F.C. School Board Chair to Run for City Council
In the midst of one of the City of Falls Church’s greatest fiscal crunches, and as the School Board and City Council are wrestling with where to cut services or raise taxes, the coming months will also be the time for what is shaping up to be a hotly contested City Council race. Today, School Board chair Ron Peppe announced that he will run for City Council by seeking the endorsement of the Citizens for a Better City (CBC) organization at its annual nominating convention on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Other candidates that have made public their intentions to run so far are incumbent Vice Mayor Hal Lippman and Council member David Snyder. Four of the seven Council seats will be up for election on May 4.
GEORGE Task Force Calls for Scaling Back
Falls Church’s citizens task force on its beleaguered GEORGE bus service presented its report to the F.C. City Council Monday, calling for further scaling back the service at a net cost to the City of $117,000. Ironically, keeping the service alive will be cheaper for City taxpayers than terminating the service, altogether. With the buses deemed of no re-sale value, the City would wind up owing the federal government $250,000 for the buses if it abandoned the program, according to the task force report.
2nd Phase of F.C.-Fairfax Water Trial Underway
Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields, who is present full-time this week in the Fairfax Circuit Court during Phase II of the case pitting the Fairfax County Water Authority against the City of Falls Church, told the News-Press Tuesday that he expects the trial to run to the end of the week, with a decision by Judge R. Terrence Nye not expected anytime soon. Shields was in the courtroom, but his role in the case was limited to a videotaped deposition taken of him last spring, focused on the question of whether or not Shields asserted the Falls Church water system had “exclusive rights” to provide water service in areas it has traditionally served in Fairfax County. Over 100,000 of the Falls Church water system’s 120,000 customers reside in Fairfax County. It was unclear whether Shields actually made that assertion during the lengthy deposition.
Shields to Discuss Budget on News-Press TV
Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields will appear as the guest on this Monday’s edition of the “Falls Church News-Press Live” TV show that airs live on Falls Church Cable Television at 7 p.m.
Moran Urges Timely Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Rep. Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, called Tuesday for a swift elimination of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy toward gay and lesbian military service personnel. He called the policy “an irresponsible, expensive and utterly un-American policy that discriminates against those who choose to serve and defend their country.” He added, “While it is important to get the roll-back process right, it is critical to get it done in a timely manner.” Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Armed Forces Committee that heard testimony on the subject Tuesday, said he agrees with Defense Secretary Bill Gates and Admiral Mullen, who favor the repeal of the policy after a lengthy time frame for assessment and review. Former Chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and McLean resident Gen. Colin Powell stated yesterday that he also supports the approach of Gates and Mullen for its repeal.
Young Wants More ‘Art Nouveau’ at 360 S. Washington
While the contract has been signed by both parties on the acquisition by developer Bob Young’s Jefferson One group of the 350 S. Washington St. office building in Falls Church, the deal includes provision for a lengthy “study period” to establish, among other things, the ability to secure financing by Young, it was reported to the F.C. City Council Monday. Young told the News-Press his plan will be to demolish the existing building and construct an all-commercial office building, and that he will work in tandem with the adjacent property owned by the Falls Church Housing Corporation to help enable the construction of a senior affordable housing structure there. He stated that he intends to continue the use of “Art Nouveau” architectural themes for his new buildings in Falls Church, along the lines of the Read Building at 402 W. Broad and the popular Flower Building at 800 W. Broad.
Del. Kory’s 1st Town Hall This Saturday
Virginia State Del. Kaye Kory, newly sworn in to represent the 38th Assembly District in the Richmond state legislature, will hold her first town hall meeting this Saturday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. at the Belvedere Elementary School cafeteria, 6540 Columbia Pike. Kory will be accompanied by State Sen. Dick Saslaw.
Grim Numbers for Virginia Job Recovery
The Richmond-based Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis issued a report entitled, “The Long Road to Recovery,” last week indicating that a recovery in the state’s job market to pre-recession levels will be a daunting task. In a conference call with journalists, the institute’s executive director Michael Cassidy noted the report’s finding that a minimum of 12,000 new jobs will have to be created each month for the next two years to achieve pre-recession levels of employment in the state, and that nothing near that number has been achieved since the Great Depression.