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Council to Select New Mayor After May Elections

City charter allows council to select mayor and vice-mayor from amongst their seven seats.

When City of Falls Church residents go to the polls on May 1, they’ll be voting to fill three of the seven council seats up for grabs. are running for the three seats.

One of those seats belongs to Mayor who will not be running for city’s top spot, he will be running to rejoin council. The city doesn’t hold mayoral elections instead they allow council to vote for the next mayor.

“I knew some cities did it this way,” said Baroukh who was selected mayor of Falls Church in 2010 after being elected to council in 2008. “I didn’t think of it one way or the other.”

According to section 4.03 of the city’s charter, the newly elected council chooses by majority vote a council member to be mayor and one to be vice-mayor for the next two years. The charter states that the vote must take place during the first meeting of the new council, which will be in July. Baroukh’s term as mayor ends June 30.

Dr. John J. Moran was named the first mayor of Falls Church after the town was incorporated in 1875. In 1948, when Falls Church was incorporated as a city, Fenner Hazelgrove was mayor and Mayor-Elect was Alber Orme, who took office in September, according to city Spokeswoman Susan Finarelli.

City General Registrar of Voters David Bjerke said as far as he knows, the city has always allowed council to vote for the mayor. Bjerke said it’s not uncommon for a city council to select their mayor though some surrounding municipalities hold actual mayoral elections. He said it’s unlikely Falls Church will follow that format.

“I haven’t heard any discussion of changing the format and holding actual elections,” Bjerke said.

CANDIDATE FORUM

The League of Women Voters Falls Church will host a City Council Candidates Forum on April 18 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. The event is co-sponsored by the Falls Church Village Preservation and Improvement Society.

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