Andy Prior, Candidate for District 5
1. Term Limits – please respond by March 14, 2019
Last November, voters approved term limits for the Arlington City Council. What is your opinion of these term limits?
Term limits as enacted by a vote of the citizens of Arlington ought to remain in force unchanged for a long enough period of time to determine whether they are effective. The fact that this election cycle has drawn the largest group of candidates in a very long time is definitely a positive sign for the future of Arlington.
2. Transportation – please respond by March 21, 2019
Please describe, including price maximums to taxpayers, your thoughts on public transportation.
As long as basic city services like street repairs are hundreds of millions of dollars behind, I don't think we should be spending taxpayer money on experimental, R&D style programs. R&D is the private/academic domain and shouldn't be subsidized/paid for with municipal tax revenues. Furthermore, we have a completely broken system in Handitran that is in desperate need of improvement, but instead of fixing a broken system we continue to let people down with bad service and mismanagement. Finally, when overpriced, taxpayer-funded transportation programs are approved without a vote of the people and only benefit a certain part of town, it demonstrates how out of touch leadership is on the matter.
3. Communications – please respond by March 28, 2019
If a constituent e-mails you a question or comment on an issue where you disagree and asks you for a response, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not?
Yes, I plan on responding to constituents as I believe they deserve to be recognized even when we might disagree on an issue. This has already been my policy during the campaign and I don't plan to change.
4. Taxes (Part I) – please respond by April 4, 2019
Currently, Arlington has 1/4-cent of sales tax that could be used, but is not used. What, if anything, do you see yourself approving to place in front of the voters, for uses for the 1/4-cent of sales tax? Why?
At this point, I don't see any reason to utilize that 1/4 cent sales tax. It's one of the more attractive reasons for people to visit and shop in Arlington.
5. Taxes (Part II) – please respond by April 11, 2019
Currently, Arlington is experiencing almost double-digit property tax evaluation increases. What do you feel is the appropriate tax rate that should be levied upon the citizens: 1) a rate a little below the rollback rate, 2) the effective tax rate, 3) the same tax rate (even if above the rollback rate), or 4) something else? Why?
The effective tax rate allows for new growth to fund any increases in the budget and would be what I champion as the appropriate property tax rate. I find it difficult to justify large increases in tax revenues when most people, especially those on limited incomes, never see similar near double-digit increases in their annual income.
6. Issue – please respond by April 18, 2019
What is the most important issue the city council is facing? Why?
Last year's term limits campaign demonstrated that listening and communicating with a broad enough swath of Arlington residents is the biggest issue facing City Council. They have yet to demonstrate that they know how to listen and communicate, therefore they will continue to be viewed as out of touch, resulting in an increasingly disconnected voter population.