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Home > General Discussion > Have the 'lunatics' overtaken the asylum at Arlington Public Schools?

Have the 'lunatics' overtaken the asylum at Arlington Public Schools?
  • selfdestiny November 21, 2013 - 2:26 pm #94286 Reply

    Anatomy of an Environmental Disaster:

    For the Ashlawn Elementary School expansion plan, the BLPC was the most intensive planning process. BLPC aggressively set the tone for approval of the Manchester St entrance and eventually forced its will on a divided PFRC.

    Now, as expected, this decision is unnecessarily destroying the existing landscape, mature trees, and over 20,000 square feet of green space to eventually allow parents easier vehicular access to the school. That is an environmental disaster. How did it happen?

    The official BLPC composition calls for 22 members: 6 school faculty  and staff; 6 PTA, 4 civic association, 1 FAC, and 5 from APS. In essence, 10 of of the 22 are presumed to be official residents of Arlington County. We don’t know about the other 12. Many of them are not residents of Arlington County but only work here.

    Throughout the process, apparently the BLPC composition has grown as is reflected in the BLPC meeting invitation for the Nov 21, 2013 gathering.
    By rough count, the BLPC has grown to include 17 Arlington County staff, 4 APS contractors, and 10 others. In essence 21 of the 31 invitees work for APS or Arlington County Government. How many of those 21 individuals are residents of Arlington County who vote in Arlington and pay Arlington County taxes?

    The schools are primarily funded with property taxes, and official taxpaying residents of the County are the stockholders.  APS,  school and County officials work here, but many are not official residents or County taxpayers. They may be temporary stakeholders by virtue of their employment, but they are not vested in the political process or invested as taxpaying constituents. Although APS officials, school representatives, and County staff have an important advisory role to play by virtue of their employment, they are not stockholders in the County and in my opinion should not have voting rights in venues such as the BLPC and PFRC.

    Clearly, by including only 4 civic association representatives in the BLPC, the APS demonstrated its weak concern for community input. Most individual community member inputs were ignored. Ask APS to name one community input that was incorporated into plans! The membership was stacked to enable APS to ‘speak to the choir,’ and the only question was which version of the same song would be sung. The legitimate stockholders–official residents, community members who pay property taxes, voters who elect County Officials–were underrepresented in the process. And in my opinion, the APS, school faculty and staff, and County staff who are not Arlington County resident-stockholders should not have had a vote. But they did. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the anatomy of an environmental disaster.

    “Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.”
    Eric Hoffer

    halj November 21, 2013 - 2:40 pm #94295 Reply

    You should consider adding the Ashlawn parking lot to this list of environmental disasters so folks outside of Arlington are aware: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_disasters

    aldohexose November 21, 2013 - 2:42 pm #94296 Reply

    If anyone  cares to read, decipher, condense, and post the important points of the above narrative, be my guest.

    CommentBot November 21, 2013 - 3:06 pm #94309 Reply

    @aldohexose, I’ll take that challenge.

    BLPC = Building Level Planning Comittee

    PFRC = Public Facilities Review Committee

    APS = Arlington Public Schools

    Summary: BLPC and PFRC are accused of stacking the deck with non-Arlington residents and APS lackeys who may be one and the same. BLPC ignores comunity input. BLPC votes for environmental disaster.

    Environmental disaster = destruction of some nice greenspace for better access to upgraded/expanded Ashlawn Elementary.

    selfdestiny = Boulevard Manor homeowner

    fairlingtonnotshirlington November 21, 2013 - 3:11 pm #94311 Reply

    your post kinda sounds like a lunatic ranting, tbh

    aldohexose November 21, 2013 - 4:32 pm #94328 Reply

    Thank you CommentBot.  I also took advantage of the google to read various newspaper and county articles.  Appears to me the community had plenty of input into the plans and opportunity to influence their elected officials.

    Amazing how one’s critique of “the system” often depends if one agree’s with the decisions made by “the system.”   (Karl Marx, 1898)

    CourthouseChris November 21, 2013 - 4:56 pm #94330 Reply

    I enjoy the randomness of these posts from people that show up with an axe to grind and write a long self-indulgent diatribe on an extremely narrow issue they care about excessively – excess to a point of clinical concern in some cases.

    Among them: there was the dog-park enforcement Nazis, the overpriced condos’ “tarnished penny” status, now something about a parking lot at a school.

    aldohexose November 21, 2013 - 5:26 pm #94333 Reply

    Speaking of “tarnished pennies”, I collect “wheat pennies” and throw them in a jar.  Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

    .

    barticus November 21, 2013 - 5:48 pm #94337 Reply

    I am a Boulevard Manor homeowner.  And I’m sorry to see what’s underway at Ashlawn.  If you’d attended recent Boulevard Manor Civic Association meetings, I’m sure you’d also conclude the solution reached is the least bad option.

    Incidentally, why are Arlington residents so enlightened when it comes to retrofitting elementary schools on lumpy pieces of earth?  Why can’t a Fairfax resident who works for Arlington and has dedicated his life to urban planning have at least as informed opinion as me?

    @selfdestiny: Seems to me you simply don’t like to see those old growth trees go down.  Well neither do I.  I have to see that eyesore more often than I’d like.  My tax dollars partially paid for that eyesore.  But this is the cost to provide adequate facilities to educate our children.  Blaming everyone involved in the process doesn’t make you right or your rants palatable.

    Arlingtoon November 21, 2013 - 6:14 pm #94345 Reply

    @aldohexose

     

    I do too.  Just got one in change today, as a matter of fact.

    CommentBot November 22, 2013 - 9:30 am #94359 Reply

    I have a large glass carboy about 1/3 full with pennies of all ages. Any guesses on how much money I have?

    Hank November 22, 2013 - 10:02 am #94361 Reply

    @CommentBot: Enough to buy one copy of selfdestiny’s self-published manifesto.

    Swag November 22, 2013 - 10:04 am #94363 Reply

    hbar November 22, 2013 - 10:32 am #94367 Reply

    @aldohexose: If your penny has “1909 S” on the other side, it’s worth a small fortune.

    Bard November 23, 2013 - 1:55 pm #94435 Reply

    @aldohexose, I’ll take that challenge.

    BLPC = Building Level Planning Comittee

    PFRC = Public Facilities Review Committee

    APS = Arlington Public Schools

    Summary: BLPC and PFRC are accused of stacking the deck with non-Arlington residents and APS lackeys who may be one and the same. BLPC ignores comunity input. BLPC votes for environmental disaster.

    Environmental disaster = destruction of some nice greenspace for better access to upgraded/expanded Ashlawn Elementary.

    selfdestiny = Boulevard Manor homeowner

     

    this post made me laugh

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