Home Local Politics Video: Other Arlington County Board Members Pile on John Vihstadt (R)’s Ridiculous...

Video: Other Arlington County Board Members Pile on John Vihstadt (R)’s Ridiculous “Political Posturing”


Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt, the sole Republican on the Board, yesterday demonstrated why he badly needs to be defeated next year. Check out the video, in particular the comments by Chairman Jay Fisette, Board members Christian Dorey and Katie Cristol about Vihstadt’s ridiculous pettiness regarding a tiny pay raise, the first one in years, for County Board members. I also love how Christian Dorsey incredulously asks Vihstadt at the end why on earth he’d need the County Attorney to advise him on what he can do with his own money?!? I mean, seriously, one of the arguments for Vihstadt is that even if you disagree with him, that he’s competent and knowledgeable. Well, this is just…not competent or knowledgeable, frankly.

As Chairman Jay Fisette says: “I’m somewhat really disappointed right now that after working so well and so hard for two months and really dealing with serious and tough and important issues, that we had an opportunity two days ago in our markup to flesh all these issues out…to see this come up today is very disappointing that we just spent 15 minutes for essentially public consumption which will be reported in the papers, when in fact this…is 100% political posturing that is disappointing to me.”

As Christian Dorsey says: “We are employees of Arlington County government although our position is different…We are considered employees of the organization, and I think it behooves us not to describe this inaccurately…Last year we did a tax decrease and we didn’t consider this issue….”

As Katie Cristol: “Like many issues we face…what feels politically appropriate or expedient in the moment over the course of time can have the sum of a consequence that is really detrimental to our community. I think this is a job that is increasingly full time and has many people have pointed out…the fact that it is not compensated as such keeps good people or fully representative people from community in this capacity….To vote against allowing an increase in salary year after year because it will never be politically expedient…is I’d say the definition of penny wise and pound foolish but it’s not even penny wise…”

  • dave schutz

    I have been and continue to be grateful to John Vihstadt for his role in fending off the misconceived Pike Trolley, he has my vote pretty much as long as he seeks to stay on the Board, and I am also very happy with his press for an Auditor reporting to the Board. On the pay raise, though, I think he is off base. We are radically underpaying our Board members in relation to the skills required and the time they have to put in. We should really double their pay, to get close to something commensurate with what they are putting in.
    The current salary selects against people who have to earn a living from what they do with the majority of their working hours, and in favor of spouses of high-wage people and trustafarians. If we pay better, we will get more people competing to serve, and that will be to our benefit.

    • Disagree on the streetcar (not “trolley”), agree on County Board pay needing to be doubled (or more) in order to allow ANYONE – of any income group – to run and be able to afford to serve.

  • Michael Beer

    It looks like John was trying mollify his republican base, which is shocked in his support of the 1.5cent tax rate increase, by grandstanding on an symbolic issue with no fiscal impact. We need a moderate republican party back in this country, and I am ok with some trivial symbolic protest, if it also means support for tax rate increases, fully funding schools, medicaid in Virginia, and support for same sex marriage. I wish the rest of the republicans in virginia and nationwide would follow Vihstadt’s example.