Updates from Letty – June 28, 2019

Blog posts are the personal views of Letty Hardi and not official statements or records on behalf of the Falls Church City Council

Dear Friends,

We’re back in City Hall! This week’s meeting marked our return to a renovated and expanded City Hall after 18 months. Thank you for your patience during construction and supporting a safer, greener, and more accessible building.

I thought this week’s topics were a fitting way to kick off our first meeting in the new heart of your local government: we passed our first law – updating the exotic animal ordinance in response to long citizen feedback; we celebrated city employees with impressive years of dedicated public service; we heard from the grassroots efforts of Welcoming Falls Church; we reflected on the LGBTQ celebration and panel discussion over the weekend; and we passed an expansion of senior tax relief at first reading – all truing back to being open, responsive representatives and living our community’s core values.

The next two weeks’ of meetings will be focused on the West Falls Church project’s revised conceptual plan – check out the project webpage for the latest and you can continue to email us with your comments. With the holiday next week, I’ll take a brief hiatus from weekly posts and resume week of July 8th. Note that the Sunday Series Town Halls and the monthly Campus Coordinating Committee meetings are also on summer vacation and will resume in September.


PS – Save the date: my kids will be in camp, which means my office hours can resume! The next one will be on Monday, July 29 at 9 am at the Downtown Park. Grab some breakfast/coffee and come chat with me. (Your kids are of course welcome!) I’d love to hear from you as I reflect on priorities for my re-election campaign.



What Happened This Week:

(1) City Hall Cornerstone Unveiling & Chambers Dedication – check out my Facebook post for the photos. Like or follow my page if you haven’t already!

(2) Exotic Animals Ordinance – by a 5-2 vote, we passed an update to the exotic animals ordinance, which stipulates the animals that can be kept as pets. The passage of this ordinance means that now turtles, tortoises, hermit crabs, hedgehogs, and chinchillas are legal pets in Falls Church. As I wrote about after our first few work sessions and first reading vote, I supported this update as I believe it was important to modernize our ordinance, be responsive to citizen requests, and learn from the thorough research by our student activist and experience of neighboring, much larger jurisdictions which indicated very low risk and impact after they expanded their ordinances. I appreciated hearing from both perspectives of the issue especially our own staff who recommended not updating the ordinance. Ultimately I supported the change as I viewed it to be a mainstream, middle of the road proposal.

(3) Senior Tax Relief – after many months of discussion, we passed at first reading 7-0 the expansion of the senior tax relief program for our low income seniors. For my thoughts on the changes, please see my previous posts. It will need a 2nd reading/final vote on July 8 before it’s official and the new application process will begin.


What’s Coming Up:

  • Monday, July 1 – City Council Work Session (730 pm, City Hall)
  • Monday, July 8 – City Council Meeting (730 pm, City Hall)
  • Monday, July 15 – City Council Work Session (730 pm, City Hall)