Following the swearing in of three members of the Falls Church City Council elected to full terms in May, the newly-constituted Council’s first order of business tonight was the re-election of both Mayor Nader Baroukh and Vice Mayor David Snyder to new terms, both by 4-3 margins.
The two new members joining the Council tonight, David Tarter and Phil Duncan, both voted against the Baroukh-Snyder combo, but made conciliatory remarks afterward. It was Councilman Ron Peppe, who was nominated by Duncan for mayor but came up short, that had the strongest comments about the direction of the Council, saying he was concerned the Council was reverting to “a tendency to imperialize the mayorship,” noting the City is run in a City Manager system where the power of the mayor is diminished. “The City Manager has one boss, the Council as a whole, and not seven bosses,” Peppe said.
Peppe called for a thorough review of the rules by which the Council operates its business. As one who is serving in his 14th year of elected office (a number on the School Board in Frederick, Maryland before moving to Falls Church), Peppe said he thinks a rotating system of Council leadership is best.
Snyder nominated Baroukh for mayor as the first order of business of the new Council, and after winning that vote, Baroukh nominated Snyder for vice mayor. In losing causes, Peppe nominated Tarter for mayor, and Duncan nominated Peppe for vice mayor.