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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