U.S. Rep. James P. Moran, who has represented the 8th District of Virginia that includes the City of Falls Church since 1991 and will vacate his seat at the end of this year, made a final appearance before the Falls Church City Council Monday night, where he was honored with a special commendation that was unanimously approved by the City Council.
It was a “mutual admiration” moment, as Mayor David Tarter read the “Resolution of Appreciation,” and Moran responded in kind with glowing words about Falls Church.
Among other things, the resolution credits Moran with “strongly advocating for the City of Falls Church on numerous issues, including efforts to secure needed federal government support to improve City parks, transportation, public safety, watershed and stormwater management, steam restoration, affordable housing, schools, climate protection, and the Tinner Hill Historic site.”
Moran quipped that, per capita, Falls Church may have more earmarked dollars from Congress than anywhere else in the U.S.
The resolution continued, “Moran has been a familiar face at many Falls Church events such as the Fall Festival and the Memorial Day Parade” and his work “has helped improve the City of Falls Church” and will be remembered in the City “for his support for the City and as an advocate for all of his constituents in the U.S. Congress.”
In a memo to the City Council from City Manager Wyatt Shield, it was noted that “Congressman Moran has secured more than $4.5 million in federal funds for the City, alone, and $5.1 million in shared funding with other local jurisdictions. His support for the City has made it possible to create the Tinner Hill Historical Site, pave streets, improve sidewalks, daylight streams, operate the George bus, and create a multi-modal transit plaza. The funding has also provided many other services in the City of Falls Church to include those served by the Falls Church Housing Corporation and HomeStretch,” a local non-profit that works to provide permanent housing for the homeless.
Issues of transit and affordable housing were always on the top of Rep. Moran’s priority list. He worked to secure funding for a planned light rail transit coming up Route 7 from Bailey’s Crossroads into Tysons Corner. However, that plan took a major hit when the Arlington County Board earlier this month voted to kill the plan for a trolley along Columbia Pike, which was a key condition for the Route 7 line.
Moran has many long-time friends in Falls Church, including Peg Willingham, who worked on his campaigns and is now the chair of the Falls Church City Democratic Committee, and its former chair Edna Frady.
He hailed the City’s dedication to “good government, schools, balanced development and environmental sustainability.”
Among others, he gave a nod to the News-Press, as well. He told the City Council, “You’ve got a great paper, I’ve got to say. The News-Press is the only newspaper that gave me credit when I was one of the few to vote against the Iraq war and any number of other things. In the other papers, I’d either get no mention or get excoriated, but the News-Press has always been ahead of the curve.”
Hailing Moran, F.C. Councilman Phil Duncan cited his “steadfast…dedication to his constituents and principles.” Nader Baroukh thanked him for being “gracious and generous,” Dan Sze called him “Truly a friend to all of us here.”
Speaking in a public comment period, State Sen. Richard Saslaw proclaimed him “one of the most competent people I’ve met in my life.”
Eric Clinton, a junior at George Mason High School and recently appointed as a student representative to the F.C. Democratic Committee, thanked him for the opportunity to work as an intern last summer.
Gary LaPorta thanked Moran on behalf of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, and Willingham hailed him for “standing up for the underdog.”
Renee Andrews, F.C. resident who is chair of the City’s Electoral Board, thanked him as did former Vice Mayor Hal Lippman.