This week, we asked the candidates for Arlington County Board to write a sub-750 word essay describing why Arlington residents should vote for them in the special election on April 8.
Below is Republican- and Green-endorsed independent John Vihstadt’s unedited response:
I’m John Vihstadt, and I ask for your vote in the April 8 special election for County Board.
Mary and I have called Arlington home since 1981. Our two sons received an excellent education at Tuckahoe, Swanson and Yorktown. It’s a great place to live and raise a family. But at a time of rising taxes and budget pressures, we need a fresh perspective and some balance on our County Board. It’s time we re-examine our spending priorities and how we engage our diverse community.
I am running for three fundamental reasons:
- To Serve Our Community. I will put my community service of over 30 years to work for all of Arlington. In our neighborhoods, across the County and in our public schools, people know that I have the credibility and the record to get things done in a consensus-building way. I’ve served on the Aging, Housing and Planning Commissions, as well as on the Boards of Community Residences, Inc. for the developmentally disabled and the Arlington Historical Society. I’ve been elected president of my Civic Association and to the Board of the Arlington Civic Federation. And in our schools, I served as a PTA president, as a School Bond Campaign co-chair, as an officer in the County Council of PTA’s, and received the School Board’s Honored Citizen Award. Along with many others, I organized and advocated to accelerate the rebuilding of Wakefield High School.
- To Provide a New Voice. Voters want balance and a fresh perspective on a County Board that has grown insular and dismissive of different views for lack of true electoral competition. Too often, the County Board acts more like an echo chamber than a deliberative body. And too often, the County Board and School Board seem more like ships passing in the night than co-captains of the same boat. I’ll work to break down silos between the County and our schools, develop shared service delivery models and improve cooperation. I’ll ask questions at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, not just nod my head.
- To Adjust Our Spending Priorities and Provide Accountability. We need to focus spending on core services first–public schools, public safety, infrastructure maintenance and neighborhood quality of life–not a $310 million streetcar, million dollar bus stops or a mismanaged aquatics center with faulty construction and operating cost projections. We are still waiting for that bus stop audit promised last fall, and wondering how a dog park in Clarendon could escalate to $1.6 million dollars.
Along Columbia Pike and through Pentagon City and Crystal City, we can implement a form of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) right now–and frankly, we should have already done so. BRT can be implemented more quickly, at a fraction of the cost, with less disruption, better regional connectivity and with more flexibility than a streetcar. And, as Arlington’s own plans for the Crystal City transitway demonstrate, BRT does not require dedicated lanes. Let’s also use earmarked transit funds to expand ART bus, augment express busses, and improve pedestrian safety and bikeways.
I’ve also called on Arlington to follow the recommendation of its own external auditor and implement a robust internal audit/inspector general function. Arlington Public Schools and adjacent jurisdictions have done so. Why not the County?
Why am I Running as an Independent? No political party has a monopoly on wisdom, new ideas or sound government stewardship. And at the local level, voters tell me that they don’t view things like educating our kids, picking up the trash or delivering human services through a partisan prism. People want practical, cost-effective results.
My Independent campaign is backed by current and former elected officials and citizens from across the political spectrum, ranging from Democrats like Theo Stamos, Frank Wilson, Libby Garvey and Peter Rousselot, to Republicans such as David Foster, Jim Pebley and Mike Brunner, as well as Greens and Libertarians. They know that I will not be a captive of any party, person, or ideological agenda.
If you are happy with the status quo and the County’s current spending priorities, there are other candidates. If you want positive, constructive change and new leadership with a proven record of accomplishment, please vote for me. Thank you. (www.VoteForVihstadt.com)
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Synetic Theater Camps are a wildly fun, highly accessible choice for young people who love moving, playing games, and making memories. Registration is open now for Summer Camps (sessions June 20-August 25) and there are even a few spots left for Spring Break camp, April 3-7.
Located in National Landing, these performance-based camps are designed for students of all ages – no theater or performance experience required.
Led by professional teaching artists, campers learn acting, movement, and technical theater skills through the lens of Physical Theater. Physical Theater incorporates acting, movement, dance, mime, and acrobatics. If you’ve seen a Cirque du Soleil performance, you’ll find many similarities.
Most first-time campers are new to the performing arts, and teaching artists are well-versed in engaging students at all levels. Parents and campers report that one of the best parts of Synetic is the community, with many families returning year after year because they feel a strong sense of belonging.
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
WHS Spring Festival
Join us at the WHS Spring Festival on April 22, 2023, from 10am- 3pm at Wakefield High School(main parking lot). Come out to shop, play, and eat!
Shop local vendors, arts & crafts, new and used items, food vendors/trucks, and
District 27 Toastmasters 2023 Virtual Conference
District 27 Toastmasters invites you to its annual conference where you can hear phenomenal speakers, attend professional development and personal growth seminars about leadership, negotiation, communication, teamwork, and mentorship. Learn how to develop your personal story and how to improve