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

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.

Columbia Pike Project

It appears the lessons have not been learned and the residents, businesses, and commuters in the area will continue to suffer the consequences in addition to the untold millions of tax payer dollars wasted by the County’s poor management.

A safe place to share…

Dear Arlway-ers –

Why are author names not required for submissions while some submissions do include names?

The Arlington Way is at its heart, a whistle blowing website. Only at the specific request of the submitter, will AW include names. The website is the result of years of feeling that there was no safe place to share the information that is being illuminated among neighbors. Local news outlets including ArlNow, the Washington Post, and the Sun Gazette, as well as the Arlington Magazine, have failed to adequately investigate and expose the consequences of the poor planning and engagement by the Arlington County Government.

When Arlington RESIDENTS have tried to engage to make processes and decisions better or voice concerns, they have been ignored, shunned, and bullied into silence. And ultimately, too many have ceased to participate. Despite repeated outreach to County Board members and the County Manager, nothing has been done to create a truly safe environment for residents to air the errors of the Arlington County government.

The OECD outlines whistle-blower protection as:
“integral to fostering transparency, promoting integrity, and detecting misconduct. Past cases demonstrate that corruption, fraud, and wrongdoing, as well as health and safety violations, are much more likely to occur in organisations that are closed and secretive. In many cases, employees will be aware of the wrongdoing, but feel unable to say anything for fear of reprisals, concern about acting against the organization’s culture, or lack of confidence that the matter will be taken seriously. The negative implications of this are far-reaching for both organisations and society as a whole. Effective [whistle-blower] protection supports employees in blowing the whistle on corruption, fraud or wrongdoing.”

Thus, in the hopes of creating a safe place for those that have “other” ideas on how Arlington can work, have been vilified when Arlington County’s flawed processes have wreaked havoc on the community [as they anticipated], or need to share their story, The Arlington Way website seeks to create a repository where the patterns of misconduct can be collected, aired, and hopefully bring change to a community where formal pathways have been unsuccessful.

You will note that we have tweaked our tagline to be “the whistle blowers’ site” to more accurately reflect the intentions of the site.

We are looking forward to hearing your story; tell us what has been happening in your community, big and small.


Is it time for a name change?

DES has systematically made Arlington hotter, wetter, and, and more unlivable through their involvement in every project by using loop holes in policy to eliminate trees, straighten streams, undermine the Chesapeake Bay storm water management guidelines, and advocate for untethered development in Arlington.

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