Thursday, March 20, 2014

Extravagant Spending Will Continue for Parks and Rec in FY15

Hey Yupette,

Arlington Libraries and Parks and Recreation budgets were up for review at yesterday's County Board - County Manager FY15 Budget Work Session. While the Library System's budget and operations were scrutinized Parks and Recreation was given the go ahead for more extravagant spending for a wide range of activities, including a redesigned Longbridge Park Aquatics Center, which will include almost all, if not all, the previously-included aquatic amenities.

Based on questions by the County Board yesterday afternoon the Library System and Parks and Recreation are expected to operate under different management criteria. The Library System is required to justify its existence while Parks and Recreation is allowed an extravagant budget to fund a wide range of extravagant infrastructure and activities (e,g., the James Hunter Dog Park, architect and consultant designed playgrounds, purchase and demolition of a home adjacent to Douglas Park for open space).

The most cost-saving activity the Library System is engaged in, the photovoltaic arrays installed on the roof of Central Library funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was barely mentioned. However, the photovoltaic arrays are saving a substantial amount that would be spent for electricity. Unfortunately, these savings are offset by the Library System having to pay for the Signature Theater's utilities in their shared Shirlington building.

In addition to a 7% budget increase for FY 15, Parks and Recreation will have $12 million in one-time paygo funds. Parks and Rec also has money stashed in various slush funds. So look for more of the same from Parks and Rec, neither County Manager nor County Board expects anything else from them.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Rosslyn Sector Plan: Community Needs vs. Jay Fisette's Wants

Hi, Yupette,

Rosslyn Sector Plan is going to the County Board this evening. Agenda Item 29. Or, rather, Jay Fisette's Rosslyn Sector Plan. The entire series of Rosslyn Process Panel meetings aka Realize Rosslyn aka Rosslyn Sector Plan has been a series of confrontations between County Board Chair Jay Fisette's wanting Rosslyn to be a luxury urban celebration zone and Rosslyn residents. Rosslyn residents voiced their concerns about increased density, increased building heights, lack of open space, transfer of development rights to other Arlington neighborhoods to preserve open space in Rosslyn, lack of affordable housing, increased traffic, redevelopment of existing public infrastructure (Wilson School), extending siting new tall buildings into Clarendon, and construction of extravagant public infrastructiure in and around the Rosslyn Metro Station, including extending a proposed Georgetown-Rosslyn streetcar line from the Rosslyn to Ballston.

Throughout the Rosslyn process panel meetings County Board Chair Fisette was supported by both County Staff and real estate trusts and developers in his efforts to impose massive upscale urbanization on Rosslyn. Rosslyn residents who expressed their concerns have been treated like 'neighborhood nuisances'.

So, look for massive upscale urbanization of Rosslyn over the next few years.

Robert in Rosslyn

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Partying Millennials Trash Clarendon, Lyon Village

Hey Yupette,

I've lived near Clarendon a long time but this weekend was the worst ever for bad behavior by Millennials in Clarendon. Assaults, fights, urinating in public, people falling while drunk and hurting themselves, DWI and DUI, and so on. This behavior wasn't confined to the Clarendon Strip but spilled over into Lyon Village. Arlington Police could only react as best they could. I understand the Arlington Police are exasperated but the County Board, especially Jay Fisette and Mary Hynes (who lives near Clarendon and hears constant complaints about the partying), are all for more Millennial partying up and down the B-R corridor. The Millennial Mayhem finally stopped about 4 AM this morning. I understand there were dozens of arrests. Many others just took off before the cops showed up. And it isn't even St. Patrick's Day yet.

Thanks for running features that the local media wont run or dare not run. The ArlNow blog is the worst. Of, by, and for the Millennial urban hipsters.

Rebecca, Lyon Village