Falls Church City Treasurer Cathy Miller Kaye announced her retirement, effective as of July 18, for health reasons at a June 23 F.C. Council meeting. She served in the elected position for more than eight years, and was uncontested in two elections.
While the decision did not come as a surprise to any who know her well – she’s been struggling with a painful chronic condition for years – the announcement came as a blow to many in Falls Church who’ve admired and enjoyed her gregarious, generous humor and wit from her days as treasurer for local City Council campaigns and as president of the Citizens for a Better City (CBC), the City’s foremost civic action organization.
Ironically, illness also cut short the tenure of Kaye’s predecessor as Falls Church City treasurer, H. Robert “Bob” Morrison. Morrison left after a long battle with cancer and died at age 71 in 2009.
Morrison was first elected to succeed Eulalia Martin in 1993 in a hard fought three-way race and re-elected four times. He and his friend fellow civic activist Kaye modernized the office, making more user-friendly the tax paying services at the heart of the duties of the Treasurer.
Kaye’s accomplishments include being the first treasurer in Virginia to offer payments via the Internet. She changed to a faster payment processing system and increased personal property and real estate collection rates to 97 and 99 percent, respectively, from the 80th percentiles where they had been.
Kaye’s Deputy Treasurer since she took office in 2006, Jody Powers Acosta, will assume the top position with a swearing in next Wednesday, July 16 at the Council chambers in City Hall that will be held in the Council chambers at 4 p.m.
Acosta told the News-Press this week that she will not only be sworn in to complete the current term of Kaye, but that she will seek election to the position in November.
Kaye appeared at the June 23 Council meeting to announce her retirement decision. She said she’d been in declining health for most of the past year.
“I can’t tell you how wonderful this city has been to me over the past 20 years. It has been the most fulfilling time of my life,” she told the Council.
It has been reported that she and her husband, Tom, plan to travel in their retirement.
Speaking in response to Kaye’s announcement, Councilman Phil Duncan called her “a leader in the community in every regard,” He added, “It’s said that even as Falls Church grows, still about 132 people do all the heavy lifting in the affairs of government, and Cathy has always been one of those.”
Council member Marybeth Connelly said that Kaye “has been a very valuable asset in so many ways” in Falls Church.
Vice Mayor David Snyder said she’s “always been a straight shooter,” and that many occasions of dealing with her, whether on the same side of an issue of not, was one of the pleasures of working in a small town, hailing her for “doing so very well in so many capacities.”
Councilman Dan Zse said that if he ever needed to know what was going on in the City, she was the person to call.
In the last two decades, Kaye has been involved at the grass roots political level in many capacities, but especially as the treasurer of political campaigns and non-profit groups.
She served a term as president of the Citizens of a Better City (CBC) after working many years as its treasurer.
She’s been intimately involved with countless campaigns, including the Falls Church League of Women Voters, Falls Church Arts, the City’s Democratic Committee, and the Falls Church Education Foundation. She also served as the secretary for the Treasurer’s Association of Virginia.