Editor: On Aug. 11, the Arlington County government announced that the County Board would be hosting “community conversations” on Missing Middle housing. By Aug. 14, all conversations in English were filled.
That this happened during the height of August vacations clearly suggests a HUGE demand for meaningful dialogue on what is the most important development in Arlington in the last 50 years.
However, only a limited number of residents (20 or less per conversation) will be able to see and hear the discussions that our elected officials will be having on this huge issue. Further, the conversations will not be recorded and archived for later viewing. This is even though the county government regularly streams County Board and other meetings to the entire community and archives them online for later viewing.
I can understand the county government may wish to limit the number of people who can comment at a particular event, but what possible reason could the county government have for not letting everyone watch what’s going on while our elected representatives are conducting public sessions on critical public business?
In the spirit of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, which states that “The provisions of this [law] shall be liberally construed to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities and afford every opportunity to citizens to witness the operations of government,” every one of the Missing Middle conversations should be open to the entire community through live-streaming and should be recorded and archived to the county government’s Website.
Bill Roos, Arlington