Arlington Elections 2021
Local Elections Count!!!
Arlington County Board, School Board, and State Government Shape Growth and Development!
Elections took place November 2 for Virginia Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and 45th, 47th, 48th, and 49th districts for the Virginia House of Delegates (all covering at least some part of Arlington), one seat for the Arlington County Board, and one seat for the Arlington School Board.
Democrat Takis Karantonis secured victory over three independent challengers for a seat on Arlington County Board: Michael Cantwell, Audrey Clement, and Adam Theo. ASF posed several questions to each of the candidates in advance of the elections, you can review replies from each -- most notably Karantonis as he will remain on the board -- following the questions below:
ASF NOVEMBER 2021 GENERAL ELECTION QUESTIONS FOR COUNTY BOARD CANDIDATES
Question 1 — PARKS, FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES:
A. The County's overdue updating of the Urban Forestry Master Plan and Natural Resources Management Plan is in full swing. What are your specific goals for this update, especially as they may relate to tree canopy, green space and the County's natural environment? Please be specific.
B. Critics contend that both North Arlington's Gulf Branch Nature Center and South Arlington's Long Branch Nature Center have endured benign neglect by the County in recent years, with both facilities suffering from deferred maintenance and programming cutbacks. What do you see as the value of these facilities and what is the right amount of operating and capital expenditures for them?
C. The County is not on track at this point to accomplish the Public Open Spaces Master Plan (PSMP) goal of adding 30 acres of public space in 10 years. What actions would you support by the Board to ensure meeting this goal?
D. The County Manager has offered to APS a list of existing parks that could be considered for potential school sites. Do you believe that this was appropriate, and if so, how do you square that with the PSMP goal of adding 30 acres of public space in 10 years and in light of the dramatic growth occurring in our County?
Question 2 — COST/BENEFIT FISCAL IMPACT STUDIES:
In March 2021, the County entered into a contract with the TischlerBise consulting firm. The contract includes a provision under which TischlerBise will develop “methodologies for forecasting future demand for services and facilities from new development.” Do you support requiring and publicly disclosing the results of such forecasts prior to approving major projects or major zoning initiatives, such as the “Missing Middle”?
Question 3 — PLAN LANGSTON BOULEVARD AND MISSING MIDDLE HOUSING:
A number of civic associations flanking Lee Highway, including Lyon Village and Donaldson Run, have gone on record to sharply criticize current planning efforts as leading to the widespread loss, over time, of small, locally owned businesses, the reduction of relatively modest single family homes, trees and greenspace, the addition of large, multi-story structures that would be starkly out-of-scale with surrounding neighborhoods, and a sharp rise in property values that would induce gentrification of both residential and commercial development. Proponents argue that Langston Boulevard is ripe for redevelopment and that increased density would yield additional housing, commercial growth and amenities that would benefit all demographic groups and people of all income levels. Who is right and is the County on the right path or does it need to stop and reconsider?
Question 4 — LARGE SINGLE FAMILY HOUSING REDEVELOPMENT:
Arlington loses over 200 older single-family homes a year to redevelopment, with often modest ramblers, bungalows and split levels--and the mature trees that often surround them--bulldozed to yield much larger, much more expensive, and less affordable homes that tower over and cast shadows upon their neighbors, feature greatly expanded footprints and impervious surfaces, and no mature landscaping. Is it time to dial back what a private property owner can build on their land and still be sensitive to private property rights? Why or why not, and if so, how would you accomplish that given Virginia property laws?
Nov 2021 Candidates' answers:
- Audrey Clement responses to ASF Questions