Millions of people are turned off by this year’s presidential election. In fact so unhappy is the public with the major party presidential candidates that psychologists have come up with a new diagnosis–Election Stress Disorder (ESD)–characterized by anxiety over the prospect of electing either one of them!
If you’re an Arlington resident suffering from ESD, a cure is in sight. No. I’m not running for President. But as an Independent candidate for Arlington County Board, I offer local voters a change from business as usual to real reform. Never have Arlington residents been more in need of this remedy.
Consider that when I recently complained to County Board about some questionable numbers that appear in Arlington Public Schools’ (APS) 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) documents, I was told by County Board Chair Libby Garvey, that County Board couldn’t address the issue. I should direct my complaint to the School Board instead.
Come again? County Board is responsible for approving not only the School Board’s operating budget, but also its CIP. That responsibility includes reviewing the School Board’s budget documents. By insisting that it has no such responsibility, Arlington County Board is abdicating its duty to oversight the School Board budget.
Why is this important? At $565 million, the School Board operating budget accounts for 36% of Arlington government annual expenditures and almost 50 percent of local tax revenue. At $510 million, APS outlays account for 15% of Arlington’s ten year capital budget. With the lion’s share of taxpayer funds going to APS, it’s time for County Board to recognize that it needs to do more than rubber stamp APS funding requests. It needs to take a hard look at them.
That is precisely what I will do if elected. As a fiscal hawk, I also plan to seek a fiscal impact analysis of every major site plan development to assure that the project actually benefits the County and that its impacts are adequately addressed.