Scott Sklar, AHCA President, brought meeting to order at 7:30 pm.
Representatives from Arlington County Police Officers Busser and Levy – Crimes stats for this past quarter between January 1 thru April 1 reflect approximately 85 offenses including 11 drunk and disorderly, 2 embezzlements, 6 frauds, 2 ID thefts, 18 larcenies and 1 sexual offense. All primarily in the Ballston area.
April 27, 2019 will be Drug Take Back Day for the County. Prescription drugs can be dropped off at any fire station in the county.
Scooters – a situation where the technology outpaced the legislation. At this time there are no official laws in place prescribing their use. The County Board would like input from our residents pro and con through May and June. County Manager Mark Schwartz mentioned that it is expected that this period for input will be extended.
Police staffing has improved. The largest class ever, of 26, just graduated. We still have about 25 more slots to fill.
Scott Sklar reported that elections for our Civic Association will be held at our May meeting. All but one slot will be returning. Anyone can run for office who is current in AHCA Membership dues. Scott Sklar will step down next year as President. He placed in motion the creation of a shadow president for this term by asking the current AHCA VP for Programs, Julia Tanner to shadow him for this year, since she is then willing to step up to serve as President the following year. Therefore, AHCA is looking for someone to step up to serve as our new Vice President of Programs. This is not to discourage anyone else from also running as President, if they so desire or any other AHCA office or at-large position.
Various AHCA Committee reports:
AHCA Neighborhood Historian, Jim Terpstra is gathering the historical records of the Ashton Heights Civic Association. Any neighbors who might have old AHCA newsletters/documents please share copies/originals with him. He will also be looking for someone to help scan his historical docs into electronic files.
Transportation Committee, Patrick Lueb passed out final copies of the Ashton Heights Transportation and Parking Principles. It was thought that we voted to approve these principles at last month’s meeting, although we had no “objections” our meeting minutes did not reflect a final vote. Therefore, AHCA President put out a vote request on the listserve.
Brook Alexander was asking to include some additional concerns and items in these principles. She was asked to bring these up for further review and discussion and if agreed to, might be included at a later time. AHCA President directed the AHCA Transportation Committee to set up a working group to forge an AHCA consensus on the Arlington County Residential Parking Program and report back to the Ex Comm, and eventually the membership.
Andrew Kierig a member of the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Board Advisory Council is a resident of Ashton Heights and presented an update on what is happening with both buses and trains in this system. Here is a link to his presentation https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cqKMi62vchSa02fmhTZ_RlUVmJvayRhIDt_At5eQVEw/edit?usp=drivesdk. If you would like to contact him, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Schwartz Arlington County Manager covered a number of items. The County Board would reveal the final budget tomorrow. Schools enrollment are increasing by approx 1000 kids annually, which will be hard to contain. Police have been hard to recruit because of pay rates and not being able to afford to live in the county. Recently the police got a pay increase, which has helped. We just graduated the largest class of new police staff, which should help cut in half our vacancies. The supply of houses for sale in our area has dropped, some speculate that more residents are opting to “age in place”. Housing for the middle class workforce is shrinking. He thinks a solution to our affordable housing concerns must be a regional solution, across our counties. With respect to the Staples Site proposal by Kitchen United, the size of the site may be difficult to handle the traffic for the delivery service and parking. Currently the county office vacancy rate is approximately 17.2%. It is estimated that with Amazon coming into the area that this rate could go down 2-3 percentage points.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:00 pm and AHCA members mingled, finished up the food and put away chairs.
Respectfully submitted by, Jodie Flakowicz, April 22, 2019.