The Right Note: 11 Questions for Your Board Members

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

It is time for the Arlington County Fair, one of my favorite local traditions. This year the fair features a butterfly encounter, a first-ever beer garden, and goat yoga among other things.

As with every year, the fair also features appearances by your elected officials here in Arlington. Your school board members and interim superintendent, your county board members, the treasurer, and the sheriff will be there.

Here are 11 questions you can ask your school board and county board members when you see them at the fair this week:

1. Why is the school board dragging out the selection process for the permanent school superintendent? Is it because Cintia Johnson is the front-runner for the job and they want to give her an extended trial run?

2. Why won’t the county board give more resources to the auditor’s office?

3. After this year’s tax increase, will the county board commit to setting aside 100% of unspent funds and excess tax collections to offset next year’s budget?

4. Why does the school board report lower than actual per pupil spending? 

5. Why does it cost $412,000 to build a bus stop?

6. After the recent flooding, does the county board believe it is doing enough to address basic infrastructure needs versus other non-essential services or projects?

7. Why does the county board eliminate travel lanes on heavily trafficked streets?

8. To every county board member, why do you believe you deserve a pay raise of over 60% particularly in light of Chairman Dorsey’s suggestion that board members should possibly work less?

9. Has APS rectified its exit interview process that left school board members in the dark about attrition in the workforce?

10. Looking back at your county board New Year’s kickoff speeches, what have you accomplished and what have you failed to make progress on so far?

11. What specifically will you advocate for to reform the way WMATA operates and fix Metro?
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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