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Longtime Falls Church Resident Reflects On City's Success

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Lou Olom says Falls Church's tree-lined streets, modestly-sized houses and commitment to education are what make it special.
Jonathan Wilson
Lou Olom says Falls Church's tree-lined streets, modestly-sized houses and commitment to education are what make it special.

The U.S. Census Bureau says the city of Falls Church, in Northern Virginia, has the highest median household income in the country, and the highest percentage of residents with a college degree.

One longtime resident says the data doesn't surprise him.

Ninety-three-year-old Lou Olom came to Falls Church with his family in 1953.

"I didn't know what the income distribution was in Falls Church when we got here," Olom says, "we just thought this was a nice little place with trees all over."

Olom says even then, Falls Church -- a tiny city that had broken off from Fairfax County in the 1940s -- was full of highly educated residents, who wanted to live close to where many worked: in the Nation's Capital.

"It's always been that way, and in being that way it attracted others," he says.

Falls Church Mayor Nader Baroukh says it has been a good year for the city.

Its popular farmers market was named the country's favorite by the American Farmland Trust, and the city recorded the highest recycling rate in Virginia.

"The city has gotten attention in the past, and I think the attention now is well deserved," the mayor says.

But the mayor also points out that the recession has forced even Falls Church to make some tough budget choices and he expects more cuts to be on the table in the coming year.

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