additional perspective to MCA. In addition, I have tried to introduce video as a form of communication on the MCA webpage as well as served as the unofficial photographer at MCA. As a member of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), I helped out our elderly community by doing grocery runs and prescription pickups for them during COVID.
Is there a particular issue that MCA has addressed that has directly impacted you/your community?
At one point, we were looking at how Fairfax County evaluates its tax assessments. With the help and leadership of Mark Zetts, the previous chair of our Planning and Zoning committee, we were able to determine that most areas of this county is under taxed and some areas are over taxed as far as property taxes were concerned. Many areas in McLean were either at assessment and some were over assessed. The results were shared with the County officials. I believe that after looking at the data, they were surprised. In my opinion, as a result of this study, the County raised it assessment for many under assessed areas. In McLean, the assessments either remained the same or had a very small increase compared to other areas. In some areas, this assessment even went down.
I say that it is true that we feel happier and more complete when we give. My advice is to come and get involved and bring your talent and experience and put them to work to help your community. In the process you will no doubt learn a great deal but you will also get to interact with a lot of new people who have at least one thing in common with you, the betterment of our community. But there is so much more to be gained. New friends and self-fulfillment just to name a few. I was once told “you never know what you can achieve until you give it a try.” Through experience, I find this statement to be very true.
What do you like most about MCA/advice for potential members who are considering joining MCA?