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Fairfax Board Retreats From Retreat

Bill Turque

Four years ago this month, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors gathered at a guest ranch on the Shenandoah River for a two-day retreat to sort through ideas and set priorities for their new four year term.

Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) speaks fondly of the group cohesion that he said emerged from the trip. At the Stanley, Va. ranch, owned by then-Supervisor Elaine N. McConnell (R-Springfield), board members made breakfast together, sat around the piano in the evening, and generally got to know each other away from telephones, e-mail and the constant drumbeat of official business.

With the beginning of a new term, Connolly wanted to do it again. But scheduling conflicts and concerns expressed by some supervisors about the remote location have put it on hold for the indefinite future.

"The symbolism isn't good," said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), who objected to the 2004 retreat as well. "The substance to me is that we are not being accessible as we discuss the future of the county."

Connolly said the public was welcome in 2004 and would be again, and that he'd revisit the issue later in the year.
"I think we need to invest in ourselves," he said.

By Bill Turque  |  February 5, 2008; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Turque , Fairfax County Board of Supervisors , Gerald E. Connolly  
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