Updates from Letty – Sept 16. 2016

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,

While it was a light agenda of business in this week’s City Council meeting (but full of useful PSAs that I’ll share below), it was a momentous week in the Little City with Mt Daniel’s 2232 application approved by Fairfax County’s Planning Commission. It will also be big weekend with the Fall Festival/Taste of Falls Church and the Run for the Schools, so I hope to see you around town!



What Happened This Week:

(1) City Council Meeting – 9/12/16:

  • Rules of Procedure – after months of work and several rounds of reviews, we adopted updated Rules of Procedure for City Council, that includes new language on ethical conduct and expectations of City Council members.
  • PSAs (Public Service Announcements):
    • Our police department was recognized for receiving re-accreditation after an extensive review by Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission – VLEPSC
    • Concert Across America to End Gun Violence – Sept 25 is a national day of remembrance for victims and activism to support sensible gun legislation. Falls Church is taking part in this event with 4 venues within a city block with live music:
      • Argia’s Italian Restaurant, 124 N. Washington Street
      • Applebee’s Neighborhood Restaurant, 127 E. Broad Street
      • Clare and Don’s Beach Shack, 130 N. Washington Street
      • The Lil City Creamery, 114 B West Broad Street
    • If you don’t know about Homestretch – take a minute to learn about this terrific non-profit located within our city borders. The Homestretch program empowers homeless families with children to attain permanent housing, self sufficiency, and break the root causes of poverty. I continue to be impressed with Homestretch’s amazing outcome statistics – 95% of Homestretch graduates are working and living in their own homes 2-5 years. We are proud to have a terrific organization like Homestretch in Falls Church!
    • Falls Church is reapplying for re-certification as a Community Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Did you know that you can also take steps in your own backyard to support wildlife and apply to be a NWF certified habitat?
      nationwide education program that provides homeowners with the information and tools they need to transform ordinary back yard into a haven for local wildlife.
    • Election Day is less than two months away! Are you prepared before you walk into the polls?
      • Virginia Online Elections Portal: elections.virginina.gov
        • If you recently moved, you can easily check and update your voter registration online. Deadline to register to vote or update your registration is Monday, 10/17.
        • You can also request an absentee ballot online. Check the list of reasons that you may be eligible for absentee voting.
        • In person absentee voting starts next Friday 9/23 at City Hall
      • Virginia’s photo ID law will be in effect – bring a government issued ID with you to the polls
      • Learn about the two Constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot
      • Locally, we will also have the referendum for $8.7MM to expand and renovate the library.
    • In the City Manager’s report, we learned that WMATA will NOT schedule a public hearing this fall to discuss reinstatement of the 3T Metrobus as we had requested during our July meeting with them, and instead will include in their budget discussions next spring which is disappointing. We recognize the importance of a direct transit route from Broad St to East Falls Church metro and are brainstorming other ways to address the significant reduction in service.

(2) Mt Daniel 2232 Application Approved

If you haven’t already heard the news – a big sigh of relief across the Little City was heard on Wednesday night when the Fairfax Planning Commission approved the long-awaited 2232 Mt. Daniel application. It paves the way for a reduced expansion at Mt Daniel (660 seats) and will relieve the capacity crunch for our youngest students. It also buys us time for more thoughtful, long range capacity and cost planning across all of our school buildings and other infrastructure needs in the City, and I look forward to working with the rest of City Council and my School Board colleagues to tackle that together.

Thursday’ evening’s Hampton Inn grand opening at 6430 Arlington Boulevard

What’s Coming Up:

This Saturday, Sept 17Fall Festival and Taste of Falls Church. A new event is  “Meet the Falls Church City Council” at the information booth next to the Community Center from noon to 1 pm. Fact sheets for the library referendum and the City Hall project will be available and we’d love to hear your questions and thoughts, or just come by and say hello!

This Saturday, Sept 17 – you may also see members of the Coalition for Smarter Growth strolling through the Little City on Saturday, for its first walking tour of Falls Church. It is open to the public – RSVP here The walking tour starts at 10 am at the East Falls Church Metro station and will stop through the Farmers Market and Fall Festival before heading west on Broad St.

This Sunday, Sept 18Falls Church Education Foundation Run for the Schools. Online registration has closed, but you can still register for the 5K run or the 1 mile walk a few ways: this evening at Roadrunner Sports between 5 and 8 PM, stop by the FCEF booth at the Fall Festival on Saturday, or register Sunday before the race.

Sept 25 – Concert Across America to End Gun Violence

Oct 1, 9 – 11 am at Columbia Baptist Church – Community Visioning Meeting #2. Join your neighbors, City officials, staff, and guest speakers to discuss survey results and what you think The Little City look and feel like in 25 years.

Oct 1, 10 am – 2 pm – Fall Community Clean Up & Litter Pick Up – Clean up the City and keep litter out of our waterways. Meet at the Community Center to pickup supplies (provided by the City) and then spread out across the City to the areas of highest impact.

Oct 5 – Personal Property Taxes are dueBy now, you should have received your personal property tax bills. Remember that the new 10% late penalty structure is in effect for late payments.

Oct 6, 730 pm at City Council Chambers – Town Hall on the City Hall project – join City staff and the architectural firm for an update on the City Hall project. Give input on the overall concept, building flow, and more.