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F.C. League of Women Voters Sets Oct. 20s Forum on Voter Date Referendum

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church announced today that it will sponsor an informational forum Thursday October 20 to help prepare voters for a November 8 referendum on the scheduling of future city elections.

The referendum will ask city voters whether the city should amend its charter to hold future elections for City Council and School Board in November rather than May. The forum, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Falls Church Community Center, will feature Renee Bergmann Andrews, secretary of the Falls Church Electoral Board, and Bryan E. Polk, vice mayor of Manassas Park, a jurisdiction that in 2008 moved its local elections from May to November.

The League has created an informational fact sheet on the issue, which is available at http://lwvfallschurch.org/ElectionChange.html. The League does not take a position on the election date issue.

The League has also invited candidates for the State Senate seat representing Falls Church City– Republican challenger Robert C. Sarvis, incumbent Democrat Richard L. “Dick” Saslaw, and independent/Green party candidate Katherine Ann Pettigrew-to attend the forum and meet the citizens of Falls Church. Democratic State Rep. James M. Scott and Theo K. Stamos, the Democratic candidate for Commonwealth’s Attorney for Arlington and Falls Church, both of whom are running unopposed, have also been invited to the forum.

In November 2010, the Falls Church City Council voted to repeal a January 2010 ordinance that moved municipal elections from May to November. At the same time, the Council also approved this November’s advisory referendum, giving voters the choice. City Attorney John E. Foster has advised the Council that while the referendum’s outcome is termed “advisory,” it will be binding.

As a result of the Council’s action, the next city elections will be held in May 2012. If voters approve the November referendum question, the election date will change and the following city election would be held in November 2013, along with elections for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, and the General Assembly.

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church is a nonpartisan organization that serves the citizens of Falls Church City by encouraging informed and active participation in government, working to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. For more information, go to www.lwvfallschurch.org.