Congratulating Gerry Hyland on His Retirement from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisorsby Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Posted on 2015-12-09
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate my friend Gerry
Hyland, Mount Vernon District Supervisor on the occasion of his
retirement from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors following 28
years of faithful service.
Gerry was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1987, serving as Chairman of the Fire Commission and co-chair of the Community Revitalization and Reinvestment Committee. He also served as a member of the Budget Policy, Development Process, Environmental, Housing and Community Development, Human Services, Information Technology, Personnel and Reorganization, and Transportation Committees.
Yet serving on the Board of Supervisors was just one part of Gerry's commitment and service to our community. Prior to being elected to that position, he also served on the Board of Zoning Appeals and as both President and Member of the Board of United Community Ministries and the Fairfax Human Rights Commission.
Gerry's commitment to service has extended across regional boundaries. He served on the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, the Virginia Association of Counties, the National Association of Counties, as past chairman of the Virginia Railway Express, and as a past board member of both the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
Gerry was also appointed by the Governor of Virginia to serve on several boards and commissions including the Virginia History Initiative, the Commission on Population, Growth and Development, and the Local Government Advisory Committee for the Chesapeake Bay over the course of his career.
In addition to his numerous contributions at the civilian level, Gerry served 30 years in the United States Air Force, 6 years active duty (4 of which were spent overseas) and 23 years in the Reserves. He retired at the rank of Colonel while serving as a White House Liaison.
He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Elizabeth and David Scull Metropolitan Public Service Award for Outstanding Leadership to the Washington Metropolitan Area from the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, Cooperator of the Year Award from the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District, the Dedicated Support Award from the Medical Care [[Page E1750]] for Children Partnership, and the Gold Medal for Lifesaving from the Grande Prix Humanitaire de France.
These awards and accolades are testimony to Gerry's quality as a leader and the determination with which he approached his work. One need look no further than his own Mount Vernon district for evidence of this. Whether it was shepherding the community through the BRAC process and helping to manage the enormous growth at Fort Belvoir, to the establishment of the Richmond Highway Express Bus Route, the creation of the South County Government Center, advocating for the construction of a new high school and middle school to serve the growing population, the preservation of Inova's Mount Vernon facilities or the securing of affordable housing for seniors at Gum Springs, you could always count on Gerry Hyland being knowledgeable and fully engaged with every situation that was brought to him. Gerry truly cares about his constituents and has dedicated every minute of his time in office to improving their lives and our South County community.
I will always remember the grace with which he approached his work. Even in the face of unimaginable tragedy brought by the death of his wife, he continued to put the needs of others before his own. When we served together on the Board of Supervisors, he would routinely bring fresh produce from his farm on the Eastern Shore to share with us, a tradition that continues to this day. Just when you didn't think it was possible for one man to give any more, Gerry would prove you wrong.
Mr. Speaker, Gerry Hyland has been a fixture of the community in Fairfax County for more than 35 years. While he may be officially retiring from the Board of Supervisors, I suspect that he will remain an active advocate for the causes that are dear to him. I ask my colleagues to please join me in congratulating him on his retirement, in thanking him for his immeasurable dedication and commitment to our community, and in wishing him all the best for continued health and success.