Recap: Committee of 100: Candidates Night, 2021

Recap: Committee of 100: Candidates Night, 2021
The Committee of 100 sponsored the first candidate forum of the fall general election season. This year 4 candidates are competing for the single seat on the County Board and 2 candidates for the one School Board seat.
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County Board Candidates
● Takis P. Karantonis (D) Website
● Audrey Clement (I) Website
● Michael T. Cantwell (I) Website
● Adam Theo (I) Website

Ranked Choice Voting
Click to Continue Reading…

General Election Dates

General Election Dates
Absentee voting: All registered Virginia voters may vote early, in person or by mail.
● Early in-person voting: Sept 17– Oct 30.
● Deadline to register, confirm or update voter registration: Oct 12.
● Deadline to apply for mail-in ballots Oct 22, 5:00PM.
● Last day to vote early in person Oct 30.
● Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Nov 2.
● Election Day Nov 2, polls open 6AM – 7PM
Virginia Department of Elections Citizen Portal
Arlington Voting & Elections

Sept 14 Arlington County Civic Federation Candidates Night

Arlington County Civic Federation Candidates Night: Sept 14
When: Sept 14, 7PM
Where: via Zoom Registration Form
Advance registration for the meeting is required and must be completed by noon on Tuesday, Sept 14. A confirmation email will be sent with unique meeting log-in/phone-in details. We encourage early check-in, which starts at 6 PM. Please use your first and last name as your profile name to ensure delegates receive electronic ballots.
 6:00PM Zoom Check-In for Pre-Registered Attendees Begins
 7:00PM Welcome, Pledge of Allegiance, New Delegates, Minutes
 7:10PM Candidates’ Forum
  • Arlington County Board
  • Arlington School Board
  • Virginia House of Delegates
 8:30PM Candidates’ Forum concludes

Arlington Leads Region in Pop Density

Arlington Leads Region in Pop Density
The 2020 Census reveals that the region’s densest neighborhood is the 5 blocks east of Ballston Metro around Randolph & 9th St with a population density of 96,758 people per square mile. This is not only the highest density census tract in the metro area, but also in Virginia.
● Just east of Quincy another census tract has 72,487 people per square mile.
● Just west of Stafford another census tract has 51,735 people per square mile.
  This high density was achieved by Arlington’s planners encouraging high-rise residential and office buildings along the Orange Line corridor while discouraging single-family homes even a short walk away.  (Very similar to what Plan Lee Hwy proposes for Lyon Village.) GGW Story ARLnow

Heat Islands

Heat Islands
Sorry About the Environment, There’s Money to Be Made
Heat islands are areas that experience much higher temperatures than surrounding areas. Heat islands are created when rural and suburban areas (like Lyon Village) are replaced by high-density (as the County is now proposing). While trees and lawns absorb heat, high-density areas retain and radiate heat. Thus high-density areas are hotter both during the day and even at night as retained heat is released. NCR: Earthbeat
● Extreme heat can become deadly, leading to more US deaths than flooding and hurricanes combined. Retained heat results in hotter nighttime temperatures exacerbating the deadliness of extreme heat (as we are currently experiencing in the DC-Metro area).
● Heat islands lead to unhealthy levels of ozone (as we are currently experiencing in the DC-Metro area).
● Heat islands increase use of air conditioning, which starts a vicious cycle as more power is demanded from power plants that are often fueled with fossil fuels, which add to global warming.

Anemic Fund-Raising for County Board Race

$Anemic Fund-Raising for County Board Race
Reported cash on hand as of June 30:
● $5,301 Takis Karantonis (incumbent)
● $3,286 Audrey Clement (independent)
● $3,025 Mike Cantwell (independent)
● $zero Adam Theo (independent)
The County Board rejected ranked-choice voting for this election, virtually assuring Karantonis’s victory.

Fourth Candidate Joins County Board Race

Fourth Candidate Joins County Board Race
Adam Theo, Chair of the Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia, is now on the ballot running as an Independent. This gives us 4 candidates for County Board:
● Takis Karantonis (D – incumbent) website
● Audrey Clement (I) website
● Mike Cantwell (I) website
● Adam Theo (I) website
Arlington: What’s On My Ballot?
The County Board has opted not to implement ranked-choice voting, despite being given the power to do so by the General Assembly, so the winning candidate will need a simple plurality to win and virtually guaranteeing that Karantonis will win the election.

County Board Impatient with Citizen’s Appeals

County Board Impatient with Citizen’s Appeals
Signaling Possible Poor Prospects for LV Neighborhood Preservation?
Cherrydale residents worried about early morning noise told Board members a farmer’s market will be a rotten deal for their neighborhood. The issue drew 14 speakers for a discussion that lasted one hour.
  Concerned residents asked for a 9AM start time to allow for more quiet time in the morning. “A farmers market located in this kind of neighborhood setting, such substantial disruption of nearby DRCA residents on a weekend morning is unreasonable,” wrote Bill Richardson, the president of the Donaldson Run Civic Association. Neighboring civic associations also advocated for the 9AM starting time. In response to Citizens’ concerns, staff added language governing noise, limiting vendor parking, and suggested a future review.
  County Board members grew impatient, hastened to vote and move on. The Citizens request for a 9AM start time was not approved. ARLnow

Video: Dem County Board Candidates, May LVCA Meeting

Video: Dem County Board Candidates, May 10 LVCA Meeting
The primary will select statewide candidates for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. The primary in Arlington will also select a candidate to fill a seat on the County Board. Incumbent State delegates are running unopposed so will not be on the primary ballot. Sample Ballot
● Early in-person voting starts Friday, April 23 at 3 locations:
 • Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd).
 • Madison Community Center (3829 N Stafford St).
 • Walter Reed Community Center (2909 S 16th St).
More Information (VADEMS)
● Absentee ballots will be sent as applications are received.
● Deadline to request a vote by mail ballot is May 28.
● Deadline for returning ballots in person is 7PM on June 8 or postmarked by June 8 and received by 12PM on June 11.
● Deadline to register to vote in the Primary has passed (May 17).

County Board Candidates in Democratic Primary
● Takis Karantonis (incumbent) website
● Chanda Choun website





Arlington County Elections Information
Arlington 2021 Voter Guide
Arlington 2021 Elections Webpage

2nd Independent Candidate for County Board

A Second Independent Candidate for County Board
Arlington voters will potentially have 3 or 4 choices for the Arlington County Board this November. Mike Cantwell has announced his intention to compete as an Independent candidate against the Democratic nominee and another Independent, Audrey Clement. Arlington Republicans have yet to nominate a candidate.
  All 3 or 4 candidates will debate via Zoom at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s business-themed County Board Candidate Forum on Tues, May 25 at 6PM. The registration form looks like there is a fee, but it is $0.
 ● Cantwell describes himself politically as a Moderate Independent.
 ● Cantwell has not yet established a website for his campaign.

Bio Submitted to Arlington Chamber of Commerce
Mike Cantwell is a 28-year resident of Arlington County. Mike served in the Navy and Navy Reserves from 1987 until 2015 and is currently a federal government employee at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Mike spent several years living in a group house in South Arlington before purchasing his current home in the Yorktown neighborhood with his wife Mary.
  Over the last decade and a half, Mike has given his time and energies to many civic and community organizations including: Yorktown Civic Association President, FairVote Virginia Vice President, Holy Trinity Catholic Church Religious Education Instructor, Arlington County Civic Federation Board member, Lee Highway Alliance Board member, Renaming Lee Highway Working Group, 26th Street & Old Dominion Blvd Task Force, Unite America (DC Chapter Leader), Yorktown PTA, Columbus Club Board member, Arlington Public Schools Strategic Planning Committee, and Youth Sports Coach (soccer, baseball, softball, flag football).
  Mike is a 1987 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He also has advanced degrees from George Washington University (M.B.A.) and the Naval War College (MA). Mike and Mary have three wonderful children: Patrick (21), Will (19), and Maeve (16).

Should County & APS Boards Be Full-Time Jobs?

Should County & APS Boards Be Full-Time Jobs?
Among the chaff that is so much of reader comments, occasionally an important idea emerges. Chris Slatt recently wrote:
  “Being effective at holding a full-time, professional bureaucracy accountable isn’t just a full-time job, it’s a full-time job that requires at least one or two full-time policy aides at your disposal.
  ”In the face of a phalanx of full-time professional staff with a powerpoint deck full of data about why this is the right decision, the Board is only able to fire back with something akin to “this doesn’t seem right” because they don’t have the time or the resources to do their own research to find the 100 deep-seated flaws in staff’s data.
  ”If we want our elected officials to be independent overseers, we need them there full-time, we need to pay better than median income for the area, and we need to equip them with a smart, well-paid staff of their own that is not beholden to the bureacracy.”
— found in the comments at ARLnow

Video: April LVCA General Meeting on Zoning “Bonus” Heights

Meeting Recap
Video: April LVCA General Meeting on Zoning “Bonus” Heights
County staff provided an overview of a proposal to award 60 extra feet of height for new buildings that include affordable units. The proposal was approved by the County Board at their April 17 meeting.

Click to play video (23 minutes)

Slide Deck (PDF) Meeting Announcement

Primaries for Nov 2 Election

Primaries for Nov 2 Election
Democratic Primary: Apr 23 to June 5
The primary will select statewide candidates for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. The primary in Arlington will also select a candidate to fill a seat on the County Board. The County Board candidates are Chanda Choun website and Takis Karantonis website. Incumbent State delegates are running unopposed so will not be on the primary ballot. Sample Ballot
● Early in-person voting starts Friday, April 23 at 3 locations:
 • Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd).
 • Madison Community Center (3829 N Stafford St).
 • Walter Reed Community Center (2909 S 16th St).
More Information (VADEMS)
● Absentee ballots will be sent on April 23 to early applicants and then as applications are received. The deadline to request a vote by mail ballot is May 28. Deadline for returning ballots in person is 7PM on June 8 or postmarked by June 8 and received by 12PM on June 11.
● Deadline to register to vote in the Primary is May 17.
Request A Vote By Mail Ballot and Register to Vote
To apply for an Absentee ballot you will need to provide your Virginia Driver’s license or state ID number, date of birth, and Social Security number.

Democratic School Board Caucus May 17 – 23
School Board candidates run as independents in Virginia and cannot be nominated by a party in a primary. The Arlington Democrats is running an endorsement caucus. The caucus will be conducted online. Voting will be open 24/7 during the week of May 17-23. For more information and to vote during the voting week go to the VaDems School Board Caucus Page
Candidates are Miranda Turner website and Mary Kadera website.

Republican Primary
The Republican Party will hold an “unassembled” state convention on May 8. There will be 37 drive-in sites across the commonwealth where Republicans can cast their ballot. The election will employ rank choice voting where voters indicate their first, second, third choice etc. for each of the 3 statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Arlington GOP Middle Solution story

General Election Nov 2
On Election Day, all Arlington polling places are open from 6AM to 7PM.

Arlington County Information
Arlington 2021 Voter Guide
Arlington 2021 Elections Webpage

Changing Arlington 2012-2018

Changing Arlington from 2012 to 2018
The County’s increasing number of older adults and high-income households may result in changing priorities for County government…
● Population: 225,200; up by 13,500 (6.4%)
● Households: 109,940; up by 14,571 (15.3%)
● Married couples without children up 31.2%
● Adults 65 and older up 25.1%
● Young adults (25-34) down 11.6%
● Children under 18 up 18.7%;
● Persons living alone up 8.1%
 ● Slow growth of single adults under 65 (3.1%)
 ● High growth of single adults 65 plus (34.9%)
● Hispanic residents up 9.2%
● Black or African American residents up 5.0%
● White and non-Hispanic residents up 2.0%
● Households earning more than $200,000 up 31.5%
 ● Share of households above $200,000 up from 21.5% to 24.5%
● Households earning under $120,000 up by 1.7%

Source: Board Report #22 (Posted 04-12-2021) Starting with page 14: Arlington County’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan for FY 2022-26 and FY 2022 Annual Action Plan submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Apr 12: LVCA General Meeting: Water Mains & Zoning “Bonus” Heights

LVCA Meeting: Water Mains & Zoning “Bonus” Heights, Apr 12
When: Monday Apr 12, 8PM
Where: Virtual via Zoom

ONLINE ONLY: No meeting at the Community House
A link to the meeting will be emailed to LVCA broadcast email subscribers on the event day (Apr 12)

Key Boulevard Water Main Replacement
County staff will brief us on replacement of the water main along Key Blvd from Jackson to Danville and the block of Herndon north of Key. The existing, aging water main was built in 1927 and has had numerous breaks in the past few years. The new larger-diameter and more-durable watermain will improve fire flow capacity and better support demand in the neighborhood. Construction is expected begin in the Spring and is expected to take a year and a half. There will be detours, parking restrictions, and unavoidable noise (between 9AM & 4PM). Water service may be disrupted for up to two hours. when the new main is connected to the water system disruptions may last up to eight hours. Advance notice will be given to residents before any planned water shut-offs. County Board Agenda Item

Zoning “Bonus” Heights in LV
In the second part of the meeting county staff will provide an overview of a proposal to award 60 extra feet of height for new buildings that include affordable units. The proposal is ostensibly for projects that are 100% “affordable,” but gives the County Board leeway offer extra height even if a project isn’t completely affordable. The proposal applies to properties zoned RA14-26, RA8-18, and RA6-15. There are several RA8-18 districts in Lyon Village (shown on map in yellow). This could potentially allow 10 story buildings to be built next to single-family homes. The proposal is supported by County Staff, the County Manager, and the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. The county board has advertised a hearing on April 17 to approve this change.
Click map to enlarge
Sun Gazette Washington Business Journal County Staff Presentation County Board Agenda Item Zoning Map Zoning Ordinance 2020 Letter of Support (Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing)

Choun – Karantonis Rematch in County Board Primary

Choun – Karantonis Rematch in County Board Primary
County Board member Takis Karantonis, who is serving a partial term after being elected in a special election last year, will again face Chanda Choun in the Democratic primary. The two previously ran against each other in the the special election to fill the late Erik Gutshall’s seat. The Democratic primary is June 8 with early voting beginning April 23.
Takis Karantonis website
Chanda Choun website

ARLnow
2018 Candidate Essay: Chanda Choun
2020 Candidate Essay: Takis Karantonis
SunGazette Candidate Profile: Chanda Choun

Facing a Third Independent Candidate: Audrey Clement
The winner of the Democratic primary will be facing Audrey Clement, a 17-year resident of Westover, member Arlington’s Transportation Commission, and perennial candidate for School Board and County Board. In the past Clement has received as much as 30% of the vote.
SunGazette Candidate Profile: Audrey Clement
Audrey Clement website

County Board Waffles on Tree Survey

County Board Waffles on Tree Survey
Arlington last conducted a tree inventory in 2016. The inventory became surprisingly controversial as it suggested significant declines in Arlington’s tree canopy as development projects turned Arlington from green to gray.
  The Civic Federation overwhelmingly passed a resolution on Mar 16 calling on the County to “immediately” update Arlington’s tree inventory as part of the ongoing Forestry and Natural Resources Plan update. The president of the Civic Federation raised the matter at the Mar 20 County Board meeting.
   County Board members seemed flummoxed by the request despite having received in advance a lengthy letter from the Civic Federation.
  The “Information Gathering” phase of the Forestry and Natural Resources Plan update is scheduled to end in Nov of this year leaving little time to complete and analyze the tree inventory. Hence time is of the essence.
Sun Gazette News Report
Civic Federation Website
County Forestry and Natural Resources Plan Overview Page
Click image to enlarge

Apartment Space to Hotel Conversion

Apartment Space to Hotel Conversion
Despite allegations of an Arlington “housing crisis” the County Board is expected to allow another developer to temporarily convert apartment space to hotel use. The developer of 1555 Wilson Blvd wants to convert 5 floors of residential units into a hotel because they are expected to remain vacant for a long time. County Board is expected to advertise a public hearing on the matter for April. Sun Gazette County’s Project Page

Parent to Sue School Board to Reopen Schools

Parent to Sue School Board to Reopen Schools
Parents group “Arlington Parents for Education” failed to get support from the County Board for getting schools reopened. An activist parent is planning to sue the School Board to re-open schools. Many APS COVID Dashboard indicators continue at "highest" or "higher" risk levels. Correction: APE says it is not a party to the suit. InsideNoVa WDVM APS COVID Dashboard Arlington Parents for Education

Judge Rules Dorsey Fraudulently Misled Court

Judge Rules Dorsey Fraudulently Misled Court
A Federal court found Country Board member Dorsey “dishonest and documents he submitted under penalty of perjury to be false” for fraudulently misrepresenting his assets while filing for bankruptcy. Dorsey “vigorously disputes” the characterizations. Wash Post

Re-Name Lee Highway Poll

Re-Name Lee Highway Poll
The Lee Highway Alliance formed a 25-person working group to rename a principal Arlington street currently named after a West Point graduate who took up arms against the United States of America.
  A list of 186 names suggested by the community was narrowed to 20 by the working group. Those 20 names are to be further narrowed down by polling the community to produce a list of 3 to 5 finalists to be submitted to the County Board. The names range from bland to weird with many highly political.
  A web page with the 20 potential names, a brief explanation of each name, and an online poll is now online through Nov 30. The poll permits voting for up to 3 names, but is not offered as a ranked-choice so a relatively small number of votes could determine the final list of names. “None of the above” is not offered as a choice. The poll requires each voter to provide their name, address, and email address prior to voting. The Poll

Oct 12 General Meeting is Virtual Candidates Night

Oct 12 General Meeting is a Virtual Candidates Night
When: Monday October 12 (Columbus Day), 8PM
Where: Online via Zoom
The October meeting will feature the two County Board candidates running for one open seat on the County Board.
 ● Libby Garvey (incumbent Democrat) website
 ● Audrey Clement (independent) website
In addition to opening and closing remarks by the candidates, you can ask the candidates about the issues that are important to you.

The meeting will be conducted online via Zoom (see below for details).
ONLINE ONLY: There is no meeting at the Community House.
A link to the meeting will be emailed to all subscribers to the LVCA broadcast email on the day of the event (Oct 12); just click the link in the email to join the meeting. Please join the meeting a bit early, like 7:50 PM, so you will be ready when we start promptly at 8 PM. The meeting is limited to 100 attendees so latecomers may not be able to join.
Click to Continue Reading…

County Board Kills Anti-COVID Ordinance

County Board Kills Anti-COVID Ordinance
At the County Board’s Sept 15 Recessed Meeting, the Board voted 4 to 1 to let the Emergency Ordinance expire at the end of Sept. Voting to kill the ordinance were Christian Dorsey, Katie Cristol, Matt de Ferranti & Takis Karantonis. Only Board Chair Libby Garvey (up for re-election this Nov) voted in favor of the ordinance.
  The ordinance sought to to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus by keeping large groups of people from gathering without appropriate distancing on public sidewalks and streets in front of bars and nightclubs where this has been a problem. Violators could face a fine of up to $100.
  Christian Dorsey said that Arlington police determined that it was impractical to cite hundreds of violators a night and have not issued a single citation. The County Staff presentation reported that “Groups of people congregating increases risk of COVID-19 virus spread” and “Efforts to spread out long lines of patrons by officers and restaurant security have been met with defiance, confrontation, and hostility.”
  Most of the area where the ordinance applied was within Lyon Village. The LVCA was not consulted or given prior notice of this turnabout.
News Release
County Staff Presentation
Letters Opposing the Ordinance