Understaffing at F.C. City Hall Assailed

In three Falls Church virtual meetings in the last week — for the City Council, the Council’s Economic Development committee and the semi-autonomous Economic Development Authority — personnel shortages at City Hall have come under fire.

The impending departure of veteran planner Doug Fraser in mid-March will only make matters worse, it was noted.

“Staffing is a huge challenge,” City Manager Wyatt Shields said. “Handling success can be difficult.”

The burden on building inspectors is acute, having to handle the new high school and Founders Row simultaneously in addition to other work.

With the onset of the Insight Property development at Broad and Washington (the Whole Foods site), it will become a “five alarm fire,” and “beyond ridiculous,” board members said. City manpower levels are now below the number in 2008 when 30 were laid off due to the Great Recession crisis then.

Meanwhile, the EDA board approved a letter to the City urging that City employee Naomi Goodwyn be retained on a full-time basis.