Anyone who sat through, live or electronically, the Arlington County Board meeting in its entirety Tuesday night deserves a gold star. The meeting opened at 6:30 p.m. and lasted, if you can believe it, until almost 2 a.m.

It gets worse: The folks who turned up to testify on the proposed ban on exotic pets had to wait until about 12:45 a.m. before the hearing on that matter even started, due to the backlog of earlier hearings and an extra-long “conversation” about the location of the new Virginia Railway Express station in Crystal City.

(Add another group – the folks from Virginia Railway Express – to the list of those who have come away from County Board meetings shaking their heads in disbelief at the goings-on.)

There ought to be a rule: No decision should be allowed by an elected body after the clock has struck midnight. Rationality has left the building at that point. Better to throw in the towel and postpone until a more reasonable hour at another time.

It is not just poor public policy to run on so long. It is rude to county-government staff and the public.

After Further Review …

… I wonder if Arlington board member Katie Cristol still thinks a “friendly amendment” to her motion on the VRE Crystal City station was so friendly, after all.

The amendment, by colleague Christian Dorsey, effectively neutered the intent of Cristol’s motion, which was to have the board support, in concept, one specific locale (known for those keeping track as Option 2) for the new station. Dorsey’s wording stripped out the board’s support.

At a more reasonably hour, perhaps Cristol would have noted the intent and not acquiesced. But per the comments above: After midnight, rational thought is hard to come by at public meetings. The mind is simply too scrambled.

On the Plus Side …

… the Arlington County Board meeting may have run laaaaaaate into the next morning, but at least it nudged The Washington Post to report its first Arlington-centric article of the month.

The paper more or less has been AWOL of Northern Virginia coverage of late, with Arlington all but ignored. Sigh.

– Scott

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