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Fairfax and Arlington
Our choices for boards and bonds

Friday, October 30, 2009

VIRGINIA'S STATEWIDE races for governor and attorney general, along with competitive delegate contests, have overshadowed county elections in Arlington and Fairfax. Voters should not overlook these local races when they go to the polls next week.

A special election for a seat on the Fairfax County School Board and a countywide bond issue will be decided Tuesday. Voters in the Providence District will fill the seat left vacant when Phillip A. Niedzielski-Eichner resigned in the summer to take a job with the Obama administration. Two years are left in the term being sought by Patricia S. Reed, John N. Jennison and Christopher F. DeCarlo (also a candidate for the House of Delegates). Ms. Reed is a parent activist with an appealing commitment to the schools, but Mr. Jennison, a lawyer who has been active in Fairfax civic life, is a better bet. With the system facing another round of budget cuts caused by shrinking county revenue, Mr. Jennison has the right sensibilities about the need to economize without sacrificing the system's core educational missions. His work as former head of the countywide citizens association and his experience as a public school parent would enable him to hit the ground running.

Fairfax voters should say yes to approve $232.6 million for school construction bonds. Among the important projects aimed at easing overcrowding are a new middle school in the south county area and improvements to a number of elementary schools.

Arlington County's one-party government rule has emerged as an issue in the race between incumbent Democrat Jay Fisette and Green Party hopeful John G. Reeder. We're not big fans of one-party rule, but Arlington is a well-managed county and Mr. Fisette, currently vice chairman of the board, is a thoughtful, experienced legislator who should be reelected. Rough economic times are not the moment to make a change just for the sake of change.

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