Submit Content

Peter’s Take: How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?

Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

Peter RousselotPatti Page picked the right dog, but Arlington County did not.

As we learned late last Friday, the opening of the Clarendon dog park will be delayed yet again.

Arlington is touting the “good news” that the Clarendon dog park supposedly is still on budget at $1.6 million. These latest developments raise more questions than can be answered in one column. I will answer three today:

Should it have cost $1.6 million to build this dog park? Can the $1.6 million be justified because “this is more than just a dog park”? Does this dog park inspire confidence in the County’s decision making?

The answer to all three questions is: NO. So what should it have cost?

I often find myself on opposite sides of the political fence from Arlington civic activist Tim Wise. But in this case, Tim has prepared an excellent analysis of what it has cost in the past to build dog parks in Arlington. Tim concluded that the County spent over $700,000 more on the Clarendon dog park than was justified by the costs of earlier dog parks. Anyone can quibble with this or that detail, but I agree with Tim’s bottom line: Arlington spent hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars more on this dog park than it should have.

Was it worth the extra $700,000?

The key to arriving at the right answer to this question are the frames of reference with which one should answer it. Those frames of reference include recognizing the “new normal” of Arlington’s economy and adopting a “core services” approach to Arlington’s budget priorities. Within those frames, the extra elements Arlington included in this dog park never should have been included in the first place. Arlington could have built a very attractive replacement dog park on this site for $900,000.

Why did Arlington go wrong?

The County went wrong because it failed to recognize that:

  • The economy it enjoyed prior to the “Great Recession” is not coming back,
  • The $700,000 premium that it misspent on this project would have been better spent on core services like schools, fire, police, or road maintenance, and therefore
  • It has the wrong budget priorities in place.

It is bad news that Arlington spent $1.6 million on the Clarendon dog park.

Peter Rousselot is a former member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Virginia and former chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

Recent Stories

(Updated, 4:10 p.m.) It hasn’t been a perfect ten months, but Mir is happy to be alive. It was nearly a year ago when he, his wife, and his young…

Arlington’s fall aquatics class registration did not go swimmingly for many who attempted it on Wednesday. On the plus side, there appears to have been some degree of improvement from…

Today’s Listing of the Day is a 2 BD/2 BA home on a 2.5 acre lot with an oversized one car garage.

Discover what you should be doing if new to real estate development in Boring Title this week.

Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, stress, grief, trauma or anger? Are
you ready to make a change?

Lauren K. Nickum, LCSW, CSAC from Peaceful Mind Solutions is now taking new
clients for psychotherapy. Lauren has over 10 years of experience treating
mental health disorders and general life stress in adults and adolescents. For
more information visit
peacefulmindsolutions.com.

Submit your own Community Post here.

(This Community Post was written by Signature Theatre and underwritten by Embracing Arlington Arts.)

Signature Theatre just released single tickets for all 33rd season productions, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with legendary composer Stephen Sondheim. Beginning with the musical adaptation of The Color Purple and irreverent No Place to Go, the season continues with three Sondheim musicals, the DC premieres of Off-Broadway hit Which Way to the Stage and Pulitzer Prize finalist Selling Kabul, the Tony Award®-winning rock musical Passing Strange, and return of Signature’s cabaret series honoring legendary artists.

“Last November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim — he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with productions of Into the Woods, Pacific Overtures and Sweeney Todd dedicated to his memory. These shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner about the new season.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

Azure Dream Day Spa Grand Opening

Azure Dream Day Spa is hosting their Grand Opening Celebration at their beautiful new spa located at 901 N. Quincy St. on Friday, August 12 from 5-9 p.m.

All are invited to come tour the new spa and to take

Running & Strength Training Group Workout #1

Join our first workout of Coach Kate’s fall Running & Strength Training Program on Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 a.m. at Oak Grove Park.

First/trial session is Free Of Charge. If you would like to join the program — which

×

Subscribe to our mailing list