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October 7, 2021

Arlington Greens oppose the $6.8 million Parks and Recreation Bond as wasteful, and urge voters to reject this bond on the November ballot

Arlington Greens on Oct. 5, 2021 voted to oppose the parks and recreation $6.8 million bond on the November ballot for Arlington voters, and urge voters to vote ‘no” on the ballot.   Nearly three-quarters ($5 million) of this bond will be used to repave tennis courts at Bluemont Park, and then $1 million for a new Arlington boathouse.  

Greens believe spending $5 million to repave tennis courts to be wasteful and too expensive.  A new boathouse is unneeded as there are plenty of high-school rowing facilities in the District of Columbia, used for decades by high school teams, private and public schools.

During 2016-20, Arlington voters already approved $52 million for parks and recreation, an amount mostly used to build new recreation centers.   The county board refused during this period to buy more parkland to accommodate Arlington’s rising population and heavy park use.  In April 2021, the county board voted to deny historic preservation for the 9 acre Febrey-Lothrop estate which is the last largest tract of open, undeveloped land in the county that could have been added to Arlington parks.

The Greens are neutral on the other three bonds on the November ballot–which total $79 million ($39 million for Metro and transportation; $23 million schools, and $17 million county infrastructure).  There are good reasons to approve these bonds, but also compelling reasons to reject them. 

During 2016-2020, voters approved $653 million in bonds for these three purposes–$164 million for metro and transportation; $295 million for schools, and $194 million for county infrastructure, a significant amount even for a county with an over billion dollar annual operating budget.  The school board has nearly $27 million in bond authority not used, and the county board $54 million in unused bond authority to issue more bonds.

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