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Prospects For Change-of-Government Referendum Dimming

by ARLnow.com July 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm 1,980 16 Comments

It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Committee for a Better Arlington will reach the mark needed to get a proposed change to Arlington’s form of government on the November ballot.

With approximately 250 pages to go during their “first pass” through the 761 petition sheets submitted, county election personnel say they’ve have counted 8,123 valid signatures. A total of 14,350 valid signatures are needed.

A “second pass” will be conducted to count signatures that could not be readily verified during the first go-round. However, if current trends hold, that process will most likely not yield enough signatures for the petition to pass.

The “rejection rate” for batches that have been fully processed is around 19 percent, according to a county source. At that rate, the petition will fall more than 1,000 signatures short.

  • Jim S

    Any word on the reason for rejections? An earlier story said that the County was verifying signatures using SSNs, but I was told by a canvasser that the SSN was not required and no one who signed the sheet I was given provided it.

    • ArlingtonAaron

      Take a look at the registrar’s site and it has all that info, as well as copies of processed sheets which indicate which names are registered. Mostly people not registered to vote in Arlington when they signed, out of county signatures and duplicates. Nothing at all to do with signatures.

    • Names and addresses, plus social security numbers in some instances. The prior story was incomplete in terms of not mentioning addresses.

  • Reasons

    You can check the petitions yourself & the Registrar’s Codes here:


    Looks like people were disqualified in all the categories she lists on this page.

    • Jim S

      Love the upside-down scans of even numbered pages. Someone used the wrong setting on their copier/scanner

  • Option B

    Ugh. I didn’t care for the referendum but I was actually hoping it got onto the ballot so that the voters could reject it and put a definitive end to the debate. Failing at the petition stage – combined with all the animosity it ginned up – just means we’re more likely to see this beast rear its head again.

  • Hopeful

    Maybe if we’re lucky the unions will realize what a ridiculous waste of resources this was and refuse to fund another shot next year.

  • John Fontaine

    This won’t be back anytime soon. The law won’t allow a petition attempt for 3 years. By that time cooler heads will prevail. Almost all the money for this came from the unions, with almost nothing from the community. I’m just stunned that they spent $5/signature.

    • Mike

      The law doesn’t allow the same petition for three years. They could come back with a different form like Fairfax County — next year. I doubt they will do it however.

  • Anthony

    That’s what you get when you have to import (and pay) people to gather signatures. They were not educated on the issues, are not familiar with Arlington, and did not ask the right questions from the voter. Like “are you a registered voter of Arlington County?”

  • Efrem

    Re: “This won’t be back anytime soon. The law won’t allow a petition attempt for 3 years. By that time cooler heads will prevail.”

    What cooler heads are you talking about? The ACDC ruling party comprised primarily of elitist self-absorbed progressive Democrats that let the current County Board determine the spacing between their outside bistro seating arrangements?

    Will a failed petition drive send more people to the ACDC or will it energize those disenfranchised by the ACDC and current County Board to seek a another change in 3 years, and in the interim, build a much larger base of support?

    In lieu of looking inwards to do some soul searching, if the petition fails, the ACDC and current County Board will be out with a vendetta against the key petition players, especially public safety county employees. Mark my words.

    I contend the County Board will actually ramp up wasteful spending and increase the tax burden. Why? Because the ruling class thinks they are better than you and me. They think they can run our lives better than we can. Progressives think they are God and believe the real God is nothing more than a non-Arlington figment of imagination. They say they are caring and compassionate but consider a breathing and alive fetus nothing more than a choice and a glob of tissue. They say they stand for social justice, but do nothing to entice illegal aliens to assimilate and become part of the fabric of America. They say they live in the best area of the Metro region, but totally ignore those that live within their domain that struggle to make ends meet because of the progressive’s misaction. They throw in a few abodes under the illusion of “affordable housing” next to their McMansions and double garages full of BMW’s and Land Rovers for the poor folk, but do nothing to ease the tax burden and wasteful spending that sends many more Arlingtonians to live elsewhere. In essence, progressives are frauds. The ACDC is a fraud. The current County Board is a fraud. And the one thing the petition drive has done, is expose them to many more Arlingtonians as a fraud.

    They will not get it, they will never get it, they are after all progressives.

    Liberty and freedom always prevails even if it takes time.

    • Jack

      Sounds like the rantings of one who knows his cause is doomed. Heh heh.

    • Actually Efrem, for a bunch of elitist, out of touch frauds, the Board was pretty responsive to the petition.

      Remember, this all got started when the public safety unions became exasperated by the County Manager cutting their departments without much input from them. Between the threat of the referendum and the massive turnout by police officers and firefighters during the budget hearings, the Board got the message and rejected the County Manager’s recommendations, opting not to cut any public safety positions. That, in turn, probably took a lot of the wind out of the sails of the petition drive.

      As a result of all of this, the County Board now knows that the public safety unions won’t just sit back and take cutbacks lying down and I would guess it will be a LONG time before they consider making cuts to those departments again. In that sense, you could say the referendum was a success, despite not even getting through the petition stage.

    • Teresa

      This progressive “gets it” just fine, thank you very much. I enjoy living in Arlington – South Arlington at that (very close to Columbia Pike)! It would seem from the comments on here and other sites that most Arlingtonians are proud of where they live. I know I love my little neighborhood. If it ever got to a point where I couldn’t find one good thing to say about the place I live, then I’d move. I wouldn’t try to put down and belittle the thousands of other people who like it here just because I became disgruntled – yet that’s exactly what you do, and it makes you sound like a VERY bitter person.

  • Will Rubin

    “Liberty and freedom always prevails even if it takes time.”

    I hate it when conservatives try to usurp a liberal mantra.

  • Deb

    I do hope the petition drive fails. All Arlington needs is a form of government like DC…every ward out for itself…the wealthier wards get the benefits while the poorer ones just seem to stagnate. At least with at-large seats the whole county gets representation. When we first moved here over 20 years ago coworkers were surprised we lived east of Route 50. Over the years many of the imbalances in schools and other services have been corrected. No need to pit the North Arlingtonians against the South against the East and against the West. We should aspire to be a community. The current form of government has worked.


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