PRESS RELEASE: Two Arlington County Board Seats Are Up In November, 2023

September 18, 2023.

I’m Audrey Clement, the Independent candidate for County Board on November 7. This year two County Board seats are up for election, and the incumbents–both Missing Middle advocates–have stepped down.

In their place are two Democrats–Maureen Coffey, who supports Missing Middle, and Susan Cunningham, who has reservations about it.

Like me, Republican candidate Juan Carlos Fierro firmly opposes Missing Middle a/k/a Enhanced Housing Options (EHO) upzoning, because it will not eliminate the effects of exclusionary zoning and will not provide starter homes for moderate income residents as promised.

Like me Mr. Fierro is concerned that the EHO ordinance is incentivizing developers to exploit senior citizens by paying them far below the assessed value of their homes.

Another issue that Mr. Fierro and I agree on is taxation. The County’s FY 2024 $1.55 billion budget includes a 4.7 percent effective real estate tax rate increase (p. 109), bringing its annual average 10 year effective tax rate increase to 4.5 percent, which is twice the average ten year rate of inflation, and is therefore unsustainable.

Still another area where we find common ground is opposition to defunding the police, which the County undertook by freezing several dozen Sheriff’s Office and Police Department positions (FY 2024 Budget, pp. 214, 253) despite a documented increase in serious crime. 

Finally both Mr. Fierro and I are concerned that County Board recently increased its salary by $62,000 without listing it as an item in the Manager’s Proposed FY 2024 Budget. Thus the public was unaware of the increase until County Board adopted the budget in April, 2023. This is hardly transparent.

If elected both Juan Carlos Fierro and I 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 our mutual agenda, then:

  • Support our candidacies,
  • Donate to our campaigns.
  • Help make the “Arlington Way” more than an empty phrase.