Press Club

The Right Note: Fair Questions

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Mark Kelly

It’s county fair time in Arlington, and the County Board and Congress have hung a “gone fishing” sign on the door until September. As we relax a little for a month before school starts again, it is a good weekend to head out to Thomas Jefferson Middle School and ride the ferris wheel, eat something deep fried and take in the pig races.

There is also a good chance you will run into one of our elected officials, or an aspiring one. That means you should have your questions primed and ready to go.

School Board members will certainly hear about the proposed new elementary school locations. It might also be interesting to hear from them whether the contingency plans are in place for any influx of new students as a result of the ongoing border crossings by unaccompanied children.

It would be interesting to hear from our General Assembly members what they view will be the permanent solution to give Uber and Lyft the ability to operate in Virginia. And, you can ask whether they truly believe the federal government will continue to subsidize Medicaid expansion to the tune of 90 percent. If not, how would they intend to pay for it? Raise taxes? Decrease school funding? Take dollars out of transportation?

If you run into one of County Board members, there is plenty to ask about. Even if the trolley looked like a good idea a decade ago, can they admit that the information we have now is different? Why not take into account the increased cost and decreased ridership from other places that implemented light rail and re-evaluate their decision to move forward? Will they stop wasting our tax dollars on a trolley public relations campaign? Speaking of wasteful spending, why not make the auditor position a truly independent one that will report directly to the Board?

With the special election right around the corner, here are a couple ideas to ask Rip Sullivan, candidate in the 48th legislative district:

  • Did you really tell the Fairfax Chamber you thought the trolley referendum would not come to a vote in the General Assembly? Does that mean you will be unable to get a vote for it if you are elected or that you will not actually try?
  • Do you honestly believe you have a better chance to get things done for Arlington with the Republican majority in Richmond than Dave Foster?
  • Why did you tell the Blue Virginia blog you supported a carbon tax and reinstating the estate tax but then tell the Fairfax Chamber it was not time to raise taxes?

Do not be shy. They decided to run for office to represent you.

Mark Kelly is a former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.

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