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Arlington County Board Chairman Kicks Off Reelection Campaign

The Arlington Sun-Gazette this week described the Arlington County Board's traditional New Year's Day meeting as an "opportunity for the incoming board chairman to lay out goals for the new year." We would put it somewhat differently -- saying it's the chairman's chance to use the taxpayers' dime to run for reelection. The lede paragraph in the Sun-Gazette summed up the chairman's goals as, "Conginuing 'smart' growth policies, a harder push for affordable housing, and an emphasis on fiscal responsibility are among the goals for the new Chairman." Unfortunately, the chairman's prepared text is not required to identify costs for his proposals, but they are not free. For example, one of his initiatives is to "promote health," and includes more walking, where he notes, "Our WalkArlington effort is substantial, and will be expanded to further encourage Arlingtonians to walk instead of ride." The Washington Post's report on the meeting also notes two issues facing the Board. The paper notes, "the county is reeling from a major blow that an Arlington Circuit Court judge dealt to its affordable housing program" and later adds, "Residents in Cherrydale are so upset about the board's decision to put the new fire station near a busy intersection . . . that some have been loudly calling for an overhaul of the county board system." Consequently, 2005 looks to be be most interesting political year in Arlington.

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