ARLINGTON COUNTY has a number of important decisions to make on Tuesday. None is difficult if voters want to continue good governance. One of the five County Board seats is up for election, and incumbent Barbara A. Favola (D), the chairman, clearly deserves reelection. Ms. Favola's experience on the board -- and as a planning commissioner and member of civic organizations and task forces addressing education, youth and health issues -- has served the county exceptionally well.
Ms. Favola has energized citizens to get behind affordable housing efforts, including one innovative project just approved in Clarendon. "If Arlington is to remain a diverse and inclusive community," she says, "it is vital that households making less than the median income of $85,000 per year be able to find housing in the county." Ms. Favola's Republican opponent, real estate agent F. Landey Patton IV, is an earnest campaigner who has acknowledged during several forums that he is "not as up" as Ms. Favola is on issues. It shows.
For two seats on the county School Board, incumbents E.T. "Libby" Garvey and Frank K. Wilson are again clear choices. Ms. Garvey, current board chair, is a dynamo steeped in the issues and part of a leadership that keeps county schools at the top of national rankings. She and Mr. Wilson have concentrated on raising achievement for all groups in a highly diverse student body and on narrowing an achievement gap between white and minority students by 40 percent. The percentage of students in higher-level math courses is up, and the number of students in advanced placement classes continues to rise. Neither of the other two candidates, William S. Barker and Shaun W. Whelden, offers such expertise.
The Arlington ballot also contains questions on bond issues for transportation, parks and recreation and public school projects. All of the proposals are supported by major civic and business organizations and deserve voter approval.