Editor: It seems that Arlington residents are not very happy about the county government’s response to the July 8 deluge, at least according to one recent article in The Washington Post.

Yes, it was quite the rainstorm, and yes, a few folks did have their basements, yards or even personal items damaged. But regardless of these minor inconveniences of mud or contaminated water, look on the bright side. Keep your priorities straight.

We live in a county that took Robert E. Lee’s name off a public school. He lose sight of that monumental achievement. Numerous people, in and out of county government, worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to achieve that goal. If it temporarily took focus away from mundane subjects – such as stormwater-runoff management – that’s unfortunate, but look at the results! We can manage runoff anytime. It was a rare opportunity take a stand for the centuries and remove Lee’s name. And we, fellow Arlintonians, seized that opportunity. We’re a rare breed, we are. Think of the children!

Don’t forget that this county is an innovative and enlightened jurisdiction – one that once considered a gondola service between Rosslyn and Georgetown. (Top that one, Metro!)

Arlington planned the Columbia Pike trolley service from, ah, the Arlington Cemetery area to, ah, another area somewhere along Columbia Pike to the west. The potential for westward expansion was nearly infinite – a streetcar named Manifest Destiny. That is thinking BIG! And it would have paid for itself! And lowered riders’ cholesterol or blood sugars – their choice!

So, my neighbors, next time The Washington Post asks you about life in Arlington, don’t dwell on inconsequential inconveniences that will pass. Emphasize the meaningful activities of substance taking place in Arlington. Talk about one of the 60-plus advisory groups that feed into our County Board. Heck, talk about two.

I’m confident that we all can come back together and again send the message to all that Arlington is a wonderful place. That it has earned its reputation. It got that way by maintaining a focus on the important and meaningful issues. That means, yes, managing stormwater runoff. Some day.

David Habeger, Arlington

(1) comment

Dave Schutz

Hey! The gondola was and remains a wonderful idea! Otherwise, great letter!

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