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Council Notebook

Five Republicans Seeking Election

With an all-Democratic City Council, the local Republican Party has been marginalized in recent years. But Chris Marston, chairman of the Alexandria City Republican Committee, says that anxiety over rising tax bills might help his party’s prospects in the coming election.

"I think Alexandria citizens continue to see their tax bills go up without seeing an increase in city services," Marston said. "People are going to be looking for an alternative, and I think our party is going to be able to provide that."

Now that the party’s Feb. 16 deadline has passed, five candidates have filed with the party to appear on the May 2 ballot. The list includes a wide range of candidates, including longtime community activists and relatively new participants in the process.

Republicans who will appear on the ballot are: School Board member Ken Foran, a former law professor at the University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law; Craig Miller, a loan officer who is suing the city to protest a proposed Safe Haven homeless shelter on North Patrick Street; Bernie Schulz, a former chairman of the Alexandria Young Republicans; Pat Troy, owner of an Irish pub on North Pitt Street; and Townsend Van Fleet, a Washington lobbyist who ran an unsuccessful independent campaign for mayor in 2003.

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Ten Candidates for School Board

The campaign for School Board remains largely uncontested, with the city’s central district being the only competitive race. Only one incumbent candidate — Charles Wilson — has announced an intention to run for reelection. But more School Board candidates could emerge before the March 7 deadline.

"We’ve been urging candidates to file early," said Registrar Tom Parkins, adding that two candidates tried to file after the deadline in 2003. "Everything’s been going smoothly. But by the nature of the process, the problems occur late."

Three candidates have applied to be on the ballot for the three open seats in the eastern district: Sheryl Gorsuch, Sanford Horn and Scott Newsham. Five candidates have filed to be on the ballot for the three open seats in the central district: Claire Eberwein, Yvonne Folkerts, Arthur Peabody, Elynn Simons and Peter Smeallie. Only two candidates have filed for the three available seats on the west end: Blanche Maness and incumbent School Board member Charles Wilson.

Potential candidates must file a statement of organization, a statement of economic interest, a certificate of qualification and a petition with the signature of 125 voters who are registered in the district that the candidate hopes to represent.

"We check all of the signatures," Parkins said. "And sometimes they don’t all check out. That’s why we ask the candidates to file early."

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Who Will Be Penalized For Not Recycling?

Last week’s Notebook item "Recycle — Or Else," which was about a proposed ordinance to encourage recycling, included incorrect information about penalties for those who failed to comply with the program. Under the language of the proposed ordinance, penalties would be levied against businesses, homeowners associations, property managers and multi-family dwellings that do not meet the city’s new recycling requirements.

"Alexandria is the only jurisdiction in the Washington metropolitan region that has not yet required private sector recycling from the commercial and multi-family sectors," wrote City Manager Jim Hartmann in his recommendation of the proposed ordinance. "Arlington, for example, has had private sector commercial and multi-family recycling program requirements in place for more than 10 years."

If the City Council approves of a proposed ordinance outlining the new program, those that generate more than 10 tons of solid waste will be subject to a class-three violation: $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second infraction and $1,500 for each subsequent violation. Those that generate fewer than 10 tons of solid waste will be subject to a class-five violation: $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second infraction and $100 for each subsequent violation. Garbage haulers who do not submit recycling data to the city will also be subject to a class-three violation.

The proposed recycling ordinance is scheduled for public hearing on Feb. 25. If approved by City Council, it would take effect on July 1.