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PHCA President's Corner

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:20 PM | Deleted user

By Mark Kinnane, PHCA President
Published in the July/August Pimmit Hills Dispatch

On behalf of the incoming board, the members of the Pimmit Hills Citizens Association (PHCA) and the residents of Pimmit Hills, I would like to thank the outgoing board members for their contributions and efforts supporting our neighborhood.

Matthew Martz, Animesh Gupta, Elizabeth Hall and Sarah Rock, with the assistance of Cindy Kwitchoff, Carol Martz and Marie Davis, made great strides in increasing community involvement in PHCA, and improving interactions between PHCA, the county and neighboring communities.

Many of the successes and achievements over the last year were not as visible to our member as the many challenges they faced.

At the beginning of 2011, PHCA was on deaths door. Membership levels were low, community involvement was severely lacking and finances were on the wane.

The situation was exacerbated by the rapid transition of the neighborhood demographic from long term residents to young professionals and families. The demographic transition placed severe pressure on PHCA as many devoted and active members left the area.

Through the efforts of the outgoing board, membership in the PHCA has increased from less than 100 households to over 230 households and rising.

These efforts included resurrecting quarterly newsletters, increasing the number of community based events, organizing regular guest speakers to name a few.

On the advocacy front the addition of traffic calming measures throughout the neighborhood was the successful culmination of many years of effort by board members on behalf of concerned residents throughout the community.

PHCA gained a seat on the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) executive board for the first time in a number of years. This gave the PHCA a voting position on the MCA and a say in the county level decisions.

The PHCA advocated on behalf of our members for increases in bicycle and foot access to the neighborhood and surrounding communities.

The Environment and Parks Committee was created and obtained funding from Express Lane Grants to organize neighborhood cleanup activities which have resulted in cleaner parks and waterways in the neighborhood.

As a result of these efforts, and many others not mentioned, PHCA and the neighborhood are in a far better position to deal with county level issues affecting our neighborhood, such as the Tysons Development, the Silver Line addition and the rapid expansion of neighboring communities.

On a personal note I would like to thank the PHCA membership for giving me the opportunity to serve as PHCA president.

For the last year I served as the PHCA representative to the McLean Citizens Association (MCA) Executive Board, through which I gathered a deep understanding of the issues affecting our neighborhood. I also served as the PHCA treasurer for part of the year. I hope I can continue the fantastic work of our previous president, Matthew  Martz, in growing community involvement in the association.

PHCA will remain involved in MCA activities. The MCA is a volunteer organization covering of over thirty McLean district neighborhoods, including Pimmit Hills, which represents around thirty thousand Fairfax residents.

The MCA has a significant voice in the direction of county legislation, regularly lobbying local representatives, and serving as an advocate for the McLean district.

The PHCA representative to the MCA this year will be Lise Visser. Lise has already been involved with the Taxation and Budget Committee of the MCA. Lise has served on school boards in the past and brings a strong community spirit to the PHCA and the MCA.

This year we have two new board members joining us. Brad Sanders, will serve as the treasurer, and Ashley Reynolds, will serve as the secretary. Brad and Ashley are both relatively new to the area and will be fantastic additions to the board.

Our previous president, Carol Martz, has returned as the Vice President. Carol’s efforts on the board in past incarnations will serve to bring a wealth of experience to incoming board activities.

Sarah Ivey Rock is entering her second year as the three year director and her enthusiasm for community activities will continue to expand community involvement with the PHCA.

Serving as a board member is often a thankless job and it is great to see people sacrificing their time voluntarily in the interest of the PHCA members.

Without volunteers standing up and taking leadership roles there would be no PHCA at all, and without an association the community would have no unified voice to express concerns to our government representatives, no ear to listen for community wide concerns and no common vision for improving neighborhood quality of life.

In the next year there will be a variety of issues facing the Pimmit Hills community. Ensuring the neighborhood has access to new nearby infrastructure like the Silver Line, the addition of sound barriers along the Dulles access road, the addition of bicycle lanes through the neighborhood and neighborhood development, to name a few, will require community involvement and input. 

The PHCA board will do our utmost to keep members aware of county level and neighborhood issues. The PHCA will continue with our guest speaker agenda, increase the number of member events such as cleanup days, DIY gardening events and other environmental activities.

I look forward to serving as the PHCA President, continuing to advocate for our members at the county level and improving the Pimmit Hills environment.

 

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1927 Pimmit Drive, Pimmit Hills, VA 22043
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