Tuesday, October 27, 1998
BVSCA MEMBERSHIP MEETING 7:15 P.M.
Meeting at the National Rural Electric Association (NRECA), 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, 22203-1860, Ellipse Conference Center (Room CC1), Free Parking for Membership Meeting, Garage Entry Up to 8:00 P.M. (See Details Below)Membership Meeting (7:15 - 9:45 p.m.).
1. Ballot Questions to be Voted on at the November 3, 1998 Special Election. The Association has obtained detailed information from the Office of Voter Registration, Arlington County Government, on the Commonwealth of Virginia Proposed Constitutional Amendments and Arlington County, Virginia, Proposed General Bond Referenda to be voted on at the November 3, 1998, Special Election. This information will be briefly discussed and distributed to interested members. See the ballot questions, beginning on page 6. (7:15 to 7:30 p.m.).
2. October 1998 Candidates Night Debates. This is to invite you to the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association's Candidates Night meeting on Tuesday, October 27, 1998, at the first floor conference room (CC1) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) building, 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia. We have planned two candidates panels, beginning with the County Board candidates, at 7:30 p.m., followed by the candidates for Virginia's 8th Congressional District, at approximately 8:15 p.m.
Make plans to attend the Association's Candidates Night Meeting , which is open to the public. Each candidate session will be limited to 45 minutes. The candidates will have up to five minutes for opening statements, followed by questions from the audience. In order to promote increased public participation, individual questions will be limited to 45 seconds and candidate responses will be limited to 3 minutes for each question. The first three questions for each session will be from BVSCA members, followed by questions from non-members or members attending the meeting. We urge all citizens in our Ballston-Virginia Square neighborhood to attend these sessions and take this opportunity to meet personally with the candidates, and to learn more about the issues, which will be the basis for casting your votes in the Tuesday, November 3, 1998, Special Election. For the first panel, beginning at 7:30 p.m., we will hear from the two candidates for the Arlington County Board--Mike Lane (R) and Chris Zimmerman (D), Incumbent. For the second panel, beginning at 8:15 p.m., we will hear from the two candidates for Virginia's 8th Congressional District--Demaris Miller (R) and Jim Moran (D), Incumbent. The Association requested that each candidate submit a statement of their candidacy to assist you in learning more about the candidates and their views. Also, the Association asked that the candidate responses be limited to 500 words or less. Their background information follows Agenda Item 3. (7:30 to 9:00 p.m.).
3. Virginia Square SP #196 Site Plan Amendment. The Association will hear a presentation on the proposed major site plan amendments for SP #196, as requested by Virginia Medical Square II, L.P., by Martin D. Walsh, Attorney/Agent, for a special exception to permit an addition of approximately 40,000 square feet to the existing medical office building; premises known as 3801 and 3803 N. Fairfax Drive. Also, under the proposed amendments, is a request for a special exception to permit a single office building of approximately 159,285 square feet office space and approximately 1,943 square feet of retail space; premises known as Virginia Square Lot 1-A, N. Fairfax Drive. The latter is a request of The Meridian Group by Martin D. Walsh, Attorney/Agent. Parking for the buildings will be provided below grade, with some surface parking as well. The streetscape are to be consistent with surrounding Arlington County standards. The applications will bring the overall density for the site plan area to 3.8 FAR, which is consistent with the property's C-O zoning and its designation by the General Land Use Plan as "High" Office-Apartment-Hotel. These proposed amendments will be considered by the Arlington Planning Commission on October 26, 1998, and the County Board on November 14, 1998.
On Oct. 7, 1998, the BVSCA Executive Committee met with the site plan applicants and their representatives concerning their proposed major site plan amendments. At this meeting, the Executive Committee encouraged the site plan applicant to increase the amount of proposed retail space, suggested a more creative approach to the proposed architecture of the new building, and recommended an improved pedestrian access approach to the nearby Virginia Square Metro station and the Central Library. Recently, the Association has learned that the site plan applicant has agreed to increase the proposed retail from 1,943 square feet to 4,400 square feet of space. Because this proposed project is critically important to the future of the Virginia Square Metro area, and especially the residential community, the Association encourages interested members and residents to attend this meeting and express your views on these proposed projects. Also, we encourage you to express your views at the above public hearings. (9:00 to 9:45 p.m.).
CANDIDATES BACKGROUND INFORMATION.
Panel 1-- Arlington County Board Candidates
Statement of Mike Lane (R)
I believe I can make a substantial contribution to improve the quality of life in Arlington. Fifteen years of one-party rule has allowed problems to continue uncorrected in our community. An unchallenged ruling elite has led to an arrogance of power.
I do not believe the politically correct party line that ALL is well in Arlington - that we only need small adjustments to perfect our community. We do have some serious problems.
In Ballston - Virginia Square, the County Board encouraged development with inadequate parking. This has resulted in an unacceptable overflow of cars spilling into residential neighborhoods.
The last 15 years have produced a dramatic increase in neighborhood cut-through traffic. Despite consistent requests for relief, the Board has yet to implement a comprehensive management plan. Simple and inexpensive solutions such as 4-way stop signs are dismissed as "contrary to county policy."
Aggressive panhandling in the Metro areas has gone unchecked while the County Board tells you they are powerless to control it. If the District of Columbia can police aggressive panhandling, Arlington can.
Youth gang crime continues to rise countywide. Recently, a gang was apprehended on the streets of Ballston with a homemade bomb in their car.
The Board has simply refused to budget within existing tax rates. Despite dramatic reductions in the welfare rolls resulting from Governor Allen's welfare reform, Arlington suffered through its 7th consecutive tax-rate increase in 1998.
The politically correct line is that Arlington schools are among the best in the country, yet one middle school reports fully 50% of its students failed their achievement tests.
Litigation over a racial quota admissions system for our magnet schools is appealed after having been held unconstitutional -- twice. And as the rest of the country abandons bilingual education as an experiment failing a generation of children, Arlington has just embarked on its own bilingual experiment.
County government is not responsive because the monopoly party (all 22 locally elected offices held by Democrats) works out its differences in private and presents a united front in public (the County Board votes unanimously 99% of the time). The public is not part of the process and becomes frustrated by the lack of publicly considered options.
My background as a Marine Corps Officer for 21 years, and CEO of two national associations, has given me the leadership and management skills necessary to guide Arlington through the tough decisions that lay ahead.
I have lived in Arlington for 22 years. I'm a straight-talker who will bring leadership, experience and diversity of thought to the Board. We have some significant problems, and I will work hard to solve them. I will also engage the public in that work. We will have strong and open discussion, and then we will move to solve the problem.
I will work hard to close the gap on minority achievement test scores and to reduce gang crime. I will ensure our tax dollars are wisely spent. And I will work hard to bring the Arlington community together again.
Panel 1-- Arlington County Board Candidates
Statement of Chris Zimmerman (D), Incumbent
Chris Zimmerman is the only candidate with the necessary experience, on and off the Board, to make good decisions on the key issues affecting Arlington in general, and Ballston-Virginia Square in particular, and to successfully institute policy changes.
Before joining the Board in 1996, Chris spent years as a neighborhood activist, including serving as president of his civic association. He chaired the Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee, he's been a delegate to the Civic Federation, and an active parent and PTA member at the Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. He's been a member of the Planning Commission, the Park and Recreation Commission, the Economic Development Commission, and the task force that wrote the Open Space Master Plan. As a former legislative aide in Richmond, Chris understands the important relationship between the state and local governments in Virginia. As an economist specializing in state and local government fiscal policy he has a good understanding of the budget and tax issues affecting Arlington. His leadership as Chairman of the County Board this year has demonstrated both his commitment and his effectiveness.
With years of experience in land use planning, Chris has a deep appreciation of the importance of adhering to Arlington's well-established sector plans. When necessary, he has been forthright in opposing inappropriate development. He's worked to improve parking in the R-B corridor, including successfully supporting an ordinance change to raise town house parking requirements. On the Board he's focused attention on urban design in the Metro corridor to promote pedestrian access, first-floor retail presence, and an appropriate scale that respects the established land use plans.
As Chairman of the County Board, Chris Zimmerman has articulated a vision for Arlington that builds on the County's legacy of transit-oriented development and managed growth, and reflects the principles of the new urbanism. He's led the Board in establishing a series of initiatives aimed at the continuous improvement of the quality of life in Arlington as we enter the new century:
Panel 2 -- Commonwealth of Virginia's 8th Congressional District Candidates
The Association did not receive a Statement of Candidacy from Demaris Miller (R) by the requested due date. What follows is Demaris Miller's Public Announcement to Seek Election from her home page.
On February 16, 1998, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, Republican Candidate Demaris Miller announced her candidacy for Congress. After her introductory remarks, Ms. Miller said "Thank you, Bob [former State Senator Robert Calhoun] and I also thank all of you for coming today, President's Day. I know many of you want to hear why I am running for Congress.
This year I became a grandmother. And I realized that I want my children to be able to share in the American dream - the dream that our children will be better off than we were. I believe that dream can still be a reality, but not unless we take back our government from professional politicians and special interests and return it to the people... A first priority is tax reform because it touches all citizens - singles, families, and seniors. I have already introduced my plan to scrap the code and replace it with a flat tax, so today I will simply state that as your congressman I will work for a simple, clean, fair system that serves people, not special interests.
Another priority is education. I was there, teaching in the public schools of Albemarle County, Virginia, when the federal government began to undermine local control of education. I remember when the county hired its first full-time professional just to write grant proposals to the federal government. Now, all across the nation, school systems have whole offices devoted to complying with federal mandates and applying for federal grants. I have news for Congress and for the President. That is OUR money and these are OUR children. We want our education money back and we want it without strings attached!
Health care is no less important. When I worked as a pediatric nurse at Georgetown Hospital, I saw first hand what it meant to have the best health care system in the world. People come from all over the world for treatment here. I know what a wonderful system we have - and I want to protect it from government interference. Now, I know people want the assurance that they can get health care when they need it and they want to know that they will be able to choose who provides their care. They want to be assured that the care they need will not be beyond their grasp. There is much Congress can do to provide this assurance, but the wrong solutions will make health care more expensive and less accessible. As your congressman, I will apply my knowledge both as a health-care professional and as an innovative scientist to see that your health-care options are protected.
And finally, I am concerned about our obligations to our public servants - current and retired military and civilian federal employees. I am a former federal employee... I will work to provide federal employees with a work environment that combines authority with accountability, rewards those providing the highest quality, and gets rid of dead wood. I am also the daughter of a retired military reserve officer who served before and during World War II. This country's obligation to him and to my mother did not end when he retired or when he died. We owe our service men and women a great debt for their contributions to our safety and security. As your congressman, I will work hard to see that all our obligations to these public servants are fulfilled.
These are a few of the reasons I am running. But I can assure you, I will never be a professional politician. I will go to Capitol Hill and be your voice - but I will not stay forever. Our Founders never intended service in Congress to be a career. I share their vision of a citizen legislature, and I believe in keeping Congress full of fresh faces and new ideas. I will represent you as a citizen legislator who is more interested in speaking the truth and doing what is right than in being reelected. I will keep my promises to you - then I will come home and let one of you take my place...."
Panel 2 -- Commonwealth of Virginia's 8th Congressional District Candidates
Statement of Jim Moran (D), Incumbent
Jim Moran cast the tough votes needed to turn a $290 billion federal deficit in 1992 into a $290 billion federal deficit in 1992 into a $63 billion surplus in 1998. He'll assure that today's surplus is used to save Social Security and reduce the nation's debt.
Named "Legislator of the Year" by the Virginia Association of PTA's in 1996. Jim has fought short-sighted cuts in student loans and aid to elementary and secondary education.
Crime and Violence
Jim was an original co-sponsor of the Brady Law and fought to ban deadly assault weapons. He secured federal funding to combat gang-related violence in Northern Virginia.
Improving Our Quality of Life
As a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Jim has secured federal funding for numerous projects to improve our quality of life, ranging from upgraded bike trails to enhance our quality of life, ranging from upgraded bike trails to enhanced safety on the George Washington Parkway.
Federal Employees and Military Retirees
Jim has led the fight to protect the salaries and retirement benefits of our federal workers and retirees. He passed landmark legislation in 1998 to begin opening the Federal Employer Health Benefits Program to military retirees.
Jim voted this year to give patients basic protections in HMO's, and he supports additional measures to combat youth smoking.
The League of Conservation Voters consistently gives Jim the highest ranking among Washington-area federal lawmakers for his votes on environmental issues. From his position on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, he ensures that environmental protection and ecosystem management programs in the 8th District have funding priority.
Member of the House Appropriations Committee
Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition
Member of the Executive Committee of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
Member of the Arms Control and Foreign Policy Caucus, the Environmental and Energy Study Conference, and the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues
Past Public Experience
Mayor of Alexandria
Chairman, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission
Chairman, United Way
Chairman, National League of Cities on Drugs, Day Care, and Education
Chairman, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Committee on Aging
Chairman, Council of Governments, Committee on Economic Development and Land Use Policy
Chairman, Metropolitan Washington Regional Drug Summit
Investment Broker for A.G. Edwards, Inc.
Auditor and Budget Analyst for the Federal Government
Budget and Fiscal Policy Specialist, Library of Congress
Senior Staff, U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee
M.A. in Public Administration, University of Pittsburgh
B.A. in Economics, Holy Cross College
Graduate School of Finance, City University of New York
Chamber of Commerce George Washington Leadership
Council of Governments Metropolitan Public Service
Law Enforcement Officers
The Retired Officers Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and various federal employee groups
Congressman Moran lives in Alexandria with his wife Mary and their children. (For more information about Congressman Moran, one should visit the following web site .)
1998-'99 Membership Meeting Schedule. Monthly Membership Meetings of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association are scheduled at the National Rural Electric Association (NRECA), 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, Ellipse Conference Center (Room CC1 except as noted) for the following Tuesday evenings: 11/24/98, and 01/26/99. For your information, NRECA provides free garage access for one hour at NRECA's underground parking garage for participants attending the BVSCA Membership Meeting (30 minutes prior, to 30 minutes following, the starting time of our meeting). The garage's automatic exit device allows exit-only traffic after the garage is closed. BVSCA participants should be prepared to state they are attending the BVSCA Membership Meeting in order to receive free parking. Members should be advised that the garage will be accessible only up to 8:00 p.m., 30 minutes following the 7:30 p.m. starting time of our Membership Meeting, and that once the garage closes vehicles will still be able to exit the garage. Access to the Conference Room will be provided at 7:00 p.m.; the room must be completely vacated no later than 9:30 p.m. Also, general cleaning of the room is the responsibility of BVSCA.
BVSCA Announcements: Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 1998. Our next Executive Committee Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, 1998, at 7:30 p.m., at the Ballston Park Condominium Community Meeting Room, 1050 N. Stuart Street, Arlington, VA. The first item is coordination with County Staff concerning the BVSCA recommended Upgrades at Ballston-MU Metro Station, from our Membership Meeting on August 25, 1998. At that meeting, members unanimously agreed that the highest priority for improving the Ballston-MU Metro Station is upgraded access via the north entrance at N. Fairfax Drive and N. Stuart Street, near the existing elevator. Members recommended that both an escalator entrance to the station be added and that the existing elevator be replaced with a high speed elevator. If cost or construction concerns will not permit an escalator entrance to be added to the north side of Fairfax Drive, members request that a stairway entrance to the station be constructed at a minimum, in addition to the high speed elevator. The second item is finalization of the annual Neighborhood Survey.
November 24, 1998, Membership Meeting. The Association will hear a presentation by County Staff concerning planned actions for improving pedestrian access to the Ballston-MU Metro Station. The next item will be an introduction to the members of the Arlington Neighborhood Initiative Area D Team and a presentation on their goals and objectives.
Update on Proposed SP #31-Library Courts Apartments at 1040 North Quincy Street. At the County Board meeting of October 17, 1998, the Board approved the site plan applicant's request to defer consideration of this proposed major site plan amendment and requested rezoning to the Board meeting of January 23, 1999, or the first regularly scheduled Board Meeting for Calendar Year 1999. Executive Committee Member Tom Sawner represented the Association at the meeting, and recommended to the Board that they deny the proposed site plan and rezoning due to the massing of density at the northeast corner of the site. In addition, the proposed site plan is not consistent with the design guidelines and recommendations of the Ballston Sector Plan. The proposed plan does not provide an appropriate transition to the low density neighborhoods located north of 11th Street; the site plan does not address a number of deficiencies of the existing 1020 Quincy Street site plan; and the proposed site plan does not present an integrated site plan between 1020 and 1040 Quincy Street.
After nearly 21/2 hours of discussion between the Board, the site plan applicant, staff, representatives of the Planning Commission, and six current members and one former member of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association, the Board agreed to the site plan applicant's request for a date-specific deferral. It should be noted here that the site plan applicant has yet to have a full hearing before the Arlington County Board on the merits of their proposed site plan application and requested re-zoning. In approving the requested deferral, the Board indicated that they wanted to help ensure due process and to be fair. On the other hand, the Board expressed concern about the number of proposed site plan revisions, the impact on staff in terms of resources and time, and the impact on our community. More than one Board member suggested after four previously approved requests for deferrals to this one, that they expected no more requested deferrals at the next Board meeting. In addition, Board members strongly encouraged the site plan applicant to fully address the Planning Commission's Resolutions from the Commission meeting of October 5, 1998, and staff concerns, before finalizing their revised site plan.
January 26, 1999, Membership Meeting. Representatives from DEQ and Exxon have agreed to make a presentation on the status of remediation actions taken since 1994 to remedy reported contamination of the soil and groundwater near the vicinity of the former Exxon station at 3444 North Washington Boulevard. (This environmental issue was previously reported in BVSCA Newsletters dated April 1994, July 1994, and October 1994. For details, please visit http://www.bvsca.org/april94.html, http://www.bvsca.org/jul94.html,and http://www.bvsca.org/oct94.html.)
BVSCA Mailing List. For BVSCA members, who would like to subscribe to the BVSCA Mailing List and receive the bimonthly Arlington Police Second District Newsletter, send the command "subscribe" to BVSCA-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org. After subscribing, detailed instructions will be sent concerning how to unsubscribe, how to change to digest mode, how to change to no-mail mode, how to post a message so everyone on the mailing list receives it, and other information. The Association's web site is "http://www.bvsca.org" and e-mail address is "email@example.com." Our back-up web site is: "http://www2.dgsys.com/~bvsca."
Commonwealth of Virginia Proposed Constitutional Amendments
TO BE VOTED ON AT THE NOVEMBER 3, 1998 SPECIAL ELECTION
PROPOSED AMENDMENT #1 - Overseas Voters
PROPOSED AMENDMENT #2 - Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission
PROPOSED AMENDMENT #3 - Economic Development Areas; Governing Bodies
PROPOSED AMENDMENT #4 - Economic Growth-Sharing Agreements
PROPOSED AMENDMENT #5 - Tax Exemptions
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #1
Overseas Voters, Article II, Section 1
"Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to permit persons employed overseas, and their families, who are qualified to vote in Virginia except for having given up a home in Virginia, to continue to vote in Virginia while overseas subject to the conditions and time limits set by law?"
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 2
Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission, Article VI, Section 10
"Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to delete the present requirement that the proceedings of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission concerning charges against judges shall be confidential so that the General Assembly can provide by law to what extent Commission proceedings and documents will be confidential?"
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 3
Economic Development Areas; Governing Bodies, Article VII, Section 2
"Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize agreements among localities for sharing the revenues and costs of a specified land area and establishing a special governing body for the area, and to provide that fiscal commitments related to the land area will not be deemed local debt?"
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 4
Economic Growth-Sharing Agreements, Article VII, Section 10
"Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to allow a combination of localities to contract debt as part of an agreement to share the revenues, tax base, or the benefits of economic growth and exempt this class of debt from the ceiling on local debt for cities and towns and from the requirement for a local referendum for counties?"
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT # 5
Tax Exemptions, Article X, Section 6
"Shall the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize the General Assembly by general law to give local governments the option of eliminating, in whole or in part, either the business, professional or occupational license tax or the merchants' capital tax or both?"
For a detailed explanation of the proposed Virginia Constitutional Amendments, please visit the State Board of Elections. Also, for additional information, please visit the Arlington County Taxpayers Association web site. See the ACTA Watchdog issue dated October 12, 1998, article titled "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION: Vote NO on Proposed Constitutional Amendments 3 and 4."
Proposed Arlington County Bond Referenda on the 1998 Ballot
The actual questions on the ballot are provided below for your information. For more information and detailed explanations on the proposed bond referenda, please call (703) 228-3415. Also, for a detailed explanation on the Proposed Bond Referenda on the 1998 Ballot, please visit Arlington's web site .
1. Public School Projects
QUESTION: Shall Arlington County contract a debt and issue its general obligation bonds in the maximum amount of $50,705,000 to finance, together with other available funds, the costs of various capital projects for Arlington County public school and community purposes?
2. Westover and Shirlington Branch Libraries
QUESTION: Shall Arlington County contract a debt and issue its general obligation bonds in the maximum amount of $8,000,000 to finance, together with other available funds, the costs of expanding and renovating, or the building of new Westover and Shirlington branch libraries?
3. Local and Regional Parks and Recreation
QUESTION: Shall Arlington County contract a debt and issue its general obligation bonds in the maximum of $17,055,000 to finance, together with other available funds, the cost of various capital projects for local and regional parks and recreation purposes?
4. Streets, Highways, and Community Conservation
QUESTION: Shall Arlington County contract a debt and issue its general obligation bonds in the maximum amount of $24,055,000 to finance, together with other available funds, the cost of various capital projects for streets, highways and community conservation purposes?