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County Board Candidates Have Varied Education Backgrounds

by ARLnow.com | January 17, 2012 at 10:30 am | 3,927 views | 164 Comments

One of the top issues in the race for Arlington County Board is education and the capacity crisis at our public schools. With that in mind, what kind of education did each of the six candidates receive, and what experience, if any, do they have in the field of education? Per several reader requests, we looked into the educational background of each candidate.

Terron Sims (D) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, according to his campaign website. Sims has served on the Arlington Public Schools Strategic Plan Steering Committee and on the Committee  on the Elimination of the Achievement Gap.

Kim Klingler (D) graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science degree, according to her campaign manager. She majored in Health Services Administration and minored in Business Administration. Her campaign website says she has previously volunteered at a local elementary school.

Libby Garvey (D) graduated cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, with a major in Politics and a minor in Economics, according to her campaign website. Garvey helped run Mount Holyoke’s Washington internship program in the early 1980s and has served on the Arlington County School Board since 1996.

Peter Fallon (D) graduated from George Washington University with Bachelor of Accountancy degree. He has served on Arlington County’s Marymount University Task Force and was appointed by the School Board to serve on the Yorktown High School building level planning committee.

Audrey Clement (G) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University, where she also worked as a teaching assistant. Clement says she spent some of her time as a Congressional Fellow working on special education issues.

Melissa Bondi (D) studied Physics at the University of Rochester but did not complete her degree. She attended the university from September 1989 to December 1991, according to records at the National Student Clearninghouse. She has worked on local campaigns for Arlington County School Board, according to her campaign website, and has been endorsed by School Board member James Lander.

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  • Arlington, Northside

    I wish there was a Republican in the race, but since there is not I’ll vote for Kim who is a county volunteer firefighter or Terron the veteran. Both are folks that have show they are willing to give something other than hot air to the community.

    • anon

      +1. Well said, on all counts.

    • Norther

      I also would like to see some political diversity on the board.

      Since there is not, I suppose Garvey has the most relevant experience.

      I heard Sims talk once at a meeting and thought him to be mealy-mouthed. He had no specific criticisms of the current county governement and nothing specific as to what he would change. He generally seemed not to have done his homework. I’m sure he’s smart, having gone to West Point, but most of life isn’t smarts but motivation and willingness to do drudgery.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        Norther wrote: “I also would like to see some political diversity on the board.”

        You’re not alone. Way back in the day, the Board did have an Independent or two and even a Republican or two, and the Board back then seemed much more balanced. But Democrats back in the day were also different. These days, I’d settle for all new people on the Board period.

        • NotYourDaddy

          How about term limits?

          • Bluemontsince1961

            I’d definitely support term limits…and for all politicians of all parties, not just the Board.

          • dk

            I’m not opposed to term limits at the local level. In national politics, I think they would be a disaster. In fact, what has been happening in congress in recent years is a taste of how our government might run if it were annually flooded with newbies. They have no idea how the government runs or how the legislative process works, they have no long-standing relationships with other legislators that facilitate compromise and deal-making, and because they see themselves as short-timers, they see little need to forge any of those relationships. It is a recipe for gridlock. And sure enough, that’s what we’ve got.

          • TGEoA

            Screw term limits. Ditch the board and elect a Mayor. No where to run, no where to hide.

        • Norther

          Thanks. It seems many folks would prefer to have some balance. I happen to be a Democratic voter nationally, but I believe the county government is too bloated and unresponsive, and needs some shakeup. If that means a GOP board member whom I may disagree with on some larger Constitutional issue they’ll have no influence on, then OK by me.

          But until we have non-staggered elections, I won’t hold my breath.

    • Jamie

      Go Dukes!

  • charlie

    while i think education is important, i don’t know that one school over another makes someone a better candidate.
    i am surprised about Bondi because her campaign material does infer completing her education.

    • grammar police

      Imply, not infer.

      • Jack

        Actually it doesn’t. She’s been upfront about this from the beginning.

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        Incorrect. Either can be used. Seriously. I tend to want to agree with you, and was surprised to learn that while imply is “one-way”, “infer” is two-way.

        • Uh, no.

          You imply something by insinuating it. You infer something by assuming or deducing it. They’re not synonymous, but they are commonly confused. Just like “comprise” and “constitute.”

          • Tabs

            It’s not a matter for debate. Uh, no/grammar police is correct.

            Just because there may be an incorrect source online (go figure) to support the “two-way” argument does not make it correct.

          • Patti

            That’s right. The writer implies and the readers infers.

  • South Walter Reed

    Isn’t the more relevant issue what the candidates want to DO about education/schools capacity?

  • It just gets weirder.

    Bondi’s latest press release:

    I am shocked and surprised by the report that I didn’t graduate from college. This is a mistake. I am being attacked by people seeking to derail the hard work of my campaign. I immediately contacted the University of Rochester to get to the bottom of this. I have hired a tutor to make sure I am in full compliance with the degree granting requirements. You can trust me.

    • drax

      LOL Nice one.

    • FedUp

      Yawn.

  • CW

    I don’t follow local politics as much as I probably should, but I must say that the more I hear about Sims, the more I like him.

    • Arlington Dad

      Didn’t Sims run for school board a few years ago with no qualifications whatsoever? I’m pretty involved in the county and from what I’ve heard about him, which is not much, I don’t think much has changed. Seems to me that Sims wants to be an elected official but is not all that committed to doing the hard work of learning issues and seeing them through.

      • CW

        Could very well be. Like I said, I’m not too well-versed. But to the layperson, he looks like he could be a breath of fresh air. Work ethic, however, is of course required.

  • Arlwhenver

    Bondi’s LinkedIn posting says she attended Rochester through 1992. Her campaign website has taken the reference to her college education out altogether. Betting the Rochester reference will disappear altogeth soon from LinkedIn as well. Erase, move along and hope nobody notices. Cover your tracks. That’s the Arlington Way.

    • GT

      What did her site used to say about her college education?

      • Jack

        Bondi’s campaign material states, accurately, that she attended the University of Rochester and studied physics. I have never seen anything that says she graduated. In fact the bio at the bottom of her webpage bio is quite clear that she did not complete her degree — http://www.melissabondi.org/about-melissa.

        As someone who changed his major freshman year from science to government due to a complete inability to master calculus and biology, the ability to study physics for three years in a top program is more intellectual firepower than I, with multiple advanced degrees, claim to possess.

        • TGEoA

          She was either kicked out or dropped out. Which is worse?

          • Jack

            Lots of people drop out for lots of reasons. Family issues, health, issues, boredom. Which is better? Should she now have to explain that too? What, do you want all the candidates to release their transcripts now?

          • Norther

            I have no problem with someone who dropped out–but don’t fib about it. Hiring a *tutor* to get to the bottom of it? That’s bizarre. Either you have a diploma, or you don’t. I care more about what someone has achieved after college than where they went or how well they did. And even more about what they see as problems facing the county and how they plan to fix those.

          • Jack

            Um — that was someone’s attempt at satire. That is not a Bondi statement. Sigh.

          • Where?

            She didn’t hire a tutor. That post above was a joke.

          • TGEoA

            Let’s be kind and say she dropped out and instead of being kicked out.

            It shows her lack of initiative to follow things through. And from her attendance on the various committees she used to pad her resume also indicates that she is lazy.

          • FedUp

            TGEoA – How about jumping to conclusions without any facts? I think that’s worse.

          • TGEoA

            Baaaa!

        • Schrodinger

          If you don’t open an envelope from the IRS, is the tax lien inside effective or not?

          • the cat

            worked for my dad on his draft notice. Didn’t open it, and immediately joined the reserves.

        • Luther

          She purports physics. Is that fact or fancy? Even the dates of college attendance are different every time something else comes out. Can one believe anything she says?

        • Informed voter

          Jack, why do you assume she successfully completed physics classes? if she only attended college two and one half yers, that is not a lot of physics as freshman year is usually pretty full up with your other college requirements. 5 semesters out of 8 and we do not even know if she had to drop out in the 5th semester. Seems like this person has a hard time telling the truth and finishing anything. And here again more misreprsentation by claiming completion of 3 years of college when records show less.

          • arlinguy

            Right, Libby, you know all about it, huh?

    • CW

      Her house also has a bunch of construction permits on it. I’m sure those will be investigated shortly as well.

      • It just gets weirder.

        According to the records, Bondi doesn’t own the Courthouse townhouse where she resides. She lives with a friend and that is fine. She has sent out Tweets implying that she is a homeowner in the midst of home remodeling.

        • Jack

          Really, why don’t you post said tweets? I think the implications are your own.

        • DW

          OMG IT’S A CONSPIRACY!!!1!1one!!1.

          I’m waiting for all the tax nutters out there to start asking her to release her birth certificate.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            GASP! You mean Bondi wasn’t born in the USA?!?!?!? /s

      • FedUp

        She doesn’t own a house.

        • CW

          Sorry, I of course meant the one she lives in. The fact that she does not own it was thoroughly discussed last week when people were talking about how she could have a tax lien with no property.

          • EastArlingtonian

            Actually, she owns a house in Ohio. That’s what the IRS should have liened.

          • JustTheFactsPlease

            Actually, someone named Melissa M. Bondi is listed as the owner of a house in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Whether it’s the same Melissa M. Bondi has yet to be proved as far as I’ve seen.

          • Informed voter

            right. amd the other Barack Obama was born in Hawaii

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      The Bondi campaign website still states: “She went on to study physics for three years at the University of Rochester.”

      That has not changed. She has not, to our knowledge, made any claim about receiving a degree.

      • Luther

        But the dates in the above article are September 89 until December 91. That’s TWO school years and a couple of months; not three years. Sure what is the difference between two years and three years —- a 50% difference. All these inconsistencies amount to a big issue of credibility.

        • TGEoA

          5 out of 8 semesters, assuming she didn’t get deans vacation at some point

          • Luther

            If it is a semester system, probably didn’t finish #5 so that’s 4 out of 8 or only two years. And she can’t even get a couple of courses at one of the best community college systems in the nation — NOVA, and get an associates degree. There seems to be more to her leaving in the middle of a semester than meets the eye.

  • DW

    This is a transparent attempt to smear a particular candidate. I’m disappointed in the editor for deciding this was newsworthy, and more disappointed to note that the editor is censoring comments calling ARLNow out for publishing this trash.

    • GT

      It seems like a relevant discussion, in a series of articles discussing the various candidates.

      And it seems to present nothing but facts, without editorializing.

      I find your comment to be without merit.

      • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

        +1

      • DW

        There’s nothing here that I can’t find out by clicking on a few candidates’ websites. I can’t see Scott posting a story comparing the “About Us” pages of six new area restaurants and I can’t see how this is considered news. It’s just a giant “Bondi has no degree” sign given the ARLNow imprimatur.

        I expect this sort of thing from the Sun-Gazette, but not from ARLNow.

        • arlinguy

          +1000

        • Andrew

          Wow, someone is sensitive about not having a degree. Seems you are making a bigger deal about it than anyone else.

          • arlinguy

            I have two degrees, and I was initially dismissive of her lack of one. When I met her, I realized she’s smart as a whip, and very well-informed. In her case, I will overlook my prejudice against the un-degreed, because she was so smart. I sympathize with your knee-jerk reaction against someone who has not finished college, but honestly, in her case, it’s not relevant.

    • truth be told

      Which candidate do you suspect is being smeared????

      For me, Libby Garvey’s degree is Politics is a red flag. Why would I want a career politician representing the people?

      Oh, yeah, and pay your taxes if you want to run for an office.

      • drax

        A degree in politics =/= career politician.

      • dk

        A career politician is someone who has spent their career in elected office. A person who majors in politics at Mount Holyoke is studying political science. One has little to do with the other. Most “career” politicians are not poly sci majors and most poly sci majors do not go into politics.

    • Ugh

      +1

    • Luther

      So we are suppose to know nothing about candidates who are running for County Board, less we consider it a smear? Are we only allowed to ingest the campaign pablum. Lots of open questions and no answers from Bondi.

  • TGEoA

    Anyone see the Arlington Yuppette post claiming that Bondi might have voted in Virginia and absentee in the same election cycle?

    I hope Cooch gets right on this.

    • SoMuchForSubtlety

      Hmm, didn’t Cooch get his law degree as the secret surprise gift from a cracker jacks box?

      • Bluemontsince1961

        He is more concerned about rats.

        • NotYourDaddy

          I certainly smell a rat here. Unless someone is from Chicago, you only get one vote.

          • TGEoA

            Speaking of Chicago, guess what area code Baa-baa Bondi’s robocalls are originating from?

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Get out, Chi-town? Why am I not surprised?

          • NotYourDaddy

            Oh snap… I was only trying to bring some humor citing Chicago politics, but now this is the proverbial cherry on the hanging chad.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            That’s the truth!

      • Lee-n-Glebe

        Um, no. He got it at GMUSL, 2 years ahead of me. Nice guy, actually.

  • Arlington, Northside

    I would like to also know which of them attended and graduated from the Arlington County School System or at least an area public school system so that we can see that they have the right perspective on the school issues. Although this is a County Board Seat, and not a school board seat, so it is not as big of a deal.

    • GT

      I think that is fairly low down on the list, but that’s just my opinion. If you think familiarity with the local schools is very important, you have to hand that to Garvey almost by default.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Libby should stick to the school board.

      • ATS family

        Yes, Garvey has been on the school board for many years, despite her best efforts to get elected to the House of Delegates and the State Senate. Now, she’s running for county board. To everyone’s relief, she has announced she will not seek reelection to the school board. It is obvious she has been looking for a new job for many years. I hope the voters tell her, “thank you for applying for the job, however we have decided to hire another candidate”.

    • Zoning Victim

      I’m not sure I under stand how attending any one school system a decade or two ago (or more) give one the “right” perspective on school issues. Studying education for a very long time coupled with being an educator for a long time and in a lot of different situations might do that, but attending a particular school system, especially if it’s just one county’s system, means only that you know how they used to do something you aren’t an expert in. Everybody has that kind of knowledge from somewhere.

      • Arlington, Northside

        It gives a candidate personal buy-in. We have enough carpet baggers on the board, no need to add another.

        • dk

          How long does someone have to live here before they lose their “carpetbagger” status?

          • Arlington, Northside

            No real standard, but when it appears no one on the Board grew up in the area, there is a real issue.

  • Ballston

    I am pro Kim – mainly bc she went to a Virginia School, Firefighter, and isn’t in cahoots with the existing board.

  • Robocalls

    Just received a robocall from Paul Ferguson reminding me to vote for Ms. Bondi. Not gonna answer da phone for the rest of da week.

    • Tabs

      What numbers are you all getting? I’d like to block them. Thanks.

      • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

        773-945-0200

        • Robocalls

          Same #

          • charlie

            what a putz. i got it too. hoping at the end he would say, “Y’know I screwed up , don’t vote for her”. But he didn’t. Why does the Clerk of Court care about this race other than Zimmie has some sort of dirt on him….

        • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

          The robo call is from Paul Ferguson.

          Funny thing–a number of years ago I got a robo-call from Paul Ferguson supporting John Edwards when he was in the primary for the presidential nomination.
          ‘Course Ferguson was on the County Board then.
          I guess that he is ACDC person of choice for doing robo-calls.

          • TGEoA

            Anyone have Paul’s home address? I’d like to go pound on his door tonight and tell the jerk to stop calling my house.

          • NotYourDaddy

            Hey… let’s all forward our robocalls back to him.

      • Burger

        You can’t block political robocalls. They are protected speech.

    • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

      I did too….sent email to express my extreme dislike of robo-calls.

  • Janet

    Audrey Clement also obtained a certificate in information technology; she does statistical programming for a living. She’s an advocate for affordable housing that’s really affordable and for immediately constructing / or renovating the present shelter into a year-around homeless treatment and prevention center. She sued VDOT over I-66 widening because VDOT didn’t conform to national environmental policy standards when designing the project.

    • Zoning Victim

      What does “affordable housing that’s really affordable” mean?

      • NewCandidate

        That’s completely inadequate ! I pledge to work for really, REALLY, affordable housing. In fact, I will pay people to live in it ! So there.

    • South Arlington

      “advocate for affordable housing that’s really affordable”: great, Audrey Clement will lower our property values, skew the real estate market, and ignore market forces. She sounds really great.

  • Paco Wellington III

    Two and half years of college for Bondi and then failure to complete a degree — any degree and any where in the last 19 years. Very odd, but it appears to be consistent with her inattention to details such as paying taxes, whether she owns a home or not, failing to maintain steady employment over the last 15 years, etc.

    Most people who flunk out after 2.5 years do not claim to have studied any particular topic, maybe other than partying. Reminds me of a cartoon caption: “I can say that I was in the half of my class that made the top half possible.”

    Reminder: If you are not a tax cheat, quarterly taxes are due today.

    • Jack

      Evidence please? People drop out of school for lots of reasons. It’s a particularly unfair and mean-spirited leap to suggest that she couldn’t do the work when you don’t have the foggiest clue what happened. Frankly, that’s the least likely scenario here. Lots of people drop out of college for lots of reasons and go on to have perfectly successful lives without a degree — my own father included. Given the price of college these days, I’d expect more people to conclude it isn’t worth it. And once you stop and get involved in a career, there is less and less reason to go back and finish a degree, particularly in a subject that is no longer your primary interest.

      • SoMuchForSubtlety

        Agree

      • Now hold on

        So, a single woman couldn’t find any way in the past 20 years to go back and finish her degree, or change majors? Obviously, it wasn’t a priority for her or she thought she could bluff her way through all the doors in life that expect a degree. My husband and I both went to grad school at night while our kids were young. We’re not snobs, but don’t go making excuses for her or telling us she’s a victim either. Between the tax issues, college degree, car issues, and allegations of voting in two states, I don’t know what to believe, other than she has a lot of baggage anyway you look at it. The only job she is less qualified for than elected office would be a career as a life coach.

        • George Costanza

          She could be my life coach.

          • TGEoA

            What about your latex salesman?

        • SoMuchForSubtlety

          By all means believe the circumstantial evidence. That’s definitely the best course of action. Guilty until proven innocent!

          • Burger

            This isn’t a court of law…but the old adage where there is smoke there is fire.

        • Tabs

          haha. Excellent.

        • Jack

          Skipping out on college seemed to work for Steve Jobs. And lots of other successful people. I don’t see them getting this “it wasn’t a priority” garbage thrown at them.

          You know, your response really pisses me off. My father never went to college, my mother got an associates degree and finished her BS when I was a teenager, but neither of them ever “bluffed their way through anything.” My mother went back because doing so was meaningful to her and she never had the career she wanted (she had me instead). When did completion of a college degree become a prerequisite for community involvement, activism, and elective office? I don’t think the lack of one fairly qualifies as baggage.

          • TGEoA

            At least Jobs has an honorary degree. Baa baa has none.

  • South Walter Reed

    Weird.
    I don’t remember any conversations about which candidate had which degree in the ZILLION primaries over the summer.
    Seems a little odd to run this now, Scott.

    • drax

      Primaries?

      • TGEoA

        Playoffs?

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      Like it or not, Bondi’s critics are making her education an issue in the campaign. We are merely reacting to events in the campaign and trying to do so in the most balanced, informative way possible.

      • Question

        I haven’t seen reports of who it is that is criticizing anyone in this race. When you refer to “the critics” are you referring to opposing campaigns, named citizens or anonymous blog commentors?

        • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

          Numerous blog commenters and individuals who are sending off the record emails to media organizations.

          • Question

            So, you are saying that thus far, not a single person who is criticizing any of the candidates is willing to put their name behind their critique.

          • arlinguy

            sounds like it.

          • GT

            What’s your name?

          • GT

            GT, what’s yours?

          • GT

            I’m not the one belly-aching about people being anonymous.

          • GT

            Stop impersonating me.

          • DW

            So let me get this straight: ARLNow posts a hit piece in response to “critics” (links or it didn’t happen) devoid of any journalistic or news content beyond a comparison of the candidates’ websites, and justifies this gross breach of professional and ethical integrity by saying “clearly, the fact that people are either pissed or giddy that I’ve posted this justifies my actions?”

            That makes sense. Because the effect of pissing people off for doing something brazenly unethical/making the trolls giddy by finally airing some of their smears in a “legit” forum clearly justifies the wildly unethical cause.

          • arlinguy

            + 1000. Very well put.

          • PikeMan

            +1000 more. exactly what I was thinking. I enjoy reading ARLnow every day, but this is very disappointing.

          • Keith

            I learned something from this article. Yes, I could go look at all the websites and compare education backgrounds. But I appreciate this site taking the time to aggregate the information for me. I am sorry that your candidate came out on the short end of the stick, but somebody has to be last.

          • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

            This is not a “hit piece.” It is fundamentally a fact check piece, comparable to what PolitiFact does, but presented in a way that incorporated information about all the candidates. Yes, we would have liked the article to have a bit more information, but we are constrained by time and a campaign’s willingness to answer our emails and phone calls.

            We cannot control the fact that there’s a tremendous amount of sidelines negativity directed at one candidate in a race that’s otherwise somewhat quiet. We can only respond to the events of the campaign with balanced, fair reporting.

          • PikeMan

            What facts were in question?

            This attack has been being shopped around by detractors for a while now, and you’ve done exactly what they’ve been trying to do, which is draw attention to the fact that Melissa doesn’t have a college degree.

            This isn’t a fact check piece, it’s doing a campaign’s dirty work for them without them having any accountability.

          • http://thegreenmiles.blogspot.com TheGreenMiles

            You’re giving cover to the people anonymously attacking Bondi and it’s embarrassing that you’re trying to blame your own editorial decisions on someone else. And your invocation of Fox’s slogan ain’t helping.

          • DW

            See, but it is. And you basically lay out why it is. You chose to run a piece that you acknowledge lacked sufficient information. Incorporated information from all the candidates? Incorporated into what? A strangely-ordered listing of academic qualifications?

            In fact, all this piece is is a public airing of the “tremendous amount of sidelines chatter negatively directed at one candidate.” ARLNow not only failed to rise above the “tremendous amount of sidelines chatter” deliberately sent to various bloggers and media outlets, but gave it a seemingly legitimate platform. ARLNow has swallowed, hook line and sinker, a whisper campaign designed to discredit a legitimate candidate by insinuating that not having completed college disqualifies someone from serving in public office. In doing so, ARLNow gave further platform to the comment trolls that perpetuated and disseminated that campaign and encouraged those trolls to continue perpetuating a smear campaign conducted in whispers, emails, insinuations and half-articulated gems about a house in Ohio, some allegedly uncommon failure to timely pay property taxes, etc, etc.

            You just came out and said that you’d have liked more information, but were “constrained by time…” If you have neither time nor information, and you fancy yourself a responsible and ethical journalist, then you simply decide not to run a story. That’s called professional judgment, and you either failed to exercise it or deliberately chose to ignore it. Shame on you.

          • Keith

            Ooh cool. Now we have GGW authors coming here to criticize this site’s content. Bondi must really be in trouble with the election.

          • arlinguy

            DW, You are 1000% on the money.

          • Andrew

            A hit piece? Gross breach of professional and ethical integrity? Really? How is this unethical?

          • Just a Voter

            Thank you ArlNow for digging through the various websites to collect the information.

            I received a mailing from Bondi concerning schools, eduction, etc., so yes the candidates’ education history is important and one factor to be considered. Do the candidates personally value education? Have they invested time with the schools? Please do not send me a campaign piece about education and then demand that I not want to know more about the candidates.

            Also, since when is presenting facts a “hit-piece”? I would have preferred similar articles during the last few weeks highlighting other topics because it is hard to follow each candidates meeting or reviewing each website to compare issues, or hoping the larger news organization might actually cover the election.

            Once again, thank you ArlNow. The voters need more information, not less.

        • charlie

          there are a ton of dedicated democrats working hard to make sure Bondi doesn’t see that inner sanctum of the third floor of 2100.

          • TGEoA

            I’m no dem, but I’m going to sign their stupid pledge, vote for Garvey, then vote for Clement in the general election.

          • Clareanddon

            I admire Bondi’s supporters for sticking by her, though they must be praying for Saturday’s caucus to be over soon. None of them have broken ranks yet, though Bondi certainly keeps giving them good reason to hang her out to dry. If she did the honorable thing and dropped out of the race, they could find a new candidate to rally behind for June race. In the meantime, they look like fools covering for her. She’s not worth it, but Zimmie must have his trusted lieutenant at his side on the county board.

      • Burger

        I have posted a number of times on this site about Bondi’s education. As I have always said that a college education is not a prereq for running or holding office but add that with her background of continually jumping from one Democratic/community group every couple of years implies two things:
        1) she is more interested in running and meeting the “right” people to run for office – which she apparently did since she has the backing of Zimmerman and Tejada, but
        2) She doesn’t have any real fortitude to slog through the details associated with any activity – be it graduating from college or community affairs – and merely wants to be associated with those that do slog through to get things done.

        • Jack

          You have obviously never served with her on a committee. Why don’t you ask some of the people who have about her attention to detail and knowledge of public policy?

          • charlie

            Bonding is great at listening to opinions similar to her and ignoring and dismissiing others — just like her mentor Chris Zimmerman. Watch out.

  • TGEoA

    Checkout this thread on BikeArlington.

    http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?1651-Arlington-County-Board-Elections&p=13149#post13149

    Even local bike god Allen Muchnick thinks Baa-baa Bondi is a fake.

  • ODCASteve

    I do think someone should at least a college degree to deal with the issues that the County Board has to face. So, for me, the information on educational background is informative. (Thanks ArlNow.) That, coupled with Bondi’s not dealing with the question in a forthright manner, just adds to my doubt (taxes, car-ownership, etc) about her capabilities.

  • Janet

    “Affordable housing that’s really affordable?” Means a one bedroom one bath apartment that doesn’t cost $1100 per month-and-up. I enjoy being an entry-level teacher in Arlington but if I’m gentrified out of my older apartment I will have to move and work elsewhere.

    Want to know what the concern is all about go to the arlingtonva.us site and watch the video of the dust up last February 15th regarding Howard Manor and entry-level professionals.

    • Burger

      So you are entitled to live in Arlington? That’s the way I read your post.

      • Young Condo Owner

        Dude, + 1,000,000

        ONLY people who can afford it should live here, if they get priced out, take a second job. Let the market work, people. Atlas Shrugged, man, I’m tired of this entitled stuff. Families work hard for their kids to succeed, and if you can’t cut it, keep working until you can. It’s all about working your way up.

        • Arlington, Northside

          Having your kids’ teachers live in the area has some real value. We either need to ensure we are paying them enough to live here, or subsidize the rent to make sure they can. It is not that trivial. As a YOUNG condo owner, you might not realize that yet. But, whe it isbaby being born time in your life, you will suddenly see that the school triangle means a lot to you when you look to become not-so-young single family home owner.

          • Young Condo Owner

            Fair point, I think. Of the two, I say, pay them more . . . *if* the market will support it. But don’t you think there’s a reason that the market pays public school teachers what it does? Subsidies make me very nervous, dude. And when I have kids, I will set them up right, whether that means sending them to a private school (probably) or a public school, no difference, because I work hard, I have the right to get the best for my own kids.

          • bemused bystander

            You also have the right to look narrowly only at what’s most expeditious and comfortable for you, and to brush off any broader concerns about the health and future of society as a whole. And to have no social conscience or compassion.

            I’m glad I have the right to choose other friends.

          • Young Condo Owner

            Dude, Ron and I are not looking for friends. Sorry to disappoint. Dog eat dog. Market rules. Get it?

          • lulz

            lulz. you think you can do whatever you want because you work hard? you don’t even know what hard work is. people who work hard can’t afford to live in Arlington. working long hours pressing buttons on your keyboard isn’t hard work.

          • Young Condo Owner

            Long hours pressing buttons is indeed work for a large number of people in our society! Where would we be without IT folks? Why don’t you value their work? Because they don’t work with their hands? BUT THEY DO. Think about it, read Atlas Shrugged, and you’ll get it. Promise.

          • Skeptical

            A plague on both your houses, or at the very least an annoying case of athlete’s foot. Quite a few people spend long hours pressing buttons on keyboards for peanuts — they’re called data-entry clerks, legal secretaries, and similar jobs. They don’t break their backs but their sedentary jobs are a whole other kind of burden. I’ve known people whose bodies were wrecked by “pressing buttons” for a living.

            On the other hand, anyone who thinks “Atlas Shrugged” is a work of profound insight, is someone who is psychologically still not old enough to shave.”$&^% you and hooray for me” is not a recipe for a healthy society. Read a little about Ayn Rand’s real life some time — including the Medicare money she took when she needed treatment. (Fun fact: Rand gushed about a serial killer caught in the 1920′s that he had the “true, innate psychology of a Superman” and “the best example of a real man’s psychology” because “other people didn’t exist for him and he didn’t see why they should.” Scuse me if I find Rand and the people who adore her a tad… unconvincing.)

    • Andrew

      But where do you draw the line? So someone makes x a year and so they qualify for reduced housing costs. The person who makes just over x doesn’t and has to fend for themselves? Why should I pay a premium because I chose a career where I earn more? Before I could afford to live on my own, I had roommates. Why can’t these entry level professionals who can’t afford $1,100 a month for housing do that?

      • Young Condo Owner

        Amen. Slippery slope. Slippery than the slippy-slide outside my frat house, back in the day. I would have had roommates too, but for my parents’ support, and you know, that would have been cool. Please folks, no handouts.

  • TGEoA

    If your phone has simulring, forward it to google voice and it will be blocked automatically in most cases.

  • MC

    I suspicious of any candidate that is making schools the main issue. Arlington Public Schools are already the biggest budget item, consuming over half our budget, and our per capita spending per student is the highest in the area. Yet nearly all these candidates want to devote even more of the county budget to schools, even though most county residents don’t have school age kids, and increasingly don’t live in single family homes associated with school age kids. Sure, we need good schools, and the school age population is growing somewhat, but all these cost-hawks are missing the real budget problem, that expense school buildings and administrative bloat are driving school costs too high.

    • Jamie

      I think you’re assuming that supporting public schools and making schools a top priority equal increased spending.

      Schools should be a top priority because good schools equal good communities and we better keep the schools accountable since they’re half our budget.

    • Patti

      You need to check your data. Only your comment about per-student spending is accurate, but that is due to salaries because Arlington attracts and retains veteran teachers and support staff. They are among the very highest ranked schools in the country, even higher when considering diversity, and that is one reason why your home has maintained its value even during a recession.

      • Launchpad

        Says someone with children in the system. The main reason homes have not declined in value is transit and proximity. The demographics are changing and more young, childless people are living here (with more coming). I’d like to see more money go to transit projects and less go to schools to tell you the truth to match that demographic shift.

        • salwen

          Oh, and is that the explanation for why school enrollment is INCREASING. ??? And aren’t the most expensive homes in Arlington (Chain Bridge Forest and Country Club Hills) furthest from transit?

          My partner and I don’t have any present or past direct connection to the school system, except that we’ve both taken adult ed classes.

          “Good schools” is a rising tide that lifts all boats.

  • Kevin Diffily

    I’m somewhat surprised that none of the candidates have a graduate degree.

    • Grateful

      “Audrey Clement (G) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science from Temple University, where she also worked as a teaching assistant.”

  • Sam

    Arlington Now – thanks for this post. Maybe I missed it, but have you done the same exercise for current/aspiring school board members (if yes, please reply with a link)? That would be even more on point (what, other than simply perhaps being a parent w/kids in the APS system) gives them credibility to make informed educational decisions based on science, research, and/or experience in the classroom/administration etc)?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

    Thanks.

  • Patti

    Arlington is the highest or among the highest educated jurisdictions in the U.S., with over two-thirds of adults with a bachelors and over one-third with advanced degrees (including all races, ethnicities, and SES’s). It seems many of our candidates aren’t necessarily representative.

  • Libby for me

    I just did a search on the Washington Post web site. Type in Melissa Bondi’s name and you can read the articles. Best of all, there is a banner ad on the results page for her campaign! I don’t believe that is the best way to attract new voters.

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