As expected, Arlington County Board members opted not to appoint a member of the community to cast a bonus vote on the off chance the board ends up in a tie on any specific issue.
State law allows the Arlington board to appoint a tie-breaker from within the ranks of the public. It also requires that, if the board does not want to do so, it must hold a vote to that effect at the start of each year.
Board members dutifully voted down a tie-breaker at their Jan. 4 organizational meeting, which had been delayed a day due to inclement weather.
At no time in memory has the board used a member of the public to remain on standby in the very rare case of a tie vote.
Since the board is comprised of five members, it would take one abstaining (or absent) and the other four splitting two-two on an issue to trigger the need for a tie-breaker. That may well have happened over the preceding two decades, but if so, not more than a handful of times.
As it stands, any measure that receives a 2-2 split will automatically die.