Short-Term Rentals, The Budget, And A Note On Our Democracy

In one sentence of last night’s debate, we heard how much the future of American democracy is at stake in this election. Our nation depends on the peaceful transfer of power. This fall is the fifteenth time I have appeared on a ballot. I have sometimes won and sometimes lost, but every time I have accepted the people’s decision and prepared either to serve or to support the candidate who beat me. This is the essence of how our democracy has worked for 240 years after elections from the White House to the school house. Hillary Clinton is running in this tradition; Donald Trump is not. It could not be clearer that the only responsible vote for President on November 8 is for Hillary Clinton.

Although many of us have our attention focused nationally, your County Board is still hard at work for you, and we want your input in a number of issues.

–  We will be discussing regulation of short-term residential rentals, via platforms such as Airbnb, Craig’s List, etc. The County does not currently have regulations for these services, although many Arlingtonians are listing on them. Our goal is to develop regulations for the safe use of these sites and to preserve the residential character of our neighborhoods without overburdening residents or limiting their participation in the sharing economy. We will be voting on these regulations in December; please help shape them by attending a public meeting, writing to us, or using the online form.

– We have started discussion of our FY 2016 close-out funding and our FY 2018 budget guidance so people can comment before we vote in November. We have $17.8 million in surplus funds from last year that our County Manager is recommending to carryover to next year or for projects like police safety equipment and affordable housing. We also have prepared draft guidance for the Manager to prepare next year’s budget. You can comment on our online comment form, or just reply to this email.

As always, I hope this email is helpful and I look forward to seeing many of you on Election Day.

Virginia’s voter registration deadline has been extended to 11:59 pm tomorrow (Friday) because of a technical glitch earlier this week. Anyone you know who needs to register or to update his/her registration can do so on the Department of Elections’ online portal.

Oct, 20, 2016