Red Light Cameras Start Clicking Next Sunday

Falls Church Times Staff

December 13, 2010

Falls Church Police Sergeant Pilar Uelmen advised the City Council this evening that two photo-red cameras will begin operating next Sunday, December 19.  One camera will be at the corner of E. Broad St. and Cherry St. and the other at W. Broad St. and Annandale Road.  Red light violators will receive warning notices for a 30 day trial period.  Thereafter, citations will be issued. 

Mayor Nader Baroukh queried Sergeant Uelmen regarding citizens’ concerns about the devices flashing at night.  She responded that the system’s vendor is working with the City’s engineering division to incorporate shielding mechanisms on the cameras. 

Resolutions and Ordinances  –  In its final meeting of 2010 the Council unanimously approved a resolution establishing a task force to implement a Community Energy Plan.  The initiative will identify emission reduction targets, develop and implement the plan, and monitor progress.  The resolution provides for $18,000 for consulting services to provide technical expertise in support of the plan.  The group will meet four to six times a year and will conclude its work and report to Council by June 30, 2012.

Ralph Yatsko of the Climate Change/Energy Efficiency Task Group projected that a 2% reduction in energy could be achieved per year and estimated total savings of $21.5 million by government, residential, and business sectors over ten years.  Vice Mayor Dave Snyder saw this as “a very significant payback of the $18,000.”

Councilman Ira Kaylin noted that the savings would not directly revert to the general fund, but would be diffuse.  In response, Mr. Yatsko stated that the savings for the City government were projected at $2 million over the course of a decade. 

The Council unanimously approved the second reading of a budget amendment.  The ordinance allocates $59,080 to the general fund, $50,000 to the capital improvements project fund, and $38,000 to the water fund.  Four consent items also were approved involving transportation engineering services, sidewalk repairs, and water main design services.

City Manager’s Report  –  City Manager Wyatt Shields introduced Richard La Condre, the City’s new Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. La Condre, who assumed his duties on December 6, comes to Falls Church from Tallahassee, Florida.  Mr. Shields thanked Melissa Ryman for her work as acting CFO over the past six months.

Mr. Shields advised that new trash and recycle containers were distributed during the first week of December.   On Monday, December 20 and Tuesday, December 21, the City will collect old containers.  Residents should put discarded containers face down by the curb.  Old trash cans also can be used to hold brush for pickup.  More information about the new containers is available at the City’s website.

Mr. Kaylin inquired concerning the “twist ties” that originally were to be distributed as part of the new collection program.  Mr. Shields advised that the ties will not be issued until the Council approves a resolution authorizing a trash pickup fee.

Santamobile  –  Some concern was expressed during the comment segment of the meeting that Santa hadn’t been seen making his rounds through City.  Councilman Ron Peppe pointed out  that Santa’s schedule is available at the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department website.  Santa will begin his ride through town on Wednesday, December 15.

Appointments  –  The Council approved numerous appointments and reappointments to City boards and commissions.

Charles Langalis and James Michel were reappointed to the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation.  Their four year terms will run until January 31, 2014.

Donald Brobst, Jr. and Stephen Sprague were reappointed to the Housing Commission.  Their three year terms will run until December 31, 2013.

Linda Valentino was reappointed to the Historic Architectural Review Board to a term ending January 31, 2014.

Chairman John Lawrence and Vice Chair Melissa Teates were reappointed to the Planning Commission through 2014.   

Dennis Szymanski was appointed to the Tree Commission to a term ending March 31, 2013.

Raymond Arnaudo was appointed to the Environmental Services Council to a term ending February 28, 2012.

Larry Little was appointed to the Retirement Board through April 2013.

The Council also recommended that the city attorney request  the Arlington County Circuit Court to appoint Matthew Kahn and Claudia Volk to the City’’s Board Of Equalization.  If so appointed, their terms will run from February 1, 2011 to January 31, 2014.   

Council Closed Session  –  At 9:00 pm the Council went into a closed session to discuss matters relating to the City’s water system.  This was the second time in December that the Council has convened in secret on this topic.

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By George Bromley
December 13, 2010 


10 Responses to “Red Light Cameras Start Clicking Next Sunday”

  1. Jan B Hertzsch on December 14th, 2010 6:59 am

    In addition to the red light cameras, I would like to see movable speed cameras. Speed bumps are ineffective and no one wants cameras permanently in their residential neighborhood.

  2. Susan Sugrue on December 14th, 2010 8:58 am

    The article says:

    “Mr. Shields advised that the ties will not be issued until the Council approves a resolution authorizing a trash pickup fee.”

    What trash pickup fee?

  3. Terence Kuch, Falls Church on December 14th, 2010 11:41 am

    Only two red light cameras? The one at W.Broad and Birch was a real help for pedestrians. It’s still there, but inoperative — could it be activated at minimum cost (certainly less than the income it would produce)?

  4. TFC on December 14th, 2010 11:46 am

    Susan, I believe the reference is to the fee of $1.00 per bag that will be charged for trash (not recycle) that exceeds the cart capacity. So, if you have more trash that the cart holds on a pick up day, you will use a special twist tie (a buck a piece) for each plastic bag that’s beyond the cart capacity. I do know it’s ok for neighbors to agree to use under filled carts and fill them. I have a neighbor that will only ever have one small bag of trash in her cart, I asked if I could add an occasional bag when I have more than my cart..she said fine.

  5. Meg Wiant (Falls Church City) on December 14th, 2010 2:53 pm

    I thought these cameras were already up and running. I could have sworn that I saw a flash when somebody ran a red light at Broad and Annandale last week.

  6. vlfrance, City of Falls Church on December 14th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Importantly, I’m happy to know that I haven’t missed the annaul Santamobile after all! One can never be too old to enjoy Santa on a flashy, musical fire engine. :-)

  7. Susan Sugrue on December 14th, 2010 9:50 pm

    TFC: Thank you for explaining the fee, I appreciate it. I like the idea of sharing trash cans, great idea!

  8. TFC on December 15th, 2010 9:04 am

    No problem. As I recall from the meeting about the trash service…the twist ties would also be sent to those who obtained an ADA waiver b/c the carts were too unwieldy. The plan was that those folks would have twist ties provided for free at the rate of two trash bags a week…like maybe they would have a 6 mos or one year supply sent to them. The fee/twist tie plan must be approved by City Council before implementation.

  9. Andrew on December 15th, 2010 2:52 pm

    Do the red light cameras also ticket you for making a right turn on red? I was sitting at the light at Broad St and Annandale Rd when I saw the flash go off on two cars when they made a right turn. They both came to a complete stop before turning and there aren’t any no turn on red signs that I could see

  10. Gordon Theisz, City of Falls Church on December 15th, 2010 4:10 pm

    I noticed the right turn issue too, Andrew. I saw it at the Cherry St. intersection. The flash is also quite bright and startling coming from the opposite direction. I don’t recall that being a problem with the previous system that we used.

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