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Parks & Rec Bond Post-Mortem

For historical purposes, we growled on November 2 asking whether Arlington County needs a $72 million swimming palace, and then on November 3, we argued why Arlington taxpayers should vote NO on the Parks & Rec bond.

An analysis of the final, unofficial vote tally from the November 6 by precinct showed support by the following percentages:

  • President Obama: 69.1%
  • Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment: 57.3%
  • Arlington County Board” 60.3%
  • School Bond: 80.9%
  • Community Infrastructure: 72.9%
  • Parks & Recreation Bond: 63.4%
  • Metro/Transportation Bond: 80.1%
  • Number of precincts with greater than 65% -- 18 including absentee ballots
  • Number of precincts with greater than 60% -- 17
  • Number of precincts with greater than 55% -- 8
  • Number of precincts with greater than 50% -- 7
  • Number of precincts with less than 50% -- 3 (Rock Spring, 47.03%; Madison, 42.57%; and Buckingham, 40.86%)

Both Taylor Holland and Scott McCaffrey reported the story in the Washington Examiner and Arlington Sun Gazette, respectively.

In the Washington Examiner, Taylor Holland began his report by saying:

“Arlington County voters approved funding for a nearly $80 million aquatics center along the Potomac River on Tuesday, but opponents of the colossal facility say the measure passed only because the wording on the ballot was vague about what the money would buy.

“What voters were asked to approve on Election Day was a $50 million bond issue that would pay "the cost of various capital projects for local parks and recreation, and land acquisition for parks and open space." It said nothing about most of the money going toward the construction of a waterfront swimming complex at Long Bridge Park in Crystal City, and critics said that was done intentionally to avoid opposition to the project.”

In the Arlington Sun Gazette, Scott McCaffrey began his report this way:

“It garnered more than 63 percent of the vote – that’s called a landslide in most political circumstances – but the controversial $50.5 million county parks and recreation bond finished well behind the three other bonds on the ballot.

“Those competing facts give both sides in the debate over the bond something to trumpet.

“Obviously, someone was paying attention – 20,000 more voters said ‘no’ to the parks bond when compared to the schools and transportation referendums,” said Wayne Kubicki, who led opposition to the park bond and its major component: the proposed Long Bridge Park aquatics center and fitness facility.”

Take a few minutes to read the entirety of both news reports.

We thank all Arlington voters who voted against another vanity project for the Arlington County Board masterminds.

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