With a budget well over $1 billion, Arlington’s checkbook can feel a bit overwhelming to the average taxpayer — but the county is launching a new resource to help change that.
The county rolled out the first phase of “Arlington Wallet” yesterday (Tuesday), unveiling a new online tool to help Arlingtonians get a clearer look at how officials are spending money each year.
The website, commonly known as an “open budget” database, will allow users to access budget data in graphs and charts, and drill down into each county department’s budget for a clearer look at Arlington’s expenses and revenues over the years.
The tool also lets users create their own charts and download any of the raw data for themselves.
“There’s no greater obligation we have than to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “Arlington Wallet makes it easier than ever for our residents and business owners to see exactly how the county is spending money.”
The database currently contains budget information from fiscal year 2014 through December 2018, though the county has plans to expand it in the future. Officials are also planning to launch a second phase of the tool later this year, with data on individual county transactions.
The county compared the new phase in a news release to a “a personal checkbook or online account statement” that will show “what the county is buying and who it’s buying it from.”
“Arlington Wallet” runs on a platform created by the software company OpenGov, which provides similar services to hundreds of other governments and government agencies. Information on how to access the database is available on the county’s website.
Arlington previously launched an open data portal with a variety of county information available back in 2016, and has since regularly convened meetings of an “Open Data Advisory Group” to guide its transparency efforts.
Photo via Arlington County
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“Probing the highly imaginative, inspired mind of Teresa Oaxaca is not altogether unlike having a present-day conversation with an Old Master,” says Nashville Arts Magazine.
Here is an unusual opportunity to learn from this incredibly talented and accessible artist, at Art House 7’s two-day oil painting workshop in October. Teresa will give 2 portrait painting demonstrations for 3 hours each morning. Students will then be painting from a clothed live model. Teresa will offer individual critiques that focus on materials, techniques, process and artistic vision. You’ll get jazzed up about painting and become more confident about your abilities.
Art House 7, Two-Day Oil Painting Workshop with Teresa Oaxaca. Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT $250.
See more about Teresa Oaxaca here. Art House 7 5537 Langston Blvd., Arlington, Va. 22207
Validating one’s emotions has the power to heal, transform, and empower. What Is Validation? Every human being has feelings. We all have emotions that change over time, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The question isn’t whether we feel; it’s how we handle feelings once they arise.
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Understanding someone’s emotions doesn’t necessarily mean you approve of how they are feeling or reacting to something. You can be supportive in acknowledging and validating an emotional experience without agreeing or diminishing it. Validation is a skill to learn and improve over time. It may take practice, but the effort is most certainly worth it. Emotional validation has the power to enhance interpersonal communication and foster strong relationships.
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