News Briefs: June 22 — 28

CBC Issues Text of ‘Candidate Integrity Pledge’

Falls Church’s Citizens of a Better City (CBC) has issued a “Candidate Integrity Pledge” for F.C. City Council and School Board candidates. As of this date, all four candidates for the City Council – Letty Hardi (incumbent), Tim Stevens, Justine Underhill, and Erin Flynn – and School Board incumbent, Jerrod Anderson, have said they support and will sign the Pledge.

The following is the text of the pledge:


In recent times, across our country – at the national, state and, increasingly, local levels – uncontrolled campaign financing and incivility have adversely affected our elections. And, for the first time ever, in the 2021 election cycle Falls Church experienced the infusion of large scale contributions to candidates from outside interests and individuals with no direct history of involvement in City affairs.

Responding to this situation, the Citizens for a Better City (CBC) has been examining these issues and, in consultation with dozens of other local civic organizations and individuals, has developed the following pledge all City Council and School Board candidates running for election will be asked to sign voluntarily in the current and future election cycles. The objective is to ensure that Falls Church City elections remain local, accessible to all citizens, affordable, and are conducted with civility. 

Candidate Conduct

Service to our community requires a great deal of time and commitment from all those who serve, especially in elected positions. The City is best served when its office holders represent everyone in our community. Office seekers should conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the spirit of our City to ensure that they as candidates – and ultimately as office holders – are able to serve its best interests. 

Accordingly, I pledge to conduct my campaign in a civil and public-spirited manner. I will campaign on issues that are important to me and my community, and will express those views and promote my candidacy with respect for those who hold different views. Acknowledging our City’s long history of candidate forums in our local elections, I will participate in them to assist Falls Church citizens in their understanding of the issues and candidates’ views on them.

Campaign Funding

Candidates in our local elections have typically advanced their campaigns by: visiting their neighbors door-to-door; enlisting others to volunteer on their behalf; spending money on yard-signs, flyers, and other promotional materials; purchasing ads in newspapers; setting up websites and using social media platforms; and other related events and activities. To support these efforts, candidates welcome contributions from friends, family, and local supporters.

Accordingly, I pledge to make every effort to support my campaign with financial contributions from family, friends, and neighbors who also hold the interests of Falls Church uppermost in their minds. I will endeavor to seek and accept only contributions from those residing within our borders – excepting, of course, in the case of close family and longtime friends. I will fully disclose my campaign fundraising results and expenditures in a timely manner, as required by the Virginia Department of Elections.

West End Project on Schedule, If Not Ahead, Hoffman Rep Says

Mary Beth Avedesian, vice president of the Hoffman Company, chief developers of the 9.7 acre West End project, provided an update to the monthly luncheon of the Greater Falls Church Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, reporting that the massive mixed use project is on schedule.

Jim Sndyer, The Little City’s principal planner, told the News-Press at the meeting that, if anything, the project is running ahead of schedule, thanks to the success of weekly meetings held online between the City’s Planning Department and the developers that have enabled aspects of the entire project to be developed at once.

A big component of the project, a 140-room Homewood Suites hotel, is already 40 percent complete, and slated for completion this December, along with 126 residential condominiums and 400 residential rental units slated for completion by November 2024.

The project will include 18,000 square feet of outdoor gathering spaces.  Avedesian said its proximity to Meridian High School and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School will result in a lot of “synergies” that will be developed between the schools, including the Levine School of Music slated to occupy space in the project and other aspects.

Adjacent to the project will be a National Center for Smart Construction that will go on adjacent Virginia Tech-owned land and plans for the joint development of the WMATA land at the West Falls Church Metro station in the process of seeking approvals from Fairfax County in the next two weeks.