PRESS RELEASE: Fiscal Transparency: What the County Doesn’t Want You To Know

September 11, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 7, 2023. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that the current Arlington County Board is not exactly transparent.

For example, in December, 2021 the County extended a $150 million loan to the buyer of the Barcroft Apartments on Columbia Pike, without divulging the actual purchase price of $425 million or the fact that the assessed value of the property was only $138 million at the time of sale or ONE THIRD the purchase price.

[Today those same properties are assessed at about $150 million according to the County’s real estate database, where the Barcroft properties are identified by the following RPCs: 27-002-004, 27-002-010, 27-002-001, 27-002-005, 27-003-001, 27-002-006, 27-004-003, 27-007-077] 

It would be one thing if the County loan had been used by the buyer to renovate or repair the rundown units in the properties it purchased. This is not the case.

The County’s $150 million loan, plus another $160 million loan from Amazon were used to reward the seller for milking a now dilapidated piece of prime real estate on Columbia Pike for fifty plus years.

Although County staff argued that the loans were needed to prevent evictions, community activist Suzanne Sundburg raised numerous financial red flags about the deal in a letter to the Board on December 14, 2021. To my knowledge the Board never published the letter as she requested, and no action was ever taken to address her concerns.

If elected, I will advise County Board that fiscal transparency consists of informing taxpayers about the deals it cuts with developers, including the dollar amount and the fiscal impact of the money spent, as well as, the financial prudence of the transaction from the standpoint of a certified financial expert. I also pledge to:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
  • Reduce the office vacancy rate by lobbying federal agencies to relocate here.

If you share my agenda, then:

  • Spread the word about my candidacy.
  • Donate to my campaign.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.