Change of Government Petition Drive Appears Unlikely to Succeed

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    Though I was supportive of their efforts to get on the ballot because of a lack of debate.  After doing my own research on the issue I’m reasonably happy that it appears headed for defeat.  According to arlnow.com the Better Arlington group managed to barely cross 16k signatures turned in with 14k required to make the ballot.  Early tallies with barely 4000 signatures counted have already disqualified 1000 signatures.    Typically a petition drive will have a 25 to 40% reject rate.  This we would expect the drive to come in with 10-12k valid signatures.  

    In the end I was swayed not by my fellow dems here but by talking with members of Better Arlington and their paid petition gatherers.   So many of the gatherers were rude and obnoxious and uninformed on the issue.  They made claims like we’d get to elect the county manager.  When I asked direct questions regarding dillon rule challenge impacts and impacts to county revenues from lost tax and fee authority they had no answers.  

    I was concerned about race and the legacy of at large voting, but there is nothing distinctive in regional voting patterns in our county to indicate that any group is particularly disenfranchised.

    I was also concerned about a number of community issues like the Columbia Pike library, increasing neighborhood density and how we will govern ourselves as we become more urban.  Yet using the change of government process was not the answer.