Rather than simply decline to sign knowing that initiative is likely to get on the ballot, I propose an alternative strategy. First we should demand that Cooch take a position on the Dillon Rule issues. There is uncertanty and the citizens should be able to have an answer from their government, Will the AG work to protect local autonomy in Arlington if the government changes or will he launch a wave of lawsuits to overturn local ordinances. Second will the Govenor support legislative reform to protect county ordinances in the event of a COG? We should also demand the Arlington GOP tale a stand on specific ordinances such as daycare and housing. They are salivating at the chance to use the courts to dismantle Arlington’s rules, let’s use this to push them into positions they may find uncomfortable later.
Second we may be able to use this initiative to grant additional powers to other counties. Why ais Arlington alone granted these rights explicitly.
Now on the other side fear of cog may induce some meaningful reforms. More power should be in the hands of citizens and neighborhoods and less in lobbiests and staff. We need to get the dems to admit that things are not perfect and we need more neighborhood input on budgets, services and sighting if facilities. Finally the key department leades need more autonomy from the executive. Department heads should have some leeway to provide alternative budget recommendations to the board and talk directly and candidly to elected officials.