Much attention has been paid to the big ticket projects the County Board has shuttered over the past year. Those fiscally responsible decisions will save taxpayers millions and millions of dollars.
How the Board treats spending our tax dollars on the smaller projects and how they meet their obligations to ongoing basic services is equally, if not more, important to our long term fiscal health.
The most recent case in point was the reminder that the County Board had authorized $350,000 for an “art installation” on the Four Mile Run Trail side of the wastewater treatment plant. It is a given there is nothing pretty about the facility. But the new art does little to change the view as you are walking, running or biking by on the trail.
Earlier this year, the Board voted to build a $17.6 million ART bus facility that, according to their own press release, “. . . will not be large enough to meet all the County’s projected needs for ART facilities. It can house neither the entire existing ART fleet, nor accommodate all of the buses that will expand the fleet over the next decade.”
With that in mind, why not wait until you could identify a plan to build an adequately-sized facility all at once? The savings to the taxpayer of $57,000 a year, hardly justifies a $17.6 million outlay that will not meet all of our needs. At that rate, the facility will pay for itself in 308 years.
Neither of these items are as attention-getting as a $1 million bus stop or a $500 million trolley. But, they are made by the same elected officials who use the same philosophy of spending our money. That philosophy has not really changed for a majority of the Board, despite the rejection of the vanity projects by the voters one year ago.
The voters have another choice of who they send to the Board on Nov. 3. And the Board itself also has a big decision on who the next permanent County Manager will be.
No doubt there is value in the institutional knowledge of someone who has worked in Arlington for years. However, with three new Board Members being elected in the last 12 months and a new auditing function coming online, a fresh perspective in the Manager’s office is warranted as well. There is real value to be found in taking away any bias toward the way it has been done.
I have long held the position the next Manager should live in Arlington and live with the consequences of their advice and decisions. More importantly, the next Manager’s philosophy should approach every budget line item by asking if we should spend this taxpayer dollar, and if so, will we get the most bang for our buck?
A fresh set of eyes with a comprehensive approach to getting the big and little budget decisions right would serve Arlington well.
Everyone has flat screen TVs already so how about a more interesting Black Friday special? The ARLnow Press Club for free, to try out the daily Early Morning Notes email…
There’s not a whole lot going on in Arlington today, save for activity at local shopping centers, so we’re going to fast forward right to the top story countdown. Here…
Statues of Liberty gives thanks this holiday season and grateful for a few things this year.
It’s turkey time. Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and extra revelry can be expected at some local bars tonight, ahead of the holiday. Please be careful on the roads and…
The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 76th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 25th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to huge 14 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garlands, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.
Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.
Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.
Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.
NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.
Outstanding Young Artist