Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti

Incoming Arlington County Board member Matt de Ferranti makes remarks after a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 18, 2018. De Ferranti, who unseated John Vihstadt, will formally take office Jan. 1, 2019.

The excitement will only build from now until the evening of Monday, Jan. 4, when the Arlington County Board will unveil its new chair for 2021.

Odds favor Matt de Ferranti rotating into the slot, supplanting Libby Garvey, but one never knows until the votes are cast. (The 2020 vice chair, Erik Gutshall, died in the spring; board members did not appoint a vice chair to fill out the remainder of the year.)

The gathering – to be held “virtually” as Arlington has not followed the lead of several surrounding jurisdictions in resuming at least occasional in-person government meetings – starts at 6 p.m. and will be available for viewing on the Arlington government’s Website (, cable channel and Facebook page.

At the meeting, the five board members will lay out their priorities for the coming year. A number of procedural and administrative votes will be taken, although regular business will not be transacted until the body reconvenes for its monthly meeting on Jan. 23.

County Board members for generations held organizational meetings on New Year’s Day, but that tradition fell out of favor with current board members and has not occurred for several years. As a result, the meeting has become less of a festive event and more a workmanlike experience.

Jan. 1 also marks the start of the new four-year term of any board members re-elected the previous November. As Garvey (who has served since 2012) won a new term, there will be no new faces on the body.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

(2) comments


One thing's for sure - Arlington Democrats and their Media facilitators won't be able to use Donald Trump to ensure the continuation of one-party government in Arlington.

Allen Muchnick

Another thing may be more certain --The lack of any anti-Trump vote and any boosted anti-Biden Republican voter turnout won't lead to any non-Democrats getting elected Arlington, especially if the "grim reaper", Mitch McConnell, remains Senate Majority Leader.

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