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Group Fires Back at Change-of-Government Memo

The Committee for a Better Arlington is firing back at a memo released by the County Attorney’s office yesterday. The memo concluded that the change-of-government plan promoted by the committee would be “a step backwards for the County.”

The committee just issued a strongly-worded statement (below) and pointed us to a memo from Ron Carlee, the previous county manager, which talks about the limitations of the County Manager Plan of government currently in place in Arlington.

Here’s the full statement:

It is disappointing that taxpayer dollars spent on the County Attorney’s salary were used for the overtly political memo disguised as a legal opinion on this ballot initiative.

The Committee for a Better Arlington was established in order to improve the current form of government in Arlington County so that it is more accountable and responsive to its citizens. It was established to improve the transparency between elected officials and Arlingtonians. More importantly, it was established to curtail the power an unelected bureaucrat has over the services and citizens of Arlington.

Prior to embarking on this initiative, the Committee for a Better Arlington deliberately reviewed the various forms of government provided for in the Virginia Code. The Committee felt the County Board form of government was the least disruptive yet responsive form of government that would remedy the faults in the current system – mainly communication and transparency with the County Board.

To date, thousands of Arlington registered voters have signed the petition expressing the same desire to improve Arlington County. This is not simply a matter pushed by Arlington’s police and fire unions to increase their pay.

If the County Attorney believes those who are pushing this change are naive then he believes the thousands of Arlington voters we meet each weekend at grocery stores, metro stops and farmers’ markets are also naive. Perhaps these voters will be equally naive come November and vote to improve the current system – one that places political expediency over better government practices.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

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Matt Ruby, Headliner

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