71°Partly Cloudy

Jay Fisette on the Kojo Show

by ARLnow.com December 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm 3,556 33 Comments

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) County Board Chairman Jay Fisette sat down with Kojo Nnamdi and NBC4’s Tom Sherwood today on Nnamdi’s radio show, The Politics Hour on WAMU 88.5 FM.

Fisette discussed board vice chair Chris Zimmerman’s decision to step down from the Metro board, the firing of former county manager Michael Brown, and Arlington’s legislative priorities for 2011.

Fisette’s interview starts at 35:30 in the recording found here.

Here’s a sampling of the interview.

On Gov. McDonnell’s Government Reform Commission:

“We all have some high hopes that the Governor’s Reform Commission will come through with some good ideas,” including a loosening of Dillon Rule restrictions.

On the proposed privatization of Virginia’s liquor wholesale and retail business:

“It really wouldn’t accomplish what it set out to do.”

On the Community Energy Plan:

“Reliability and the cost of energy are going to be a huge issues [in the future… At the federal level there’s kind of a void over the past decade or so, no one has really tackled this, so it falls to local governments.”

“We’re in the process… of adopting a plan that will set goals, targets and strategies for generating, distributing and reducing the use of energy. It will make Arlington more competitive for business in the future.”

On former county manager Michael Brown:

“After a few months it became clear to us… that it was time to ask Mr. Brown to move on… Fortunately for us, our deputy county manager [Barbara Donnellan] stepped in and has done a terrific job.”

On Chris Zimmerman and the sustainability focus during Fisette’s time as board chairman:

“I would be surprised if the framework of sustainability isn’t at the core of what Chris continues to work on.”

On Arlington’s opposition to spot widening on I-66:

“Sprawl development is part of what has created this problem. Our stance it that until you’ve studied and looked at the alternatives,” like transit, widening “shouldn’t be the first reaction when there’s congestion.”

  • Bluemont John

    Did he say anything revelatory about the firing of Michael Brown? (I’m too lazy to listen.) I’m still amazed that something that SHOULD be public record is so shrouded in secrecy.

  • tuesdayschild

    Do people other than DC taxi drivers listen to the Kojo radio show? Jay should agree to do an online chat interview on Arlington Now.

  • Clarendon

    You mean the Kojo Naaaaaaamdi show? Man that guy is annoying and self absorbed. Almost as bad as Diane Rhemes. I’m sorry about your condition, but your voice is incredibly annoying.

    • jan

      that’s just plain mean.

      • Clarendon

        Well, I’m not going to be a supermodel because I don’t have the body. If you don’t have a good voice, don’t be an NPR host. There’s probably plenty of other thins she can do behind the scenes (producer?)

        • meanie

          Yeah, it is mean to say so out loud, but it’s true. She sounds like Deputy Dog. But she’s not as bad as Damien Einstein of the old WHFS (who also deserves some sympathy since his problem was due to a head injury).

  • Lou

    It’s Dillon Rule, btw.

    And if that is one of Fisette’s high hopes for McDonnell’s reforms, then he is indeed high.

    • Right, fixing the spelling.

    • meanie

      No, he meant the Bob Dylan rule, which forbids playing Bob’s version of Christmas carols in the state. It’s a good rule. Dylan’s real name is Zimmerman, by the way. Coincidence? I think so.

  • tuesdayschild

    Someday I hope to get an invitation to the fantasy planet that the County Board members live on. But since I don’t speak baffle-gap, I am sure I will not get invited. The idea that raising costs on homeowners and businesses for energy use/building will somehow make arlington MORE competitive in the future is hilarious double speak.

    • Chad

      I’m not sure if you have had a chance to read the plan prior to posting this, but the plan outlines how they intend to do just that.


      You should read it before making asinine comments.

      • Greg

        I’m glad the County pays attention to this issue. I do think this will be important in the future. But there are a lot of dubious assumptions in that report.

        Such as “Typically 2-3% of homes and buildings are renovated annually, so by 2050, all of Arlington’s existing homes and buildings will either have been renovated or demolished.”

        My 60 year old unrenovated house disagrees with this statement.

        • Westover

          I see your 60 year old home, and raise you my 70 year old original home. 😉

        • Jezebel

          If, as you claim, your old house still has its original windows (without storm windows), original insulation, original heating system, and original appliances, then you’re a prime candidate for a wholly cost-effective energy renovation. Not only will your operating costs go down and your comfort go up, but you’ll see a return on your capital investment through improved resale value.

          A renovation doesn’t need to mean gutted and totally rebuilt.

          • Greg

            And that relates to the linked Report how? The Report says they will enforce the efficiency gains by requiring that “renovation planning requests” demonstrate how efficiency requirements will be met. Which item in your list is the County proposing to require a renovation planning request for?

    • CrystalCity’er

      let’s hope you never do.

  • Burger

    — loosening Dillon Rule restrictions-

    Snicker…sure. The only thing holding back Arlington County Board from essentially turning itself into California is Dillon’s Rule.

    • KalashniKEV

      I just read what it is and now I’m scared!!!

    • Lou

      Well, they can throw them a bone. They can allow local governments the authority to pick the color of their public vehicles.


  • MB

    Kojo Nnamdi is one of the best interviewers on the air. If you’re interested in regional/local politics, you should catch his Friday shows (available online and as podcast). I’m a big fan for many reasons, and one of them is the fact that he generally doesn’t let bullshit flow right past him (nor does Diane Rehm. Maybe that’s Clarendon’s problem?)

    • Clarendon


      well you get the point. She takes forever to finish a sentence. Why doesn’t she simply write the questions and have someone else do the talking? It sometimes reminds me of first round American Idol contestants who don’t realize how bad they actually are. I don’t often listen to Kojo because I work when he is on, but he might be good. I just find his promo’s which he for 50% fills with saying his name, obnoxious. Just my 2 cents.

  • Skeptical

    Jay, you owe it to us to explain WHY it was time for Mr. Brown to move on. I don’t think the protection of individuals or privacy requires you to be quite this vague. Over what issues did the Board and the manager find it impossible to agree?

    I think we need to know what the Board considers so important to Arlington — or to their idea of Arlington — that they were ready to eat the embarrassment of asking Mr. Brown to leave, and make us eat the expense. How bout it?

    • John Antonelli

      I suspect that Brown told them the HOT lanes suit was a loser, the I-66 suit was a loser, the Columbia Pike Trolley is a loser, the Artisphere is a loser, Long Bridge Park is a loser and raising property taxes 10% in one year is a loser.

      The truth will set you free and back to Savannah.

  • MC

    I’ll agree with Fisette on the Dillon Rule: I can’t think of anything beneficial Richmond has to offer people in NoVa, especially in an era when Richmond wants to revoke local taxes already approved.

    The other stuff is either evasive, or confused. Seriously, Jay, some feel good local energy manifesto will not become the source of future “competitiveness,” especially when County regulations increasingly stifle local businesses. Even the Washington Post is now editorializing how out of touch the County is with its regulations. Hardly helps the cause of more local autonomy that we deserve it.

    • John Antonelli

      The Dillion Rule keeps these clowns under control. Without it we would be Little Russia on the Potomac, our taxes would be sky high and Arlington would be peeping in our trash to make sure we recycle.

      • Charlie

        John: I would encourage you to research the Arlington real estate tax rate. Since the 1982 takeover of the County Board by the Democrats (YES, Arlington was a republican controlled County untilthen).. the tax rate was out of control. I have a document that shows that tax rate in the 1950’s was over $3.00/1000 of assessed value. Now granted values were alot lower, but our tax base wasn’t diversified at all. Our county board has done an extraordinary job for the last 30 years in diversifying our tax base.
        The Dillon rule needs to go. There is no reason for Richmond to tell us what to do . AND, one could argue that the board could do some of the dumb stuff you imagine which means that maybe people would actually pay attention and vote the lightweights like Zimmie out, once and for all.

        • Dan

          “Our county board has done an extraordinary job for the last 30 years in diversifying our tax base.”

          My tax bill has just gone up and up in the twenty years that I have lived here.

          Hard to see how the “extraordinary” diversifying has been of benefit to the average homeowner.

  • Just the Facts

    I love how conservatives are all for localizing government decisions until they disagree with what the decisions are.

    • The Dope of South Arlington

      They aply a similar logic to judicial decisions.

      • Just the Facts

        Exactly, TDSA. They *hate* activist judges until 5 of them hand their presidential candidate a contested election…

  • Steve

    Charlie: Check YOUR research – $3.00/1000 is 30 cents/100, or less than one-third the current rate of 95.8 cents. Since the year 2000, the tax on my house has gone from $1901 to $4973. Being taxed on wealth, rather than income, isn’t so great when you retire and are still living in your “wealth”.


Subscribe to our mailing list