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.
Reading through the remarks of Chairman Christian Dorsey from last week’s “State of the County” address to the Arlington Chamber, I was not surprised to find that the Chairman pronounced our status as “excellent.” But what is his report card so far?
Once again, the Chairman predictably talked about our bond rating and the customer satisfaction survey. He also talked about a desire for county officials to collaborate with the community. He took credit for ongoing improvements in public safety, economic incentive deals, and the county’s yet to be launched efforts to streamline the permitting processes. For keeping the trains running on time, Dorsey gets a C. This grade would have been a B if the Board had not claimed financial hardship before passing a 6.2% spending increase and a potentially massive pay raise.
Nothing new has really been accomplished when it comes to affordable housing, despite promises to the contrary. This is not unique to Chairman Dorsey. Every Board member talks about the rising costs of living in the county. In a 2018 speech, Dorsey himself previewed support for increasing housing density and reducing the size of single family houses that could be built on lots in order to combat market forces. However, little ever seems to change except for raising our property taxes, making it more expensive to live here. Grade: F.
Keeping an eye on Amazon. The county approved the package to finalize the deal and can claim a small victory as the online retailer agreed to send $3 million back to the county’s “efforts” on affordable housing. A lot is still to be determined here. Grade: C+.
Equity remains a high priority buzzword for Chairman Dorsey. No one really knows for sure what new policies he is seeking to implement or goals he is seeking to achieve, though he did discuss child care and public health.
Last year, Dorsey suggested Arlington should create a consumer protection bureau to make sure everyone is treated fairly. He also suggested it might mean an examination of county housing policies to ensure diversity is being achieved. Maybe we will need to wait till Dorsey’s wrap-up speech at the end of the year to find out what equity outcomes he accomplished? Grade: Incomplete.
Last but not least, Dorsey also gets an Incomplete for glossing over the subject of our schools in his speech. Despite the fact that the County Board cited the schools budget as a primary reason for increasing our property tax rate this year, Dorsey did not address it in his speech, except for brief mentions while discussing equity and diversity.
You can assign your own grades to Dorsey’s chairmanship so far. And remember, he still has six months to pull them up.
Mark Kelly is a 19-year Arlington resident, former Arlington GOP Chairman and two-time Republican candidate for Arlington County Board.
The Arlington County Fair is set to kick off this Wednesday and run through Sunday, Aug. 21. As usual (though it was not without some debate) the fair is being…
Hundreds of K-5 students at Oakridge Elementary School packed 200 gift boxes to seamen and Marines serving on the USS Arlington. The boxes sent to those aboard the 684-foot-long amphibious…
Meet Cannoli, the Arlington Pet of the Week who loves chewing his many bones and playing chase with friends.
When Marine veteran Brendan McElroy started working on the sales side of the consulting industry, he quickly realized that although he enjoyed the more interactive part of his job, he did not like the “typical consulting-sales model.”
15 year old Australian Shepherd went missing from her yard in Waycroft-Woodlawn on the evening of August 8.
A pet tracker hasn’t been able to find her, and despite roaming in a busy area, there have been no reported sightings. She is microchipped, and her information is up to date. It’s most likely someone has picked her up. If found, or if there is any information, please contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington or her owner at 571-510-0508 or [email protected]. If spotted, please don’t approach or call to her, but take a picture and call her owner.
As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.
If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.
Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
Have you ever considered purchasing a rental property but weren’t sure where to start? This free webinar will go over the basics of how to invest in real estate, how to choose rental properties, and a market overview. Our Director