Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fireworks Display Starts at 6:30 Tonight - County Board Room

Hey Yupette,

There's going to be a free fireworks display in the County Board Room tonight during the recessed County Board meeting.  This afternoon's County Board meeting will be a warmup for the main fireworks display starting at 6:30.

Agenda items to watch tonight are Consent Agenda item 27 (Fiscal Year 2015 Grant Agreements between the County Board and the State's Department of Rail and Public Transportation), Consent Agenda Item 29, (AHIF funding of the William Watters Apartments renovation), and Regular Hearing Item 50 (Expenditure of $58 million for additional leased office space for DHS in the Sequoia Building from FY 15 through FY 23 and extension of the lease on the space DHS already occupies in the Sequoia Building until 2030.

As always, you can watch the fireworks at home via public access television or via the Web site.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Fisette, Hynes, Tejada Agree to Stop Raiding General Fund Accounts for Streetcars

Hey Yupette,

I watched the latest County Board streetcar battle on my laptop after work last night.

So turns out that Jay Fisette, Mary Hynes, and Walter Tejada were massively raiding the General Obligation accounts to fund their streetcar activities, to the tune of (at least) hundreds of thousands of dollars. After County Manager Donnellan repeatedly stated that the County wasn't using, and wasn't going to use, a dime from the General Fund for streetcars.

After listening to Libby Garvey describe the activities of County employees who have been drafted by Barbara Donnellan for streetcar-related activities I have to wonder what kind of accounting system (if any) Barbara uses to track who does what and when in County Government. Internal Auditor? Looks like the County needs a entire division devoted to internal audits..

So, now the County Board voted 5-0 to stop spending funds from the General Fund for streetcars it will be interesting to see how the County Manager tracks the source or sources of funds that are being spent on streetcars.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Christmas In July Party's Over Here on July 19th - 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Room 307, 8:30 AM

Hey, Yupette,

Anyone else take a good look at the County Board's Agenda for July 19th and 24th? It's Christmas in July, and there's something for everyone, real estate trusts, developers, streetcar boosters, bloated County bureaucracies like Parks and Rec and DHS, affordable housing for-profit non-profits, and various 'stocking stuffers' for anyone who didn't receive a big present. As usual, some of the biggest gifts are on the Consent Agenda.

This year Chairman Gerald J. 'Giveaway Jay' Fisette will play Santa. So check out the County Board's agenda at and if you believe you or your organization were left off Santa's list and deserve a present, call the County Board Office at 228-3130 and let them know as soon as possible.


Monday, July 14, 2014

No, Let Me Guess...Wayne Kubicki for County Treasurer?

Hey Yupette,

Next shoe to drop on the ACDC Regime is likely to be major league fiscally-savvy and long time Republican CivFed Revenues and Expenditures Committee member Wayne Kubicki who may (and should) run for Arlington County Treasurer..Wayne knows the entire ACDC-County Government 2015 Budget and 2015-2124 CIP in and out. Wayne does not know the extent of the County's fiscal malfeasance.

So, when Wayne gets elected County Treasurer and sees the amount and degree of ACDC-County Government malfeasance can the FBI and a Federal Grand Jury be far behind? I hope not !!

Jane, 22207

Friday, July 11, 2014

County Will Forego Federal Funding for Pike Streetcar


Press release from the County Manager's Office is on-line regarding the Pike streetcar funding decision. As discussed during a recent CIP work session County will forego federal funding and instead the Commonwealth of Virginia will provide up to $65 million to Arlington and Fairfax County ($52 and $13 million respectively) for the Pike streetcar. The latest estimated cost of the Pike streetcar is $333 million.

Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan expects the remainder of the Pike streetcar's cost will be funded  through a combination of new regional transportation funding and local dedicated real estate tax revenue.

Arlington transportation officials expect that foregoing federal funding will shave at least a year off the Pike streetcar's construction time.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

De la Pava Will Continue O'Leary's Car Tax Decal Program

Hi Yupette,

Responding to questions from motor vehicle owners about recently-retired County Treasurer Frank O'Leary's car tax decal program, Arlington's new Treasurer, Carla de la Pava, stated today that she will continue O'Leary's car tax decal program and the annual decal competition. Ms. De la Pava stated that vehicle personal property tax decals are "essential for enforcement" and "it's up to the County Board" to change the County's personal property tax ordinance. 

Ms. De La Pava did not want to comment about the assertions from several Treasurer's Office employees that license plate camera enforcement has made vehicle decals obsolete and so the decal program unnecessarily generates several tons of paper and plastic waste annually.

Several Arlington residents who refused to put U.S.S. Arlington decals on their windshields last year have reported it has attracted no attention from whomever enforces the vehicle personal property tax in Arlington. Fairfax County discontinued its vehicle personal property tax decal program several years ago.

Rather than wait for ArlNow or the Sun Gazette to get around to asking Ms. De la Pava, I called her and she called me back.

As long as the annual decal competition is going to continue, here's my submission for next year.

John - 22206

Monday, July 7, 2014

APS Holds Pre-Proposal RFP Meetings at Abingdon, TJ


A group of architects, planners, and consultants filled Abingdon Elementary School's library this afternoon to hear Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations John Chadwick and Director of Design and Construction Scott Prisco describe the process for submitting a RFP for the Abingdon School addition and renovation at a cost of $28.75 million to add 136 seats, and for construction of a new elementary school on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson Middle School at a cost of $50.25 million to add 725 seats. However, according to Mr. Prisco there is no guarantee that a new elementary school will be constructed on the TJ site in view of intense community opposition. The alternative to an elementary school on the TJ site is additions to two existing elementary schools.

The winning architectural teams will face tight deadlines, Abingdon School's completion date is September 2017 and the completion date for a new elementary school on the TJ site is September 2018. APS expects RFPs to be submitted as soon as possible (material related to RFPs for both projects can be found on APS's Web site). APS contemplates a lengthy community process planning both projects.

As with Williamsburg and Ashlawn, APS contemplates teaming with Arlington Parks and Recreation to replace open space at TJ and Abingdon with playing fields as 'community amenities'. How much, if any, open space remains will depend on residents of adjacent neighborhoods.

Meeting attendees were given a tour of Abingdon School by the school's principal. It became apparent during the tour that complaints by parents of the school's run down state are largely due to lack of good housekeeping, to poor storage, and to lack of interior maintenance.

After touring Abingdon School about half the attendees drove to TJ where they were encouraged to tour the TJ grounds. APS Facilities and Operations Staff want an elementary school constructed on the TJ site and consider those who oppose a new elementary school on the site to be 'neighborhood nuisances'.