Arlington, VA

The Right Note: Quick Hits

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.

Not everyone loves baseball, but tonight the Nationals are playing in the franchise’s first ever World Series. Sports often transcends politics, so here’s hoping for a little break from the divisiveness filling up our airwaves and social media feeds.

Activists interested in keeping bike lanes clear made an effort to document violations last week. Some motorists took to the comment section of the story to indicate they would welcome a report on the number of times bikes run red lights, fail to stop at stop signs and otherwise ignore traffic laws.

The County Board has been strangely silent on the 2021 budget process. Last year Arlington officials started working to set the stage for a tax increase in September. In October of 2018, the County Manager was recommending closeout money be set aside to offset the anticipated budget “shortfall.” It is probably safe to assume this year’s silence means that climbing assessments will fill up Arlington’s coffers next year. And, it is also safe to assume that the closeout recommendation will be to spend it all now rather than provide tax relief in 2020.

“Shared Mobility Devices,” also known as scooters, are on track to stay in Arlington. On
November 16th, the County Board will hold a public hearing to consider a new ordinance
regulating their use. If you think Arlington is moving forward at a quick pace on its own volition, think again. A Virginia law is requiring localities to act by January 1st.

Writing in Theo Stamos for Commonwealth Attorney has been the subject of many community whispers since her defeat in the June primary. While no formal effort has emerged on his front, it is likely that this race will see the highest number of write-ins in recent memory.

If Republicans and Independents really wanted to make things interesting on election night, they would join me in writing in Stamos, as well as John Vihstadt for County Board. Turnout will be low, so even a few thousand votes cast in protest would be a significant percentage of the votes cast in two weeks. Who knows, there may be enough Democrats willing to buck the sample ballot to make it more than just a protest vote.

Now back to cheering on the Nats.

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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