This has been the week for transition on the Falls Church City Council, on Monday, and School Board, on Tuesday.
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, retiring Council member Karen Oliver was hailed by her Council colleagues for her thoughtful and poignant contributions to the Council’s deliberations the last four years.
She is the only member of the Council who did not seek re-election to another term last month. Mayor David Tarter presented Oliver with a plaque expressing appreciation on behalf of all the Council.
Three incumbents were sworn into new four-year terms commencing January 1, 2018 — Vice Mayor Marybeth Connelly, and Council members David Snyder and Dan Sze. Sworn in by City Clerk Celeste Heath to fill Oliver’s seat was Russ Litkenhous.
The next night, on Tuesday, the School Board went through a similar change, with only one of the incumbents, Chair Lawrence Webb, re-elected (the other three choosing not to run). He was sworn in along with newly-elected members Gregory Anderson, Shawna Russell and Shannon Litton.
Hailed for completing their service on the School Board were Michael Ankuma, John Lawrence and Margaret Ward. They were told that their names and dates of service will be placed onto bricks that will adorn the entrance to the new George Mason High School building.
In Oliver’s case, she chose not to seek election to a second four-year term this fall. The long-time City resident said she decided to run in 2013 when she read an article in the News-Press that there were only four candidates seeking four open seats on the Council, and her friends challenged her to step up and contribute to the necessary conversation to make the City a better place.
“This is a beautiful, vibrant City,” she said, citing the trees, the walkability, the art scene and the farmer’s market. She expressed thanks to everyone who helped make her contributions make a difference.
In her final meeting on the Council last night, Oliver had a lot to contribute and, among other things, joined the dissenting vote on the key issue of funding for the City Hall renovation.
The transitions will all become effective on Jan. 1, 2018.