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Arlington County Civic Federation

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February, 2002 - Volume 86, No. 6 ------

County Manager to Visit
Federation's February Meeting

    February General Meeting
    7:30 pm, Tuesday, February 5th
    Virginia Hospital Center
    Hospital Conference Center
    1701 N. George Mason Drive

As a logical follow-on to last month's visit by the County Board at the February general membership meeting, the Federation will host a visit from the Arlington County Manager and his Senior Staff this month. The rules for the meeting are contained in this issue of the CIVIC VOICE. Here's the agenda for February:

February General Meeting

    Reports and Special Recognition

    Presentation by County Board Manager

    Q&A with County Manager

    Resolution on Pledge of Allegiance

    Resolution on Commercial Development

    Resolution on Teacher Excellence Initiative

Federation Awards Banquet - March 15!

The Federation has finalized plans for its annual Awards Banquet. This year's banquet will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City. The Banquet Committee chose the site for two reasons - the first was to do our own part to help the hospitality industry down near the airport and, secondly, to give our south county members a shorter drive this year! In observance of the Federation's continuing emphasis on community preparedness, we invited Governor Warner's new Director of the Virginia Office of Counter-Terrorism, former Lt. Governor John Hager. We will be also using this event as an opportunity to raise funds for the Federation's 911 Scholarship Fund (not included in the price). Since there is still lots of work to be done - if you can spare an hour or two to help out, please contact Jim Pebley or Kim Smith (contact info is located on Page 2 inside).

Volunteers Needed for Budget Review

Local real estate property taxes are soaring (21% instead of the expected 11%) and state revenue shares may drop. This is going to be a tough year for County budget planning and like previous years, the Federation will be making extensive budget recommendations. Bob Atkins, our Revenues and Expenditures (R&E) Committee Chair, advises that the R&E group will start reviewing the FY 2003 proposed County budget on Sunday, February 10th. Meetings will continue weekly through March with a report due to the Federation at its April meeting. New committee members are needed! To join, contact Bob Atkins (phone or fax 703-527-8859) to volunteer. No experience is required. For those interested in the workings of local government - this is a great way to learn the ropes. Bob promises food and beverages will be provided at each meeting and every new member gets a personal copy of the County's proposed budget.

Legislative Chair Injured In Fall On Ice

Nancy Graham, the Federation's Legislation Committee Chair was injured in a fall during the surprise ice storm in mid-January and was taken to Virginia Hospital Center Arlington for treatment of a broken leg. France Finta advises us that that Nancy has left the hospital for rehabilitation and rest. Nancy, we are sending you our best wishes for a speedy recovery!

County Manager and Staff To Visit

The Civic Federation has invited the County Manager, Mr. Ron Carlee, to visit at the next General Membership Meeting on February 5th. While the County Manager advises us that he can't talk about his proposed FY 2002 budget (it won't presented to the County Board until the following week), he would like to bring his senior staffers and can speak about services and other issues. Questions from delegates and alternates will be entertained as recognized by the meeting's Chair. Delegates and alternates who are recognized by the Chair will speak via a walk-around microphone (handled by the ACCF VP). Delegates are not required to submit questions in advance. Questions should be concise, no more than thirty seconds in length, and not statements of position. Argumentative, multi-part, and follow-up questions will not be permitted.

Federation Considers Pledge of Allegiance
Resolution at Coming Meeting

A resolution was introduced at the end of the January meeting recommending recital of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of Federation meetings and urged the County Board to do likewise. The Executive Committee discussed the resolution at their subsequent meeting and while agreeing with the notion of beginning Federation meetings with the pledge, they modified the wording regarding the County Board. The resolution now urges all government bodies to begin their proceedings by honoring our nation with either a Pledge of Allegiance, singing America the Beautiful or playing the National Anthem. The resolution will be presented by the Executive Committee at the February meeting.

The Furniture Bank Needs You!

The Furniture Bank, part of AMEN (Arlingtonians Administering to Emergency Needs) is in need of household items, particularly bed linens but also all furnishings in good condition, to help individuals who are leaving our shelters begin a new life. If you have items to donate, please consider the Furniture Bank; an all-volunteer run program. Just leave a message at 703-237-5118 and someone will get back to you.

Report of the Public Services Committee

Report by Sub-Committee Chair, Jackie Snelling

After a review of information available at the Federal, State, and local level, the Public Services Subcommittee on Disaster Preparedness is working on several approaches for the Civic Federation to provide leadership for improving community and neighborhood-based disaster education and preparedness. We have briefed the Executive Committee and are proceeding to develop materials and pursue preliminary planning of activities for the membership and the community in the spring.

We have identified resources that provide both basic and detailed information on a wide range of topics. We have also found that, although high quality information is available, there are few comprehensive sources. Although there are numerous "checklists" designed for citizens, no single checklist is comprehensive for the new range of potential disasters and for various special populations. We are developing strategies to provide information and activities for three interest levels: 1) basic information about steps every individual citizen should take to be informed and prepared, 2) information that civic leaders should know in order to provide leadership and help to other citizens, and 3) information and models for neighborhood-based education and planning efforts.

As a first step, we are developing guides to the resources we have identified as most useful for citizens and neighborhoods. The Public Services Committee expects to complete two resource guides, one, a guide to Internet resources, and, two, a guide to disaster preparedness checklists. We will make both guides available on web pages that can be accessed through the Civic Federation web site.

Also, we will continue to learn more about the County plans for community education and preparation by meeting with representatives of various county agencies. We are seeking follow-up information to the answers provided by the County Board to the emergency preparedness questions the Civic Federation submitted this fall, as well as information related to Arlington's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

We are working on several activities geared toward providing civic associations and civic leaders with an overview of disaster education and planning and with support for neighborhood-based education and planning. At the request of the Executive Committee, we will prepare materials for a session at the Civic Federation Delegates College to be held in mid March. We are starting planning for a community forum in April or May to be co-hosted with other community groups. Our preliminary plan is to bring together experts on various topics for sessions geared toward neighborhood disaster education and planning. We also expect to be able to provide information at that time for civic associations interested in piloting a model neighborhood based plan. We know these are ambitious plans that will require the assistance of many of our members as well as members from other community organizations. As we begin to develop plans, we will be keeping you informed and asking for your assistance and participation. For further information, you may contact the subcommittee chair, Jackie Snelling, at 703 243-0905 or send email to jts3147@hotmail.com.

Resolution on Commercial Development
Under Consideration at Next Meeting

A resolution was presented at the January membership meeting regarding the County's planning and approval process for commercial development with regard to the granting of bonus density (exceeding zoning limits for building sized), varying from adopted sector plans for areas and the involvement (or lack thereof) of local civic associations in the planning process. Specifically, the resolution addressed planning for a project in the Clarendon area, where the Blockbuster Video Store is now located. The resolution was referred to the Planning and Zoning Committee for review and presentation at the February meeting.

Schools Committee Considers the School's "Teacher Excellence Initiative"

Dr. Robert Smith, the Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools recently presented the School Board with a lengthy plan to "attract, retain, and support teachers of excellence." The lengthy report is available for viewing on the School's web site (at www.arlington.k12.va.us/). The Federation's Schools Committee reviewed the report and met to discuss its merits and costs at a meeting on February 21st. The committee reported that it had drafted a proposed resolution regarding the initiative and asked that it be considered at the February general membership meeting. While the School's Committee resolution was not available before the drafting of this issue of the Civic Voice was finished, the Federation President has asked the Schools Committee to make the final resolution available on our web site (www.civfed.org) no later than the Friday before the next meeting. That way our members may consider the resolution's language and discuss it with their parent organizations. Here is the resolution.

Federation Scholarship Funds

One of the missions of the Civic Federation is to support higher education. To that end, we encourage members and member organizations to consider sending a portion of their charitable donations to the Federation�s 911 Scholarship Fund for the college bound children of Arlington County public safety personnel (make checks payable to Arlington Community Foundation and mail to the ACF at 2525 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201). The Federation also makes an annual donation to a scholarship fund for Arlington students who plan to become teachers. To participate in that fund, contact Frances Finta at (703) 528-2882.

Notes from the Federation President

  • Like quite a few Arlington Residents, I was a more than a bit shocked to see how high the assessed valued of my own house had risen this year. Having heard the County Manager's estimate last fall that a 11 per cent average increase was expected, I was surprised to see that the Countys Office of Assessements (under the Department of Management and Fianance) had raised that figure to 21 perscent...and our homes assessment rose 45.3%! I'm told by former colleagues on the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee,that revenues for FY 2003 will be more than $20 million higher than anticipated.

    All of this begs the question - what will we do with these revenues? It's for that reason that I placed the invitation for members to join the Federation's Revenues and Expenditures Committee on the front page of this issue of The Civic Voice. We will need imputs from a broad spectrum of viewpoints as we consider how we will advise the County on how to handle the tax revenue windfall.

  • For those who would like to review their assessments and compare them to similar homes in their immediate neighborhood, you can do so on the County's web site at www.co.arlington.va.us/dmf/realest.htm If you think your assessment has risen more than is appropriate when compared to local changes in the real estate market, you can contact the Department of Real Estate Assessments at 703-228-3920 or download the appropriate forms at http://www.co.arlington.va.us/dmf/dreaforms/forms.asp ...but be advised that requests for appealing your assessment must be submitted no later than March 1, 2002!

  • We were all concerned to hear about Nancy Graham's unfortunate injury (see Page 2 inside). Nancy, we will miss you at this next meeting and all pray for a very speedy and full recovery from your accident.

Additional Notes � Not in the Print Edition...

  • Terri Prell, our School�s Committee Co-Chair advises that a program explaining the Teacher Excellence Initiative in Power Point Video format will be run on the School�s Channel 30 on the following Air Dates and times January 25-February 8, 2002


        7:00 a.m.
        11:00 a.m.
        1:00 p.m.
        5:00 p.m
        8:00 p.m.

        8:40 p.m.


        8:00 p.m.

  • Finally...What�s In A Name? ...A lot, apparently! Stan Karson, the President of Radnor/Ft.Myer Heights Conservation Association advises me that their group has changed the organization�s name to the Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association�

  • Finally � Frances Finta, our membership chair has reminded me that the old Parkway Civic Association has changed its name to Woodmont Civic Association�

  • Don't forget to mark your calendars for the Federation's March 15th Annual Awards Banquet.

See you February 5th

Jim Pebley

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 - Dan Krasnegor 703-534-4024 - dan+

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

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

    Member - Roger Meyer 703-671-3655 roger+

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

    Member - Kim Smith - kim+

ACCF Committee Chairs

The paper version of the Civic Voice uses a design by Cheryl Whitehead, who can be reached through email to cwhite229@erols.com. This Web version, using the same text but posted within the style confines of our Web page design, is put up by Randy Swart. If you have comments about either version, please contact the editor, Jim Pebley

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