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League of Women Voters in Dust-Up with Committee for a Better Arlington

by ARLnow.com June 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm 1,420 20 Comments

The League of Women Voters of Arlington is bristling at a snub by the Committee for a Better Arlington (CBA).

The Committee did not respond to the League’s repeated requests for information about the effects of CBA’s proposed change to Arlington’s form of government, prompting the League to issue a press release today saying it’s “concerned” about “the depth of the public dialogue” regarding the change.

The League, which has no official position on the change-of-government initiative, says it wants “an open discussion focusing on the practical implications of the proposed… changes that could greatly affect County residents.”

“Arlington voters have the right to be informed on issues of such important to our community,” League preisdent Nancy Tate said. “Any proposed changes to our government should be discussed in a concrete and practical manner.”

The Committee for a Better Arlington, meanwhile, responded today with a statement of their own.

Since this past winter, the Committee has met with numerous organizations and civic associations to speak with their membership about this referendum. The League of Women Voters was the only community organization to decline our request – on more than one occasion. Our focus continues to be educating voters and collecting signatures so Arlingtonians will have a choice at the ballot box this November.

The Committee’s request to speak to the League’s membership, referenced in the statement, may be granted after all.

“Should [the League] sponsor a public forum, which we may do, we will of course invite representatives from both sides of the issue, as we have indicated to the CBA,” Tate told ARLnow.com in a subsequent email.

The full statements from both groups, after the jump.

From the League of Women Voters:

The League of Women Voters of Arlington today expressed concerns about the depth of the public dialogue regarding proposed changes to Arlington’s form of government. League president Nancy Tate called for an open discussion focusing on the practical implications of the proposed structural, managerial, and electoral changes that could greatly affect County residents should the issue be brought before the voters.

“The League has no position about what form of government or electoral system is best. We do, however, have a long-standing commitment to providing a forum for discussion when key aspects of life in the county are impacted,” said Tate. “This proposal has the potential to impact everything from access to affordable housing and critical community services to land use and the quality of our schools.  That is why we have asked the two organizations formed around this issue to answer key questions about how the proposed changes to the County Board would impact our community.”

The League sent a letter to the Committee for a Better Arlington (CBA), which supports the proposed change of creating a County Board form, and the Coalition for Arlington Good Government (CAGG), which supports maintaining the current County Manager Plan. Despite an initial agreement to respond within the one week deadline, CBA did not do so and has not responded to further inquiries. CAGG did.  The questions, and the CAGG responses, are pasted below and available online at http://lwv-arlingtonva.org. If responses are received later from CBA, the League will publish those as well.

“Arlington voters have the right to be informed on issues of such importance to our community,” Tate concluded. “Any proposed changes to our government should be discussed in a concrete and practical manner.  We look forward to that conversation.”

From the Committee for a Better Arlington:

Like the League of Women Voters, the Committee for a Better Arlington believes it is important to educate the public about the proposed change of government referendum circulating in Arlington. Once Arlingtonians hear both sides of the issue and understand that the current form of government is not accountable or responsive to the needs of a progressive and modern Arlington, the Committee believes even more voters will want to sign the petition. Since this past winter, the Committee has met with numerous organizations and civic associations to speak with their membership about this referendum. The League of Women Voters was the only community organization to decline our request – on more than one occasion. Our focus continues to be educating voters and collecting signatures so Arlingtonians will have a choice at the ballot box this November.

  • Efrem Hornbostle

    This is just another setup by another ACDC front group trying to smear and hinder the change-of-government effort.

    The League of Women Voters of Arlington is indeed an ACDC front group. Notice the timing of their statement. Why did they wait until now to voice their concern?

    Timing is everything with ACDC front groups, just like the ACDC stooges they script for public comment at County Board meetings.

    The League of Women Voters of Arlington is comprised of elitist progressive Democrat hacks that carry the water for the ACDC.

    You can rest assured they are against the change-of-government effort.

    • Mike

      Right as rain Ethan.

    • You stay classy, Arlington Republicans.

      • MB

        To be fair, “Efrem” isn’t necessarily an Arlington Republican. He likes to hang out with the other half-wits on BVBL (shocker) and claim interests in various jurisdictions. I’m thinking he’s just the standard-issue right-wing troll that drew the assignment for ARLnow.com. A shame, really, as it tends to poison the place, despite some of the best efforts to ignore him. So, as laughable as Arlington Republicans are, they generally don’t stoop to this level, and we shouldn’t assume that’s “Efrem” represents them.

        (Then again – yes, Mike (Lane?), we know you like him. True colors and all that.)

  • Efrem Hornbostle

    The Coalition for Arlington Good Government (CAGG), a ACDC front group, teamed with The League of Women Voters of Arlington, another ACDC front group, to strategically smear The Committee for a Better Arlington at this very important juncture of the change-of-government effort.

    This is a classic case of fraud on part of the ACDC and proves once again that the hard-left progressive liberals at the ACDC, and their puppets on the County Board will do just about anything to defraud citizens of the truth when improving their government is involved.

    This is nothing but a disgrace.

  • John

    I don’t get it. Why not just answer the questions in a timely manner. We need answers not rhetoric. Both sides have made pretty big arguments about how much this might impact the affordable housing, human rigths and local autonomy of Arlington. Many of these clas would seem to be something that could be clarified. I thing the AG should issue a statement clarifing his views as to the Dillon Rule and specific uncertain questions.

  • John

    @Thes not the county attourney who works for the board, I mean the Virginia AG, Mr Cooch should let us know how many Arlington statutes he will challenge and the states opinion on how the Dillon rule will apply. Also since the republicans are so gung ho about this it would be helpful for the arlingtongop to issue a call for the virginia legislature and govenor to support legislation to preserve local rules following a cog.

    • Thes

      Well, obviously the Virginia Attorney General, a partisan Republican elected official, isn’t going to be any more objective than the County Attorney. But if you want a second opinion, Jeff Gore, an independent attorney provided this information:

      http://lwv-arlingtonva.org/files/jeffgore042110.pdf

      Meanwhile, I’m not aware of any CBA lawyer who’s actually found anything materially incorrect in the County Attorney’s statement. What we have heard is that the Arlington Democrats (whose invitation to speak they refused), the Committee of 100, the League of Women Voters, at least 15 individuals actually elected by the people of Arlington (some in districts and some at large), the County Attorney, the Arlington New Directions Coalition, the Alliance for Housing Solutions, the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, etc. etc., are all biased, biased biased “front groups” from the Democratic “cabal”. You know, there comes a time when you’ve got to start blaming the ref and just play the game.

      • Mike

        Mr Gore’s analysis is factual, but it does not form any opinion about the change of goverment. Don’t beleive Thes, he’s an ACDC hack.

        • Thes

          Um, right. So here’s Gore’s factual analysis: Arlington will lose (page 6) the following things: home purchase assistance for firefighters and teachers, the Civil Service Commission (page 7), parts of our human rights ordinance (page 7), retirement benefits for part-time employees (page 7), parts of our ability to regulate child care facilities (page 7), development rights transfers (page 7), exterior lighting regulations (page 8), some historic preservation authorities (page 8), misdemeanor law enforcement authority (page 8), some sanitary district authority (page 8), the Affordable Housing Investment Fund (page 9), tenant relocation payments (page 9), and the requirement that developers pay for more affordable housing (page 9). Also, the CBA could have, for example, sought the Urban County Executive Form Fairfax has (page 3) or incorporation as a city (page 17) to get district-based elections without losing as many of these authorities. But instead they chose the County Board form.

          I don’t need to be an ACDC hack to say: that’s terrible; what a poor choice the CBA made in proposing the County Board Form!

          • Mike

            Yawn. Such “losses” are really scaring people from signing this petition. Most people don’t care two figs about them. Only an ACDC hack would even know about them.

          • Observer

            It continues to amaze that CBA cannot rebut a single one of the criticisms of the County Attorney, Jeff Gore, and CAGG. Indeed, they do not even try.

            Based on what Mike keeps writing, it appears that “ACDC hacks” are the only ones who actually care about public services for Arlington residents. Fine then. Call me a hack. Might as well call everyone names when you have nothing of substance to say.

          • Observer, to judge from the comments here, the change of government petition’s supporters think the 75% of Arlingtonians who vote Democratic can all be summarily dismissed as “ACDC hacks.”

          • Mike

            Throwing out red herrings is all the acdc hacks an do. Hacks that want to preserve the power base of their party in hopes they can climb the ladder. I could care less if the cog results in all democrats being elected. I just want them to have the fear of accountability drilled into them. The CB is far too arrogant and needs a smack down.

  • Matt

    The headline here doesn’t match the story at all! How does the Committee for a Better Arlington quote from the story that “The League of Women Voters was the only community organization to decline our request – on more than one occasion.” fit that the LWV was snubbed. It reads the other way around that the Committee for a Better Arlington was snubbed by the League of Women Voters. Such a contradiction embedded in a story with a headline that so misdirects the reader calls into question the reporting standards of ARL-Now. It is a shame because ARL-NOW was quickly becoming my go to source…

    • CBA also refused to speak at an Arlington County Democratic Committee public forum. It’s pretty clear these guys know the more voters know about this proposal, the less they’ll like it.

      • Mike

        So you are in favor of the voters making the decision? Then sign the petition. Oh, you’re the one who boldly predicted it wont make the ballot.

  • John

    I’m pretty sure that the ACDC public forum isn’t exactly neutral ground for them to come and speak at. The LWV questionnaire seems kind of slanted towards keeping the government as is. They specifically asked for examples of things that would be lost in switching government. That seems like an opening for the headline: “CBA Admits COG would cause….”
    At the same time I’m increasingly concerned that the COG will result in a second phase plan where the Republicans come in with all kinds of lawsuits to dismantle our local ordinances. I’d really like them to go on record about how they would use the Dillon Rule to change other ordinances (e.g. Daycare, Human Rights Comish, etc)

  • Marge

    [Responding to John at 1:48 PM on June 23]
    The League’s questionnaire asked,”Please explain how the form of government you advocate (County Board or County Manager Plan) impacts the achievement of the following goals:” and went on to name six functions of the county including land use planning, quality schools, public safety, affordable housing, etc. The second question the League asked was, “Please cite one example of the way that the opposing form of county government would undermine the quality of life in Arlington.”
    CBA has the opportunity to identify the characteristics of the County Manager Plan of government that they assert need changing and tell why. They could also allay concerns about adverse impacts to Arlington quality of life issues like quality schools, affordable housing, child care standards, and protection from discrimination. I continue to hope CBA will respond to the League’s questions.

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