Local Commentary

News-Press Holiday Party Set Dec. 16

The News-Press is happy to announce that its annual Holiday Party free to all its friends in the Falls Church community is on for this season, scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, 400 N. Oak Street.


A great Falls Church tradition, the annual party has been a fixture since the News-Press’ first year in 1991 and has drawn hundreds of folks of all ages, stripes and stations in life. This year, the party will include, as it often has, live jazz ensemble music by the talented musicians from Meridian High School and catering by the classic Falls Church fixture, Anthony’s Restaurant, out of its new Annandale Road site. Len Michalowski is no longer around but don’t be surprised if Santa makes a special appearance.


In addition to lobbying the Big Red-Fabricked One for gifts and more, the event usually includes a heavy participation from local politicos eager to deliver your every request. Again this year, it is hoped again that all our local celebrities will show up. After all, we can point out that of the four candidates the News-Press endorsed for City Council this fall, two are Republicans and two are Democrats. That’s pretty good for diversity, right?


In the context of this aura, if not era, of good feeling, the F.C. City Council and School Board will convene this Monday in a joint meeting at the new high school that will include a meal. Mayor David Tarter got the holiday season off to a rousing start with the annual downtown tree lighting event at Mr. Brown‘s Park Monday night, and this Monday’s joint meeting will reaffirm the goal of revenue sharing between the Council and School Board that the School Board has sought for for many years. The Council’s main mission this month will be to address salaries for its employees, but that is being done in the context of a large infusion of new federal pandemic relief funds and City budget surpluses.
It is believed that shortages in City personnel, including police, can be effectively met through some generous salary increases, which we will be looking to the Council to provide this holiday season.


The new School Board, with three new members elected in November, will be sworn in mid-month, and the City Council, with its new members, will be sworn in on January 3. Both the School Board and Council will choose from among their seven members who will be the new chair and vice chair, and in the case of the City, the new mayor and vice mayor. It is rumored that the Council, in a friendly way, may be considering a new mayor as Mayor Tarter completes a fourth consecutive two-year term, tying the record for the Little City.


Given that four women will be serving on the Council starting in January, a woman as mayor may be called for.