Waverly Hills Debate Indicates School Board and County Board Share Serious Problems

Hello, Yupette:

I attended the Waverly Hills candidates' debate last night, which was delayed for a half-hour until Libby Garvey showed up.

Audrey Clement won the debate. Libby Garvey lost the debate when she and Audrey Clement showed that the County Board and School Board share similar serious problems, among them failure to communicate and failure to include parents and citizens in the decision-making process.

Libby again related how many problems she found when she was first elected to the School Board in 1996. But the School Board was controlled by Democrats in 1996, and Mary Hynes was elected in 1994. For much of the remainder of the debate Libby criticized the County Board for a laundry list of failings, most important, to her, the County Board's failure to 'strategize'.

Both Audrey Clement and Republican Mark Kelly (whose children attend Arlington's public schools) focused on 'needs first' priorities, e.g., basic infrastructure needs. However, Audrey attacked the credibility of Libby Garvey's statements about the Arlington School System's management by relating the conversations she had with Tuckahoe Elementary School parents who are outraged by the failure of the School Board and school administrators to communicate with them and include them in decision-making. Libby did not refute Audrey's assertions.

By the end of the debate Mark Kelly was stating that he agreed with Audrey. Only Audrey Clement had a strong platform and stated what she would and would not do if elected to the County Board. Libby Garvey did not commit to anything except to try to make the County Board 'strategize'.

Joan 22207