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Arlington County Civic Federation

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April, 2002 - Volume 86, No. 8 ------

April General Meeting
Budget Review & Pentagon Chief Visit

    April General Meeting
    7:30 pm, Tuesday, April 2nd
    Virginia Hospital Center
    Hospital Conference Center
    1701 N. George Mason Drive

    (Here is a map. You can get directions too.)

Note: This amended newsletter includes a link to the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Committee 2nd Year review survey. To our consternation, it seems that the Federation got overlooked when the County sent out requests for civic groups to provide feed back about how the NTCC is doing and what can be improved. The due date for returning the surveys is April 15th so that doesn t give much time for organizations to get the word out and respond. To help, we've posted the form on this website. The NTCC performs an important function in keeping our neighborhoods livable. Please respond if you have time!

Second Note: Our County budget review and recommendation continues to transmogrify (yes that is a word) before our eyes. We hope to have the smooth final version up on the Web by the end of the weekend. A summary is appended below.

This April s membership meeting will principally focus on reviewing the County s budget for Fiscal Year 2003. A summary of the budget recommended by the Federation's Revenues and Expenditures Committee has been inserted in this edition of the Civic Voice. The special rule for handling the budget review will be included inside.

Additionally, we plan to begin the program with a visit by Doc Cooke, the long-time and legendary facilities manager of the Pentagon. Here s the agenda for April:

    ~~ April General Meeting ~~


    Visit by Doc Cooke,
    Facilities Manager of the Pentagon


    FY 2003 County Budget Review


    Committee Reports


    Bylaws Change Resolution

Mayor of the Pentagon to Visit in April

David O. Doc Cooke, often referred to as the Mayor of the Pentagon has been invited to visit our next membership meeting, at the suggestion of one of our members. Doc Cooke, a long-time resident of Arlington, has been involved in Defense management since 1958. While his official title is Director, Washington Headquarters Services, he also serves as the Director of Administration and Management for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. For those who have served in that historic office building, Doc Cooke is a legendary figure. In the spirit of outreach between Arlington s community and our friends and neighbors who work at the Pentagon, we decided this would be a great time to host this visit and hear about the running of the Pentagon. Of note while Doc Cooke is not the manager responsible for the reconstruction, he will undoubtedly have some interesting things to say about the attack and the response by Pentagon employees. Don t miss this meeting!

Review of Arlington County Budget for Fiscal Year 2003 Presented At April Meeting

The primary focus of the remainder of our April meeting will be on the review of the County Budget. During the past two months, both the Revenues and Expenditures Committee and the Schools Committee have labored week after week reading the Manager s and Superintendent s proposed budgets, talked to County and School personnel and worked to achieve consensus on budget proposals and recommendations. The Federation s budget recommendations are closely scrutinized by both the County Board and the School Board as an indicator of citizen support for spending on services as well as the level at which to set tax rates. At this meeting, both committees will present their observations and budget recommendations. A special rule (see below) will be considered at the beginning of the session.

Awards! Awards! Awards!

The Awards Banquet, held on March 15th was, by any measure, a great success. Our speaker, Former Lieutenant Governor John Hager, provided insight into his new duties as Assistant to Governor Warner for Commonwealth Preparedness. He praised the initiative that the Federation is taking in advocating community disaster preparedness and noted that Arlington could serve as a model for other municipalities to follow. The remainder of the evening was dedicated to recognizing the civic work of numerous of our many members and organizations. The Awards for the evening are presented below.

  • Sophie Vogel and Dottie Stepp both received Certificates of Appreciation from ACCF VP Dan Krasnegor

  • Past President Randy Swart and Executive Committee Member Kim Smith Received President s Awards from Jim Pebley who was awarded the Journal Cup
  • 2001 County Board Chairman, Jay Fisette (left) and County Manager Ron Carlee were presented with Special Awards from ACCF President Jim Pebley in recognition of their leadership after the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon

  • A Certificate of Appreciation was awarded to the Civic Federation s Public Services Committee. Awardees (l-r) included John Antonelli, Jackie Snelling, Ann Fisher and Kim Smith. Not pictured are Amy Levin and Tori Gorman.

Proposed Special Rule

As noted on the front page, a special rule will be considered to streamline consideration of the County Budget (the same rule we have used for the past three years). The rule was introduced by Bob Atkins, Chairman of the Revenues & Expenditures Committee, at our March meeting. The rule is presented below:

At the April 2, 2002, Federation meeting, the R&E Committee report (including the report of the Schools Committee) will be placed on the floor for debate in its entirety. Only "friendly"/editorial amendments will be in order. No substantive amendments will be in order. If the motion/report is approved, no further debate will occur. If the report/motion fails, it is automatically reintroduced subject to amendment from the floor. However, all such amendments must result in a balanced budget; all such amendments must be in writing (e.g. changes in expenditures must be matched by changes in revenues).

Committee minority reports will be voted upon, as amendments, only if the main report/motion fails.

Spout Run Foot Bridge Proposed At
End of March Meeting

Just before the end of March s marathon meeting, Woodmont Delegate, Carla von Bernewitz introduced a motion seeking the Federation s support for a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, spanning Spout Run, about midway between Lee Highway and the George Washington Parkway (see the diagram). As proposed by Ms. von Bernewitz, the bridge would be located on the site of the old Doubleday Bridge, which was demolished in the early 70s. The structure would connect N. 21st Street with N. 24th Street, linking the Nelly Custis Bike trail with the neighborhoods on the north side of Interstate 66. The bridge advocates are suggesting use of a double arch construction based on a design by Leonardo Da Vinci. Ms. von Bernewitz will be meeting with a joint group formed by the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Transportation Committee. As currently contemplated, funding for the bridge would be sought from the Federal government (since the bridge would be located on National Parks property) and from local donations. According to Ms. Von Bernewitz, endorsement by the Federation is the first of many votes of support that will be needed to realize the project. The joint committee will present its recommendation to the Federation membership at the May meeting. A picture of a similar bridge design is provided below:

Bylaws Considered At April Meeting

To accommodate the long agenda at our March meeting, the Bylaws Committee agreed to postpone consideration of proposed changes to the Federation s Bylaws until the April meeting. The proposed bylaws (distributed in February) can be reviewed on our web page at www.civfed.org.

Farmer s Market to Reopen

-- Arlington Neighborhood News Item --

The popular Arlington Farmers' Market returns to Courthouse Plaza for its 23rd year, Saturday, April 20. The market features a wide selection of fresh, high quality, locally grown fruits, vegetables, cut flowers, potted plants, bedding plants, herbs, eggs, cheese, meats, breads and other baked goods, honey and farm-crafted herbal soaps. A wide variety of organic produce, organic bread and free-range or pastured beef, poultry, pork and other products are also available. Over thirty growers from Virginia, Maryland, and SE Pennsylvania convene each Saturday morning through December 21. Everything sold is produced by the growers. The market is located on N. 14th Street between N. Courthouse Rd and Veitch Streets. Metered parking is available in the Courthouse Plaza surface lot. Free parking is available in the parking garage under 2400 Clarendon Blvd. The market is open every Saturday, 8 a.m.-Noon from April 20 - December 21, rain or shine!.

President s Notes ---

My hat is off to all the delegates who stayed with us all the way through the March meeting which ended just shy of 11 p.m.. We covered a lot of ground with some very difficult issues that needed to be addressed. Congratulations to everyone.

" A special note of thanks goes to our Banquet Committee, headed up by the ever hard working, Kim Smith. This year s banquet was a real hit. And we actually managed to add some sorely needed funds to our depleted treasury. Thanks to everyone who came and supported us this year!

" The Public Services Committee continues to churn along with great energy. That group s members justly deserved the Certificates Of Appreciation voted to them by the Awards Committee. The Federation owes continuing gratitude to Acting Co-Chairs Kim Smith and Anne Fisher, as well as Sub-Committee Chair Jackie Snelling for continuing to pursue the issue of community disaster preparedness.

" Also a note of appreciation goes to Executive Committee Member, Pat Smaldore, for organizing a great Delegates College this past Sunday afternoon. We had a very nice turnout, a collegial atmosphere and lots of valuable information was exchanged.

" Neighborhood Day, May 11th, is fast approaching! Have you and your organization thought about what you can do to Preserve and Conserve Our Neighborhoods (this year s theme)? If you could use some great ideas, check the list of suggested activities on the Federation s Neighborhood Day web site (www.civfed.org). And don t forget about the annual parade from Clarendon to Courthouse down Wilson Boulevard at 2 p.m.. You can enter your neighborhood s very own float, marching group, tricycle kid s formation or anything that suits you by sending the registration form on our web site (must be submitted by April 26th).

See you Tuesday, April 2. Come ready to work! Sincerely, Jim Pebley

A summary of the Revenues and Expenditures Committee's budget recommendations is provided below. The full text of the Committee's report is also available.

Report on Revenues and Expenditures
April 2, 2002


1. The Arlington County Civic Federation recommends to the Arlington County Board that it adopt a Fiscal Year 2003 General Fund Budget that is balanced at $618.2 Million [an increase of $32.5 Million -- 5.6%-- over the FY 2002 Revised Budget]. This would be accomplished by:

    a) Beginning with the County Manager's original revenue and expenditures estimates;

    b) Reconsidering the implications of the County Manager and Schools Superintendent "agreement" on the level of the transfer to the Schools; and

    c) Allocating proposed compensation ($5.8 million) and strategic initiatives ($2.2 million) contingents;

    d) Estimations of carryover and additional FY'02 and '03 revenue and expenditure changes;

    e) Adjustments to reflect new priorities as noted herein, including additional fees of $0.4 Million associated with program changes;

The real estate property tax rate would, within the advertised rate, be reduced to $96.3 cents per $100 of assessed value. With the recommended rate, the average single family home owner's tax bill would increase by approximately $299 rather than $461.

2. The Arlington County Civic Federation recommends to the Arlington County Board a number of procedural improvements in budget presentation and in program operation as well as expressing its thanks to the Board for adoption of a number of past Federation recommendations, such as summary presentations for program areas crossing departmental boundaries.

3. The Arlington County Civic Federation recommends to the Arlington County Board that it direct the County Manager to issue the Mid-Year Review and recommendations on the use of proposed budget contingents early in the public review process of future budgets.

The President of the Federation is authorized to transmit approved motions and supporting information to the County Board, the School Board, the media, and other interested parties and to offer to make Federation Committee members available to explain the motions, recommendations for procedural improvements, and supporting text.

Table of Contents                         Page:
Summary of Recommendations.............�...�3
Explanation of Recommendations..........��..3
Procedural Improvements.................��..9
Report of the Schools Committee........��...11


On February 9, 2002, the County Manager presented the County Board with a proposed FY 2003 budget. It followed earlier County Board guidance.

    Proposed expenditures of $610.3 Million (+4.2%)
    [including contingents of $8 million]

    Proposed revenues at current rates of $610.3 Million (+4.2%)
    [including part of the FY'01 fund balances]

    Expenditures for basic County services (including contingents) were projected for a 1.6% increase; in the aggregate, all other expenditures (including transfers) were also projected for an increase.

On March 9, 2002 the County Board voted to advertise the real estate rate at the current rate of $1.023 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Major Factors

A. Increased Expenditures: Basically a continuing services budget.

B. Increased Revenues:
The following FY'03 revenue projections are not fully comparable to those of FY'02 because the County noted in a footnote that it proposes to "net out" tax refunds rather than show them as separate expenditures.

  • Because of increased assessments and new building, real estate tax collections would increase by 14.1%. Personal Property tax collections would increase by 3.6% at the current rate. Overall, local taxes were projected to increase by 8.4%. Revenues from the Commonwealth were to decrease by 1.5% and those from the Federal Government by 4.1%. The Transient Tax, which goes into the travel and tourism promotion fund, would decline by 13.7%.
  • The current water/sewer rate of $4.58 per thousand gallons is proposed to increase by $0.12 due to increased costs to the County and the County's share of capital improvements to the Dalecarlia Reservoir. The household solid waste rate would increase by $7.04 from $219.48 to $226.52 a year.
  • As in past years, the Committee believes that there are incremental opportunities for increases in fees which would move some County programs which serve only a few persons closer to full fee recovery.

C. Distributable contingents:

  • $5.8 million was reserved for staff compensation changes; COLA's and/or other adjustments/reclassifications. The Manager was to have presented a recommendation in March; and
  • $2.2 million was reserved for Strategic Options; options up to $5.4 million were presented for three programmatic areas and one area noted "analysis in progress".

Committee Review Process:

The Revenues and Expenditures Committee agreed at the start of its examination of the budget that our review would be conducted on the following terms:

  • Base budget programs would be examined for excesses (including duplication) or underfunding;
  • Normal inflation allowances (including step increases) would be expected;
  • Withdrawn Commonwealth or Federal funds would be replaced with local funding where necessary;
  • The Schools funding level would follow the budget agreement between the County Manager and the School Superintendent;
  • Some modest increases would be considered for priority new initiatives, particularly in public safety;
  • Some early decisions were to be made tentatively; subject to review after County staff responses to Committee questions were received and reviewed. None were received.
  • A realistic estimate of carryover funds from FY'02 would be developed without reference to the County Manager's unwillingness to incorporate an estimate in his budget; and
  • The Committee would then recommend a real estate tax rate that would balance the resulting budget. This is our standard procedure whatever the changes in assessments have been over the past year, with the focus always on taxing the exact amount required to fund County operations, regardless of changes in real estate assessments.

Using these procedures, the Revenues and Expenditures Committee makes the following recommendations:

        Summary of Recommendations
        Comparing Changes to County 
        Manager's Recommendations

    (in millions of dollars with rounding)

County Manager's BASE BUDGET���...�.........$610.3

1. Transfer to the Schools: Schools' Committee 
   Recommendation (Exceeds Schools 
   Superintendent/County Manager "Agreement" 
   but funds Total Schools Budget).............0.0
2. General Government..................����..-$0.2
3. Courts  and Constitutional Offices......�...0.0
4. Public Safety......�..���������������.....+$1.9
5. Public Works..........������..............+$0.5
6. Environmental Services.......��������������.0.0
7. Human Services 
          a) General.......................�.�.0.0
          b) LPA/CAP Programs��������������..+$9.3
8. Libraries...................................0.0
9. Economic Development����....................0.0
10. Community Planning,Housing & Development�+$0.7
11. Parks, Recreation & Community Resources�.+$0.4
12. Non-Departmental & Debt Service.....����.-$4.3
13. Regionals/Contributions and METRO.....�..-$0.5
14. Pay-As-You-Go Capital.������������.........0.0



County Manager's BASE BUDGET.......��������$610.3
15. Carryover����................���������.+$25.0
16. Miscellaneous Fees and Revenues���......+$0.4
17. Recognition Changed Commonwealth Funding+$1.1


Surplus of revenues over expenditures......+$18.6

18. Net Committee Balancing Recommendations-$18.6

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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