As I reflect on the outcome of the recent election I must say that our citizens have spoken and now it is time for us to put our personal issues aside and work together so that the City of Falls Church continues to be strong and vibrant.
Serving on the Council over the past two years has been challenging with one of the largest budget shortfalls, the water lawsuits, and the election change debate. To put it simply, I received a crash course in local government and politics. Having been on both the popular and unpopular sides of an issue I will tell you that every vote I have cast has been because I believe it will benefit the citizens in some way. Before making any final decisions on a vote I read all the comments written on blogs as well as reach out to constituents on both sides of an issue.
The results of the election show how important it will be to listen to our citizens’ comments and incorporate them into our deliberations. However, I must also stress the importance of being able to work with all of my colleagues on Council in a civil way. That is one of the problems with politics that often we would rather “one up” someone instead of working together for the best outcome for our community.
One of my top priorities over the next 18 months will be to work diligently with our economic development staff to make sure that we are in a position to attract new and stimulating businesses within our community.
That is one of the problems with politics that often we would rather ‘one up’ someone instead of working together for the best outcome for our community.
We need to implement new plans so that when developers research our community we are in a better position to articulate our needs rather them dictating what they want. We must also begin the process of long range financial planning. We have in place a working group of professionals charged with working with the Chief Financial Officer to bring Council suggestions as to how we can better plan long term in the city. When the time comes to debate what option to incorporate into the city’s budgeting process our citizens will have an opportunity to weigh in with their comments.
I am confident that while I may not agree with all recommendations I at least will have a starting point in which we have not had in a long time.
As the Council reorganizes this summer we must critically review the city government to ensure we are doing the work of our community in the most efficient way possible. We need to begin working early with the School Board to continuously balance the needs and support our world class school system meanwhile; provide the services that our residents have become accustom to in the city. We must work together to make sure that our city government is open and transparent. We must respect and allow all opinions the opportunity to be discussed and debated. We are still in the middle of some tough economic times and this is not the juncture to let personal agendas control what happens.
I want to congratulate my new colleagues Ron Peppe, Ira Kaylin, and Johannah Barry on their election and Dave Snyder on his re-election to Council. I pledge to work with each of them during what continues to be tough economic times. We may not agree on everything but at the end of the day we each agree that the City of Falls Church is a place that we all love and will fight to make sure that it is here for future generations to enjoy.