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‘You Knew This Was Going to Happen,’ F.C. Manager Tells Frustrated Council Members

councilt41510Responding to expressions of deep frustration by a number of Falls Church City Council members tonight over the prospects of the biggest ever one-year jump in the City of Falls Church’s real estate tax rate and the biggest cuts to core services ever in the City’s 60-year history, F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields reminded the Council, “We’ve known for months that this is the kind of thing we’d be facing,” adding, with 10 days to go before the deadline for final adoption of the FY2011 budget, “Now we’re in the thick of it. The largest tax increase ever and the deepest cuts ever is not a good combination.”

councilt41510

Following the adjournment of their work session at City Hall tonight, Falls Church City Council members huddled informally with (backs to camera) Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester and City Manager Wyatt Shields. (News-Press photo)

Responding to expressions of deep frustration by a number of Falls Church City Council members tonight over the prospects of the biggest ever one-year jump in the City of Falls Church’s real estate tax rate and the biggest cuts to core services ever in the City’s 60-year history, F.C. City Manager Wyatt Shields reminded the Council, “We’ve known for months that this is the kind of thing we’d be facing,” adding, with 10 days to go before the deadline for final adoption of the FY2011 budget, “Now we’re in the thick of it. The largest tax increase ever and the deepest cuts ever is not a good combination.”

Shields said that at the Council’s next work sessions on Monday and Thursday of next week, a form of ‘marking up’ of the budget should occur in advance of the April 26 public business meeting, when the final votes on the budget will be taken.

“We can’t be tone deaf to what the citizens are saying about high taxes, and yet we have to provide essential services,” Council member David Snyder said, expressing a frustration shared by others on the Council, especially after two hours of presentations by City staff members about the essential nature of a number of “lines of service” that could be considered on the chopping block.
Shields reminded the Council that his recommended budget, even with its 20 cent rise in the tax rate, involved a 10 percent overall reduction in cost, achieved without any “dramatic” service cuts. He said he was “very pleased” that the Council ruled out last week measures that would have been required to cut the rate increase in half.

 

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