Candidates for the Arlington County Board were asked: Problems: What specifically do you see as the three most critical problems facing Arlington? Housing: What would you do to preserve Arlington's dwindling stock of rental housing? Vote for One John G. Miliken, 35, of 3813 N. 4th Street, Arlington is an attorney. He is a former executive assistant to Rep. Joseph L Fisher and is a member of the Arlington County Transportation Commission. Three Most Critical Problems: In long range terms, economic development is the most important issue facing Arlington. Its resolution will determine whether central Arlington will become a series of concrete canyons or whether it will remain a pleasant residential community. We must insist on mixed use development including shopping and housing as well as office space. Tax relief is of immediate concern. As assessments skyrocket, the real estate tax rate must be reduced. In addition, the personal property (automobile) tax must be reduced. This reduction will allow renters as well as homeowners to share in tax relief. Another immediate concern is the alarming increase in residential burlaries. They have risen 52 per cent in the last two years and in August averaged more than seven per day. While crime has increased, the number of police officers on the street has been reduced. We need to add more men and women to the police force and to improve their visibility in the neighborhoods by permiting them to use marked police cars while off duty. The county should regulate "fly-by-night" purchasers of gold and silver to dry up the market for stolen goods and make better use of the police Crime Resistance Unit. Rental Housing: The preservation of Arlington's moderate cost rental units will require work at several different levels of government. Incentives need to be developed to encourage owners of existing rental properties to preserve them. Owners, tenants and local government must cooperate in planning ways to deal with the economic pressures on owners. Residential construction should be included in the Metro corridors to increase the supply of housing and to protect adjacent neighborhoods. Arlington needs to work with the state to secure legislation which recognizes the special housing needs of Northern Virginia and with the Congress to improve tax and other incentives for rental housing. S.J. "Sim" Pace, 38, of 4900 Yorktown Blvd. is vice president, Systems Development, Blue Cross of the National Capital Area. He is a member of the Northwest Arlington Civic Association. Three Most Critical Problems:
1.) Containing spending and taxes. Excessive taxation and free spending by elected representatives is a problem at all levels of government. I stand for holding the line on government spending with the resultant leveling of taxes. Arlington's citizens, particularly older persons living on fixed incomes, must not be forced out of their homes and apartments because county government can not spend within its means. 2.) Insuring the residential future of Arlington. Arlington is primarily a residential community and should remain so. Its established residential neighborhoods must be protected from the pressures of high density development. Where development does take place, open space must be provided and densities must be tapered to provide a reasonable transition into the surrounding residential areas. 3.) Improving the quality of the school system. I am vitally interested in Arlington's schools. I am committed to the redirection that is taking place toward quality basic education, higher academic standards, better discipline, and more efficent administration. Our children must receive the benefit of a high quality education program. Rental Housing: A major element contributing to this decline is the conversion of existing apartment units to condominiums which is caused by economic pressures. At the federal level, tax incentives should be provided to stimulate the construction of new apartments and maintain existing apartments. At the local level, the county must keep the real estate taxes as low as possible to reduce the pressures caused by this factor and continue to lower the personal property (automobile) tax so that citizens will have more disposable income for housing and other necessities. If the sale of an apartment building is imminent, we must make it atractive, through tax incentives, for the new owner to maintain the apartments as rental units or provide assistance to the tenants to purchase the building as a low equity cooperative thus minimizing tenant displacement.