In the immortal lyrics of the 1970s singing group the Three Degrees: When will I see you again? When will we share precious moments?
Put another way: Planning on looking for an Arlington County Board meeting in coming months? You might want to check under the bed.
Even as other jurisdictions across the Washington area spring back to life with in-person governmental meetings, it appears Arlington leaders remain skittish about having themselves and the public in the same space at the same time.
“The board will continue its current approach of ‘virtual’ meetings until we know that there is no longer community-wide transmission of the coronavirus,” Arlington government spokesman Mary Curtius said after checking with County Board Chairman Libby Garvey.
“No one knows, at this point, when that might be, but she believes that the board may continue to follow its current practice for at least another six months,” Curtius said.
That would put Arlington well behind the curve of many other local jurisdictions, including Fairfax County, where the Board of Supervisors has resumed meeting in person (with appropriate health precautions).
Arlington has lagged Fairfax in a number of areas (Fairfax libraries reopened in July, as one example; Arlington’s are still closed).
And Arlington’s go-slow approach to resuming a semblance of normalcy has not necessarily won it plaudits; the government’s efforts to restart advisory-panel meetings in an online format over the summer were met with disdain by members and chairs of those organizations, not because they were only resurrected online but because the rollout effort was deemed poorly conceived and executed.
On the plus side for Garvey, her opponent in the Nov. 3 election – independent Audrey Clement – said she was in agreement that meetings should remain “virtual” until the health condition stabilized – whenever, or if, that occurs.
Republicans have not fielded a candidate in the County Board race.
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