(Extensions of Remarks - May 23, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E756]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. GERALD E. CONNOLLY

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 23, 2013

  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize John and 
Jeanette Mason, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary this month. 
As John and Jeanette have discovered, the secret to a successful 
marriage is having a supportive partner. Interestingly enough, this 
same quality serves as the foundation for strong and vibrant 
communities. John and Jeanette's commitment not only to one another but 
also to our community has touched the lives of countless families in 
Fairfax City and across Northern Virginia, and I ask my colleagues to 
join me in celebrating this wonderful couple.
  John's public service began with the U.S. Army, where he served for 
21 years before retiring as a Colonel. Any longtime resident of 
Northern Virginia is familiar with the tremendous work done during 
John's 14-year tenure as the Mayor of the City of Fairfax, where his 
leadership ensured adoption of the city's ``2020 Plan,'' which became 
the roadmap for Fairfax City's revitalization efforts. Moreover, John 
is responsible for spearheading the redevelopment of Old Town Fairfax, 
including the new City of Fairfax Regional Library that serves as the 
anchor for the area's redevelopment efforts. John and Jeanette were 
instrumental in the building of the beautiful Stacy C. Sherwood 
Community Center in Fairfax City and countless other community projects 
that have ensured Fairfax remains one of the region's top-rated 
communities in which to live, work, and raise a family.
  I have had the privilege of working closely with John on many of the 
issues he is most passionate about and dedicated to, including the 
future of transportation in Northern Virginia. After retiring from the 
Army, John was tapped by SAIC for his expertise on transportation 
issues, and with Jeanette's support, John's decision to enter public 
service once again ensured that Northern Virginia benefitted from his 
wealth of knowledge on transportation policy. Through John's tireless 
work on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at 
the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Northern 
Virginia Transportation Authority, he became the go-to elected official 
on regional transportation issues. Over the years, John became a force 
to be reckoned with. As many can attest, few individuals know more than 
John does about bus fleets, congestion patterns, Metro, or commuter 
delays in Northern Virginia.
  John's work on the Fairfax County-Fairfax City Interjurisdictional 
Committee and his belief in vigorous good neighbor policies elevated 
the relationship between the City and County to new heights. In 
addition, John worked to strengthen the City's ties with neighboring 
George Mason University, which would not enjoy the prominence it does 
today without John's advocacy for a robust relationship between the 
university and the surrounding community.
  More recently, John and Jeanette have made incalculable contributions 
to Fairfax's local arts community. John has served as the Chairman of 
the Arts Council of Fairfax County and as the President of the Fairfax 
Symphony. He currently serves as the President and CEO of the Lorton 
Workhouse Arts Center, where he oversees all aspects of the art 
center's planning and operations. He is also the founder and president 
of Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts, an annual three-week festival that 
showcases artists in local venues. And of course, many of the region's 
music patrons are familiar with John and Jeanette's active support of 
the City of Fairfax Band Association, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, not 
to mention many other orchestras across Northern Virginia.
  John and Jeanette's marriage is a testament to the durability of a 
loving relationship, and our community continues to benefit mightily 
from the local contributions from their partnership. John would happily 
admit that his many accomplishments would not be possible without the 
love and support of Jeanette. Her care, love, and support during John's 
battle with cancer assured his return to vigor, ensuring a healthy 
retirement spent with their children, John Jr., Joanna, and Jeffrey, 
and their grandchildren.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating John 
and Jeanette Mason on their 50th anniversary and in wishing them many 
more years of happiness.