Libby Garvey: Why You Should Vote For Me

by November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm 5,079 35 Comments

Last month we asked the three candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay describing why the county’s residents should vote for them on Election Day (Nov. 6).

Here is the unedited response from incumbent Libby Garvey (D):

I am a proven collaborative leader and have helped lead change in Arlington for over 15 years, first on the School Board and now on the County Board. I’ve helped make our schools among the best in the nation. I know how to do the work of a board member and have already established important relationships around the region and across the state. The relationships and networks I’ve built will continue to serve Arlington well as we work on issues like transit, affordable housing and development.

I believe my priorities fit Arlington’s needs at this time very well. I will continue to focus on:

1. Setting Strategic Priorities: I am concentrating on core services: infrastructure; public safety; transit; education; a strong social safety net. We cannot do everything, but we need to support our most important services and values well.

2. Effective Citizen Involvement: Citizen involvement has made Arlington what it is. As we set our priorities and tackle difficult challenges, we need effective and inclusive citizen involvement more than ever. The County Board is known to change recommendations at the last minute, despite months–or even years–of having committees and our staff working together on finding the best solutions for everyone. Interest groups and committed citizens feel they must come and speak for hours at a meeting: either to try to sway the Board at the last minute or to prevent the Board from making a last minute change. Last minute changes need to become very rare. I will work to see that the current PLACE initiative not only sets up good processes for citizen involvement, but also that the Board commits to those processes itself

3. Sensible Transit: I questioned the decision to build a streetcar from the beginning of my campaign in the special election last spring. In July, as my doubts grew, I abstained on the votes supporting a streetcar and set out my concerns . My major concern is that a real cost benefit analysis of the streetcar project has not been done. On October 9, the County Board received a cost benefit analysis done by Peter Rousselot. That analysis showed clearly that a streetcar makes no sense for Arlington financially, and is likely an inferior vehicle for Arlington to use in the modern transit system we have been designing for some time. There is no question that we need to move forward with a modern transit system for the County. However, the citizens of Arlington need to be fully informed about the relative costs and performance of a streetcar compared to a modern bus rapid transit system (BRT), and the County needs to take a close look at the comparison. I will advocate hard for a robust and informed community dialog about what vehicle to use in our next transit system and am confident that my colleagues will agree that this is needed after they’ve had time to look at the new information we’ve received.

Finally, I believe ArlNow’s readers should vote for me because of some key differences between me and my opponents. I have a much greater depth and quality of experience. I have lived in Arlington for 35 years and served as an elected official for 15 years. I will work independently as I always have to serve this community where I settled in 1977 and raised my children. Arlington is my home.

It has been a true honor and privilege to serve this community as an elected official for 16 years. Please vote for me on November 6. To learn more, please visit my campaign website at

  • Why I will not be voting for Garvey

    I will not be voting for Garvey because she had a job to do and chose not to do it. Up or down she should have been prepared to vote on the Columbia Pike Street car. She shirked her responsibility, which is why she will not get my vote. That was just a cowardly abstention.

    • Zelora

      I PERSONALLY TOLD HER she had my vote last time around. I thought she would vote against the trolley. Stupid me! She didn’t!
      Stupid her! She lost my vote this time~!

    • SARL


    • David M


  • Swag

    Why I won’t vote for you: You punted on the streetcar issue.

    • Swag

      ps: In before comments get disabled~

  • DynaFlash 8

    ‘Libby’ has the best and most descriptive first name for a Democrat.

    (Moron has the best last name …)

    • DynaFlash 8

      Actually, I erred. Jim Moran loses on the best last name .

      That honor belongs to Anthony WEINER, former NY Congressman.

      • malaka

        you forgot Boner

        • DynaFlash 8

          Strickly talking “Dumb-on-crack” pols here; Boner is for another time.

          • malaka

            Another much dumber and exceptionally more perma-tanned time no doubt.

          • DynaFlash 8

            Yep. Keep on smokin’.

            Tu stultus es …

          • gee! latin you must be smart!

            even if you learnt it from the Onion

      • drax

        I remember when Dix joined the Cox committee. And when the House GOP had a guy named Doolittle and another named Delay in its leadership. Good times.

        • malaka

          shhh! only democrats can have silly names!

  • Don

    Where do you stand on the street car issue?

    • Why I will not be voting for Garvey

      It doesn’t matter where I stand on it. It will pass all board votes with at least 4 board members support. She was elected to make decisions, she chose to look out for her political interests as opposed to taking a tough stand for Arlington County. For this reason alone she will not get my vote. She was elected to lead and has not done so.

  • Douglas Park

    I hope she changes her mind. I want to see the street car on the Pike.

    • Ballston

      +1. I’m hoping one of these candidate essays expresses support for the streetcar. If they do, they’ve got my vote.

    • Around the Block

      Agreed. Where are the candidates who believe in the continued development of the Pike? Did they lose the Dem primary?

  • Sam the Cat

    As her first name is Libby – I will not vote for her, even though I am sooooo in favor of the trolly.

    • FrenchyB

      I’m voting for Del Monte.

      • The man from Del Monte


  • YTK

    She could have voted AGAINST the streetcar but chose not to do so. Why?

  • Andrew baileys x-roads

    ditto on not voting for Libby, anyone who opposes the street car opposes development along the Pike for Arlington! BRT is just a bus system that runs more often, but won’t spur any additional growth or development and will just add traffic to the area, and won’t get you anymore like a fixed cable street car would. Libby, the cost is lowered, but the benefit is lost on a BRT system…

  • NIMBY The Chicken

    I’m going to pull a Libby and leave that question blank on the ballot.

    • GC_Now


  • APS

    I will not vote for her.

  • Just Me

    I will not vote for her.

  • Arlingtonian

    Ditto on the above punting on streetcar vote comments. She really blew that one.

  • MaydayMalone

    Does she really need 750 words? She’s a Democrat and this is Arlington. She could be a serial killer and she’ll still be our next Board member.

  • drax

    She’s our Scott Dejarlais.

  • vacuum guy

    because i look like Leonard Nimoy.

  • streetcar

    any one else write in “street car” for the county board? 😡

    • Douglas Lark

      Oh, I wish I had seen this recommendation before yesterday! I would have totally written in “Street Car” on my ballot for County Board. Garvey was totally wishy-washy/ flippy-floppy on the streetcar issue until she got the vote yesterday. When I saw her speech I wish I hadn’t voted for her.


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