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On June 4, 2014 McLean Youth Athletics, Inc. (MYA) submitted a Dissenting Statement to the Salona Park Task Force Report. MYA was forced to issue and submit a separate Dissenting Statement to the Fairfax County Park Authority because the Salona Park Task Force would not allow the incorporation or attachment of a dissenting statement to the Task Force Report. The Dissenting Statement was submitted by Joel Stillman, the MYA Salona Park Task Force member representing MYA to John Foust, Drainesville Supervisor in Fairfax County, and Rip Sullivan, Drainesville Representative to the Fairfax County Park Authority.
In 2005, Fairfax County purchased an easement on the Salona Park property and paid the owner over $16 Million of taxpayer money. The easement specifically permits the inclusion of two unlit natural turf rectangular athletic fields along with other cultural and historic uses. In November of 2010 the Fairfax County Park Authority issued a draft Master Plan which included two unlit natural turf rectangular athletic fields. After the November 2010 public meeting regarding the Draft Master Plan, Supervisor Foust appointed a Task Force to “reach out to the community and interested groups to solicit and develop recommendations” and “seek to reflect the consensus of the community.” MYA was one of the organizations asked to send a representative to be a member of the Salona Park Task Force.
The Task Force met for over two years and finally issued its report recommending almost all uses presented to it by the community except athletic fields. MYA strongly maintains that :
•The Salona Park Task Force did not conduct themselves in a manner consistent with its mission,
•Has ignored the wants and needs of the community and has instead substituted its own opinions as to what is appropriate to put in Salona Park,
•Has issued a report which does not accurately reflect the information collected from the community with respect to the needs and wants of the community, and
•Has issued a report which is misleading and incomplete in that it omits relevant and reliable documentation received by the Salona Task Force from the community with respect to the needs and wants of the community.
MYA has consistently supported the draft master plan (with slight modifications) and vehemently disagrees with the conclusions of the Salona Park Task Force. Rectangular fields at Salona are permitted and were intended to be included in Salona Park according to the terms of the easement itself and the public statements by those directly involved in the purchase of the easement, as well as, more recent public official comments interpreting the Salona Park purchase.
Nine years after the purchase of the easement with $16 Million of taxpayer money nothing has been done at Salona Park. Field and facility space in McLean is at an all-time deficit crisis. We urge you to educate yourself on this issue and support us in order to fulfill the much needed, legitimate, and contemplated goals of including two rectangular unlit natural turf athletic fields at Salona Park along with the other desirable cultural and historic goals included in the Draft Master Plan and supported by MYA.