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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: The ol' budget two-step (nature-center edition)

Editor’s Notebook: The ol’ budget two-step (nature-center edition)

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This week brought Arlington’s traditional budget two-step: Hearings on the budget itself and then on tax rates. As with so many things in local government, it is conducted with a lot less panache than it used to be.

(Ah, the days when civic activists like John Antonelli would go after the likes of County Board member Chris Zimmerman, and the Z-man would give back as good as he got. Those in the local press corps[e] who didn’t live through those days missed out, although one suspects they wouldn’t have enjoyed the hand-to-hand combat as much as I, who views politics as a lot more pugilistic than slap-happy Will Smith. But I digress; back to our story …)

One of the issues of contention in the fiscal 2023 budget proposal is the plan to keep county nature centers (Long Branch and Gulf Branch) closed more often than not (4 days out of 7) in the coming year. Before the Wuhan unpleasantness, each had been open 6 days out of 7.

You never quite know when things like this bubble to the budget surface because the bureaucrats truly want to see the facilities closed all that time, or whether they are using the issue to drive the public to budget hearings to press to add in funding. Guess we will know when the final budget package is adopted.

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And a reminder: For those of you displeased with county budget priorities, we’re in the midst of candidate-filing time for offices on the November ballot. I know incumbent County Board member Matt de Ferranti would agree that “the more, the merrier” on the June and/or November ballots 🙂 .

WHAT’S IT FEEL LIKE TO SIT (PEOPLE, I SAID ‘SIT’ …) ON AN $1,100 TOILET? For reasons that were somewhat beyond my control and decidedly not because I wanted it that way, I had to spend $1,100 for a toilet+installation to fit a tight space in the soon-to-be-on-the-market Shirlington condo.

It’s a Kohler and is only 25 inches from top to bottom, so it slid right into the space beneath a bathroom shelf that came with the property when I acquired it.

Good luck finding a cheapo toidee that can be manhandled into that tight a space. I tried, believe me (you need 30 inches of clearance, minimum, to make the low-end options work). Alternately, I could have had the shelf ripped out, but that probably would have added up to the same cost as my pricey, shiny new plaything. (At $1,100, I am expecting it to applaud and congratulate the user after every flush. Having not tested it, I’m not sure if that’s one of the features.)

It got installed on Tuesday and both the guy who painted the entire interior of the condo this week, and the young guy who installed the carpet yesterday, took a shot in testing it out (hopefully from the standing position but it is better not to ask too many questions under the circumstances).

Just another piece of the renovation-budget puzzle. Glad it’s in place. It’s only money. Right?

  • Scott McCaffrey

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