McMenamin Wins Vihstadt’s Endorsement

ARLINGTON, VA. –County Board Independent candidate Mike McMenamin won the coveted endorsement today of John Vihstadt, another independent who shook up the Arlington County establishment last year by winning a seat on the traditionally Democratic board.

Like Vihstadt, McMenamin opposes overspending on high-cost infrastructure projects like the Columbia Pike streetcar and the million-dollar bus stop.

For the Nov. 3 election, Vihstadt also endorsed Democrat Christian Dorsey, saying that “Mike and Christian stand out for their community stature, multi-decade records of accomplishment and demonstrated independence.

Vihstadt lauded McMenamin’s leadership as a two-term president of the Arlington County Civic Federation in a “fair and even-handed manner.” “Mike is a true consensus-builder and knows our neighborhoods,” he said.

“They’ve both shown a willingness to challenge the status quo, whether it be questioning County spending priorities or taking on establishment candidates in prior elections.” Vihstadt concluded, “They’re both ready to serve on the County Board.”

McMenamin says that we need to take a second look at costly projects that past boards have taken for granted. “I believe we need to get back to basics and spend our tax dollars on core government services, such as paving our roads, updating our infrastructure, schools, and parks.” he said. “We should properly fund neighborhood conservation, so that neighborhoods can build the projects they need, e.g. curb, gutter, sidewalks, and storm water drainage.”

He also favors making it easier for businesses to form and move into Arlington. “Opening a new business in Arlington is a marathon process,” he says.  “It takes a great deal of time to navigate the byzantine permit process, which planning and zoning staff have not made easy.  This needs to change.”

Education is another priority. “As a parent of two children who have attended Taylor Elementary, Swanson Middle School, Washington & Lee High School and H.B. Woodlawn, I know just how good our schools are.  We must continue to ensure that our school system is adequately funded.  The revenue sharing agreement between the schools and the county is broken.  We need to take a fresh look at the agreement and come to a consensus on proper funding for our schools and other county priorities.”

McMenamin, a 21 year resident of Arlington County has long been active in his community, previously serving as President of the Maywood Community Association, as well as serving as a member of the Fiscal Affairs Advisory Committee (FAAC).

In 2006 and 2007, Mike ran for Arlington County Board on a platform of “responsible government” that would repair and replace our infrastructure, pave our roads, fund neighborhood conservation and control the tax burden, rather than favor special projects for special interests.  Time has confirmed his judgments that cancelling projects like the streetcar and scaling back the Long Bridge Park Aquatics Center were the right decisions.

McMenamin was endorsed by the Washington Post in 2007 and the Arlington Sun Gazette in 2006 and 2007. The Post asked that “Arlington voters should shake things up . . . with Michael T. McMenamin . . . {W}ith his impressive knowledge of issues large and small, Mr. McMenamin would push the board to think through decisions.”