Tuesday, May 19, 2015

County Board to Sell Open Space At Reeves Farm

Hey, Yupette,

Check out the latest version of the County Board's agenda for tonight's meeting. Regular agenda item just added is the sale of open space surrounding the farmhouse at Reeves Farm to a developer or developers. From a County Government that's supposedly desperate for open space and which is paying $30 million to acquire 6 acres and a couple of older office buildings across Quincy Street from the School Board's offices. Check it out at arlingtonva.us.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Dorsey and Lander Pushed APS to Waste Millions on Abingdon School Boutique Parking


Abingdon School Neighbors are outraged about the time and money APS has so far wasted designing Abingdon School's boutique parking lots and SUV turn-arounds for Abingdon PTA parents, Staff, and Teachers -- at least $2 million over 8 months and most likely a lot more. So much time and money has been wasted on parking lots that APS's Facilities and Operations Staff and its architectural firm had to redesign the school to eliminate much new infrastructure inside the renovated and expanded school.

As approved by the School Board at it's last meeting, the schematic design for Abingdon is a bare-bones renovation and expansion costing just over $30 million. You can see for yourselves at apsva.us/moreseats/abingdon and go to the April 21st Building Level Advisory Committee meeting presentation. APS's Facilities and Operations Staff admitted to the School Board at its April 23rd meeting that a significant schematic redesign of Abingdon School was necessary because of cost escalations over the months when boutique parking was being designed and debated.

Moreover, according to conversations with APS employees, huge amounts of time and money were expended on designing parking and vehicle turn-arounds to Abingdon SUV Soccer Parents' specifications. Abingdon School Teachers, Staff, and PTA so controlled the Abingdon design process that transportation to and from the school AM and PM is designed to allow maximum convenience for parents dropping off and picking up their children, with school buses running almost empty.

Who were instrumental in  facilitating the aforementioned Abingdon School "planning"? School Board Chair and County Board candidate James Lander, and County Board candidate Christian Dorsey, who was placed on the Abingdon Building Level Planning Committee by Lander to facilitate boutique parking.

It gets worse. APS is well-aware that Arlington Economic Development's quest to attract tens of thousands of Millennials to Arlington will likely push Arlington Public Schools' student population over 35,000 by 2025.

So the relocatables will stay and new schools and additions will be constructed on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus, and on a dozen sites elsewhere. And the APS-County revenue split will be more than 50% to APS.

As we at AY see it, the extravagant waste of tax dollars by APS on Abingdon "planning" amounts to de facto misuse of public funds. Neither James Lander nor Christian Dorsey should be elected to anything, let alone the County Board.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Lander Castigated for Four Mile Run Pollution from Ashlawn School

Hey Yupette,

In the event you missed last night's School Board meeting, School Board Chair and County Board Candidate James Lander was severely reprimanded for the silt pollution of Four Mile Run from Ashlawn School construction. Latest in a series of environmental foul-ups by APS's Facilities and Operations staff and APS's construction contractors.

Oh, turns out APS will have to raid slush funds to be able to complete Abingdon School's planned renovation and expansion because APS spent so much time and money on boutique parking lots and SUV turn-arounds that the construction costs for the school building significantly increased.

Appears that APS is clueless about Arlington Economic Development's plans to recruit thousands of Millennials for new business start-ups, so it will be interesting how "More Seats for Students" plays out in the future.

Thanks for your blog.


Monday, May 4, 2015

UPDATED - New Economic Development Director Briefs Planning Commission About Arlington's Economic Future

Hey Yupette,

Arlington's new Economic Development Director, Victor Hoskins, briefed the Arlington Planning Commission tonight about his and AED's agenda for Arlington's economic development over the next five years. Basically, it's recruiting high tech Millennial-owned start-up corporations from all over the world to locate and re-locate in Arlington -- especially in those old vacant office buildings in Crystal City. Tens of thousands more Millennials are in Arlington's future. Nothing at all mentioned about the impact of more - 30,000 or so - just-out-of-college Millennials on Arlington's public infrastructure, especially the already-stressed Arlington Public Schools. Oh well, County Board and School Board will get around to handling the resulting crises when they occur.

Youtube video is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPcUfnizduU

Thanks for your blog,

Pike Rider 22204

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Audrey Clement Wins Westover County Board Debate


A.Y. sent two correspondents to cover the April 29th Westover Candidate's Debate, held at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Westover. The clear winner of the debate among County Board candidates was Audrey Clement, who was the only Independent among the County Board candidates (the others who attended are Democrats) and the only candidate with a clear, across-the-board vision of how to move the County Board, and the County forward -- cut taxes for residents and businesses, stop making bad give-away deals with real estate trusts, make County Government more resourceful so new small businesses can prosper. The Democratic County Board candidates continued to promote 'resumes rather than results'.

The two Democratic candidates for School Board -  Sharon Dorsey and Reid Goldstein -- offered no significant solutions except to continue to 'muddle through' APS's problems related to the growth in school population.

One thing all the County Board candidates agreed on is 'The Arlington Way' is seriously broken.

It became obvious during the debate that Democratic candidates for anything in Arlington can't get beyond 'more of the same'. So Audrey Clement was a refreshing change.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

APS, Special Interests, Will Control County Government Next Year

Hey Yupette,

Want to give you a heads up. If you thought this year's Budget process was insipid, wait until next year where there will likely be two new County Board Members with children enrolled in Arlington Public Schools.Then there's Libby Garvey, who's running for re-election and won't say no to anything or anybody. The tough fiscal decisions have been made about the Pike streetcar, Artisphere, and so on. Time for more tax-borrow-spend.

So look for the two new County Board members, together with Libby Garvey and Jay Fisette, to give in to all but the most outrageous demands by APS and the for-profit and non-profit special interests. For example, look for a 50-50 revenue split between the County and APS. Look for joint decisions to be made behind closed doors by the County Board and School Board about which neighborhoods will get new Taj Mahal schools. Look for more VIP Smart Growth boosters to retire to places a hundred miles from the nearest New Urbanism.

I'm not optimistic about the independence of the County's new Independent Internal Auditor, who will have to obtain approval from a committee before he or she audits anything.

It's nice that our elected VIPs want to bring some new and different economic development here, but the sad fact is that Arlington is just too expensive a place to do business and will become more expensive.

Thanks for your blog.



Sunday, April 12, 2015

County Board Likely to Save Artisphere, Demolish Wilson School

Hey Yupette,

I listened to Friday's broadcasts of the County Board-School Board budget work session and County Board-County Manager budget work session via the County's Web site.

Appears there is great interest in saving the Artisphere and little interest in saving Wilson School.

The County Board will not raise the FY 16 residential real estate tax rate per County Board budget reductions and budget reductions by APS.

From the discussion among County Board members Friday afternoon, it appears that if Ingrid Morroy had listened to the legal advice she was given about the BPOL tax Arlington taxpayers might have a 1 cent tax reduction next fiscal year. Instead, $6 million is stashed away for refunds to overtaxed businesses.