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ACDC to Host Forum and Vote on Proposal to Change Arlington’s Form of Government

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This should be interesting.

Arlington County Democratic Committee to Host Forum and Vote on Proposal to Change Arlington’s Form of Government

Arlington, VA – The May 5, 2010, meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) will feature a special debate on the petition drive led by Arlington Fire Fighters and other groups to force a referendum to change Arlington County’s form of government from the County Manager Plan form to the County Board form.

This effort has been the subject of substantial discussion within the Arlington community, and has prompted the establishment of groups both supporting and opposing the proposed referendum.

The May 5 forum will be moderated by Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Mike Lieberman.  The event is open to public and media are welcome to attend.

Immediately following the debate, the Arlington County Democratic Committee will likely consider and vote on whether to support or oppose the proposed ballot measure.

What:              ACDC Forum and Vote on the Change of Government proposal

Who:               Mike Staples, President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 2800

                       Ron Carlee, former Arlington County Manager, and Director of Strategic Domestic Initiatives for the International City/County Manager Association

Where:            NRECA Building, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA

When:             May 5, 2010 ACDC Meeting

Time:           7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

For more information on this subject, which is being hotly debated in Arlington County right now, see the “Committee for a Better Arlington” Facebook page (for those supporting a change in Arlington’s form of government) and the “Coalition for Arlington Good Government (CAGG)” Facebook page (for those opposing this change). Also, see here for a chart showing the various forms of county government in Virginia, and here for a memo by Arlington’s county attorney analyzing the the proposed change in government form.  To put this measure on the ballot, supporters need to gather around 14,000 signatures (of Arlington registered voters) by July 15.  I have no idea how close they are to doing so, but hopefully we’ll find out next Wednesday at the ACDC meeting.

P.S. It’s worth noting that the Arlington County Greens and the Arlington County Republicans both support this proposal, as do the police and firefighters’ unions.  Many Democrats, including County Board Chairman Jay Fisette, strongly oppose it.  

  • Is Arlington County’s government setup totally perfect? Meh, probably not. Is this the right proposal? No. Is this the right way to do it? Absolutely not.

  • Alan

    Blowing up Arlington’s form of government is not the solution for a pay dispute between county employees and the (former) County Manager.  The proposed referendum would inflict significant collateral damage on Arlington residents because we would lose many of the local authorities that our state legislators have fought to get into the state code over the past 50+ years.  The referendum would:

    – Invalidate Arlington’s strong locally-adopted child day care standards and replace with minimal state requirements

    – Overturn Arlington’s current system for governing our schools

    – Roll-back Arlington’s power to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation

    – Eliminate Arlington’s non-political civil service system and replace it with a system that gives County Board members authority to hire and fire

    For more analysis of the effects of the referendum check out a presentation posted to the League of Women Voters website.

    http://lwv-arlingtonva.org/

    To get involved visit the Coalition for Arlington Good Government –

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/gro