WEDNESDAY, 10/23: Final Forum on the Falls Church Water Sale Referendum

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Why are we selling our water system? Get your questions answered at a final forum before the Falls Church water sale referendum is voted on this November. The forum will be held on Wednesday, October 23rd, from 7:30 – 9:30 pm at ARTSPACE, 410 South Maple Avenue.

In November of 2012, after intense mediation, the Falls Church City Council agreed to sell the Falls Church Water System to Fairfax County’s Water Authority, transferring ownership and management of our vast system to Fairfax County. You will be asked to vote on this referendum in November! Why?

To learn why, we invite you to an evening question-and-answer session co-hosted by Citizens for a Better City (CBC), the Falls Church Republican and Democratic Committees and the American Legion Post 130.

Questions to be addressed include:
Why do we need to have a referendum?

What compensation will Falls Church receive in exchange for our water system?

What will happen if the referendum passes or if it does not?

And, importantly, your questions!

CBC, the Falls Church Republican and Democratic committees, and the Falls Church American Legion seek to engage members of the community in local forums that will examine crucial issues facing the city. We believe the sale of the Falls Church Water System will have a fundamental effect on our community’s future. Please make plans to join us and bring a friend.

For more information contact: SALLY EKFELT at [email protected]

FCT Candidate Questionnaire Set

October 4, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

By Falls Church Times Staff
October 4, 2013

The Falls Church Times recently asked readers to suggest questions to City Council candidates running in the November 5 election. We received a wide range of questions, with most focused on city finances, school funding, real estate development, economic development, the storm water plan, the “Ped” plan.

Those suggestions have been incorporated into composite questions and submitted to the candidates as part of the eight-part Candidate Questionnaire below. We have asked the candidates to respond by mid-October, and we will begin publishing their responses serially shortly thereafter.

Many thanks to all of you who sent us suggestions. We greatly appreciate your involvement in the questionnaire process.

And we thank all the candidates for their willingness to serve. We look forward to receiving their responses and sharing them with the voters. Best of luck to all.

The questionnaire appears below.

FALLS CHURCH TIMES QUESTIONNAIRE FOR CANDIDATES FOR THE NOVEMBER 5, 2013 ELECTION FOR FALLS CHURCH CITY COUNCIL

1. Qualifications. Why are you running for City Council? What strengths and experience would you bring to the job?

2. City Finances. Financial pressures facing the City include rapidly growing schools, aging facilities, increased demand on city services, pensions liabilities, and the need for an appropriate fund balance. Although budgeting always requires “balance,” Council members must establish priorities. What will be your priorities as you face these pressures?

3. School facilities. Ideas have been floated by a number of people on how to pay for new facilities at George Mason High School and Mt. Daniel Elementary. Some of those ideas include commercial development in the area near GMHS to bring in more revenue, tearing down City Hall to build a new GMHS there, and selling the Mt. Daniel property and moving those students to Thomas Jefferson Elementary. Do you favor any of these proposals? What would you propose as a way to deal with school facility needs?

4. Real Estate Development. Falls Church City is looking at a number of approved and prospective real estate developments in the coming years, such as the “Harris Teeter project” on West Broad, the “Reserve at Tinner Hill” on South Maple, a possible mixed-use project at Broad and West, and the potential development of land linked to the sale of the City water system. In your view, what community values should new real estate developments reflect, and what specific features and characteristics should be included to make them enjoyable and valuable for the community?

5. Economic Development. Separate from real estate development, what can the City do to generate increased economic activity? What kinds of businesses and activities should we recruit and promote? What tools should we utilize?

6. Storm water. The City Council recently passed a plan to enhance the city’s storm water infrastructure. It features a new user fee that would be paid beginning next year by homeowners, businesses, and churches. Executing the plan would require a number of new full-time employees. Do you agree with this approach? If not, how would you modify it?

7. “Ped” Plan. In 2012, the City announced that the Council “withdrew consideration of the Pedestrian, Bicycle and Traffic Calming Strategic Implementation Plan to allow for changes to the plan and additional time for public input, review and approval.” To date, the Council has not resumed consideration of the plan. Do you feel the City should pursue such a plan? If yes, what changes, if any, should be made to the 2012 version of the plan? If not, why not?

8. Current Council. What has the current Council done well and what has it done poorly?

WEDNESDAY, 10/9: Candidates Forum on Transportation

September 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Fall Church City Residents are invited to attend a City Council Candidates Forum hosted by Citizens for a Better City.

The forum will cover transportation in the Little City, “From Parking to Pedestrians and Public Transportation.” It will take place on Wednesday, October 9th at 7:30 PM at ARTSPACE, Home of Creative Cauldron & Falls Church Arts, at 410 South Maple Avenue.

A reception will precede the forum and refreshments will be served.

Candidates will be asked to address questions related to the inherent challenges and opportunities presented by the ever-growing and changing transit needs of our community.

 

For example:

The Silver Line is coming to our eastern border bringing a new source of traffic to the east end of town and development to neighboring Arlington. How will this influx impact Falls Church?

The Pedestrian Plan’s status is uncertain but the problems left behind still need a solution. What to do?

The City is flanked by two Metro stops, one on each border, and bisected by a state-controlled Route 7. What challenges and opportunities are presented by these immutable forces?

Parking restrictions often derail development – how is this good and bad?

 

Please come join us and bring a friend and your questions.

Wednesday, 9/25: City Council Candidate Forum

September 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Come hear the five candidates for City Council speak and answer your questions at 7:30 pm Wednesday September 25 in Council Chambers at City Hall. 

Candidates for the November election are: Marybeth Connelly, Robert LaJeunesse, Karen Oliver, David Snyder, and Daniel Sze.

The forum is co-sponsored by VPIS and the League of Women Voters.

What’s Your Question to City Council Candidates?

September 23, 2013 by · 5 Comments 

By Falls Church Times Staff
September 23, 2013

The Falls Church Times would like your input on questions to be included in this year’s questionnaire to City Council candidates.   Please send us your suggestions via comment to this article or email to [email protected]    Email suggestions will remain anonymous.  Please submit your question(s) by Friday September 27, 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you!

FRIDAY, 9/20 – SATURDAY, 11/2: In-Person Absentee Voting

September 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. All registered voters may cast their ballots in person at their designated polling place or vote by absentee ballot by mail or in person prior to Election Day.

In-Person Absentee voting begins Friday, September 20 in City Hall and will continue through Saturday, November 2. During that time, residents wishing to vote by In-Person Absentee ballot can do so Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturdays preceding the election, October 27 and November 3.

Vote-by-Mail applications may be hand delivered, mailed, faxed, or scanned and emailed to the addresses below, so long as they are physically received in the Office of Voter Registration and Elections no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 30, one week prior to the election. Applications can be found on the SBE website.

TUESDAY, 10/15: Voter Registration Deadline

September 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. All registered voters may cast their ballots in person at their designated polling place or vote by absentee ballot by mail or in person prior to Election Day.

Residents who are not currently registered to vote must submit their completed voter registration applications by 5 p.m. on October 15. Those wishing to register by mail must ensure their applications are postmarked by that date. Voter registration applications may be found online at the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) website, in the City’s Registrar’s office, as well as many other government building including DMVs and most libraries.

New this year is the SBE’s online voter registration system, launched earlier this year in partnership with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles as a result of newly enacted legislation. Eligible citizens of the Commonwealth are now able to submit a voter registration application or update their registration information electronically. In order to complete the online application process, citizens must provide their Virginia DMV customer identifier number, which is displayed on DMV issued identification cards or Driver’s Licenses. Anyone who do not have a Virginia DMV customer identifier can still fill out the registration application online, but will be required to print and return the completed application to the appropriate local voter registration office. Additional information is available on the SBE’s website, www.SBE.Virginia.gov.

SUNDAY, 9/22: Local Candidate Meet & Greet

September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On Sunday, September 22, from 5-7pm, Citizens for a Better City are hosting a Local Candidate Meet & Greet. Everyone is invited to meet the candidates for The Falls Church City Council & School Board on the ballot in November. The event will take place at Fall Properties at 212-A North West Street in Falls Church.

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