Dorsey Drama Continues

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On September 16, Arlnow had a comment by a frequent contributor:

$4 Million to Heirs Annually • 7 hours ago The Bankruptcy Trustee has a filed a motion to dismiss Dorsey’s bankruptcy case for his failure to file a modified proposed plan. A previous Court order required Dorsey to file a modified proposed plan that would include $5,893 owed to his mortgage company for failure to pay his May and June 2020 mortgage payments. A hearing is scheduled for October 8th.

Background: Dorsey refinanced his mortgage after filing for bankruptcy but then failed to make at least four payments (Feb., March, May, and June 2020) although the bankruptcy repayment plan that Dorsey submitted to the Court stated that Dorsey would pay his monthly mortgage payments. His mortgage holder filed a motion to start foreclosure. To avoid foreclosure proceedings, Dorsey and the mortgage company filed a consent order (approved by the Court) stating that Dorsey would filed a new proposed plan that would include $5,893 that Dorsey had failed to pay for his mortgage. Dorsey never filed the new proposed plan required in the Court’s order. On February 25, 2020, Dorsey loaned his campaign $4,300.

How does this happen? Christian Dorsey voted just last night in the recessed County Board Meeting for a $3.5M design of an ART bus barn, authorized the sale of $172.32  General Obligation Public Improvement Bonds and $31 million of Industrial Development Authority (IDA) Revenue Bonds. This was just one night. Even when community members provided plenty of feedback on why not to move forward with all three of these decisions, Dorsey joined the unanimous votes.

As a reminder, Dorsey did vote himself a pay raise this year of $89,851 for his part time government job. It just feels weird to have someone who can’t pay their bills, spending tax payer money with such flagrant abandon.

Unfortunately, until he is up for reelection, it seems like Dorsey is safely ensconced in Arlington power.

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How much engagement should we expect of our County Board Members?

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 It’s been two months now since the surfacing of Christian Dorsey’s financial problems and some campaign reporting issues. He made the declaration that he is still committed to serving Arlington. “My personal financial issues do not in any way impinge upon my ability to work with staff and with our community to find practical, innovative solutions to all these issues,” Dorsey added. “I love this County, and I will continue to work hard to ensure it remains one of the greatest places on the planet to live, work and rear a family.”

However, I haven’t seen much of Dorsey since the scandal and when he’s chosen to attend a meeting, it’s been a quick appearance. Most recently, at the joint meeting of Amazon-impacted civic associations with Amazon and JBG, Dorsey was noticeably missing – if he showed up, he wasn’t participating in any meaningful way. As the board liaison to these civic associations and the incredible impact that the Amazon arrival has on Arlington, as well as, the documented lack of appropriate staff engagement in these neighborhoods, one would think that Dorsey should be onsite to hear the communities’ issues and engage in the conversation. And, when Dorsey has made public comments, one questions whether he may also have a slight conflict of interest. First, with the unpaid referees debacle asking for patience working with a vendor who has yet to pay referees a year out and then with the affordable housing initiative.

Katie Cristol has been much more measured in her comments and staying out of the fray. She has created clear boundaries and, with but a look, makes a person think twice before asking for a meeting or engaging her in conversation. Katie has been completely off my radar and in reviewing recent board comments has been relatively silent. 

There’s no doubt that the County Board role is a big job with lots of critics. However, let’s not forget that the County Board voted themselves a significant pay raise in June 2019. This pay raise gives them the comparable FULL time median salary for the PART time gig. And, that the County Board role is a choice; no one is forcing these folks to run and each of them have the capacity to make several times what they could make on serving on the board. 

This calls to question – what should the expectation be of our county board members in participation in the conversation and understanding the nuances of the conversation at a deeper level? Perhaps, it is simply that candidates are so available pre-election that there is a vacuum after they win. However, the larger issue remains, how much engagement should we expect of our County Board Members?

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