At 9 p.m. EDT tonight, a press release was issued by four members and members-elect of the Falls Church City Council that are expected to back Councilman Nader Baroukh for mayor and Lawrence Webb for vice mayor when the new Council is sworn in tomorrow night at the F.C. City Hall. Saying they are “rolling out a discussion draft for a blueprint for action,” Baroukh, Webb and Councilmembers-elect Ira Kaylin and Johannah Barry are cited as jointly announcing the document, which was attached to the press release e-mailed to the News-Press. The release removes any lingering speculation about who the new mayor and vice mayor will be once the votes of the seven-member Council are cast tomorrow night, as the four members involved constitute a majority.
According to release, the document “is intended to begin the discussion of setting the priority areas for the Council with a view to initiating specific actions to improve the Citys financial planning and financial responsibility.” The steps outlined in the draft include the following: a five-year projection of the City’s financial situation, a three year rolling budget process, the simultaneous development of the City’s operational and School Board budgets, more aggressive marketing of the City’s commercial spaces, additional costs savings and revenue enhancement (i.e. user fees) measures, and more. The draft also asserted that there is no economic analysis available to establish the trade off between the positive revenue enhancement factors resulting from a quality school system and the detrimental impact on revenue from higher taxes required to maintain the quality of the school system, and therefore asserts that the two factors will be treated equally.
For Immediate Release
Falls Church City Council Members Roll Out Discussion Draft of a “Blueprint for Action”
Falls Church City Council Members Nader Baroukh and Lawrence Webb and Council Members-Elect Johannah Barry and Ira Kaylin today announced a document intended to begin the discussion of setting the priority areas for the Council with a view to initiating specific actions to improve the City’s financial planning and financial responsibility.
Among the steps outlined in the working document are:
1) Developing a five-year projection of the City’s financial situation.
2) Conducting a comprehensive review of the City’s operating structure and organization.
3) Developing revenue enhancing measures in the form of cost savings and additional net revenue from appropriate application of user fees.
4) Developing a three-year rolling budget though the budget approval process will be undertaken on a yearly basis.
5) Developing a budget preparation process that coincides with that of the School System in order to identify possible long term funding gaps (starting with the 5-year financial projections).
6) Receiving monthly & quarterly financial reports.
7) Developing a minimum effort policy for capital investment.
8) Developing a policy for a “Rainy Day” or Reserve/Stabilization Fund Policy.
9) Continue to proactively and creatively market the City, including additional resources for the EDO.
10)Developing Area Plans.
The four made the following statements regarding what they term as a discussion draft of a “Blueprint for Action.”
“It has become clear that we must do a better job managing our budget and projecting the state of our finances for the future, this includes a focus on economic development” said Councilmember Nader Baroukh. “What we are announcing today is a series of common- sense budgeting and financial practices to help us do that. They’re not flashy, but they are very important. I look forward to working with all members of Council as we develop priority areas and establish a Council work plan in the near future.”
“The City’s financial situation is the most critical issue we face,” said Councilmember Lawrence Webb. “That’s why it’s important that we begin to improve our practices.”