Seldom has a vote by the Falls Church City Council, or any governing body, more reflected ambiguity and indecision than the one taken Tuesday night by the Council when, after a lengthy discussion, it passed by a 4-3 vote a plan for the deployment of over $20 million in cash proceeds from last winter’s sale of its water system. The vote was not four “yes,” and three “no.” It was four “yes” and three abstaining in one of the most bizarre tallies in city history.
Nobody on the Council was happy with the way it was rushed into the vote, which will not become final until a second vote the end of this month. The complexities of the options for deploying that much cash all at once led most to feel they needed more time and analysis, and why they didn’t opt for that approach was never made clear. Certainly there was no rush to decide, and as a number of Council members pointed out, with the markets as volatile as they are this week in particular, it may not be the best time to put half the money irrevocably into the City’s pension fund. But there is two weeks before the second vote to reconsider.
Those who voted yes tonight were Mayor Tarter, former Mayor Baroukh, Duncan and Oliver. Abstaining were Vice Mayor Snyder, Connolly and Sze.