My Democratic opponent, Ellen Bozman, in concert with her Democratic colleague, John Milliken, both on the Arlington County Board, wrote an article for The Post ("Passing the Buck--to Arlington," op-ed, Aug. 25) spreading gloom and doom about the impact of reduced federal funding for several social programs in Arlington County. In keeping wiith past Democratic positions on political issues facing county voters, their words did not carry proposed remedies for these problems.
My position on this particular issue is that there should be an in-depth review of all continuing Arlington County programs to determine whether they are serving the purposes for which they were originally intended and whether they are cost effective. There is no doubt in my mind that there are certain continuing programs in Arlington County that could be reduced or eliminated entirely. Monies for these programs could be shifted to those programs deemed essential for the health and well-being of the people of Arlington County.
A Republican member of the county board, recognizing ever-increasing expenditures and sizable future budgets, recently advocated 1) reduction through attrition of the county work force by five percent in 1983 and 5 percent in 1984; 2) cutting the rate of pay step increases by 50 percent; 3) eliminating all positions that go unfilled for six months or longer; 4) cutting back county-owned vehicles by 5 percent in 1983 and 5 percent in 1984; and 5) freezing all salaries of $52,000 and above. Three department heads and the county manager will be making over $60,000 in FY 1981/82; that is comparable to the pay of some of the highest executive positions in the federal government. Eleven employees will be making from $50,000 to $55,000. Sixteen employees will be making from $45,000 to $50,000 and 18 employees from $40,000 to $45,000. These figures do not include the automatic 5 percent pay step increases that go to 48 percent of the county employees every year.
I fully agree with these proposals and, if they are adopted by the county board, I am confident there will be enough money saved to cover those social programs that have been reviewed and deemed essential to the betterment of the county.
The taxpayers of Arlington County deserve the best efforts of their elected representatives to reduce expenditures, curb bureaucracy and reduce taxes and yet still meet the social, educational and recreational requirements of its citizens.
Bozman and Milliken would do well to search for solutions to problems rather than merely to identify them. They should realize that there are new and more creative solutions to community problems than increasing the tax burden.