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Longtime Arlington County Board member Chris Zimmerman has announced he will be retiring in January, 2014 to take a position in the private sector. A special election will be called to fill the vacancy.

The date for the special election has not yet been set, but is expected to occur during March, 2014. I am seeking the Democratic Party’s endorsement for the upcoming special election.  A “firehouse primary” will be held prior beforehand to determine the party’s nominee.

Local issues have always been important to me, and over the past 20 years I’ve devoted thousands of hours to a broad range of issues in Arlington. These issues have included schools, transportation, the environment, historic preservation, urban planning, zoning, parks and recreation, fiscal management, public safety, libraries, and others.  I served as the elected president of the Donaldson Run Civic Association (DRCA) for over 11 years. During this time I represented my neighborhood in the Arlington County Civic Federation and Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC).  I was appointed by the Arlington County Board to serve on multiple task forces.

Currently, I am a member of the Arlington County Planning Commission. Originally appointed in 2004 and serving as Chairman in 2009.  I chaired the Zoning Ordinance Committee (ZOCo) for three years and I served on the County Transportation Commission for three years. I have chaired multiple long-range planning processes and site plans. For the past two years, I have served as the liaison to the County’s Housing Commission.  My active service on multiple commissions has given me the broad-based experience necessary for developing balanced solutions among competing priorities.  I can be an effective voice on Day 1.

I have a reputation for being fair, balanced, thoughtful, and objective in my decision-making. I respect and value the diversity of opinion that accompanies all issues in Arlington. I know that compromise is an effective tool for achieving consensus among a divided community.

We have much to be proud of in Arlington. We have a tradition of good government and high quality of life. Still, we can do better and challenges lay ahead.  My campaign is centered on the concept of community sustainability.  My definition of community sustainability includes fiscal responsibility, actively working with Arlington Public Schools to resolve classroom overcrowding, managing growth and development, expanding our transit service, attracting new businesses and jobs to Arlington’s economy, protecting our natural areas and adding recreation, preservation of affordable housing options, and maintaining a safety net to help the most vulnerable members of our community.

Elections are about choices and there are some very clear differences between myself and the other candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement.  I welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you as the campaign goes forward.  I ask for your vote and support in the January 30th and February 1st Democratic party endorsement contest.

Thank you.

Peter Fallon

Democrat for County Board

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