Lawn Signs Reflect Voters’ Wide Choice of “Tickets”

Falls Church Times Staff
April 28, 2012

For the first time in at least 50 years a Falls Church City municipal election will not feature a ticket or slate of candidates.  The venerable Citizens for a Better City (CBC) has stepped aside and no alternative organization has stepped forward to offer a list of their own.  Every candidate for City Council now is a true independent, free to run his campaign as he sees fit and take positions without consulting his running mates.

However, many unofficial slates of candidates have emerged via the signs sprouting on many local lawns.  Tickets of two, three, or even four contenders have been spotted, the last perhaps reflecting some discord in the residences, as voters may chose only three of the seven candidates.

Excluding unrealistic quartets, 56 different Council ticket combinations are possible:  21 duos and 35 trios.  Each candidate has 15 potential matches with his six opponents, either as a pairing or as one-third of a trio.

Yard signs may not be an accurate reflection of wider voter preferences, but in the absence of any formal poll data they provide the only indication of popular sentiments in the City.  Over the past week the Times has surveyed the signs while driving or more often walking through most streets and every neighborhood.

Some blocks are bereft of signs, but on others there are more signs in bloom than azaleas.  As a general rule, the closer one comes to a candidate’s home the more likely one will see more of his signs.  City-wide, signs endorsing Mayor Nader Baroukh, Phil Duncan, and Dave Tarter appear to be the most common, though not necessarily in that order.

The majority of lawns host single signs, but at least 20 full or partial Council tickets also are on display.  While Baroukh, Duncan, and Tarter are more frequently found on these tickets, all seven candidates appear to have at least one running mate.

On Tollgate Way, going for Henneberg, Baroukh and Tarter

The multiple signs on many lawns reflect that voters no longer have the “straight ticket” option, which CBC always provided in the past and, given CBC’s historic success, proved very tempting.  Now every voter, like every candidate, is an independent.

On Lincoln, the "Lawrence Ticket" – Lawrence Webb and John Lawrence.

How will the voters respond?  The field is an unusually strong one, leaving them with difficult choices.  Will they create full slates of their own or be more discriminating and vote for only one or two candidates?   The choices they make and the City’s future are in their hands next Tuesday.

On Columbia, neighbors crowding in signs for Duncan, Baroukh, Handly, Tarter, and Webb.

April 27, 2012 


6 Responses to “Lawn Signs Reflect Voters’ Wide Choice of “Tickets””

  1. Carol Sly (Falls Church) on April 28th, 2012 10:46 am

    Plan to vote! Let’s exceed the City’s expectation of a 30% turnout. Absentee voting is still available today, Saturday, until 5pm at City Hall. On Tuesday the polls open at 6am and don’t close until 7pm. Remember to check where you will be voting as this is the first election with just 3 Wards. Information is on the City’s website and all registered voters should have received a new voter ID card in the mail with the location of their polling place.

  2. mel watson on April 28th, 2012 11:34 am

    Do folks really think the CBC has “stepped aside”?

  3. FC on April 28th, 2012 12:01 pm

    Whoever wins should be prepared to hold City Management accountable for a budget that absorbs the projected $1.9 million deficit next year, WITHOUT raising my taxes. I am already paying $400 more this year in taxes. It was just a year ago and Kaylin/Barry voted no to raises, one reason being the sustainability of increased pension costs. Start by cutting the renovations to City Hall to save $1 million. Sell the water system and reduce my tax rate.

  4. mel watson on April 28th, 2012 12:34 pm

    FC – I agree n principle. Do your due diligence on these candidates very carefully. Many have close affiliation to one another that is not necessarily in the interest of pro-development and reducing the residential tax rate. I am personally looking for a balanced slate and not a close nit group who think a lot alike who may not the best choices for the City in challenging times.

  5. TFC on April 28th, 2012 2:03 pm

    Just a thought about City Hall……ask for a walking tour of the condition…it has a lot of problems. Ever get stuck in the elevator? It is not ADA compliant. Our court does not meet the security standards. Police have to use the unsecure parking lot to move their weapons in and out of cruisers. The police armory is attached to the wall in a hallway. Water leaks into many offices. It needs a lot of work.

  6. jbb Falls Church City on April 29th, 2012 10:58 pm

    My neighbors and I have a 20% City Tax increase due to the tax rate and real estate assessment increases. I know the City is going thru some difficult times… but, City management needs to be aware that many residents are on fixed incomes (and/or work where there have not been any wage increases in 3 years!)
    AND, the proposed Watershed Management program will need an “enterprise fund” funded by additional taxes (possibly added to the water bill.)

    As I see it…. City management advocates for it’s employees; School Board advocates for the students and teachers; and the City Council advocates for all residents.
    This election gives us an opportunity to choose who we think will best represent the tax paying residents interests.

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