Candidates for the Arlington County Board were asked the following questions by The Washington Post:
Direction: What is your opinion of the direction of the county board? What are the most pressing legislative problems facing the board and how would you address them?
Growth: Do you support the county board's policies toward growth? If not, what would you change?
Stephen H. Detwiler (Independent), Incumbent, 39, of 5512 Williamsburg Blvd., Arlington, is executive vice president of Continental Federal Savings and Loan Association. A Republican-backed independent, Detwiler was first elected to the County Board in 1978 and is the current chairman. He also has been president of the Metropolitan Council of Governments.
Direction: Under the current majority, the Arlington County Board is continuing to move forward in the directions Arlington voters have indicated they wish to go in making Arlington a better community. This includes a major strengthening of school programs with an emphasis on academic excellence, a significant reduction in crime by very close cooperation with the commonwealth's attorney and continued improvement in the way all government services are provided to our citizens. Governmental efficiencies tied to a carefully controlled program of economic improvements within the county have enabled the board to increase school and county services by increasing budgets, yet the Independent/Republican majority on the board has held the line on tax rate increases. I consider the most pressing legislative problems to be continued support of our outstanding school system, planned economic development, affordable housing, fighting crime and maintaining excellent citizens' services while holding the line on taxes through the efficient operation of our county government.
Growth: To assure the goal of a livable community, Arlington's growth must be environmentally sound, reflecting a balance of citizen concerns. Housing opportunities and neighborhood preservation must be assured alongside the integration of economic and cultural uses necessary to our community's vitality. We have sought to bring a human scale to areas of intense previous development by returning the streets to the people, such as our current street furniture project in Rosslyn and support for a park on the deck over I-66. To improve the quality of our life, we have supported bike trails, neighborhood parks and neighborhood plans for relief from commuter congestion of residential streets. We are committed to citizen consensus in new development around Metro stops. A design competition for the Courthouse stop has been discussed and juried by the citizens. In time, this project will provide a bold new downtown center sensitively expressive of our unique community.
Mary Margaret Whipple (D), 42, of 3556 N. Valley St., Arlington, served on the Arlington County School Board from 1976 to 1980. She was chairman of the board in 1978-79. A former community college instructor and General Assembly legislative aide, she has held major offices in local education groups and has been active in professional and service groups.
Direction: The current Republican majority lacks coherent direction. As a member of the Arlington County Board, I would join with Democrats Ellen Bozman and John Milliken to form a new majority and give positive leadership to Arlington County. The priorities of the Bozman-Milliken-Whipple team are clear. We will restore open government and end the disturbing tendency of the current majority to conduct the public's business in private. We will support the schools, libraries, recreation activities, day care programs and other services which make Arlington a good place to live, and make specific efforts to attract families to our community. We will make every effort to preserve affordable housing in Arlington. We will maintain Arlington's reputation for fiscal responsibility. And we will promote controlled development in the Metro corridor.
Growth: My opponent's record on development is to vote for the first proposals from developers, no matter how high or how dense. But what's good for developers isn't always good for Arlington. I believe that Arlington is now so attractive to investors that we don't need to settle for more Rosslyns. The Bozman-Milliken-Whipple majority pledges a development policy of sensible growth, mixed uses, protection of neighborhoods and citizen participation in the planning process. We will control development in the Metro corridor, limiting height and density to reasonable levels. We will work for a mix of uses -- housing, shops and services for Arlingtonians -- not just offices for commuters. We will ensure that development will not overwhelm adjacent neighborhoods with size and traffic so that the residential character of our community is maintained. And we will guarantee that Arlington citizens have a meaningful role in the planning process.