Arlington, VA

The Right Note is a biweekly opinion column. The views expressed are solely the author’s.

Thumbs down…

To Delegate Hope’s bill proposing instant run-off voting. This is an attempt to prevent third party candidates from having any real influence on an election. In Arlington that would often mean a Green Party candidate siphoning off votes from Democrats. If a Democrat in Arlington is incapable of achieving a plurality of the vote, maybe it should be accepted as a way that the public is telling you they want a change in leadership.

To the General Assembly Democrats who are dragging their feet on redistricting reform. When faced with the possibility of drawing their own preferred maps in 2021, the new Democrat majority in Richmond pumped the brakes on the bill that passed the House of Delegates on a bipartisan 83-15 vote last year. While there are many (myself included) who do not think changing who draws the lines will make it any fairer or less controversial, the Democrats should rightly be accused of rank hypocrisy if they fail to accomplish this key plank in their platform.

To Christian Dorsey for resigning the WMATA Board rather than paying back the $10,000 union contribution he failed to properly report. Dorsey claims he could not pay it back yet because he has had trouble raising money. As a reminder, Dorsey was the Chairman of the Board as a member of the dominant political party in Arlington but only raised a little over $41,000 for the year. A Democrat who has trouble raising money in Arlington in the year they are up for re-election can only be explained as being unwilling to put in the work.

To the County Board for adding a $200 fine to certain speeding tickets. Someone ticketed for going 30 miles-per-hour in a 25 zone now could face a $296 ticket, which is almost certainly going to strike ticket recipients as excessive.

And finally, two thumbs down for the Arlington School Board. First, for voting to start school a week earlier without a majority of staff, students, or parents thinking it is a good idea. Second, for announcing they would wall off their superintendent search from the public. Community input is now off the table until the Board emerges with their choice. Both of these moves fall into the category of “just because you can do something, does not mean that you should.”

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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