Tarter, Duncan Win, Baroukh Re-elected in City Council Race
By FALLS CHURCH TIMES STAFF
May 1, 2012
David Tarter and Phil Duncan won election to the Falls Church City Council while Mayor Nader Baroukh was re-elected on Tuesday following a competitive race that featured a crowded field of seven candidates. Incumbent City Councilor Lawrence Webb was defeated in his bid for another term. Robin Gardner did not seek re-election.
Mr. Tarter, chair of the city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) and a former interim city attorney, earned the largest number of votes with 1293. He is a commercial real estate lawyer in Arlington. Mr. Baroukh, an attorney for the Department of Homeland Security, finished a strong second with 1189. Mr. Duncan, also a member of the EDA and the owner of a city-based business called Civicatalyst Communications, gained third place with 1047 votes. Mr. Webb finished fifth with 672 votes.
John Lawrence, who was the leading vote-getter among those who lost during the last Council election in 2010, was the bridesmaid again, finishing fourth with 732 votes. A newcomer and the youngest candidate in the race, William Henneberg, was next with 652 votes, followed by Paul Handly with 514.
Although it’s not known how and why residents made their decisions, it may be instructive that two of the three winners are members of the EDA in a campaign season in which additional commercial development for the city emerged as a key priority for voters and candidates alike.
Mr. Duncan agreed. “The success of two people on the EDA does indicate that voters have a seriousness of purpose about economic revitalization,” he said.
He also congratulated all the candidates for a hard-fought and clean campaign, and said he felt badly for those who lost. “My heart goes out to those who didn’t win. The community was very well served by this campaign.”
Mr. Tarter, the runaway top vote-getter, said he was grateful for the support of so many City residents. “I am humbled and honored by the support of the voters of Falls Church. I appreciate the confidence they have shown in me. I look forward to tackling the many challenges the city faces and helping Falls Church realize its full potential.”
Mr. Baroukh said he is eagerly anticipating serving with the newly elected candidates.
“I thank all the citizens of Falls Church City who came out to vote today. I look forward to working with the new Council on continuing to make our City a great place to live.”
Sitting city councilors Ira Kaylin and Johannah Barry told the Times they were excited for the next Council term to start. Mr. Kaylin, who was elected in 2010, said: “I am truly looking forward to working with the new Council. I believe the upcoming years will be vital for the city.”
Ms. Barry, also elected in 2010, added: “This is a great opportunity to bring new ideas together. This time will be so important to addressing critical issues facing Falls Church.”
Four candidates for School Board were elected unopposed. Kieran Sharpe, Joan Wodiska, and Justin Castillo were elected to four year terms, and Charlotte Hyland was elected to complete two years of the unexpired term of Patrick Riccards, who resigned to take a job in Connecticut.
The city registrar reports that 26 percent of the 8,758 registered voters in the city went to the polls, besting the 24 percent figure from 2010. Ward 3 had the highest turnout at 26 percent. Wards 1 and 2 reported turnout of 22 and 23 percent, respectively. The rest, 171 votes, were absentee ballots.
This was the last May election in Falls Church City, following a referendum decision by the voters last year to move City Council and School Board elections to November beginning in 2013.
The newly-elected members of both the City Council and School Board will begin their terms in July.
By Falls Church Times Staff
May 1, 2012