City of Falls Church

The following were among actions taken at the July 2 meeting of the Falls Church City Council. For more information, call 241-5004.

NEW MAYOR ELECTED -- Shortly after being sworn in as one of four new members of the City Council, Dale Warren Dover was elected mayor, in a 4 to 3 council vote.

The victory for Dover, a lawyer and former diplomat who has lived in the city for six years, came after he sided in the voting with three council members of an opposing political organization. Dover's party, Citizens for a Better City, supported party member David Minton, who also was elected to the council in May.

Brian O'Connor, also a member of Citizens for a Better City, was elected vice mayor.

O'Connor and Philip Thomas, another newly-elected council member and a member of the Better City group, said before the vote that they supported Minton in part because he has lived in the city 11 years longer than Dover and that, as a former legal counsel for Congress, he has more experience in government.

But Dover won the support of council members Susanne Bachtel, Cynthia Garner and James Slattery, who belong to the Falls Church Citizens Organization, and cast the swing vote that put him in the mayor's seat.

Members of Citizens for a Better City have dominated city government for two decades, fueling a deep rivalry with the opposing Falls Church Citizens Organization. After the vote, Dover repeated his campaign pledge to strive to mediate between the two factions on the deeply divided council and to make decisions according to the "best interest of the city," instead of strictly along party lines.

As mayor, Dover cannot introduce legislation, but will preside at council meetings and can vote on issues.