my endorsement: mike mcmenamin for arlington county board

Not to say that the Presidential and Congressional elections aren’t important – but I believe that local elections are the most important.  I would even go so far as to say the impacts of local elections affect us on a more frequent and direct basis than those of national elections – and this is magnified by “how local” it is.  

For example, if you own a home in Arlington County you may have noticed that taxes have been increasing faster than other areas in the Northern part of the state (Fairfax, I’m looking at you).  At the same time, zoning restrictions on single family homes are among some of the strictest in the state – and parking is a nightmare that grows worse with every new condominium complex and apartment building that is built.

So you assume that the money raised by these taxes must be important for providing some sort of service that you and your neighbors need.  Yet, capital projects for fire stations, libraries, and parks across the county are behind schedule and over budget.  Perhaps you live in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor, Pentagon City, Crystal City, or Shirlington where there has been a lot of development and improvements over the past few years.  But like too many areas in Northern Virginia, the dividing line between these areas and the forgotten neighborhoods surrounding them is so stark – you can point to individual streets that mark the “boundaries” between us.  


I think Mike McMenamin sums up a lot of people’s concerns when he observes:

“Mr. Zimmerman has been on the Board for more than 10 years, during which he has doubled the County’s debt. The average yearly residential real estate tax bill has increased by nearly $2,700. Spending is up over nine percent – the largest increase in nearly 20 years. He even increased the car tax. Where did all of our money go?”

Mike McMenamin has been a resident of the county since 1994 – and has been heavily involved in local community affairs.  He has served as President of the Maywood Community Association and as a Delegate to the Arlington Civic Federation since 2002 – and in 2005 he also became a member of Arlington’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission.  In his own words:

“I know the potential of this community. Like many of my neighbors, I’ve watched in frustration as our County leaders have become increasingly distant from county residents, by adopting policies that show less and less concern for neighborhoods… I’m connected to the people of Arlington County. I’m a homeowner and civic activist and I know the issues facing our County. I’m independent of the political machine that has controlled Arlington for too many years, and I’m not tied to the failed policies of the past…With your help, we can launch a new era of open government in Arlington, and begin to make County government respond to our citizens once again.”

I encourage you to read through Mike’s campaign website – it may not have a lot of fancy pictures, videos – I mean come on it’s a website for a county election, not a multi-million dollar campaign – but it does speak clearly and succinctly to a number of pressing issues that Arlington County residents face.  Better yet, go out and meet Mike in person! I had the pleasure of meeting him – along with his entire family – at a local campaign event.  With precision, acuity, honesty, and grace he shared with me the passion he has for this community – and it goes far beyond mere campaign rhetoric.


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