Civic Association Newsletter

April/May 1997 - Volume 20, No. 6

Statement of Ben Winslow (I)


As a County Board member from 1993 to 1995, I began a number of projects that I believe made Arlington a better place to live. Those projects have since been largely ignored by an all Democratic Board. I am running again to finish what I started. This County government again needs a watchdog. I will add balance to the Board and help assure that decisions are in the community's best interests.

I will focus on the basics -- public safety, quality education, and infrastructure services. By better prioritizing what the County can and should do, we can provide these basics while expanding the tax base, instilling honest fiscal responsibility, and protecting the most vulnerable in our society, such as our seniors. This is a full agenda, but I really enjoy public service.

I have been active in numerous civic and community organizations. My involvement in government grew out of those activities.

This County is doing less with more of our valuable tax dollars. We ought to face the facts and finally recognize that Government cannot do it all. If we, as a Government, make sure that our needs for public safety, quality public education, and public works, like road repairs, are taken care of first and that social needs are met in a partnership with the private sector, we may actually be able to do more with less.

Contrasting my attitude with that of either of my potential Democratic opponents, I promise to continue to listen rather than preach on all public policy matters. When I was on the Board, in your neighborhood, I listened and followed up on your local concerns on a number of matters, such as: crime (including aggressive panhandling), the North Quincy Street extension, GMU parking, the lack of parks and recreation areas in the METRO corridor, problems with the Ballston Commons parking garage, and retaining meeting space for civic groups in the Windsor Towers Building.

I have a solid record on crime, overall County infrastructure policies, and the schools that has benefitted your neighborhood as has my dedication to implementing sound financial policies. I know the problems; I have viable solutions. On the Board, I had proposed a stronger County role in promoting home ownership programs. Under current programs, success is measured in the number of rental housing units established and subsidized or how many public assistance recipients are receiving checks. My idea of success is measured by the number of people whose dependence on the County is diminished because they are able to meet their own needs.

Recently, I help work on an alternative budget proposal that would not have raised tax rates but which would have given more money to the schools and public safety through efficiencies elsewhere. Afterward, the two newest Board members issued a similar proposal. With my vote on the Board that proposal could have passed and taxes would not have been raised for yet another year. Times are changing; my vote can be a part of a new majority on the Board.


Authorized by Ben Winslow, Candidate for the Arlington County Board

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