Client Stories: Mayor David Tarter

A Mayor’s Fight in Helping His Town Overcome The Challenges of COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to alter our way of life, it is of the upmost importance that we find time to pause, take a moment of reflection, and recognize those who are continually devoting hours of their time in the fight against COVID-19. To those serving on the front lines – who are risking their lives, to save the lives of the others – we say thank you. To those acting as a beacon of hope and providing sustained optimism for others in their communities, we say thank you. And to the many who are helping those directly impacted by COVID-19 through donations of any sort, we say thank you.  

As a part of our Client Stories – which will be published periodically throughout the coming weeks – we hope to highlight some of our admirable Clients, who have scarified their time and effort for the betterment of our society in the fight against COVID-19. 

David Tarter – mayor of Falls Church, Virginia, commercial real estate attorney and founder of Tarter NoVa Law, and a Client of Carr Workplaces at its Clarendon location for over seven years – is not one to back down from a challenge. 

Currently serving in his fourth consecutive term as the mayor of Falls Church, Mayor Tarter has consistently been a catalyst of positive change within the city that he calls home.

During his time in office, Mayor Tarter is proud to have helped the City achieve its first-ever triple AAA bond rating from Wall Street – a top-notch distinction that validates the City’s, “sound planning and prudent fiscal policies.” This rating helped to fund the building of a brand new state-of-the-art high school and other capital projects at the lowest possible rates.

With his background in commercial real estate, he is working to transform the City’s downtown into a more vibrant, walkable commercial center. New projects include a Harris Teeter grocery store and an eightscreen movie theater which will allow Falls Church residents to walk to the movies for the first time in decades. 

But this positive change and growth is now at stake – much like our normal way of life is in jeopardy all over the world. Classified as a global pandemic, COVID-19 has presented challenges that are testing the resolve of many. Helping to maintain a steadfast mindset in these uncertain times are leaders like Mayor David Tarter, who strive to be effective in their communities as trusted figures of hope, optimism and perseverance. 

Emphasizing the candor and transparency that are such important leadership qualities during a time where many are on edge, Mayor Tarter says, “Clear, concise, truthful information sharing is what is required right now.” 

Running directly parallel to this assertion of the significance of straightforward and clear communication, the city of Falls Church has created an alert center on fallschurch.gov/ that provides residents with direct access to information and communications relating COVID-19. With daily updates from the City’s Office of Communications, easily accessible resources available for potentially struggling city businesses and non-profits, and direct communications from the Mayor himself, the city is committed to keeping residents informed and knowledgeable in the fight against COVID-19. 

As we continue to self-isolate, the restaurants and small businesses that have become mainstays in communities such as Falls Church, are hurting. Many of these businesses are those of who have seen the test of time even as many modern cities grow and expand. Mayor Tarter now understands just how critical of a time this is for all businesses – “But particularly for our small and local ones, who are being devastated by this pandemic,” he says. 

“Not only do they need to survive this immediate threat, they will also need to regain their long-term footing when this crisis is over,” said Mayor Tarter. “The stimulus bill recently approved by Congress offers wide ranging and significant assistance [for businesses]. These programs are just getting off the ground but will provide meaningful relief in the coming days.” 

While these businesses wait on this assistance, Mayor Tarter emphasized the importance of sustaining business operations – but in a remote capacity. 

For small businesses such as locally owned and supported restaurants, kitchens have remained open to deliver to those who may be missing their favorite meal out on the town. While it may not be how many of these hidden gems rose to local stardom, food delivery services like Uber Eats and Door Dash are lending a helping hand by charging customers a $0 delivery fee for many of these home-grown restaurants. In turn, this has enticed many devoted local eaters to support their favorites by enjoying dishes in their homes with the hope to be back dining out, very soon. 

“In the meantime, businesses should do all they can to service their clients remotely, be flexible, and stay in touch with their customers,” reiterated Mayor Tarter. “Once the immediate health crisis passes, we as a community will need to get behind our local businesses and dine out, shop locally and tip generously. 

While social isolation is necessary to protect public health, many have begun to struggle to cope with and fill the long hours spent inside, away from friends and even away from family as only essential travel is recommended. Mayor Tarter noted that, “Although we need to stay at home and practice social distancing, this doesn’t mean that we can’t stay connected.” 

“We should check in with family, friends, and neighbors, particularly those at risk, to see whether they need help, like food or medicine,” he said. “Make arrangements to chat by phone, FaceTime or Skype to keep them company, especially if they are alone.” 

Aside from staying connected, Mayor Tarter suggested other ways to support those around us, such as, “Donating food or money to food banks and other relief organizations or blood if you are currently healthy and experiencing no symptoms.” 

While COVID-19 has put up many unavoidable roadblocks for the city of Falls Church, and others all over the world, continued togetherness, cooperation and optimism still burn brightly in the minds of community leaders – like Mayor Tarter – and civilians alike. 

“Bottom line. Stay inside,” reiterated Mayor Tarter. “Follow the mandates and recommendations of our public health experts. Working together, we will get through this crisis.”

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