Section 1. Overview of City Council and the City of Falls Church
The City Council plays an important role in the administration of local government. Council helps set policy and craft legislation that guides the daily work of city staff. The information below will introduce you to the basic responsibilities of City Council and a brief overview of the Falls Church community.
Meeting Schedule and Materials
The City Council conducts its work through public meetings. These meetings allow Council Members to discuss issues, take action on legislation, and make comments and requests for the City Manager to address. There are generally two types of meetings.
Regular City Council Meetings occur in Council Chambers on the second and fourth Monday of the month, with the exception of August and December when only one meeting is held. At Regular Meetings, the City Council votes on legislation and takes action on the agenda items before them. The public is welcome to address the City Council on any topic during the public comment period at these meetings.
City Council Work Sessions are held in the Dogwood Room on the first and third Monday of the month, with the exception of August and December when only one meeting is held. These meetings are conducted to allow Council Members to discuss upcoming legislation and provide direction to staff. Action is not generally taken except for in extenuating circumstances. While Work Sessions are open to the public, the public is not generally invited to speak.
The City Clerk sends out a notification to meeting subscribers when meeting materials are available, typically the Thursday before a meeting. The agenda and packet materials can be found online at fallschurchva.gov/CouncilMeetings. It is highly encouraged that Council Members review this packet before a meeting so they are ready to discuss business on the agenda.
The upcoming Council Schedule is discussed at Mayor's Agenda Meetings as needed. The time of this meeting is at the discretion of the Mayor and currently takes place on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m.
The schedule of meetings is subject to change.
Council Work Plan
To help guide the work Council conducts in its meetings, City Council adopts a Work Plan. Every two years, following Council elections, Council Members convene for a retreat and series of work sessions to craft a work plan. This plan prioritizes goals for the next two years, taking into account the needs of the community, budget forecasts, and staff capacity. The Work Plan can be very detailed, mentioning specific projects, or more general, focusing on concepts. Ultimately, the Council Work Plan reflects the approach the City Council wishes to take in overseeing the management of the City.
The most recent Council Work Plan can be found here.
Current City Council Membership Information
Information about the City Council can be found at fallschurchva.gov/CityCouncil. This webpage shows current members with links to their biographies and council assignments, as well as information about the structure of the Council-Manager form of government in Falls Church. The page lists links to other relevant pages on council committees, public comment options, public hearing notices, and more.
Falls Church Community Profile and History
The City of Falls Church is an independent municipality, separate from the surrounding Arlington and Fairfax Counties, and operates its own school system. The city operates under the Council-Manager form of government and is one of the two geographically smallest cities in Virginia, at only 2.2 square miles. With a population of almost 14,000, the city is known for its urban village community, quality customer service, nationally ranked school system, environmental activism, and endless community activities. More information can be found at fallschurchva.gov/About.
Every year an Annual Community Profile is produced by the Planning Department, compiling data from a variety of departments in the government. The profile documents the community’s successes during the last year and highlights accomplishments as guided by the vision statement and core values identified in the Comprehensive Plan. The most recent Community Profile can be found at fallschurchva.gov/CommunityProfile.
The Vision Statement is a set of core values that embody what the City of Falls Church is striving to achieve over the next 25 years. It's a statement that takes into account the past, present, and future of the community to pinpoint key concepts off of which City Council and Staff guide their work. The Vision Statement is reviewed and revised periodically alongside the Comprehensive Plan (discussed in the next section). The most recent Vision Statement can be found in the introductory chapter of the Comprehensive Plan here.