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Arlington County Civic Federation

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The Civic Voice

Newsletter of the Arlington County Civic Federation

February, 2001 - Volume 85, No. 6 ------

March Meeting Moved
To Monday, March 5th!

    Arlington Hospital, Hazel Auditorium
    1701 N. George Mason Drive

We'll be discussing a medley of issues at the Civic Federation's February meeting. As of the deadline for this newsletter, the evolving agenda looked like this:

    February Meeting Program

    - - - -

    Pre-meeting Public Comment

    - - - -

    Visit by Acting County Manager

    - - - -

    Tax Assessment Brief With Q&A

    - - - -

    Bicentennial Update

    - - - -

    Parks Committee Presentation

    * * * * *

    Acting County Manager To Visit
    Federation at February Meeting

    As you have undoubtedly heard, the current County Manager, Bill Donohue, has tendered his resignation to the County Board, effective in two weeks. At the January 27th County Board Meeting it was announced that Mr. Ron Carlee, the current Director of the Department of Human Services, would be the Acting County Manager until the County Board completes a nation-wide search for a new Manager. Less than 10 minutes after the announcement, Mr. Carlee asked the Civic Federation President if he could "stop by at our February meeting" to introduce himself and establish communications with the Federation. In response to this encouraging outreach gesture, we agreed to "give him the floor" at the beginning of our upcoming meeting.

    The "Citizen' s Forum" Continues In February

    7 :00 To 7:30 P.M. -- Before The Meeting

    Federation and County To Discuss Community Planning At March Meeting

    Over the past 6 months, a number of neighborhood leaders and Civic Federation members have expressed serious concerns about the County's planning process. Specifically, almost all mentioned that when nearby commercial developments were being planned that neighboring community civic leaders were being contacted too late to affect the outcomes and mitigate impacts. With the concurrence of the Federation's Executive Committee, the Federation President contacted the County Board Chairman, Jay Fisette, to offer hosting an "educate and communicate" session at the Federation's March meeting. To avoid a conflict with the County's budget hearings, our meeting has been moved to Monday, March 5th. Mr. Fisette, the Board Chairman, will speak for the County Board. Mr. Jack Goodman, the Planning Commission's outgoing Chairman has offered to sit on the panel as well. Invitations have been extended to the Acting County Manager, the Community Planning and Housing Development's chief planner and to the Director of the Department of Economic Development. This meeting is intended to complement a March 10th confab being hosted by Arlingtonians for a Better County (ABC). That meeting is planned as a forum on community planning to discuss the direction Arlington is taking with development. Additionally, the Federation has offered to host a town hall style meeting (in the near future) on planning between the County Board & Staff and the Federation's Officers, member Civic Association/Organization Presidents and other interested parties.

    Tax Assessments Rise � Chief of Tax Assessments to Address Federation

    By this time, many readers will have received notifications from the County that their real estate property tax assessments will be raised an average of 10%, which equates to about $220 per home per year. Mr. Tommy Rice, the Chief of the Department of Real Estate Assessments (which is an administrative part of the Department of Management and Finance but is titled a "Department" as a State Code requirement) has tentatively accepted an offer to address the Federation at the February meeting. Mr. Rice will explain the assessment process and how you may appeal an assessment you don' t consider appropriate for your home. Come and listen!

    Update on the Bicentennial Celebration at Federation's February Meeting

    At our February meeting, Ms. Margaret Lampe and other Bicentennial Committee members will provide an overview of planning for the County's "200th Year Birthday Party." Patrick Smaldore, our representative on the committee advises us that we still haven't reached the 300-plate threshold for the Commonwealth to issue the new Bicentennial License Plates. Come-on everybody -- let's get those orders in today! You can order them over the County's eGov Internet site or by contacting/visiting the Treasurer's office.

    Civic Federation Awards Banquet Set for March 30th � Reserve That Date!

    Dan Krasnegor, our VP and Special Events Committee Chair advises us that the Annual Banquet is set for Friday evening, March 30th. The affair is planned to take place at the Hilton Hotel in Ballston (same locale as last year). While Dan won't say who the guest of honor is yet (rumors of a media personality abound), we are hoping that the dinner will raise funds to balance this year's Federation budget and that voluntary coincidental contributions will help build up funds to permit doing things like a larger scholarship fund or for grants to civic associations starting up in economically disadvantaged parts of the County. Let's all plan to attend � and bring a spouse, a friend and a neighbor!

    Public Comment A Continuing Success

    At our January meeting we had 6 members and guests speak during the half-hour before the meeting. Since this tradition appears to be taking hold, we will continue the sessions while experimenting with the format. At the February meeting we hope to provide more interaction between Federation Officers and speakers seeking assistance on issues.

    Reach Out and Touch Your Legislator

    Robert Atkins advises that the State Legislature's session is in full swing as this newsletter is mailed. This year's 45-day session began on January 10 and should run through approximately February 14th. Robert says that you can obtain information about the status of pending legislation by logging on to the state's Internet site at "http://legis.state.va.us". To talk to your state legislator, you can call him/her at 804-698-10xx (xx = your Delegate district's number) or 804-698-10xx (xx = your Senate District number). To email your legislators, you can contact them at: Del_(Last Name)@house.state.va.us Sen_(Last Name)@senate.state.va.us

    Revenues and Expenditures Committee To Review County Budget

    The County Manager's Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2002 will be released on February 10th. Each year the Federation reviews the County's budget and provides significant inputs to the County Board about planned revenues and expenditures (hence our committee's name). Robert Atkins, our Committee Chair, advises that they will begin meeting shortly after February 10th to begin breaking up the budget into "bite-sized" pieces for the Committee's review. In the past, the committee met weekly on Sunday afternoons to discuss the budget. Robert advises that his committee is open to newcomers and welcomes any delegate, alternate or participant in our member organizations to attend these interesting review sessions. Robert will provide meeting times and locations at the Federation's February Meeting.

    Search For Civic Heroes Continues

    In case you've missed a couple of meetings recently, you know that the Federation is honoring "Civic Heroes" at our monthly meetings. An Ad hoc sub-group of the Executive Committee has established a set of guidelines for selecting and recognizing "those citizens or persons who work in Arlington" and make important civic contributions to our whole community. If you know someone really worthy of such recognition � contact your organization's president and ask him or her to forward a name and justification to the Executive Committee or President for consideration.

    Notes From Your President

    -- Neighborhood Day. Each year the Federation takes the lead on organizing Neighborhood Day. This year's N-Day has been scheduled for May 12. The theme for Neighborhood Day this year will be tied into the Bicentennial (no surprise here!). In addition to events across all the neighborhoods (park clean-ups, chili cook-offs, community yard sales, etc.), each year the day's big event is a parade down Clarendon Boulevard to the County Building. This year's event will be a doozy � with antique cars, civil war re-enactors, marching bands, and neighborhood floats. Details about how to participate are on the Civic Federation Web Page. -- Community Calendar Reminder. If you have a community event you want everyone to know about � send it to our Webmaster at "calendar"+ We'll be happy to post your event in our Countywide Calendar. You can use the calendar to plan events to avoid competing with other community activities. -- Congratulations are in order for Mr. Talmadge Williams. Talmadge was recently elected as President of the Arlington NAACP. Congratulations, Talmadge! -- Upcoming Issues. We are looking at initiatives on restricting commercial vehicle parking in residential areas. I've also asked committee chairs to review the pros/cons of a proposal for a regional authority to raise sales taxes currently under consideration in Richmond. The Bylaws Committee is forwarding proposed bylaws changes. And...we haven't given up on the snow removal ordinance. --That's all for this [hardcopy] newsletter. See you at the February 6th meeting!

    A couple of additional notes --

    First -- I regret to inform our membership that Dottie Stepp's husband, Arthur passed away yesterday, January 31st. As the President of the Arlington County Crime Prevention Council, Dottie is a frequent visitor and friend of the Federation. We deeply regret his passing and extend our deepest sympathies to Dottie.

      Services for Arthur Stepp will be Monday, February 5 at 1000 at Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium. Friends should meet at the Cemetery Administration Building at 0945.

    Second -- I received the following letter from School Board Member Mary Hynes last week. While I was unable to include it in the newsletter, I offered to post it on the web site and incorporate it in the eNewsletter. Here it is:

      January 23, 2001

      Dear Mr. Pebley,

      At your January meeting, a Civic Federation member misquoted me when she asked County Board members an affordable housing question. Based on review of the meeting videotape, I am writing to correct the record regarding my position on this very important topic. Contrary to the statement at your meeting, I am very supportive of County efforts to provide a variety of affordable housing throughout our community.

      Since 1995, when I joined the School Board, the community discussion on affordable housing has not flagged. Clearly, changes in housing patterns have the potential to impact the school system's need for resources. And, without a doubt, schools and affordable housing are among the many pressures on the County budget. Advocates for both have articulated persuasive arguments for increased funding over the past few years. Balancing these needs, along with others, is one of the County Board the toughest jobs.

      As a School Board member, my official focus has been twofold: ensuring that school planners have the best information possible about impending conversions of existing housing and new construction and ensuring that county planners are using the best data possible on the impacts that conversions and new construction may have on the school system's need for resources. I am pleased to say that the dialogue between school and county planners, while not perfect, has improved significantly over the past 6 years.

      In addition to this official focus, for a number of years I have communicated strongly to my County Board colleagues my personal belief that stabilizing families should be one goal of our housing policies. When families are able to live in clean, safe housing for extended periods of time, the children feel more settled and do better in school.

      In the long run, I believe our county housing policies should result in an increase in the number of new families who choose to remain in Arlington-ultimately moving from rental housing to homeownership. Moving in this direction will ensure the continuation of the "Arlington Way", rooting new people of all backgrounds in our caring community. It will also help the school system meet its two most important strategic goals-increasing student achievement and closing the achievement gap between minority and white students. I firmly believe-and research bears out-student achievement rises when youngsters are able to remain in the same school for a number of years.

      Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify last month's statements about my beliefs. Please feel free to share this information in any way you choose with members of the Civic Federation.

      Mary Hynes
      School Board member

    Finally -- I received the following letter from Toni Copeland, the Clerk of the County Board. We surprised Toni at our January meeting with an award from the Civic Federation. The letter explains the rest.

      January 14, 2001

      Arlington County Civic Federation
      c/o Jim Pebley, President
      4851 North 16th Street
      Arlington, Virginia 22205

      Dear Jim:

      I want to thank you and each member of the Arlington County Civic Federation for presenting me with your prestigious Arlington Civic Hero award. It was a pleasure to share this honor with so many familiar faces in the audience on January 2nd.

      I believe the true civic heroes are those in your membership who genuinely care about their community and work hard to make a difference in the quality of life of residents. Each of you have been a role model for me for many years. The Federation is truly the heart and soul of the Arlington community, and I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to lend my support to your efforts whenever possible.

      On behalf of the County Board I serve, thank you, once again, for the Civic Hero award. This will long be remembered by me as one of the most significant highlights of my career with Arlington County. Best wishes.


      Toni Copeland
      Clerk of the County Board

    That's all for this newsletter.

    But please see the add on articles here!

    ACCF Officers

      President Jim Pebley 703-525-0766 jim+

      Vice President Dan Krasnegor 703-534-4024 dan+

      Treasurer Frances Finta 703-528-2882 (no email)

      Secretary Tim Wise 703-243-8345 tim+

    Executive Committee

      Chairman - Patrick Smaldore 703-528-3935 - patrick+

      Member - Robert Atkins 703-527-8859 - (voice or fax) - (no email)

      Member - Darnell Carpenter 703-243-5188 - darnell+

      Member - Mileva Hartman 703-841-9287 - mileva+

      Member - Dan Krasnegor 703-534-4024 - dan+

      Member - Susan Quinn 703-931-1755 - susan+

    Committee Chairs

      Bylaws (Co-Chairs)

        Jean Mostrom, Chair 703-532-0452
        Scott McGeary, Vice Chair 703-750-4704

      Community Relations

        Jacqueline Mow 703-528-1112

      Cultural Affairs

      Environmental Affairs

      Housing (Co-Chairs)

        Reid Goldstein 703-271-0431 reid+
        Wayne Kubicki 703-536-1954 waynne

      + Legislation


        Frances Finta 703-528-2882 (no email)

      Parks & Recreation (Co-Chairs)

      + Planning & Zoning (Co-Chairs)

        William Gearhart 703-522-2276 bill+
        Martha Moore 703-527-3782 martha+

      Public Services


      Revenues and Expenditures

        Robert Atkins 703-527-8859 (voice or fax) no email

      Schools (Co-Chairs)

        Roger Meyer 703-671-3655 roger
        + Terri Prell 703-820-3782 terri

      + Special Events



    Newsletter Editorial Committee

      Editor: Jim Pebley 703-525-0766 - jim+


        Dan Krasnegor703-534-4024 - dan+
        Randy Swart 703-521-2080 - randy+

      + News email: - civicvoice Fax: 703-486-0576

      + Web: - www.civfed.org (.com works too)

Recipients of this newsletter are encouraged to forward to all and any interested parties

Copies of the Newsletter are available for Download from the Civic Federation website. (This page!)

If you have comments or complaints, please contact the editor, Jim Pebley

This page was last revised on: December 28, 2003.
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