F.C. Council Plans Number Changes in 3 Policy Areas

At its work session tonight, the Falls Church City Council moved ahead with changes in basic numbers involving three policy areas. In the first case, the Council indicated it will follow the policy recommended by the City’s Chief Financial Officer Richard LaCondre to increase the City’s funds held in general funds reserve from 12 percent of revenues to 17 percent of expenditures, and above that build up a capital reserve fund. In the second case, the Council was agreeable with the recommendation of its Housing Commission to increase the threshold income level from 80 percent to 120 percent of median household income. It was noted that, in the City now, there is not a single housing unit on the market that someone with 80 percent of median income could buy, and there are only four, all townhouses, that a household with 120 percent could buy. In the third case, the Council received favorably the latest report from the City’s Electoral Registrar and Commission to reduce the number of voting precincts in the City from five to three.

LeCondre noted that the 17 percent of expenditures policy amounts to two months of operating expenses and is considered minimal because of the volatility a jurisdiction with such a limited revenue resource base (real estate taxes) as Falls Church. City Manager Wyatt Shields noted that the City’s reserve balance was at 20 to 25 percent earlier in the last decade, but when severe revenue bumps occurred, due to the recession and other factors, “We wound up needing every penny,” he said.