Length of residency
Ph.D. Political Science, Temple U.
Are you an incumbent?
Campaign HQ Address
P.O. Box 50473, Arlington, Va. 22205
I'm running for Arlington County Board, because I want to improve the quality of life for Arlington residents by preserving our community and promoting fiscal responsibility. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University and service as a congressional fellow. As a long time Green Party leader and civic activist, I’ve worked hard to promote a better quality of life for Arlington residents.
If elected I will promote:
Affordable housing by consolidating the county’s housing programs under one dedicated umbrella agency with authority to build and operate federally subsidized rental housing;
Mass transit by using the commercial real estate tax to support more bus service in and around Arlington and construct a new west entrance to Ballston Metro;
Fiscal responsibility by hiring an Inspector General to audit Arlington’s budget.
County Board is promoting economic growth policies that are burdening residents with higher taxes through higher assessments and increasing tax rates. If elected I will put a moratorium on any tax rate increases while assessments are going up.
Right now the county is on a spending spree that includes big ticket capital items like the $250 million Columbia Pike trolley and the $72 million Long Bridge Park Aquatic and Fitness Center, as well as operating costs for the Artisphere and a new Black Box theater. I will put a hold on these projects until their economic viability has been assessed.
In addition I will insist that developers pay their fair share of infrastructure costs, which is not currently the case. As a result, our school and transit systems are overburdened and moderate income residents are being forced out of the county due to the unaffordibility of newly constructed over priced housing units.
I oppose the Columbia Pike Trolley as ill advised both from a financial and traffic engineering standpoint. According to the county's own environmental assessment, the Pike trolley will cost $250 million. Yet a bus alternative handling the same passenger volume would cost one fifth that amount. In addition experience has shown that trolleys operate best on dedicated lanes, wide boulevards or secondary streets. Columbia Pike is one of the primary arteries in Northern Virginia. Because of its narrow roadway, it can't handle the congestion now. It's folly to suppose that a non-maneuverable street car stuck in traffic won't add to the congestion.
Arlington County doesn't need to burden its taxpayers with the cost and congestion which will follow construction of the Pike trolley. Finally, the county's own environmental assessment indicates that its principal reason for promoting the trolley--the need for more capacity--simply isn't there. The environmental assessment indicates that a key index of such need--the bus load factor or volume to capacity ratio--will remain adequate through 2030 with or without a trolley.
The Sun Gazette reports that 70% of Arlington County bond issues are approved. But the fact that the voters are uncritical of bond referenda doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be. This year’s bond ballot questions aren’t so much referendums as ultimatums holding the voters hostage to the board’s pet projects.
The transportation bond is problematic, because there’s a question whether the capital improvement money intended for street repaving will be diverted to the Columbia Pike trolley should the county’s application for New Starts funding for the trolley be rejected by the feds. Also troublesome is the school bond, which is supposed to pay for two new elementary schools. No one doubts that new school facilities are needed. But neighbors are concerned about the location of one of the new schools on the grounds of Kenmore Middle School. They’ve made a convincing case that construction on that site will result in an unacceptable level of traffic on an already congested Carlin Springs Road. Providing the county with the bond money to construct the new school will remove any leverage the civic federation may have in demanding mitigation or relocation to another site.
The local parks and recreation bond will fund neighborhood park projects and land acquisition, as well as the Long Bridge Park Aquatic and Fitness Center. If voters reject funding the latter, then money for the former will go too. That's unfortunate because the aquatics center is a boondoggle that most county residents don't need and, given its remote location near an I-395 interchange at the north end of Crystal City, can't use. Even proponents of the aquatic center argued for a separate bond issue to demonstrate widespread public support. Yet county board ignored them, leaving the voters with an ultimatum--either support its pet projects or no capital improvements will get funded. If voters share my disdain for the board's "my way or the highway" approach to bond issues they will vote Clement for county board.
In the meantime, I recommend a NO vote on the parks bond, a YES vote on the infrastructure bond, and vote your conscience on the transportation and school bonds.
Arlington County Board needs new leadership. Over the past decade Arlington County experienced unprecedented economic growth, characterized by a substantial increase in population, an influx of new employers and a major building boom. This growth has been attended by gentrification or the recycling of moderate income residents out of the county as demand for housing by an influx of affluent wage earners has caused housing values and rents to sky rocket.
While county board has paid lip service to the problem, its policies run directly counter to its stated goal of preserving affordable housing. Nowhere is this more evident than in its plans to redevelop Columbia Pike, the centerpiece of which is the Columbia Pike trolley that is intended to draw affluent tenants to the Pike. The county trumpets the recently adopted Columbia Pike Neighborhoods Area Plan that incentivizes the preservation of 4,500 existing affordable units along the Pike by awarding bonus density to developers, who will then realize a profit by constructing thousands of market rate units in high rise towers elsewhere in the county. Currently there are 7,300 affordable units along the Pike. So even with the preservation of some historic housing, 2,800 affordable units will be lost when the Pike is redeveloped.
Another disturbing trend is county board's promotion of big ticket capital projects like the $250 million Pike trolley, the $72 million aquatics center, a new black box theater at Virginia Square and the Artisphere cultural center in Rosslyn, which currently has an operating deficit of more than $2 million per year. To pay for these extravagences county board is gouging the tax payers.
I oppose county board’s profligate capital spending program, and, I have a specific plan of action to promote fiscal responsibility that emphasizes funding basic needs and investment in sustainable infrastructure. If elected to Arlington County Board I pledge to:
• keep libraries open 7 days a week;
• replace trailers with classrooms;
• repave the streets within 6 months, not piecemeal as the county is currently doing.
Next I will eliminate wasteful spending projects like the Black Box Theater, Long Bridge Park Aquatic and Fitness Center, and the Columbia Pike Trolley.
Finally, in promoting sustainable growth, I pledge to:
• Consolidate housing programs in one agency to leverage more funds for affordable housing;
• Provide a year round homeless shelter that will not break the county budget;
• Use the commercial real estate tax to provide more ART buses instead of the Pike trolley;
• Hire an Inspector General to audit the budget;
• Install solar panels on all public buildings to save taxpayers money.
Widow, 2 children, 4 grandchildren
Length of residency
BA, cum laude, Political Science, minor Economics, Mount Holyoke College 1973.
County Board Member
Are you an incumbent?
Campaign HQ Address
4264 S. 35th Street
Arlington, Va 22206
I’m a proven collaborative leader and have helped to lead change in Arlington for over 15 years, first on the School Board and now on the County Board. I’ve helped make our schools among the best in the nation. I know how to do the work of a board member and have already established important relationships around the region and across the state. Most of our challenges do not stop at Arlington’s borders. I’ve worked for years across the region and the Commonwealth with colleagues from both political parties. The relationships and networks I’ve built will continue to serve Arlington well as we work on issues like transit, affordable housing and development.
I will continue to focus, as I have been on:
1. Strategic priority setting with a focus on core services: infrastructure; public safety; transit; education; a strong social safety net. We cannot do everything, but we need to support our most important services and values.
2. Effective Citizen Involvement: Citizen involvement has made Arlington what it is. As we set our priorities and tackle difficult challenges, we need effective and inclusive citizen involvement more than ever. The County Board is known to change recommendations at the last minute, despite months or even years of a committees and our staff working together on finding the best solutions for everyone. Therefore, interest groups and committed citizens feel they must come and speak for hours at a meeting: either to try to sway the board at the last minute or to prevent the board from making a last minute change. Last minute changes will never be completely eliminated, nor should they be…..but they need to become very rare. I will work to see that the current PLACE initiative not only sets up good processes for citizen involvement, but that the board also commits to those processes itself
3. Sensible Transit: I continue to question the decision to build a streetcar rather than a modern bus rapid transit (BRT) system. There is no question that we need to move forward with a modern transit system for the County. However, the more I study the issue, the more concerned I am that a streetcar is not that system and is simply not worth the cost. I will continue to take a hard look at transit initiatives to ensure we invest in smart transit that is connected, attractive, flexible, and affordable.
I have a long track record with a different depth and quality of experience from my opponents. I have lived in Arlington for 35 years and served as an elected official for 15 of those years. I will work as I always have. See questions 1 and 2 above.
To repeat my answer above: I continue to question the decision to build a streetcar rather than a modern bus rapid transit (BRT) system. There is no question that we need to move forward with a modern transit system for the County. However, the more I study the issue, the more concerned I am that a streetcar is not that system and is simply not worth the cost. I will continue to take a hard look at transit initiatives to ensure we invest in smart transit that is connected, attractive, flexible, and affordable.
I voted for and support the bond initiatives.
Yes. One only has to look at the overwhelming satisfaction of our citizens as reported in the satisfaction survey done last year. Arlington citizens like their government and where they live. They should. This is a wonderful community with top schools, outstanding services, and walkable appealing neighborhoods to live in. That said, we must never assume that things will always be as they have been. Hence, my commitment to focus on the three issues in question 2: strategic priority setting, effective community engagement, and sensible transit.
BA Political Science Purdue University, MA Political Science Purdue University
Are you an incumbent?
Campaign HQ Address
P.O. Box 13253, Arlington VA 22219
Like many in Arlington I am concerned with the direction of our county. Residents should have confidence that our local government is attuned to their specific and practical concerns, but that confidence continues to decline under a single-party controlled County Board.
I am a close observer of the County Board’s meetings and policy decisions. I got involved in Arlington County politics for the purpose of making sure everyone's voice is heard and that the specific and practical concerns of our community are adequately addressed by the County Board. I will continue that effort as a Member of the County Board Member.
First, I will oppose the Columbia Pike Trolley project and instead push for increased use of articulated bus service to connect citizens to the Rosslyn Metro station. The current trolley proposal is a boondoggle spending project that will increase congestion and fail to provide better connections to transit.
Second, I will bring fiscal responsibility to local government. I will propose a reasonable budget that doesn't require a tax rate hike on top of already increased property tax assessments. I will propose a rational capital spending plan that doesn't lock Arlington residents into a 3 to 4 percent tax or rent increase each year for the next ten years to maintain our AAA bond rating.
Third, I will focus our resources on core governmental services instead of funding unnecessary vanity projects. In addition to schools and roads, we should ensure adequate funding for the Neighborhood Conservation Fund projects that deliver real quality of life benefits to residents.
I think the key difference in this election is the ability to understand an issue, ask the tough questions of consultants and county staff and come to a yes or no decision on a project that will affect the quality of life of Arlington residents.
The best example of this was the Columbia Pike Trolley. I went to the information sessions, asked the tough questions about costs, the available alternatives and potential increases to congestion. On the basis of that information I came out against the trolley.
The issue was clear from many public meetings, information session, FAQs and the public's comments that the Trolley was not in the best interest of those who live on the Pike or the community as a whole.
My opponent abstained from voting citing a lack of information on the most studied project in Arlington County history since Metro.
The residents of Columbia Pike and Crystal City deserve a better plan for the future of our community than a blind rush toward the vanity project that is the planned trolley.
The current plan to spend what could end up being nearly half a billion dollars installing two trolleys is not the right plan for Columbia Pike, Crystal City or the region. We all support the goal of a pedestrian friendly Main Street on Columbia Pike and an active, accessible Crystal City.
I would promote and support enhanced bus service from Columbia Pike and Crystal City through Pentagon City and on into Rosslyn. This plan would address the mobility challenges of local residents without committing the taxpayers of Arlington to unnecessary future outlays of commercial property tax surcharges for a project that is not part of the solution to our regional transit problems.
The intention of the County Board to use funds from the bond initiatives for the projects described on the ballot has been called into question. After the Chairman of the County Board told voters that they should be "pretty sure" when they vote for these measures, I hope that the County Board would respect the voice of the voters in spending the proceeds from bond sales on the projects and purposes that the voters approve of, if they approve the bond initiatives.
I support the Metro, Schools and Community Infrastructural Bonds. The parks bond however, includes an aquatics center with a lazy river that is very expensive and an unnecessary luxury that the County cannot afford and should not be pushing in this uncertain economic climate. There are also significant questions about whether our yearly budget can accommodate this additional operating costs of the aquatics center and lazy river without significant additional tax rate increases.
We score well in national surveys, but we should remember that with a billion dollar budget our local government has lots of fiscal room to make mistakes and recover from them and still maintain a high level of services.
When thinking about the size of our budget residents should be getting much more value for their tax dollars and government spending that increases the livability of our neighborhoods. The lack of dissenting voices on the County Board has allowed a drift in to ideological misadventures like the failed Artisphere, Columbia Pike Trolley, the neglect and deterioration of our local streets and a massive backlog of capital maintenance.
To me, the idea of electing a new voice is more than a slogan. It is a commitment to bring a different perspective to the Arlington County Board.
On November 6th I ask for your vote so that all the voices of our community are heard on the County Board.