Support

The Right Note: Jobs Retained?

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 ARLnow.com.

Mark Kelly

This week, Arlington announced its economic development successes for the past fiscal year. The tally: 53 “deals,” 2 million square feet of office space and 4,200 jobs that were “created or retained.” County Manager Schwartz says it’s his top priority.

The release does not indicate how many were created and how many were retained, something that would be good to know in measuring success. Just as when President Obama tried to count jobs he “created or saved,” we should be very leery of an announcement that contains such a qualifier. Maybe the county will provide a breakdown of created versus retained. But it is hard to argue the success of economic development if we are not adding to the job base.

Also, in evaluating jobs that were retained, it would be good to know an answer to the question of why were they going to leave? Were they just making a threat to get a better deal?

Moreover, if we are making special deals to make businesses stay, what about all the businesses who are staying here without getting a government deal? Where is their “piece of the action?”

At any level of government, there is a very real danger to the taxpayer when a handful of government officials get behind closed doors with a business and make a deal. Even with the best of intentions, there is the very real danger that a business will profit and the taxpayers will lose. Look at “deals” like the one Solyndra received from the federal government and what Governor McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive did to Mississippi (after they couldn’t get a good enough deal from Virginia).

This leads to the question of why do you have to make deals to lure employers to our community at all?

Sure, some would argue that every state and community serious about landing big employers are offering special deals. But as my dad used to say, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t make it right.

Why not make our policies so friendly to job creators that they want to come here? If our tax policies, zoning, permitting are reformed, and if we improve their experiences in even little things like submitting online applications and payments, then we can attract and retain businesses without cutting deals.

Creating a more business-friendly environment both attracts new business we want to locate here, but also benefits the ones who have been providing jobs in our community for years. That should be the goal.

Recent Stories

Daily Debrief for Nov 28, 2022

Good Monday evening, Arlington. Today we published 5 articles that were read a total of 8250 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…

A number of options have emerged for upgrading an iffy portion of the Arlington Blvd Trail. Engineers found it would be possible to accommodate a trail up to 11 feet…

Searching for a gift for the car enthusiast in your life? CarCare To Go has the 4 best gifts to give this season.

A Rosslyn-based cybersecurity company is providing free cybersecurity training to Black girls and women via a partnership with a local nonprofit, Black Girls Hack.

Join us at Art House 7 this Saturday 4-7pm for our Annual Open House – Teacher and Student art show!

  • Meet our teachers

  • See student and teacher artwork

  • Teacher’s paintings, ceramics, notecards will be for sale

  • Enjoy beverages and light refreshments

  • All attendees get a $20 gift certificate off a class

  • 30% off everything in our Supply Store for holiday gifts

Sat. Dec. 3, 4-7pm

Art House 7

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

The Alternative Christmas Market is back! At First Presbyterian Church Arlington in Ballston, located at 601 N. Vermont Street, Arlington VA 22203, on Sunday, December 4th from 9:30am to 1:00pm. Parking available.

Vendors and products this year include: 10,000 Villages, Olive Oil Ministry, African Team Ministries, Community Coalition for Haiti, Heifer, African Market Baskets, Café Justo, Thistle Farms, Southwest Indian Foundation, and Together We Bake.

Buy gifts for everyone on your list, and support these great organizations, artisans, and global neighbors. See you there!

Submit your own Announcement here.

National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!

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

Washington-Liberty Annual Holiday Bazaar

Join us Saturday December 3 from 10 to 4 p.m. at W-L High School, for this much anticipated Arlington holiday tradition! We will be featuring over 65 vendors for gift shopping, our student clubs and activities fundraising booths, and food

×

Subscribe to our mailing list