The debate, at the Arlington Civic Federation’s monthly meeting, was relatively short and did not give the candidates much time to delve deeply into issues. But by and large, Republican- and Green-endorsed independent candidate John Vihstadt tried to position himself as a choice that would be palatable for local Democrats who oppose the county’s big-ticket streetcar and aquatics center projects.
“I don’t want to upset the applecart, I just want to rearrange some of those apples,” said Vihstadt, who arguably has the best shot at being elected to the Board of any non-Democrat in years. “[My wife and I] love Arlington, we want to give back to Arlington.”
Vihstadt said he uses mass transit to commute on a daily basis, but “this $310 million streetcar is not the way to go on Columbia Pike.” He instead said he favors “a modified form of bus rapid transit.”
Vihstadt also differed from the current County Board in calling for an independent county auditor, by wanting to “break down the silos” between county government and Arlington Public Schools, and by suggesting that he opposes some of the development currently taking place in Arlington.
“I have serious differences with this Board about density and where that is taking our county right now,” he said to applause from the Civic Federation delegates.
Vihstadt, however, was also careful to point out areas where he agrees with the County Board. He supports gay marriage, increased spending on schools, and the new homeless services center in Courthouse.
“I support the new homeless shelter,” he said. “On balance I think it’s the right place and the right thing to do.”
“I’m not going to hide my Republican background, but i’m running as an independent,” Vihstadt said. “I’m running to add balance… because we need to recalibrate our spending priorities. We have to concentrate on core services like public education… roads and infrastructure maintenance… and neighborhood quality of life.”
“I’m giving voice to so many people across the political spectrum who are frustrated, who are concerned about where we are going as a county and where we are spending of our dollars at a time of skyrocketing school enrollment,” he said, pledging to be “fair, even-handed, bridge-building and nonpartisan.”
Democrat Alan Howze enters the race as the odds-on favorite thanks to the party’s well-honed get-out-the-vote effort, which will be needed as the race will be decided by a special election. Howze largely toed the party line — supporting a social safety, affordable housing, a “progressive community,” etc. — but suggested that he would be a bit more cautious when it comes to spending and a bit more aggressive when it comes to economic development.
Asked about something about which he disagreed with the County Board, Howze said the design and cost of the $1.6 million James Hunter dog park in Clarendon “well exceeded what was needed for the space and the community.”
Howze touted his private sector experience working at IBM and said he would work to “help strengthen the commercial base in Arlington,” thus combating rising office vacancy rates.
Like Vihstadt, Howze said he supports gay marriage, the county’s new homeless shelter, and increased spending on schools. (“Rising school enrollment is the biggest challenge facing our community,” he said.) Howze, however, supports the Columbia Pike streetcar project and has said he would like to see the Long Bridge Park aquatics center built provided it doesn’t exceed its original $79 million budget.
“We need to improve our community,” he said. “We can’t give any project a blank check, but neither can we stand still. I’m not chicken little… the sky is not falling. We can’t just say no — no is not a solution. Short term solutions that are politically expedient today but don’t lead to long-term prosperity.”
(Updated at 12:10 p.m.) The Arlington County Board announced the 2013 Design Arlington awards winners at its meeting on Tuesday, honoring six residential projects in North Arlington and commercial renovations in Crystal City and Pentagon City.
The biennial awards are given to projects completed in the last 10 years in these categories: residential, commercial, institutional/civic, historic preservation/building rehabilitation, public art and open space.
The submissions are judged based on “overall design excellence; visual composition and aesthetic character; relationship to surrounding context; sustainable design and development; preservation of historic buildings, facades, elements, and character; high-quality craftsmanship; and creative use of durable materials,” according to the county website. This year, there were 43 entries evaluated by a panel of four architecture, preservation and design professionals.
“These awards honor those who work to create exceptional architectural and landscape design in Arlington,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said in a press release. “Their efforts prove that projects that are functional can also be visually interesting, beautify our neighborhoods and be respectful of the neighborhood’s character.”
Below are this year’s winners:
- Diaz Residence (4301 37th Road N.) – Residential addition/renovation – Subtle updates to the front façade and a significant addition to the rear of the home modernized a single-family home without completely changing its appearance or how it fits in with neighboring homes.
- Bromptons at Monument Place (N. Nash Street and 14th Street N.) – Residential new construction — Well-detailed neoclassical townhomes engage the street in a thoughtful way.
- Wood Temple in a Garden (1608 N. Cleveland Street) – Residential new construction — Well-designed studio outbuilding incorporates materials from the existing home. New addition is modern but respectful to neighborhood character.
- “+2Edison7” (5077 27th Street N.) – Residential addition/renovation — Compact footprint is appropriately scaled for the neighborhood. It creates contrasts with neighboring buildings without competing for attention.
- Monroe House (3132 N. Monroe Street) – Residential new construction — Design is respectful of setbacks and scale of neighboring homes. Meticulously detailed without looking out of place.
- Crystal Drive streetscape – Commercial renovation/new construction — Transformed an auto-oriented street into a lively multi-use corridor. Highlights the shifting goals in urban design and placemaking.
- Egge Residence (3317 N. 23rd Street) – Residential addition/historic preservation — Addition nearly doubled the size of the historic home without altering its character.
- Pentagon Row plaza – Open space renovation — Optimizes space and outdoor recreational areas. Highlights how a public space can be reinvented to adapt to new needs.
Two honorable mentions also were recognized:
- 800 N. Glebe Road – Mixed-use new construction — Building engages the adjacent sidewalk. It includes a historic architectural reference to the former Bob Peck Chevrolet building, as well as a historic marker.
- “Wave Arbor” in Long Bridge Park – Public art — Kinetic art incorporated into a recreational space.
Photos courtesy Arlington County
The Board approved the motion on a 2-1 vote, with Board Chair Jay Fisette and Libby Garvey voting to approve and Walter Tejada voting against the motion. Board Member Mary Hynes had left the meeting earlier with an illness.
The fee increases from $125 — where it had been raised to from $115 in 2011 — to $135, which is the state maximum. As part of the state towing law, Arlington can enact higher towing fees, based on market rates, if they conduct a thorough study, which the Board has instructed county staff to do.
The ordinance also puts in place more stringent requirements for towing companies to document the vehicle’s location, reason for removal and condition before it’s towed, including taking pictures or videos.
Advanced Towing owner John O’Neill said the fee increase was necessary because Arlington is more costly to operate in than nearby jurisdictions. Advanced Towing is one of three towing companies with storage facilities in Arlington, according to Brian Stout, the county’s liaison to the Trespass Towing Advisory Board.
“It is more expensive to operate our business in Arlington than any other location in Virginia,” O’Neill told the Board. “We are close to the point of no return with regards to sustaining an Arlington-based towing firm.”
Tejada asked Stout if companies were required to give car owners information about filing a complaint and their right to inspect their vehicle before paying to get it out of the lot. The ordinance requires the towing company to post signs telling owners their rights, but does not require giving owners a pamphlet or some sort, Stout said. O’Neill said the sign is “the first thing you see” in his lot at 4000 5th Road N. in Ballston.
“I have information that’s not what the case is from residents who have complained to me about having been towed,” Tejada told O’Neill. “There is some predatory towing that’s still happening. I cannot support the motion because there are people who are still being victims of predatory towing, some of whom are low income who don’t even know they have a right to complain. I will cast a vote of ‘no’ on their behalf.”
A majority of the surrounding jurisdictions already have towing fees comparable to Arlington’s new structure, and some have additional penalties up to $50 for nights, weekends and holidays.
The county enacted its towing ordinance years ago after a long history of predatory towing. Fisette, the longest-tenured current Board member, was a part of drafting the original ordinance.
“When I joined the Board, we had tons and tons of complaints about the tow industry, and we had no regulatory authority,” he said. “Having gotten involved, I’ve always recognized that the industry is a need. We’re a compact, busy place with parking issues… The recommendation strengthen the requirements on the towing company. This isn’t only about raising the base fee, it’s balancing it out with becoming more clear on some of the rights of those who own the vehicles.”
The Arlington County Board approved a $6.6 million contract yesterday to renovate two floors of a Courthouse office building to turn it into the long-planned and controversial Homeless Services Center at 2020 14th Street N.
The Board approved the contract 3-0 — Mary Hynes was absent with an illness and former Board Member Chris Zimmerman’s seat is vacant pending a special election — clearing what appears to be the final hurdle, other than the construction itself, before the homeless shelter is expected to open in early 2015.
The shelter will have 50 year-round beds, 25 winter beds and five medical beds. The construction will include building a separate entrance and elevator to separate the shelter from the rest of the tenants in the building, including the two ground-floor restaurants, which will remain open during construction.
The total cost estimate for the shelter project is $8.9 million, which includes $1.5 million in design, administration and county staff costs. The contract also includes a $1.1 million contingency, and the contract adds on to the county’s 2011 purchase of the building for $27.1 million. The shelter will be operated by the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and will replace the Emergency Winter Shelter, just two blocks away.
When the plan to build the shelter was approved last spring, residents of the adjacent Woodbury Heights Condominiums expressed concern that the facility would be a security hazard. Last night, no neighbors spoke against the item, and only one speaker voiced opposition: former Green party County Board candidate Audrey Clement.
“I’m not opposed to a year-round homeless shelter,” Clement said. “What I’m objecting to is the county’s propensity to undertake projects without doing the cost-benefit analyses needed to get the best value for dollar spent.”
Board Chairman Jay Fisette said the shelter is an accomplishment for the community and will be something to take pride in.
“This should be a time for rejoicing, not complaining,” he said from the dais. “This is a terrific project. It has been in the works for, one might say, decades as this community came to terms with our responsibility to the homeless. We’ve always done a good job, and now we’re going to do an outstanding job.”
County Board Still Steamed Over Tree Removal — Arlington County Board members are still lashing out against Arlington Public Schools’ removal of some trees from the grounds of Ashlawn Elementary School, which is beginning an expansion project. The school system received county staff approval to remove the trees but did not receive County Board approval. “The community has reason to be upset,” Board member Walter Tejada reiterated on Saturday. County Board members also questioned whether a controversial plan to create a loop road for student drop-off was still necessary. [Sun Gazette]
Transitway Stops Cheaper than Superstop — The new transit stops along the just-approved Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway will cost between $345,000 and $530,000. That’s significantly less than the cost of the $1 million “Superstop” on the corner of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike. The new transit stops will still come with an “[improved] sidewalk, boarding platform, benches, trash cans, lighting, information signs, canopy, bike racks and windscreen.” [Washington Post]
W-L Wrestler Finishes Second in Tourney — Washington-Lee senior wrestler Narankhuu Ganbaatar has finished second in the 6A state tournament. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
That means that the tax rate can only go down or remain the same ($1.006 for every $100 in assessed value) in the Board’s budget, which will be crafted over the next two months before final approval on April 22.
Two residential fees, meanwhile — the water-sewer rate and the household solid waste rate — are proposed to increase 3.4 and 2.4 percent respectively in County Manager Barbara Donnellan’s budget, which will be used as a jumping off point by the Board.
In all, thanks to a 5.9 percent increase in residential property assessments, the total tax and fee burden on the average Arlington household is expected to increase by $368, or 5.3 percent, to $7,371 if the Board follows Donnellan’s proposal to hold the real estate tax rate steady.
County Board Approves Projects — The Arlington County Board approved a number of projects at its Saturday meeting. Among the projects approved: Arlington’s portion of the $10.3 million Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, a new half-million-dollar tot playground at Chestnut Hills Park, and six Neighborhood Conservation Projects in Waverly Hills, Arlington Ridge and elsewhere.
Two Rescued from I-66 Storm Sewer — Two people were rescued Saturday afternoon from a storm sewer on I-66. The confined space rescue tied up traffic on westbound I-66 near Sycamore Street. The individuals were not injured. [Twitter]
Blind ‘Dad’ Mentors Blind Triplets — Born blind and raised by a single mother, the Argel triplets are now 14-years-old and have a new outlook on life thanks to a man who has become like a father to them — so much so that he’s now in the process of formally adopting them. Ollie Cantos, a blind man who lived in the boys’ Arlington neighborhood, has changed the brothers’ lives for the better by helping with their homework, teaching them how to use their canes more effectively and providing moral support during tough times. [NPR]
Advocates Decry Arlington Mill, Langston Changes — Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy will unveil his proposed FY 2015 budget this week, but before he does supporters of Arlington Mill High School and the Langston High School Continuation Program are speaking out against possible changes. The advocates are concerned that Murphy may merge the two programs or may do away with APS’ policy of providing education to immigrants after the age of 22. [Sun Gazette]
Del. Sickles: ‘I Am a Proud, Gay Man’ — Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax), one of the 11 Democrats vying to replace Rep. Jim Moran (D) in congress, has revealed that he is gay. That makes Sickles the second openly gay member of the Virginia General Assembly. The first was state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), who is also running for Moran’s seat. [Washington Post, Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Arlington County, via a complicated real estate transaction, is seeking to acquire the sprawling Ballston Park apartments on the 300 block of N. Glebe Road.
The 20-acre, 52-building complex has 513 apartments, 233 of which are committed affordable to those making 60 percent or less of the area median income. If the county’s purchase were to go through, the county would increase the number of units committed as affordable and keep them affordable for another 75 years.
The complex is expected to sell for around $100 million, but the net cost to the Arlington — from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund — is not expected to exceed $16 million. That’s because the county already has a partial stake in the apartments, and because the county is only providing 25 percent of the sale price. The rest is being supplied by affordable housing nonprofit AHC Inc., through loans.
The terms of the proposed sale specify that the county will own the title to the apartment complex, but will grant AHC a 75-year ground lease and will help provide AHC with partial financing. Barring the sale, the existing affordable units would expire in 2027 and become market rate units.
“The County is taking this action in order to preserve the Ballston Park community – an important affordable housing asset,” said Arlington County Housing Director David Cristeal. “We believe that through this transaction, the County can preserve long term affordability and acquire a historically valuable asset for less than an estimated $70,000 per unit.”
“This transaction offers the opportunity to not only to extend the duration of current affordable units but to increase the number of affordable units within the property, obtain greater control over the long-term future use and development of the property and receive residual income in the form of lease payments for 75 years,” Cristeal continued.
The sale was quietly approved by the County Board at the end of its Tuesday, Jan. 28 meeting. The item was not originally on the Board’s public agenda. The sale agreement provided by the Board caps the total sale price at no more than $105 million.
Photo via Google Maps
The construction is part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway Project, a project that, when completed, will see a bus rapid transit system connect from Crystal City and Pentagon City down to the Braddock Road Metrorail Station in Alexandria.
The project’s construction is expected to start this spring and last for 10 months. Alexandria’s portion of the Transitway is already under construction, according to county staff. In Arlington, the bus will operate in dedicated lanes near Potomac Yard, with stops on Crystal Drive, S. Bell Street, Clark Street, 15th Street, 20th Street and 26th Street.
During morning and evening rush hours, the buses — which will be a new 9X Metrobus route — will use a dedicated lane south on S. Bell and Clark Streets and north on Crystal Drive, replacing an existing traffic lane. The lane will be open to normal traffic during other times.
A little more than $1 million of the project’s funds will come from county funds and bonds, while the rest will come from state and federal transit grants, according to the county’s staff report. The project is designed to support the redevelopment of Potomac Yard and provide another transit option for commuters and residents of the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.
Last year, Metro announced that the Transitway would be WMATA’s first BRT service. The dedicated lanes are expected to expedite travel times and keep buses running on a more reliable schedule.
Chestnut Hills Park’s pre-school playground, near Yorktown High School, is expected to be torn down and replaced.
The existing playground (2807 N. Harrison Street) is “one of the most popular playgrounds in the county” according to Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation staff. It is also more than 26 years old and “beyond reasonable repair.”
The Arlington County Board will likely award a construction contract of $521,064 at its meeting this Saturday, Feb. 22. About $489,000 of the contract is for construction and design, while the remaining $31,000 is for contingency purposes.
The new playground, designed for children from ages 2-5, will have a climbing arch, crawl tunnels, “talk tubes,” sound columns, “abacus-like arches with moveable foam blocks” and a sand play area with a water feature. A swing set will remain. There will also be a new track that encircles the park, complete with traffic signs.
Images courtesy Arlington Parks and Recreation
Bernick, a legal fellow for the conservative Heritage Foundation, staked his campaign on opposition to “jaw-droppingly reckless expenditures, like a million-dollar bus stop.”
In a statement this morning, Bernick says Vihstadt shares his vision of “responsible and responsive government.”
I announced my run for Arlington County Board because I wanted to make freedom work for Arlington. I believe in giving people the opportunity to make their own decisions about how to pursue and achieve their dreams and strengthen their communities.
After careful consideration, however, I’ve decided to withdraw from the race and defer to someone with both the right vision for Arlington and the right experience to realize that vision.
I know that I haven’t been in Arlington very long. And one of the candidates for office not only shares my views concerning the need for responsible and responsive government, but has decades of experience in local government. That candidate is John Vihstadt, whom I am proud to endorse in this special election.
Arlington needs someone on the Board who is willing to challenge prevailing assumptions about how the government should spend our money, is prepared to cooperate with fellow Board members, and has first-hand knowledge of what the business of local government in Arlington consists in. I think that John Vihstadt will serve our community well.
Notwithstanding my endorsement of John, I wish the best of luck to all the candidates. I think that the participation of many voices in our political process makes our community strong. I’ll be following the debates closely, and I’m excited to see the results. I hope that the election brings out the best in us.
Zimmerman handed in his letter of resignation in advance on Jan. 1, according to County Board Clerk Hope Halleck. At the County Board’s meeting two weeks ago, Zimmerman was the last to speak and gave a 10-minute farewell address (beginning at the 3:16:31 mark).
The main theme of Zimmerman’s speech was striking a balance between listening and leadership:
It is expected that the citizenry will be actively engaged throughout the decision-making process. That is the meaning of the Arlington Way. A board member must always be seeking input from the people of this community. That advice and counsel is no less important than the recommendations of the manager and the professional staff, which must also be carefully understood and taken into account. This is the listening part.
But listening does not mean taking a poll. It does not mean reacting to every stream of controversy fomented on listservs, in emails and on blogs before coming to a decision. In the end, each board member has to make a judgment about what is best for the community.
Leadership is the unflinching exercise of that judgment without regard to momentary swings in popularity. I believe that the great success Arlington has had is the result of the combination of leaders who actively engage the people; listen closely to what they’re saying; and then chart a path that they, in their best judgment, believe is most likely to result in the ultimate happiness of the community; and the willingness of the people in this community to let them do so.
The Board will now operate with four members until a special election is held to fill Zimmerman’s seat, which is expected to be held April 8. Running for his seat are Democrat Alan Howze, who won the party’s primary last weekend, Republican-endorsed independent John Vihstadt, Libertarian Evan Bernick, Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and independent Stephen Holbrook.
Zimmerman announced he was resigning the day after Election Day last fall. His last Board meeting was 18 years to the week after his first. He will now join Smart Growth America as vice president of economic development.
“I will bring all of the lessons I have learned to the effort to help other communities across this country succeed in building a more sustainable, prosperous and more equitable future,” he said to conclude his speech, “and I will continue to be a proud Arlingtonian.”
Arlington County received two bids on the construction of a new “Homeless Services Center” at 2020 14th Street N., across from Arlington police headquarters. KBE Building Corporation bid $5.7 million and Miller Brothers Inc. bid $5.2 million for the project, which will involve interior alterations on two floors of the county-owned office building and the enclosure of an open parking area on the ground floor. The figures do not include project contingencies and some material costs.
“The total amount is within budget,” Arlington County spokeswoman Mary Curtius told ARLnow.com on Monday. The Arlington County Board is expected to award a construction contract at its meeting later this month.
The Homeless Services Center will be a year-round facility, replacing the county’s aging, part-time Emergency Winter Shelter, located two blocks away. The total cost of the project — including last year’s purchase of the building, tenant relocations and the two-floor build-out — is projected at just over $38 million. The building purchase alone cost the county $27.1 million.
Other floors of the building are expected to eventually be used for county offices, displacing the private tenants there now. That may happen when the county’s below-market lease on office space at Vornado-owned Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd) expires, insiders tell ARLnow.com.
A timeframe for construction will not be available until the county staff report is issued on Feb. 14, Curtius said. Last year officials were hoping to have the new homeless shelter built and ready to open by fall 2014.
The decision to build the new homeless shelter attracted considerable controversy last year as nearby condo residents told County Board members they were fearful for their safety and property values. As a compromise measure, the Board agreed to require a security guard at the center from 4:00 p.m. to midnight..
The Arlington County Republican Committee (ACRC) has endorsed John Vihstadt to fill the County Board seat Chris Zimmerman plans to vacate this month.
Vihstadt is running as an independent against Democratic nominee Alan Howze and libertarian Evan Bernick. Perennial Independent Green candidate Janet Murphy and Stephen Holbrook, a retired FBI agent who ran an unsuccessful write-in campaign for the County Board last year, have also filed paperwork indicating that they are running.
Vihstadt now has the endorsement of Arlington Republicans, the Arlington Green Party and several high-profile local Democrats, including County Board member Libby Garvey, Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos and former Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair (and ARLnow.com opinion columnist) Peter Rousselot.
Vihstadt opposes the Columbia Pike Streetcar and the planned Long Bridge Aquatics Center, now on hold after constructed bids came in above the allotted budget. Vihstadt said he’s a Republican when he announced his campaign in December, but chose to run as an independent with the hopes of securing the Republicans’ endorsement.
The endorsement signifies the second consecutive County Board election the Republicans have not run an official candidate. There was no Republican challenger when now-Board Chair Jay Fisette ran for re-election in 2013.
Arlington County Democratic Committee President Kip Malinosky issued a statement after Vihstadt secured the endorsement.
“Mr. Vihstadt has shown us his true Republican colors,” Malinosky said. “He has a long history of supporting conservative can
The special election to replace Zimmerman is expected to be held on April 8. The date is expected to be officially set on Tuesday, Feb. 11, a day after Zimmerman formally resigns.
Update at 1:15 p.m. – This afternoon, ACRC issued the following press release about their Vihstadt endorsement.
Yesterday, the Arlington County Republican Committee voted to endorse the Independent candidacy of John Vihstadt for the upcoming Arlington County Board special election.
At the special meeting of the Arlington GOP, Vihstadt spoke to attendees on a large number of topics, including Arlington’s fiscal health, school capacity issues, and needed improvements to the County’s economic development efforts.
Vihstadt discussed the need for fresh thinking on the County Board. The central theme of Vihstadt’s speech was that the County needs to reassess its current spending priorities, saying, “the proposed $310,000,000 Columbia Pike streetcar and $1,000,000 bus stops are imprudent expenditures that ought to be replaced with more effective and less costly alternatives.” Vihstadt continued, “In addition, the $80,000,000 Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center needs to be scaled back. In a time of economic uncertainty, surging school enrollment, and rising household taxes on working families and seniors, the County Board needs to rethink its priorities.”
Vihstadt asserted that his campaign will continue to highlight the importance of a new perspective, stating that “we need a recalibration of Arlington’s spending priorities to stress core services like public education, public safety, and infrastructure maintenance.”
While not shying away from his Republican background, Vihstadt explained to attendees that his independent candidacy allows a broad spectrum of voters an opportunity to support a candidate willing to put the needs of Arlingtonians before partisan politics.
Chairman Ian Meyeroff added after the meeting that “John’s work for Arlington Republicans is only a tiny fraction of who he is.” Meyeroff noted the Arlington GOP’s 2008 selection of Vihstadt for its Delyannis-Finta Award for Distinguished Community Involvement, attributed to Vihstadt’s decades of civic engagement in the public schools, in the neighborhoods, and across the County on various boards and commissions.
In addition to the Republican Party endorsement, Vihstadt has also been endorsed by the Arlington Green Party and prominent Arlington Democrats including County Board member Libby Garvey and Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos. The County Board special election is expected to be held on April 8, 2014.
Alan Howze has captured the Democratic nomination for the upcoming Arlington County Board special election.
Howze received 52 percent of the vote during the two day Democratic nomination caucus, which concluded Saturday night. The other two candidates, Cord Thomas and Peter Fallon, received 30 and 18 percent of the vote respectively.
“Tonight I am honored to earn the confidence of Arlington Democrats and win the Democratic nomination for the Arlington County Board,” Howze said in a statement.
Howze will now face independent candidate John Vihstadt and libertarian Evan Bernick in the special election, which is being held to replace the retiring Chris Zimmerman. The date for the election has not yet been set, but it is expected to take place in early April.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee issued the press release about the caucus results.
Alan Howze, long-time community leader with experience in government and business, has been nominated as the Democratic candidate for the April Special Election to fill the Arlington County Board seat vacated by the resignation of Chris Zimmerman.
Alan Howze won with 52% of 3,585 votes cast during the two caucuses held Thursday January 30 and Saturday February 1 by the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC). Cord Thomas received 30%, and Peter Fallon received 18%.
For the first time, ACDC used “instant run-off voting” to ensure that the winning candidate was the preference of a majority of voters. Instead of voting for a single candidate, voters were given the opportunity to rank candidates in order of preference. However, IRV was not needed as Mr. Howze received a majority of the first preference votes. The vast majority of caucus voters used the IRV system and voted for more than one candidate.
Alan Howze was born in Arlington, and he and his wife Pam and three young children live in the Highland Park-Overlee Knolls neighborhood. He has a strong history of civic work in Arlington, and currently serves as the President of the Highland Park-Overlee Knolls Civic Association, Vice-Chair of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission (FAAC), and a Board Member of the Alliance for Housing Solutions. A graduate of James Madison University with an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, Alan is a management consultant at IBM where he has worked with federal, state and local government leaders on a variety of strategy and transformation initiatives to reduce costs and improve the delivery of government services. For more information: http://www.alanhowze.com
Democratic Nominee Alan Howze stated: “Tonight I am honored to earn the confidence of Arlington Democrats and win the Democratic nomination for the Arlington County Board.” Howze added, “I want to thank Peter Fallon and Cord Thomas for running campaigns that highlighted important issues in our community. Peter has a long record of public service in Arlington. Cord has developed businesses in our community and can play a meaningful role in our Party. I look forward to working closely with Peter and Cord and their supporters, both to win the special election in April and to govern effectively as a Board member.”
Arlington County Democratic Committee Chairman [Kip Malinosky] stated: “Arlington Democrats are thrilled to rally around Alan Howze. He has an outstanding record of service to our community and a vision for a greater Arlington. We know how important it is to have our Democratic values represented at all levels of our government.
The date of the Special Election will be set by the Circuit Court; most likely it will be on Tuesday, April 8, 2014.