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.
In a column last month, I urged Arlington County to explain the enormous growth in the size of its cash surplus relative to its operating budget.
Deputy County Manager Mark Schwartz took the time to write a detailed response. Mark deserves kudos for providing it.
Mark’s response presents some explanations that make sense, but provides other material that is cause for significant concern. Since Mark has referenced too much material to address adequately in one column, I’ll discuss today two aspects of that material: general cash management policy and the transportation capital fund.
General Cash Management Policy
The material Mark presented reveals the lack of a coherent, consistent policy for when, how, and under what circumstances taxpayer-funded cash ought to be accumulated in, and then spent from, the multiple different types of Arlington County funds he described.
Some funds have very specific purposes, accumulate cash for a short time, and then spend that cash on the purposes specified. That’s good, but the county ought to have a policy to do that for all its cash surplus funds.
By contrast, Arlington Public Schools does have a coherent, consistent cash management policy that is designed to apply to all its cash surplus funds: At APS, the fund balances don’t just sit there and grow indefinitely.
Transportation Capital Fund
Arlington County’s Transportation Capital Fund (TCF) is an example of a fund that is accumulating taxpayer cash without any adequate explanation for how and when the money will be spent.
Moreover, the following critical TCF details are missing:
- the expected cost of each of the individual projects specifically mentioned;
- how the total cost of all projects specifically mentioned compares with the total amount of money accumulated in the fund;
- the financing plans for any shortfall between the total cost of all projects specifically mentioned and the total amount in the fund, and
- how the county proposes to pay for other known and desired, but unmentioned, projects that are eligible for payment out of the fund.
Frankly, this lack of transparency with respect to the TCF suggests one of two things:
- lack of effective planning, or
- a cynical attempt to hide the county’s true intentions for deploying scarce taxpayer dollars.
Either way, this is not good financial management.
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.
Arlington County’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation says it has a surfeit of programs for teens — but not enough teens to fill them. Between July 2021 and June 2022,…
The Old Bike Shop closed earlier this year in Lyon Park, after a decade in business, but a new bike shop is moving in. Vélocity Bicycle Cooperative, based at 2111…
The local small business Red Bean Harvest that imports authentic Colombian coffee is highlighted in Small Business Focus.
A nearly decade-old 5K race through Fairlington supporting a local girl with a rare disease is canceled, possibly indefinitely. Since 2014, hundreds of Arlingtonians and visitors have participated in the…
EDBS Dental Billing Solutions is pleased to announce that it has achieved compliance with the federally mandated standards of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through the use of Compliancy Group’s proprietary HIPAA methodology, The Guard® compliance tracking software, and HIPAA Seal of Compliance®.
The HIPAA Seal of Compliance is issued to organizations that have implemented an effective HIPAA compliance program through the use of The Guard, Compliancy Group’s proprietary compliance tracking solution.
Clients and patients are becoming more aware of the requirements of HIPAA compliance and how the regulation protects their personal information. Forward-thinking providers like EDBS Dental Billing Solutions choose the HIPAA Seal of Compliance to differentiate their services.
“Since the nature of our business being exclusively remote, we take HIPAA compliance very seriously. With the help of Compliancy Group, we are able to take steps to fortify our systems to protect PHI information and familiarize each employee about HIPAA and how we can further safeguard PHI data.” said EDBS Dental Billing Solutions founder Goldie De Leon.
Are you feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope with life’s challenges? You’re not alone. Mental health issues are more common than you might think, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Our counseling service provides a safe, supportive environment where you can explore your feelings, identify negative thought patterns, and learn coping skills to manage your symptoms. Lauren is trained in evidence-based practices and specializes in a range of mental health concerns, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and addiction.
We understand that seeking counseling can be intimidating, but we believe that everyone deserves to live a fulfilling, happy life. Our approach is non-judgmental and compassionate, and we work collaboratively with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that meets your unique needs and goals.
We offer a free 15-minute consultation to see if our service is a good fit for you. Reach out at https://peacefulmindsolutions.com or call (703) 994-0300 to set up a consultation.
Singin’ in the Rain
The “Greatest Movie Musical of All Time” is faithfully and lovingly adapted for the stage by Broadway legends, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, from their original award-winning screenplay. Each unforgettable scene, song and dance is accounted for, including the show-stopping
5 Tips for Buying Your Dream Home – A Free…
Are you planning to move in the next 12 months but feeling overwhelmed by the current real estate market’s low inventory and high mortgage rates? Join us for a short seminar where we’ll provide 5 tips to help you find