On the eve of the Falls Church City Council election, Incumbent City Councilman David Snyder provided lengthy responses to two local commentators who did not endorse him for re-election to a fifth term in the lead-up to the May 4 election. The two, George Southern, editor of the “Falls Church Times” blog and the other, Michael Gardner, News-Press columnist and founder on the “Blueweeds” blog, did not include Snyder in their list of preferred choices for tomorrow’s election.
In response to Southern, who endorsed Ira Kaylin, Johannah Barry, John Lawrence and Ron Peppe, Snyder wrote, “Just as I respectfully disagree with Mr. Southern’s opinion that the City should give up its hard-won independence and become part of Arlington County, I wish to take issue with his most recent opinion piece. Although I have and again here discuss issues of the past and present, my main focus throughout this Council campaign has been on the future. In consultation with citizens across the City, I have laid out a substantive, specific and realistic program for where we go from here.”
In response to Gardner, Snyder said, “Mr. Gardner’s characterization of my Council attendance needs revision to fully reflect reality,” and challenged Gardner’s claim of excessive absenteeism by saying he’d attended 21 of 23 Council meetings in 2010, missing two for business travel, and participated in 11 of 14 meetings from mid-September through December 2009.
In controversial comments in both missives, Snyder said he had advised against the City’s water litigation in closed sessions of the City Council. He wrote, “In closed sessions I repeatedly advised against suing our jurisdictional neighbor. However, when the majority support for litigation became clear, I was concerned that a vote against the suit or public criticism of it might harm the City’s litigation position. When this case was concluded, I felt able to express my views publicly and did so.” A City Council member told the News-Press today that such comments represent a violation of the strict secrecy mandated for proceedings of closed sessions of the City Council.