I hear I missed a lot of friends, fascinating exhibits, tasty street food and more at this year’s Arlington County Fair, a signature attraction that the Vihstadts just don’t pass up. Yet Nashville, the Grand Ole’ Opry, and President Andrew Jackson’s home (The Hermitage) beckoned and Mary and I had a terrific time on our road trip with Jack and Ben.
What’s next for Arlington’s Independent County Auditor? This key position, whose creation I secured in 2015 with the help of Arlington Delegate Patrick Hope and the support of most of my former colleagues, continues to pay taxpayer dividends. I spoke at the Committee’s August 1 meeting, when the County Auditor released his findings on the expanding overtime budget of the County Fire Department and made over 20 recommendations for enhanced monitoring and control. I’m pleased that new Fire Chief David Povlitz pledged his complete cooperation and a number of reforms have already been implemented. Next up on Dr. Chris Horton’s docket: a study of the County’s vehicle fleet management and an oversight probe of Arlington’s economic development incentive funds that we pay to recruit new businesses or incentivize the expansion of those here already. Here are full details.
Who’s on the local ballot this November? In contrast to hot Democratic primaries for a couple legislative races, Commonwealth’s Attorney and School Board caucuses in June, this fall’s “off-year” November elections promise to be a snooze-fest. Unfortunately, with a one party monopoly in Arlington, meaningful competition for your vote is, at best, occasional. Still, while the incumbent School Board Member is running unopposed, incumbent County Board Chair Christian Dorsey and immediate past Chair Katie Cristol do have challengers, with well-known Independent Audrey Clement and newcomer Arron O’Dell making four candidates for the two-seat race. If you care about County issues and want to see what all candidates have to say about the challenges facing our County, please take advantage of these three candidate forums this fall:
- Next Tuesday night, September 3, the Arlington Civic Federation hosts its annual Candidates Night at Virginia Hospital Center’s Hazel Auditorium, with refreshments at 6:30 p.m. and the forum at 7 p.m. You need not be a delegate to attend or participate.
- Monday night, September 9, the Chamber of Commerce hosts a business-centric forum open to the public in Crystal City at U Group, 2231 Crystal Drive, Suite 401, with registration at 5:30 and the program from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 9, 2019, the Arlington Committee of 100 reprises its annual County Board Candidates Night at Marymount University’s Phelan Hall. Come for the 7:00 p.m. happy “half” hour and palate-pleasing dinner (fee required) or at 8:00 p.m. for the program (no fee).
This may be the only opportunity you’ll have to see all four County Board candidates lined up and available for questions. And, by the way, if unsatisfied with any candidate, you’ll find it is easy to write in the name of your top choice for any race on the ballot!
Do you know there’s a stat for that? They say that knowledge is power, and a document packed full of powerful—and fascinating—statistics is Arlington’s annual Profile, a resource on topics ranging from population to land use and development, housing and households, employment, schools, transportation, community health, and more. A few nuggets: Just 20% of Arlingtonians work in the County. Six percent of Arlington’s roughly 226,000 residents are under five years old, but only 1.3% are 85 and older. Nearly 60% of households rent; less than 40% own either a single family home or condo. Arlington’s top five private employers are Deloitte, Accenture, Virginia Hospital Center, Booz Allen Hamilton and Gartner. And we have 148 County-owned parks, with 98% of our residents living within just a 10-minute stroll of a green oasis. Access your online copy today!
I still enjoy exchanging perspectives. Tell me what you’re thinking!