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The Right Note: Time to Start Making Your Resolutions?

by Mark Kelly December 14, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

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.

Those of us with kids in school are just one week away from the start of our break, but there is still a lot going on in the world of politics.

Congress continues its work to finalize tax reform and spending bills. The County Board will meet two more times before saying goodbye to Jay Fisette.

Recounts are ongoing to finalize the November 7 election results for the General Assembly. And Governor-elect Ralph Northam is continuing his transition.

Let’s be honest. Most of us are much more worried about finishing, or starting, our Christmas shopping. After we take part in our holiday celebrations, we will move on to some reflection on the year gone by as well as to making those hopeful New Year’s resolutions, plans and goals.

Number one for many of us might be to put down our phone for 30 to 60 minutes more each day to have better personal interactions with family and friends. It might keep some out of pointless political arguments on Facebook. It might prevent you from tweeting something you later regret. Or maybe it will just help lay off the cat videos on YouTube.

For the elected leaders in Arlington, could you just one time acknowledge that holding tax rates the same does not mean you are not raising taxes.

Our county is really flush with taxpayer dollars for you to spend, so can you eliminate “shortfall” from your budget vocabulary? Or maybe could you resolve to not borrow money just because you can and maybe pay for things we can afford now.

For the General Assembly in Richmond, it looks like you will have one vote margins in both the House and Senate. Can you resolve to spend your time and political capital on the things that have the most impact on our everyday lives?

Transportation, education, and moves that help our economy grow so people can find well paid jobs that have healthcare benefits rather than relying on Medicaid or Obamacare would be a good place to start.

Last week the Progressive Voice, included this paragraph about positive leadership from our elected officials:

On a national level, perhaps not. But in Virginia and Arlington, we have an opportunity — an obligation, even — to lead in just that get-it-done way, despite the harmful policies some office-holders are pushing nationally. Democratic elected officials in Arlington hold the majority, Virginia’s new governor and newly-elected crop of state delegates have buoyed our spirits and options for problem-solving.

I hope this was not a suggestion that only Democrats can solve problems. Not only would it not be true, but it would not be helpful in achieving the stated goal. Maybe we can all resolve to look for the good in our political opponents whenever possible and trust that we share the common goal of advocating for the best interests of the people even when we disagree on how to get there.

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