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Civic Federation Asks County Board to Change Policy

 Last month, we growled about the effort by the Arlington County Civic Federation to "take up a resolution expressing concern about recent changes to the County Board’s public-comment period."

At their monthly delegate meeting this week, the Arlington Sun Gazette reported yesterday, the Federation unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Federation delegate Suzanne Sundburg. The resolution asks the Arlington County Board to revert back to its prior policy.

The Sun Gazette went on to explain:

"Under state law, some of the items put on the consent agenda are required to have public hearings, and community members still have the power to remove them for a full airing. But for items where the state requirement does not apply, activists now must get a County Board member to agree that the item should be pulled for further discussion.

"County Board members say they made the change in order to streamline their agendas and to prevent a small corps of citizen-activists from monopolizing meeting times. Over the past year, one individual was responsible for removing 60 percent of the total number of consent items pulled for further consideration, which required staff time on items that board members and staff (although not always the public) deemed non-controversial matters.

"The federation’s resolution asks County Board members to “seek input and suggestions from the public and civic groups to create an alternative policy that allows the board to conduct orderly meetings within a reasonable time frame while also meeting the board’s stated goals of improving government transparency and encouraging greater public participation.”

To reead the Civic Federation's resolution, click here.

Growls readers who are Arlington County taxpayers, and agree with the Civic Federation resolution, are encouraged to tell the Arlington County Board to revise its public comment policy. Just click-on the following link to send the Board a message:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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