Arlington election officials

Arlington Electoral Board member Matt Weinstein (left) is shown with current members Charlene Bickford, David Bell (who rotated off in 2020) and Scott McGeary during the Feb. 1, 2020, board meeting. At right is Arlington election director Gretchen Reinemeyer. Bickford departed the board at the end of 2020.

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Members of the three-member Arlington Electoral Board marked a milestone changing of the guard Jan. 6, and saluted the service of a longtime colleague who is departing after a quarter-century of service.

The Electoral Board’s organizational meeting marked the first for Kim Phillip, who in December was appointed to the three-member body by the Circuit Court. Phillip succeeds Charlene Bickford in one of the two Democratic-held seats on the body.

“I really appreciate everything she’s done – and will continue to do,” Phillip said of the service of Bickford. “I have some big shoes to fill.”

Bickford, a former Arlington County Democratic Committee chair, served multiple stints on the Electoral Board, as the composition of such bodies statewide varies depending on which party controls the Governor’s Mansion at any given time.

Scott McGeary, a former Arlington County Republican Committee chair, twice traded places with Bickford (he succeeded her and she then succeeded him) on the Arlington Electoral Board before the two of them ended up on the body together.

“I’ve often referred to her as my predecessor, my successor and my valued colleague,” McGeary said, praising Bickford’s “outstanding service” and one of the longest tenures in the post.

Bickford “really made a lasting impact, and really helped voters. It was an honor to work with her,” said Matthew Weinstein, the third member of the 2021 panel and, like Bickford and Phillip, a Democrat.

At the Jan. 6 organizational meeting, the board members divided up leadership posts, with Weinstein bumping up to chair, McGeary retaining the post of secretary and Phillip becoming vice chair.

The new arrival, whose term began Jan. 1, said she was happy to have been selected by the court to serve on the body.

“I’m really looking forward to working with everyone,” Phillip said, noting the tour of the office she took that day. “I felt so welcomed.”

McGeary nominated Weinstein to chair the body, after he had served his first year on the panel as vice chair.

“He has served very ably in the past year,” said McGeary. “He brings a great deal of service to the community and his party.”

As for Phillip, “I’ve heard many good things,” McGeary said in nominating her as vice chair.

(By state law, the positions of chair and secretary must be held by appointees of different political parties. By dint of having more statutory responsibilities, the secretary earns approximately twice the stipend of the other two members.)

The organizational meeting was brisk (just 17 minutes); in February, the body will gather again for a more lengthy session, one that will include the appointment of hundreds of pollworkers who will staff precincts during elections in 2021.

 

(1) comment

CJE

Same Old...Same Old...Bi-Partisan approval of a couple thousand Arlington Voters who are no longer Arlington Residents....and who also continue to illegally send their kids to Arlington Public Schools...cost to Arlington Shee....er Taxpayers...$20,000 per non-resident student per year.

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