It remains slow and uneven, but the campaigns of five candidates for the Falls Church City Council and nine for the Falls Church School Board aiming toward a November 3 election began to show some life as of the Labor Day weekend.
Two new candidates shared an event to kick off their campaigns in the first public event of the campaign season: First-time candidates Letty Hardi for City Council and Erin Gill for School Board. And each with three young boys in the school system, they hosted a kickoff party at the pavilion in Cherry Hill Park Sunday morning with a robust turnout which was a roughly equal number of parents and children. State Del. Marcus Simon was there to speak and Council member Phil Duncan and Planning Commissioner Lindy Hockenberry were present.
Last month, Council candidate Sam Mabry issued a press release calling for a moratorium on apartment building construction, a position that incumbent Mayor David Tarter disputed in his annual “State of the City” interview in the News-Press last week. “Continued economic development should continue to replicate the mixed use model that has been so successful to date,” the mayor said. Hardi, in her event, said, “During budget meetings this past spring, it was disheartening to hear from the same, very vocal few who consistently offered a doom and gloom view of the City. I choose to be optimistically realistic…about funding our great schools, while promoting smart development and being fiscally prudent.”
Council candidate Johannah Barry wrote a blog post earlier this month about what she called “The School Building Arms Race.”
The next candidates forums are slated for Oct. 8 for City Council candidates and Oct. 15 for School Board candidates, and at the monthly luncheon of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 20. The Council candidates are incumbents Duncan and Tarter, and Hardi, Mabry and Barry (Mabry and Barry have served on the Council in the past). The School Board candidates are incumbents Justin Castillo and Kieran Sharpe and Gill, Jacob Radcliff, Philip Reitinger, Mark Kaye, Allison Kutchma and Becky Smerdon.