Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for October 23 – 29, 2008

Says F.C. ‘Blessed’ With City Manager


The recent fron-page article on the City Manager’s citywide staff meeting in the face of the economic crisis reminded me that we are truely blessed to have Wyatt Shields at the helm. He has quickly built a repution as a straight-forward, unassuming guy that sees the larger picture and the need to keep City Hall open and running smoothly.

I have an anecodate to share that proves this point.

But first, I met Wyatt years ago during a neighborhood tree planting party.

It wasn’t until we had finished the job that I learned from someone else that he was the newly named assistant manager! If memory serves, in typical Wyatt style he shared with me that at one time he was landscaper, but neglected to tell me his current position. But back to the current day.

During the week that Wyant assembled City staff in the Community Center, my wife reminded me that although I had sent out the invitations for our annual Laura Drive block party, I had not yet asked the City permission to block the street. With the party less than a week away I e-mailed the City Manager’s office in a panic asking for an expedited approval.

In the press of a very full agenda was my e-mail overlooked? Of course not.

That very same morning I received both a phone call and an e-mail from city employee Matt Bodenschatz telling me that the application was already in the works and would probably be approved on time. It was. Later that week I received a letter signed by Wyatt approving the street closure (with his usual hand-written personal note to me) and the City crews delivered the street blockades.

Over the years, these block parties have produced a tight knit community that looks out for each other and comes together in a time of crisis (9/11 and Hurricane Izzie provide examples). As a result, we know every single occupant of every house which has countless benefits to our neighborhood and the City as a whole. It is evident that our City is in good hands.

Karl Ensign

Falls Church

Have Headline Forecasts Come to Pass in F.C.


As the weekly edition of the Falls Church News-Press is delivered to our driveways or sidewalks I and others have been thoroughly amused with its front page headlines. Have any of these bold headlines ever been correct? The proof is in the writing and its informational gathering.

Let’s do an analysis of some these headlines that we the citizens have seen in this year’s addition of FCNP. “Mayor Gardner to Run Again, Promises Free Citywide WiFi.” Robin Gardner did run again and won one of three seats that were up for re-election and held her position as Mayor of our city; however, her “Promise for Free Citywide WiFi” has turned out to be an untruthful promise, but it made her sound like a true politician.

Our next headline “Pent Up Demand’ Signals Housing Rebound in F.C.” Many of the developers say that many are intending to buy here. Robert Young of the Young Group and Jefferson One LLC expressed in an exclusive interview “that he identified a “surprising trend” in Falls Church this summer”. We are not sure what he meant by this but he must have been thinking how much lower the prices on condos (can we say “how low can they go”) would bottom out at.

Last but not least “With Fiscal Crisis Looming, All F.C. Employees Gather.” Now if we remember several weeks before this declaration headline we were told that Falls Church has weathered the first storm of the Wall Street Financial Crisis. City Manager Wyatt Shields called our city employees to this special meeting to let them know that their jobs were safe for now. I commend him on this. However in his own context of this informational meeting Wyatt Shields states that “the City began spending less in the last three years” and that “the City saw the economic downturn coming and prepared for it.” An analysis of the 2002 – 2006 City budgets showed expenditures that were much greater than the revenues that were brought in for these years.

We have read and have heard a lot of variations for our city’s financial and economic outlook. We feel the people of Falls Church City need to see what the estimated forecast in dollar terms (tax increase) is in store for the next five years in budget terms.

Ed Hillegass

Falls Church

Would ‘Law & Order ‘Types Break the Law?


I would like to write in response to the Letter to the Editor about the person who had their Obama signs destroyed. That letter implied that it was some conservative McCain supporter who may have ripped them up. That would be impossible since we know that conservative are pro law and order and to mess up the signs like that would be against the law. That is unless for some reason it benefits them, then they are for breaking the rules.

Jay Rubin

Via the Internet

Says McCain Lawn Signs Also Disappearing


I write this as a concerned citizen.

The other week someone wrote a letter to your newspaper indicating that his Obama signs kept disappearing.

The same is now happening to McCain lawn signs in Falls Church City.

Whatever the reason (prank or malicious) the unauthorized removal of such signs from private property is un-democratic and un-American.

We should respect the political views of all citizens. I ask all to protest this senseless vandalism.

Mark Kaye

Falls Church