Local Commentary

Guest Commentary: A Devilish Report on Affairs in The Little City

Hey Beelzebub, it’s Chizbid here. I’m reporting in from Falls Church, Virginia, a nice little community close to the nation’s Capital. It calls itself The Little City, but it’s really a City of Schools and Churches. Anyway, it’s a perfect place to pursue my Satanic vocation of finding people who are unhappy and disillusioned and vulnerable to losing their faith in the powers that govern them and encouraging them to turn to darker forces such as us.

Actually, I couldn’t have picked a better time or place to carry out my devilish activities. For the past eight years, the local Episcopalians have been at each other’s throats since a bunch of defectors from the historic Falls Church Episcopal Church – it goes back to colonial days when George Washington was a vestryman – left over the issue of homosexuality and occupied the church property while aligning with an Anglican bishop In Nigeria, where homosexuality is a crime punishable by imprisonment.

The defectors were finally forced to vacate the church property two years ago by a local court that ruled it belongs to the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and just three months ago, the United States Supreme Court refused to overturn the local court ruling and cast the defectors into the darkness just as the hated Lucifer did to us because we wouldn’t kow-tow to his boss. Boy, see how these Christians hate each other!

Another thing that makes it easier for me to do your infernal bidding here is that fact that The Little City’s streets are clogged with big trucks that are hauling excavated material from two giant construction projects in the middle of town. Be assured that I’m hoping one of them runs over a dog or squirrel or smashes into a housewife’s car as she checks her iPhone while driving to Giant. Also, citizens are outraged by their cars being targeted by a predatory towing company on city streets and parking lots.

Anyway, most everything else here was hunky dory until the City Council panicked because of heavy rains and environmental regulations passed by Congress, which is just up the road in Washington D.C. It recently adopted something called a Watershed Management Plan and then established a Stormwater Management Enterprise Fund (don’t laugh, that’s what they called it) and required property owners to finance it though something they called a Stormwater Management Fee or Stormwater Utility Fee.

Naturally, property owners were unhappy, to say the least, when they got their latest real estate tax bill, which had a stiff increase in order to pay for the city’s $81 million budget for fiscal 2015. They were even unhappier when they discovered they were also being hit up for the Stormwater Utility Fee (SUF), which averages $252 a year for homeowners and $2,444 for commercial properties.

Well, I guess that’s understandable because people always complain about taxes, which the City Council admits are high but insists they are necessary to maintain the Little City’s reputation for the best public schools in the area. But people couldn’t quite get their arms around how the SUF was calculated. That’s because the official explanation was that – get this – it was based on something called a property’s “impervious surface.”

I swear to Satan that’s what they called it. They used all kinds of space age technology to map driveways, rooftops and patios and then sent city inspectors out to verify the impervious areas and then told property owners they could challenge the findings if they don’t like them.

Well, needless to say, some irate residents asked if the SUF is based on impervious area, what the hell is “pervious area”? That’s where it gets interesting. Because pervious area, which is any surface that water can penetrate such as soil and permeable concrete and asphalt, is eligible for a credit.

But how do you get that credit? Aye, that’s where we come in because it’s bound to cause a lot of swearing and blasphemous language, which is just what we want. Here’s how The Little City’s civil engineer explained it to the Falls Church News-Press:

“Property owners can receive a credit by installing and maintaining a stormwater management facility (cistern, detention system, etc.) on their property and/or performing activities (rain barrels, new tree plantings, conservation landscaping, etc.) outlined in the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan.”

Only a dimwit would fail to understand the diabolical logic that he’d have to spend a lot more than he’d get from a credit, so you can see why I am convinced that The Little City is ripe for our malevolent attention. Just call me the Impervious Imp.

I remain your faithful – and faithless – servant,



Albert Eisele has been a Falls Church resident and taxpayer since 1967. His Stormwater Utility Fee is $288.