This week the Sun Gazette reported on the question of whether the County Board would take advantage of the once in four years opportunity to raise their pay without a public hearing. Chairman Dorsey is quoted as saying, “I don’t actually think it’s appropriate this year.”
Libby Garvey, who has openly advocated moving toward a full-time salary for Board Members in the range of $100,000, offered a slight glimmer of hope by characterizing it as “unlikely.”
Certainly, a raise in the range of 60 percent that Garvey recommends is probably not in order. Yet, while many in the community have strong feelings about County Board members receiving any pay raises at all, a modest once every four year raise, is probably not out of order either.
Unfortunately, through a combination of rhetoric and relatively unchecked spending increases, the Board has left itself in a tough spot. Year after year, the Board claims they are making tough budget choices and cuts. It is hard to advocate for a pay raise when times are supposedly tough.
At the same time, the actual bias toward ever-growing spending has also caused the Board to find itself on the doorstep of passing a hefty property tax rate increase on top of increasing assessments to pay for everything they want to do. It is hard to advocate for a pay raise when you are raising everyone’s tax rates to fund it.
So Garvey and Dorsey are right, a pay raise is unlikely at best.
Dorsey did something interesting for someone on the ballot this year. He went on to call into question the role of the County Board. Are they getting too far into the weeds and doing things best left to County staff? Dorsey even pondered out loud, “An individual board member exceeding his responsibility is not helpful.”
Dorsey’s question about how much a County Board should work in a part-time job is not without merit from an intellectual perspective. However, it may not be a smart political statement to say something along the lines of I may not want to work as hard as the community expects me to, and when one of my colleagues works a lot harder, it makes the rest of us look bad.
If Dorsey draws a challenger this year, expect to hear a lot about his desire to work less. One way to ensure he does not have to is to give someone else the job.
Mark Kelly is a 19-year Arlington resident, former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
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At Generation Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting teen parents in college as they work toward earning their degrees. We are in need of caring child care volunteers for upcoming events on Saturday, October 21st (in Washington, DC), and Saturday, November 4th (in Arlington, VA). Join our growing volunteer community and support us at an event this fall!
At all of our events, we provide free onsite child care for the children of the teen parents we serve, creating a nurturing environment for the kiddos while their parents learn valuable life skills and build community.
If you enjoy working with children and are looking to make an immediate impact in your community, please visit https://www.generationhope.org/volunteer to learn more.
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Our keynote speaker this year is Symone Sanders from MSNBC and former Chief of Staff for Vice-President Kamala Harris.
The Master of Ceremonies is Joshua Cole, former state delegate, NAACP President, and local pastor.
Tickets/seating are limited. Purchase your ticket today! Sponsorship opportunities available.
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