Kennedy Jones, 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?
I fully affirm term limits. It is the will of the people as exhibit in last Novembers election. I also affirm the preamble to the US Constitution which says
“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union……. For ourselves and our posterity.”
I do not be believe that term limits or any other legislative action taken by the peoples of the United States or by the citizens of Arlington are in and of themselves the perfection of governmental policy as they tend to be initially approved. It rests with those duly elected council members in government to review and improve, as warranted, and then set before the citizens these perfecting improvements. This then will allow the citizenry to affirm or reject those improvements. This is my position.
2. Transportation – please respond by March 21, 2019
Please describe, including price maximums to taxpayers, your thoughts on public transportation.
I think that public transportation in Arlington is a must if we are to avoid the looming traffic crises that are on our near term horizon. I would assume a reasonable cost of riding the bus would be in the neighborhood of 2-3 dollars. Public transportation can be one of the safest mode of transportation if we have the will and foresight to do it. I have seen the operation of the subway and bus system in Washington DC and they are perfectly safe for women and children even at midnight.
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?
Did not respond.
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?
My view is that we ought not to raise taxes just because our taxes are lower than other folks in the area. However, if I have come to the settled conclusion based on the number of air quality alerts we have in the area and traffic congestion on our major streets that we an improved our system of transportation. The citizens of Arlington deserve a world class mass transit system where security and safety are priority #1. I have seen these type of systems in Europe and in Washington DC. Mass transit systems so safe a 5 year you could ride alone in complete security and tranquility. Arlington is a city making a magnificent upward transition. Mass Transit is eventually coming to Arlington. The only question is whether that mass transit system will define us or whether we will define it. I would use the sales tax reserve to implement a mass transit system that we all can take pride in for generation to come.
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?
I believe that the tax rate should be reduced to reflect the property tax evaluation increases and the current city budget. Increases in the budget are approved by the council members who are then held accountable by the citizenry. If there are new items that are warranted based on the council’s collective wisdom, then it will be reflected in the budget and the tax rate could reflect this. Using this philosophy the rate could be slightly less than the rollback rate. To her credit, Arlington has one of the lowest property tax rates in the metroplex. However, just adding money to the coffers off the backs of the hard-working citizens to be used indiscriminately because it is there due to increased property tax evaluations, lends itself to mismanagement at best and abuse at worst. To have a world class city, I believe we have got to have world class accountability.
6. Issue – please respond by April 18, 2019
What is the most important issue the city council is facing? Why?
Did not respond.