My name is Don Vanney Jr. and I’m announcing my candidacy for the position of Mayor of Arlington. Over the course of the last few years I’ve come to feel strongly that the town I’ve spent my entire life in is headed in the wrong direction under current leadership. I’ve witnessed firsthand the abandonment of the downtown area and that, along with our schools, has been the lifeblood of our community. I feel strongly that it is my civic duty to become more involved and facilitate a significant change in the current state of affairs. Therefore, consider this my official declaration to enter the Arlington mayoral race for the November 5th, 2019 election. As Mayor it’s my clear intention to bring my beloved town back into the hands of the people.
I was born in Arlington in 1959 to my now deceased parents Don Sr. and Norine Vanney. Life for me began in the Arlington Heights area. I entered the world as the 3rd of 4 sons — there were my brothers Joe, Scott, and Mike and along with adopted siblings brother Jerry and sister Melissa, we happily spent our youth roaming the beautiful Stilly Valley countryside northeast of town. My mother, herself a lifelong resident, worked at the Blue Bird cafe in her youth and later on she worked at JCPenney’s during a time when it wasn’t unusual for major retailers to have satellite stores in small rural towns. Following that, Mom worked at the old Thrifty Foods grocery store, now Grocery Outlet, located near Haller Park situated on the banks of the Stilly. Mom finished up her working career employed by the Arlington School District. In 1975 my parents purchased the house on South Olympic Ave. where I now reside with my wife Kathy and brother Jerry. Every single holiday season, without fail, locals and curious onlookers countywide, routinely drive through downtown Arlington, up Olympic Hill and travel southbound towards Highland Drive, where they arrive outside the Vanney family home. Commonly known as Holiday House, young and old are enraptured by the sprawling, elaborate holiday of the day decorations covering the house and property. It’s been a longtime tradition started by my mother, enjoyed by scores of people for over 40 years, and continues today with help of my wife Kathy and brother Jerry. There are scores of town folk over 4 decades who know Jerry from his 35 years volunteering at Cascade Valley Hospital.
It’s my belief the citizens of Arlington would be best served by a local candidate, someone from here, someone with a lifetime investment in the community and with knowledge of the city’s historical past and its unique appeal as an ideal place to live, work, and raise families educated in the Arlington School District. The schools are the heartbeat of the town where there is incredible local pride in the development of our youth that includes a vested interest in the success of our boys’ and girls’ athletic teams. With downtown being the priority, it’s my vision to work inside out, to regain the vibrant business environment the city once enjoyed. At the same time, we can further explore opportunities in the Smokey Point area including the thriving Airport and surrounding vicinity. My primary consideration is a prosperous downtown that keeps residents from leaving the city limits to have their needs met.
The first order of business will be to reestablish trust in our civic leaders. We’ll actively seek out and attract new enterprises to town and build upon current local commercial entities with a profoundly positive business environment. Business leaders will find an open-minded administration, a willingness to work with others, and encouraging open discussions on all varieties of topics of concern to our constituents. Facing a multitude of issues, we’ll address infrastructure with respect to roadway improvements and traffic issues. I will address head-on tough social issues like the ongoing drug crisis, particularly with our youth, and also deal in a humane way the pervasive problem of increased homelessness.
Although I’ve never held public office, I feel uniquely qualified as the only candidate with 5 decades of passion for my hometown and surely am the only direct conduit in the race to the great and renowned leaders of Arlington’s bygone days. I grew up with these legendary figures from administration’s in the past, had relationships with them and their families, attended schools with their children. As one of them, I’d like to believe it’s my candidacy these Arlington legends would endorse.
The feelings I have for Arlington is shared by all resident’s past and present, you may leave town but the town never really leaves you. In unison we all want Arlington to succeed. I invite all citizens of our big little town to join my campaign and work with me to take our city back. Together we’ll compel this cherished community to flourish above and beyond what it once did. While always paying homage to its glorious past it’s important to look to the future and strive earnestly to leave this a better place for our children and grandchildren. And it’s my steadfast belief that I, Don Vanney Jr. is the right man for the job at exactly the right time for Arlington.