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Arlington County Civic Federation

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2008-2009 Committee Reports

Submitted for the June 2009 Meeting

Standing Committees:

Bylaws Community Relations Cultural Affairs Environmental Affairs Housing Legislation Membership
Parks and Recreation Planning and Zoning Public Services Revenues and Expenditures Schools Special Events Transportation

Other Responsibilities:

Awards Audit Nominating


Public Preparedness 9/11 Scholarships

    Awards Committee

    Chair(s)/Representative: Ann Rudd

    See 2009 banquet program for list of awards

    Audit Committee


    Bylaws Committee


    Community Relations

    Chair(s)/Representative: Adam Croswell

    Cultural Affairs

    Chair(s)/Representative: OPEN

    Environmental Affairs

    Chair(s)/Representative: Larry Finch

    The committee was instructed to review a draft resolution asking the County Board to advertise for the adoption of a broad prohibition on possession of exotic reptiles, birds, and mammals. A few months earlier, the County had enacted an ordinance banning possession of venomous reptiles. Deputy County Manager Marsha Allgeier met with the committee in September and explained that Arlington was working with other Northern Virginia jurisdictions to develop a regional approach to regulating exotic animals as pets. The committee recognized that extensive research would be needed to determine how a new County ordinance would relate to federal and state laws regulating importation and possession of exotic animals. At the general meeting on October 7, 2008, it was agreed that action on the draft resolution should remain with the committee while staff developed a regional approach to the regulation of exotic animals.

    The committee organized a presentation on Arlington�s solid waste management program at the ACCF meeting on January 6, 2009. Erik Grabowski, chief of the Solid Waste Bureau, Department of Environmental Services, described both the trash and recycled materials programs. He explained that on April 1, 2009, the County would expand the range of materials accepted for curbside recycling, switch to a �single stream� system, and provide new wheeled containers to accommodate a larger volume of recycled materials. The committee will arrange for periodic reports on the effectiveness of the new recycling program.

    The committee has begun studying issues related to the health of Arlington�s streams and the County�s obligations for protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Work on these topics will continue in the fall.

    Members of the Environmental Affairs Committee include Bob Deason, Peg Nelson, Paul Nelson, and Larry Finch.


    Chair(s)/Representative: Kathryn Scruggs 703-536-9148

    Housing Committee Annual Report June 11, 2009

    Members: Mark Antell, Stan Karson, Larry Mayer, Peter Owen, Robin Renner, Kathryn Scruggs (Chair), Max Scruggs, Joe Wholey

    During 2008-09 the Housing Committee held meetings by email and on January 26 and June 10. We had three major interests: the Housing Authority Referendum, the Legislative Package, and housing funding in the 2010 County budget.

    The Committee organized a presentation on the Housing Authority Referendum at the October '08 Federation meeting. Jack Cornman, Alliance for Housing Solutions and Josh Ruebner, Green Party presented their opposing viewpoints. Mike Scheurer of the Virginia Housing Development Authority addressed the complexities of the Virginia Code that enables and empowers housing authorities.

    For the '09 Legislative Package the Committee generated three proposals. Unfortunately, the proposals were not accepted by 2/3 of the Federation even though two of them (items a and c below) had passed with a simple majority previously. The items and vote follows:

    2009 Legislative Package (under the heading Economic and Community Development)

      a) Adequate funding for the Virginia Housing Trust Fund (24-16)

      b) Creation of livable, diverse neighborhoods (9-31)

      c) Affordable housing in publicly-owned property (18-21-1)

    The Committee supported the County Manager's budget request for funding for housing programs and asked the Revenues and Expenditures Committee to also recommend such funding.

    The Housing Committee began planning a presentation on the Housing Authority Referendum for the October 6 Federation meeting in the event that it will be on the November ballot. If it will not be on the ballot the Committee would like to present an update on the housing initiatives of the non-profit organizations in Arlington.

    Kathryn Scruggs, Chair 2008-09


    Chair(s)/Representative: Tim Wise 703-243-8345

    See 2009 Legislative Package with votes.


    Chair(s)/Representative: Mileva Hartman 703-841-9287

    Membership Chairman�s Report for FY 2009

    The business of the 2009 Membership Committee was conducted by Anna Medlen, Ann Rudd, Eileen Williams and Chair, Mileva Hartman. The Committee is charged with the review and determination of action for inquiries concerning membership and assisting with the general meetings as requested by the President. The Committee also provided support for the annual Awards banquet.

    In addition to presenting applications for membership to the Membership Committee and the Federation body, the Chairman functions as a source of information to those interested in joining the Federation, establishing civic groups and/or acquiring information about the Federation. The Chairman also published the annual delegate roster which was distributed at the April Federation meeting and maintains the attendance report.

    The Chairman is responsible maintenance of the Access database and the distribution of the monthly newsletter. The Chairman maintains the email address list in the CivFed List Serve, which is used expressly for the purpose of emailing the monthly newsletter. As of June 1, the List Serve contains 520 email addresses. Membership information was transferred at the start of the new fiscal year to an Access Database.

    Mass mailing of the Federation�s monthly newsletter ended in November. 564 newsletters were being mailed monthly at a cost of about $240 (printing, labels, and postage). At present, only 25 newsletters are now mailed to delegates without email access (upon their request).

    Two groups requested information about the Federation, how to join the Federation and/or how to organize a civic association. Following Executive Committee review, the Robert Pierre Johnson housing Development Corporation�s application for membership was disapproved (see copy of attached letter). One organization, Arlington Housing Solutions (AHS) was accepted and joined the Federation in April. The Membership Committee Chairman has instructional guidelines on how to establish a civic association and how to join the Arlington County Civic Federation available for those who want them.

    As of this date, the Federation consists of eighty-two (82) organizations. Delegate attendance and the number of associations represented at the monthly meetings can be found in the attached chart.

    One organization resigned: Townes of Courthouse Hill, stating the organization is dormant at this time, without leadership or meetings. One organization (Long Branch) has been notified that it will be dropped for failure to pay dues. Both are eligible to reactivate their membership.

    Parks and Recreation Committee

    Chair(s)/Representative: Jay Jacob Wind

    See May 2009 presentation on Parks Planning

    Planning and Zoning

    Co-Chair(s)/Representative: Larry Mayer 703-525-8921; Martha Moore 703-527-3782

    Public Services

    Chair(s)/Representative: Mike Kerley

    Arlington County Civic Federation - Public Services Committee

    Annual Report � June 3, 2008 to June 2, 2009

    Robert Atkins (Arlington County Taxpayers Association), Stan Karson (Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights), Mike Kerley (chair) (Arlington Forest), Amy Levin (Aurora Highlands), Larry Mayer (Lyon Park), Jim Pebley (Waycroft-Woodlawn), Jackie Snelling (Lyon Village), and Eileen Williams (League of Women Voters)

    1. Planned meeting programs:

    2. Studied and reported on motions:

    3. Participated in Arlington County advisory groups:

    • Emergency Preparedness Advisory Commission (in development)
    • Police Chief�s Advisory Council

    Revenue and Expenditues

    Chair(s)/Representative: Wayne Kubicki

    See FY 2010 committee report on the County Manager�s Proposed FY10 Budget presented at the April 7, 2009 membership meeting.


    Chair(s)/Representative: Jim Pebley 703-525-0766

    Schools Committee

    Chair(s)/Representative: Beth Wolffe 703-536-1654


    1. Substantive Action

    In 2008-2009, the Schools Committee (in roughly chronological order):

    • Assisted the Executive Committee in revising the format and scheduling of the annual School Board program and provided many of the topics discussed during the program. For a review of the topics sent to the School Board, see the March 2009 Newsletter, p. 2.
    • Reviewed APS� proposed budget and recommended certain changes to it. As part of its review process, the Committee met with School Board members Ed Fendley (Chairman) and Abby Raphael and enjoyed a highly productive and candid discussion of current budget issues. This discussion helped to shape the Committee�s report, pp. 20-23. The Committee�s report, together with the Revenue & Expenditures Committee�s report on the County Budget was adopted by the Federation on April 7, 2009, by a vote of 44-3, with 5 abstentions.
    • Jointly sponsored with the Revenues & Expenditures Committee a resolution calling for the County Board and School Board to jointly examine the Revenue Sharing Agreement as a means of funding the school system with a view to abolishing or modifying it to make it more appropriate to current economic conditions. The resolution was considered at the Federation�s meeting on June 2, 2009, and failed, 16-17. The joint report and resolution are on this website.

    2. Delegates to Related APS Committees and Groups

    During this past year, Rich Samp continued to serve as the Civic Federation representative to the APS Budget Advisory Committee (�BAC�). The BAC meets on a monthly basis throughout the year, and more frequently during the period leading up to approval of the School Board's annual budget in the spring. The BAC provides the School Board with recommendations on budgetary priorities and on how best to format budget documents to provide citizens with a clear understanding of the School Board's goals and how well it is achieving those goals. Among the topics that the BAC focused on most closely this past year were how best to provide a reserve for employee/retiree health care liability, ensuring adequate budgets for maintaining existing structures and equipment, compensation, and foreign language instruction at the elementary school level.

    3. Committee Membership

    During this past year, committee member Gerry Collins (former Arlington Education Association president) resigned. We felt his loss and thank him for his years of dedicated and thoughtful service on the Committee. Fortunately, he was replaced by AEA delegate Anya Gan, who made many substantive contributions. We are very pleased to have her with us and look forward to working with her in years to come.

    We also lost long-time committee members John and Barbara DePauw, who moved to the District of Columbia this past year. They were stalwart supporters of the Civic Federation and tireless members of the Schools Committee and they are greatly missed.

    Rich Samp joined the committee in 2007-08. In addition, Long Branch parent and housing activist Kathleen McSweeney joined the committee in 2008-09.

    Committee membership remained stable at 10 active members throughout the year, one of the larger Civic Federation committees.

    However, with the conclusion of this report and the 2008-09 Federation year, the Schools Committee will lose long-time member Roye Lowry, who is moving out of the County. Roye�s institutional knowledge, budget skills, writing ability, leadership and collegiality will be greatly missed. The committee hopes it will continue to hear from him and be able to call upon his knowledge and insight. In addition, Beth Wolffe, who has been a member of the committee since 2001 and chaired it since 2005 is also leaving the committee. She has greatly enjoyed her years of service and is confident the committee will continue its fine work and leadership in the education community.

    4. On-Going Committee Work

    During 2009-2010, the Committee will continue to monitor budget, capital improvement and policy issues affecting the schools and report to the Federation, offering resolutions for the Federation�s consideration when it appears appropriate.

    Respectfully submitted, William Barker, Anya Gan, Reid Goldstein, Herschel Kanter, Roye Lowry, Kathleen McSweeney, Roger Meyer, Rich Samp, Tim Wise, Beth Wolffe, Chairwoman.

    Special Events

    Chair(s)/Representative: Ann Rudd

    See See 2009 banquet program for annual banquet details.


    Co-Chair(s)/Representative: Jerry Auten 703-536-5365

    Transportation Committee Report for 2008-2009

    Members of the Transportation Committee for 2008-2009 include Jerry Auten (chair), Mark Antell, Frank Emerson, Mileva Hartman, Peter Owen, Ed Robinson, Paul Svcerl, Thanna Schemmel, and Joe Warren. A number of others are on the e-mail list.

    Activities for the year included arranging programs for two Civic Federation meetings, monitoring progress and offering comments on new drafts of several elements of the new Master Transportation Plan, monitoring the Blue-Yellow Line issue and attending various meetings of the Transportation Commission when the MTP or other issues of interest to the Civic Federation were being considered.

    At our January 6, 2008 meeting, we heard a presentation on the status of the Blue-Yellow Line Shift of from 2 to 5 Blue Line trains through Rosslyn to a Yellow Line route through L'Enfant Plaza by Jim Hughes of WMATA. His presentation included explaining the primary options being considered, ridership data, pros and cons, and the results of rider surveys. Key elements of the plan are that during the peak periods 2-4 trains per hour would operate between Franconia/Springfield and Greenbelt and 2-4 Orange Line trains from West Falls Church to Downtown would be added. Total capacity from Virginia to Downtown via the Blue Line to L�Enfant Plaza and the Orange Line through Rosslyn would be increased. While some Arlington Blue Line riders would have reduced service, the majority of Blue and Orange Line riders would have improved service to downtown. As of January, the presentation of the proposal to the WMATA Board was being postponed because of the focus on budget problems and the Inauguration, and no action has yet been taken.

    At our June 2 meeting, we heard presentations on the street paving program and on the latest draft of the transit element for the new Master Transportation Plan. Dave Hundelt, Chief of the Water, Sewer and Streets Bureau explained (presentation) the 3 primary levels of street maintenance: re-paving, slurry seal and micro-surfacing. Micro-surfacing is a recently added procedure that provides a thicker re-coating than slurry seal and is being used to extend the life of arterial streets and reduce the need for repaving. He noted that about 5 percent of the paving program has been reserved for streets without curb and gutter, which for a number of years had been excluded from the re-paving program. Steve Del Giudice, Chief of the Transit Section and Steve Jaffe made presentation on the transit program included in the new draft transit element. The transit draft is scheduled to be acted on at the June 13 County Board meeting, although a current draft has not been posted to the website.

    In addition, articles were contributed to the Newsletter in advance of the January and June presentations. For example, the June article noted that while the County was reasonably close to its goal of a 15-year cycle over the 1995-2002 periods, the paving program was reduced from this level by about 27 percent from 2003 and 2004 and by 43 percent for 2005 through 2008. Over the most recent 4-year period, the paving was roughly equivalent to a 31-year paving cycle (960 lane-miles/34 lane-miles paved) and the County Manager's proposed 2010 PAY-GO budget proposed a further 50 percent reduction in the amount of paving to a roughly 42-year paving cycle.

    On-going issues include the upcoming parking and street elements of the Master Transportation Plan, future funding of the paving program, the Blue-Yellow Line shift, and the I-66 widening and the new study of alternatives.

    This page was last revised on: July 5, 2009.
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