Park Maintenance… a Lazy approach?

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On Friday September 11, we showed up at Doctor’s Run Park and there were three Arlington County maintenance vehicles pulled onto the grass. The team was busy mowing and blowing and edging. Our park is very well used and we tend to have a lot of garbage from the local 7-11 and lack of garbage cans in the area. We love this park; it is where our neighborhood children get out of one of the many garden apartments and can run after a day of virtual learning. It is a meeting point for many different cultures with usually 5-6 different languages being spoken at any one time and the kids often translating and building bridges for the adults.

The next morning, Saturday, September 12, we showed up at the park with our donuts. All of the “ground maintenance” work done yesterday was strewn across the park. Is this really considered acceptable? When we go to the North Arlington parks for play dates, we don’t see this.

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Immaturity of $1 Billion Organization Exposed: The Referee Debacle Continues

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I’m writing about the referee payment problems. I submitted my concerns in January about how absurd it was that referees were not getting paid.

Apparently, our newest board member is most naïve in the ways of Arlington and was unable to fulfill his promise to get the referees paid by Feb. 1 “at the latest.” His updated desire is to resolve things “before spring arrives.”

Bless his heart. Now Matt DeFerranti has set up a Go Fund Me page to “Pay the Referees,” seeking $12,500.

Let’s recap the facts quickly:

  • The County Board was alerted to the situation of the referees outstanding payments due and the lack of contractual compliance in March 2019, August 2019, November 2019, December 2019, January 2020, and February 2020
  • The County Board voted to give themselves each a $19,000 pay raise with the new salary adjusted to the area median salary in June of 2019
  • The County Board voted not only to extend the County Manager’s contract, but also increase his salary by 4.5% or $12,712.
  • The County Manager just put up a $1.4 billion budget proposal for FY2021
  • Neither the County Board nor the County Manager can figure out how to pay the $12,500 to the unpaid referees. That is .0000089% of the budget or 90% of the County Manager’s pay raise or 60% of each of the County Board Member’s pay raises.

There is absolutely no excuse, no law, and no rationale that this timeline of events makes sense in the 6th richest county in the United States. The immaturity of processes, the unprofessionalism of the county staff, and the lack of accountability by the county board members is totally unacceptable. The county sure seems like it is planning to substitute “bush-league” for “world-class” in its vision statement.

Why are they literally passing the buck back to the taxpayers to cover their negligence? I applaud Matt for at least trying, but this is not Mayberry, folks.

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