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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
ArlingtonCandidate: Housing survey rigged to get county answers it wants

Candidate: Housing survey rigged to get county answers it wants

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An independent candidate for Arlington County Board suggests the county government will rely on a “biased survey” to shoehorn more housing into neighborhoods across the community.

In a recent missive to supporters, Audrey Clement said that county government’s online “Missing Middle” survey does not give residents the opportunity to say they want no other types of housing in current single-family neighborhoods, only the opportunity to pick among a number of pre-selected options.

“When the survey results are tabulated, the county can claim universal support for Missing Middle housing, with respondents differing only over the types of multi-family housing they prefer,” Clement said.

“Certainly no professional pollster would construct a survey instrument that forced a conclusion, any more than a judge would tolerate leading questions in the courtroom,” said Clement, who for the past decade has run perpetually for office in Arlington as a protest candidate against the Democratic political establishment.

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Clement and Adam Theo have announced plans to run as independents for the lone County Board seat on the ballot in November. Incumbent Democrat Matt de Ferranti is seeking a second term, and did not pick up any opposition within his party.

Supporters of so-called “Missing Middle” housing strategies say that creating a broader mix of housing options in current single-family areas is a way to lower costs and diversify those communities. Opponents say the move will actually increase housing costs while putting an additional burden on Arlington’s already stretched governmental infrastructure, from water-and-sewer facilities to roads to schools.

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