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Arlington County Civic Federation

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January, 2004 - Volume 88, No. 5 ------

County Board and Madison Dog Park
on Agenda in January 2004

January General Meeting, Tuesday, January 6, 2004. 7 PM
Hazel Auditorium, Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington

Main Program Features County Board

It's the start of the new year, and the County Board will attend our Federation meeting to talk about their plans for the upcoming year. Come prepared with your questions, comments, concerns and suggestions for the Board.

The Federation President and Vice President will be meeting with County Board Chair Barbara Favola later this month to discuss the Federation's priorities for the upcoming year. Please e-mail matters that you or your organization feels are important to dan or pat+. We'll pass along your ideas.

Other Agenda Items

Two months ago, a resolution was introduced urging the Federation to support the immediate closing of the Madison Dog Exercise Area, pending a final decision on the use of that space by the County. The resolution was referred, under our bylaws, to the Parks and Recreation Committee. The committee is coming forward with a different resolution, asking the Federation to support moving the exercise area to a location recommended by a County-appointed citizen task force several years ago.

At our January meeting, both resolutions will come forward, and the Federation body will have the opportunity first, to offer amendments, following which, we will decide which resolution, if either, to adopt. The resolutions will be debated at approximately 9:30 pm, so if this is an issue of concern to you, please make sure to stick around.

Community Forum

For this month's Community Forum, Robert Mace, Administrative Division Chief for the Arlington Department of Environmental Services (DES) will give a brief description of the Water/Sewer Rate Study currently underway by the County. The presentation will include a description of what a water/sewer rate study is, why the County is conducting it, and what some of the possible alternatives and outcomes are. The County's current rate structure is a straightforward one that is easy to understand and administer. This study explores other alternatives that address such issues as cost of providing service, revenue and rate stability, and water conservation.

The Community Forum begins promptly at 7 pm, so don't be late!

The Community Forum is provided as a service to the community by the Civic Federation. It allows for private and government-based groups and organizations to speak to community leaders about what they do in Arlington. Any group wishing to participate should contact dan+.

Federation News

December Meeting Recap

At the December Civic Federation meeting, the School Board gave an informative and thorough presentation, addressing issues including Washington-Lee High School construction plans; achievement gains; and budget issues.

Also at the meeting, the Federation passed several resolutions from the Parks and Recreation committee: One supporting a proposed Arlington marathon; a second resolving "that the County routinely maintain, repair, and replace its park property and equipment so that the County would not need to expend its scarce Small Parks Program funds for any such purposes." The third resolution expressed the Federation's "gratitude to the Washington-Lee High School Site Planning steering committee and its members for seeking site alternatives that avoid using Quincy Park." The Federation also rejected the Parks Committee's recommendation to discourage funding a Small Parks Grant to pave a currently-natural surface.

Finally, the Federation passed a resolution urging the County not to rush forward on new targets for affordable housing, without first providing time for more community input and discussion. Although we presented the resolution to the County Board, they decided to go forward without waiting for our input as requested.

Upcoming Meetings

The Federation is already planning for the Spring and Summer. Be on the lookout for the following: In February. In April, we will debate and pass the Federation's proposals for the County budget. We expect to invite our Richmond delegation to speak in May, and in June, we will elect our 2004-2005 Officers and Executive Committee Members. If there are issues or programs you would like to see in the upcoming months, please contact our Executive Committee Chair, Kim Smith, at kim+.

Also, don't forget to mark your calendars for our annual Awards Banquet, on Friday, March 26, 2003, at the Army-Navy Country Club. To help out on the planning committee, please contact Frances Finta at 703-528-2882.

Committee News

The Airport Issues Committee has been actively participating in the Part 150 Noise Study that is currently underway at Reagan National Airport. Steve Baur, co-chair of the Airport Issues Committee, is a representative on the Part 150 Study Committee, and has been following the progress of the study as well as making suggestions relevant to the citizens of Arlington County. Public Meetings were held this summer to solicit noise abatement recommendations. From the resulting list, ten recommendations are being considered. A consultant to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) is modeling the effect of each of the recommendations on noise arising from aircraft using the airport. These results will be presented at the next Part 150 Advisory Committee meeting to be held in January. A list of the ten recommendations can be found on the CivFed web page. There will be four public meetings this Spring to present the final list of recommendations. The Airport Issues Committee holds a monthly meeting, on the third Thursday of each month, at a place to be announced. For more information on the AIC, or to participate in the monthly meetings, please contact Steve Geiger (steveg; 703-522+-0026) or Steve Baur (Steveb+; 703-525-5580).

Co-chair Ben Axelroad has the Environmental Affairs Committee up and running again. Meetings are planned for the near future, likely on January 15th or 22nd. The committee is very interested in hearing all points of view and concerns about environmental issues affecting Arlington. To that end, all are encouraged to participate as part of the committee. Please contact Ben+ for more information.

The Executive Committee meetings have suddenly become much livelier. Several issues have arisen that have strongly suggested that we needed to ask our By-laws Committee to review a few provisions and to offer some clarifications where questions might arise.

Other than the procedural aspects of any Executive Committee, we have also offered our help and support to Bob Atkins and Randy Swart, Co-Chairs of Revenues and Expenditures (have all you Committee chairs appointed someone to represent your respective committees on R & E once budget season arrives?) as they prepare for their January 24th Budget/Bond Seminar; to Bill Gearhart and Martha Moore, Co-Chairs of Planning and Zoning, in the planning of their sequel to the extremely successful Planning Seminar held in November; to Jerry Auten and Ed Parks as they plan the Parking/Arterial Seminar; to Frances Finta and Patrick Smaldore and fellow-committee members who have assumed leadership for the annual banquet on March 26th.

As always, any delegate or member is more than welcome at the ExCom meetings which are held the third Tuesday of each month at the Hospice of Northern Virginia at 7:30 p.m. In the meantime, we wish you and yours a wonderful New Year.

The Housing Committee and new Chair Joe Wholey, are starting off the new year with a fresh page. Some issues the committee will be addressing including affordable housing, County policies on blight, college student housing, and housing for public employees. To get involved, contact joe+.

The Legislation Committee provided the 2004 Legislative Package to all our State Legislators, Congressional delegation and County Board members. The Committee may meet soon to further discuss the issue of establishing a Public Defender's office for Arlington.

The Parks and Recreation Committee had a busy month. At our December 15 Parks Committee meeting, we had our largest turnout ever. More than 40 people came to discuss Old Glebe Civic Association's proposed resolution to ask the County to close the Canine Community Area at Madison Community Center. First, we voted to recommend a resolution to the Federation to ask the County to keep the CCA open until a suitable replacement is opened. Then we voted to recommend a "no" vote on the original resolution. These two resolutions come before CivFed on January 6.

Unfortunately, this bone of contention pitted two Federation members against each other, never a pet situation. Both sides made strong pointers in the debate, but in committee, the larger pack prevailed. Now Federation as a whole can bite into the matter. By May 2004, a newly-created County Task Force will settle the question.

The Committee also voted to recommend a part of the Planning and Zoning Committee's resolution asking for limits to the County's right to sell density (development rights) associated with parkland. This resolution also goes to the Federation on January 6.

Please join our committee by sending a message to parkswatch-subscribe@yahoogorups.com or coming to one of our meetings. Now the work begins!

The Post Office might operate through rain, flood, sleet, etc., but the Public Services Committee is not made of such stern stuff. The early December snow resulted in a postponed meeting. The holidays, the flu, surgeries and such have further conspired to keep us in our respective homes. So, for the latter part of 2003 and the early part of 2004, we are going to rely on our marvelous technological world to get us through the issues with which we are dealing!

If anyone wishes to be more heavily involved in the work of the Public Services Committee via e-mail, please do not rely upon the YahooGroup. E-mail Kim Smith directly at kim+ to be included in the working portion of the Committee. Yahooers will still receive notification of meeting times and places (assuming the fates are kinder).

We're still working on fire station siting; the Public Defenders Office; police complaint procedures; library drop boxes; and, of course, emergency preparedness through Jackie Snelling and the Public Preparedness Initiative.

We wish all the delegates, alternates and members of Civic Federation organizations a Very Happy New Year, filled with health, happiness, peace and more Code Yellows - or even a Green or two!

The Revenues and Expenditures Committee will be holding a short, informative class on January 24, 2004, to teach Federation members about the budget and bond process in Arlington. This is a great way to get ready to plan the Federation's proposed budget, which will come before the Federation in April. For more information or to participate on the committee, contact bob+ or randy+

The Transportation Committee is still hoping to hold a forum on development and transportation, perhaps in the Spring. The County-appointed arterial study committee canceled its December meeting, and the next step will be for the consultant to prepare their report. For more information, please contact jerry+ or ed+.

While the Federation's committees provide opportunities to stay involved and make a difference, it won't help you, unless you and your organizations participate. You say that you don't have time? You can't stand meetings? Well, thanks to the hard work of Jay Wind over the last few months, there is a new, easy way to stay in the loop. Internet discussion groups have been established for all Civic Federation Committees. The new discussion groups make it easy to join committees, participate in discussion, and to keep up-to-date on the latest news without taking up all your time. Anyone who belongs to a Civic Federation member organization is eligible to join up. To sign up, all you have to do is go to www.civfed.org/egroups.htm and follow the instructions on the page.

A message from your President

As many of you are aware, the Federation frequently takes positions on issues by passing resolutions. As President, I'm often asked how one goes about getting the Federation to offer its support on an issue, or to take a position. Here are the basics that you should know about: Any delegate or alternate may introduce a resolution. Our standing rules require that the resolution be in writing, and presented to the President at the meeting. Look on the agenda for "new business." When that item comes up, please ask to be recognized, and then read your resolution. Our rules require that, unless there is a need for immediate action, that the resolution be referred to a committee. The committee will then consider the resolution, and must report back with its recommendation at the next Federation meeting.

At the next meeting, if the committee simply recommends passage or defeat of the resolution, it will be introduced to the floor as originally proposed. On the other hand, if the committee recommends minor changes to the resolution, we will vote first on the proposed amendment(s), and then consider the resolution. Finally, when the committee recommends passage of a substantially different resolution, the Federation will treat the committee's proposal as a substitute motion, and the Federation will first decide whether to act on the original resolution, or to act on the substitute. The Federation will then consider only the original or substitute motion.

Letter to the Editor

The County Treasurer is once again providing the opportunity to vote on the next County car tag. There are four choices -- Memorial Bridge, the Iwo Jima monument, Arlington House, and the Constitution Bell. The first three are national in nature. Two are located on Federal land and Memorial Bridge crosses the Potomac into the District of Columbia. The constitution Bell, on the other hand, is unique to Arlington. It is located on County parkland on the corner of Wilson Blvd. and George Mason Dr. It is rung at noon on every national holiday.

The bell clapper is removed by a local citizen after each occasion and replaced on the next holiday. For years, Ron Ross, long-time community activist, had custody of the clapper and the bell ringing. Finally, putting the heavy clapper in place became to burdensome for one elderly person, and the responsibility was assumed by the Bluemont Civic Association. Ed Fendley, a Bluemont delegate to the Federation, now manages the ringing.

It would be a fitting tribute to Ron's efforts on behalf of Arlington schools and other good-government causes to have the Constitution Bell on next year's County tag. It would also recognize the participation of our member organization.

You can cast your vote online at www.co.arlington.va.us/treas/decalvote.htm or by calling the Treasurer's Office. And make a point of participating in bell ringing on the next national holiday. Children love the opportunity to pull the big rope.

Nancy Graham

The Arlington County Civic Federation
Officers 2003-2004

President Daniel Krasnegor (dan+)

Vice President Patrick Smaldore (pat+)

Treasurer Tim Wise (tim+)

Secretary Frances Finta (703-528-2882)

Executive Committee

Chairman Kimberly Johnson-Smith (kim+)

Vice Chairman Nancy Graham (nancy+)

Member Randy Swart (randy+)

Member Bobi Wallace (bobi+)

Member Ken Marcus (ken+)

Committee Chairs

Ad Hoc Airport Issues Committee (Co-chairs) Steve Baur

(steveb+) Steve Geiger (steveg+)

Bylaws Scott McGeary (scott+)

Community Relations - Vacant

Cultural Affairs Herschel Kanter (herschel+)

Environmental Affairs (Co-chairs) Ben Axleroad (other co-chair vacant)

Governance - vacant

Housing Joe Wholey (co-chair) (other co-chair vacant)

Legislation Nancy Graham (nancy+)

Membership Frances Finta 703-528-2882

Parks & Recreation (Co-chairs) Jay Jacob Wind (jay+) (other co-chair vacant)

Planning & Zoning (Co-chairs) William Gearhart
(bill+) Martha Moore (martha+)

Public Services (Co-chairs) Anne Fisher (anne+) Kim Smith (kim)

+ Public Preparedness Initiative Jackie Snelling (prepared)

+ Revenues and Expenditures (Co-chairs) Robert Atkins (bob+) Randy Swart (Randy+)

Scholarship (co-chairs) Tim Reese, Jim Pebley jim+

Schools (Co-chairs) Roger Meyer (roger+) Terri Prell (terri)

+ Special Events (Co-chairs) Ann Rudd annrudd+; Adam Parkhomenko (adam+)

Transportation (Co-Chairs) Jerry Auten (jerry+) Ed Parks (ed)


Arlington County Civic Federation
c/o Dan Krasnegor
1305 N. Longfellow St.
Arlington, VA 22205

This page was last revised on: January 2, 2004.
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