The often-feuding Alexandria City Council and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors swallowed their pride (as well as dinner) last night under the ornate brass chandeliers of historic Gadsby's Tavern in an informal attempt to discuss subjects of mutual inerest.
"I thought it was a good evening," said Alexandria Mayor Charles E. Beatly Jr. afterwards. "It was not important that we resolve issues, but only that we provide some stimulating thought about them."
The City Council often has expressed fears about being gobbled up by the expanding Fairfax County population. The Board of Supervisors has often complained that the city was more interested in larger regional affairs.
The business session followed a meal of salad, prime ribs, pecan pie and carafes or wine, and the event prompted John D. Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to delcare: "I thought it was a wonderful evening. I enjoyed the food very much. I can't say it did any harm and we did clarify some issues."
Members of each body said the other had requested the meeting, held at the Alexandria tavern -- now a restaurant -- where George Washington made his final military appearance in 1798. The last such meeting of the two bodies was held two years ago at the Three Chefs Restaurant in Fairfax County.
The groups discussed such matters as regional parks, the 911 emergency dialing system and Metrorail funding, about which they have aruged in the past.
"Will there be a wave-making machine" in an indoor swimming pool proposed for a regional park in the Cameron Valley?" Herrity asked. No one answered the question, but officials agreed to discuss their mutual interests for the park at a later date.
"Condo conversion is a serious matter," Councilman James P. Moran Jr. said in a loud voice as county supervisors Nancy Falck and Marie Travesky engaged City Councilman Carlyle C. Ring Jr. in an animated conversation at the other end of the table.
Both sides criticized the Chesapeke and Potomac Telephone Co. for the apparent collapse of a regional 911 emergency dialing system agreement. Each side said they wanted to resolve the issue peacefully.
"I would like to see one of these meetings every six months or so," Mayor Beatley said. "Until tonight I had never met some of the supervisors before."