PRESS RELEASE: Incumbent in Arlington County Board Race Is a Rubber Stamp

I’m Audrey Clement, Independent candidate for Arlington County Board on November 2. The Sun Gazette (SG) recently endorsed incumbent Takis Karantonis, because his June 8 Democratic primary opponent, Chanda Choun, hasn’t been sufficiently critical of Takis’ record.

By that standard, I should get a whopping endorsement from the SG come November, because, in my estimation Takis is a rubber stamp, just like the other four members of Arlington County Board. The SG editorial itself actually went further in its criticism of local government:

“For more than a decade (closing in on two), elected officials largely have deferred to staff rather than providing leadership of their own.”

Nevertheless SG endorsed Takis because he goes “further than some of his colleagues in pushing back on staff recommendations.”

If Takis’ voting record is any indication, the amount of push back is negligible. I count only one dissenting vote among those Takis cast since his election to the Board in July, 2020.

That vote was in opposition to staff’s ill advised decision to clear cut the banks of Donaldson Run Tributary B as part of a streambed restoration project using so-called Natural Channel Design (NCD). Takis listened to those who argued that NCD has been debunked by many experts as a solution to erosion in upper headwater streams like Donaldson Run.

Unfortunately what Takis gave to some he took away from others in facilitating the demolition of the historic and architecturally significant Rouse estate. Adding insult to injury, Takis voted with the Board to deny historic designation of the site, which was a major Civil War encampment.

Worse still, Takis and the Board are pushing so-called “Missing Middle” housing—multi-family dwellings in single family home neighborhoods. “Missing Middle” is a euphemism for up-zoning that will inflate land values, resulting in higher housing prices, overcrowded schools, more traffic congestion, loss of tree canopy, increased runoff and more air pollution. 

If Takis’ lack of leadership bothers you, rest assured that when elected I will exercise independent judgment. I will also:

  • Seek immediate tax relief for residents and businesses.
  • Say YES to affordable housing and NO to “Missing Middle” up-zoning.
  • Preserve Arlington’s cultural heritage and stop permitting the demolition of historic structures.
  • Save our parks, streams and tree canopy and stop clearcutting wooded areas on public property.
  • Say YES to real social justice reforms and NO to symbolic gestures.

As a 17-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and former member of the Transportation Commission, I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.
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.
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