Shields to F.C. School Board: ‘We Owe Arlington Much Less $’

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields appeared before the F.C. School Board Tuesday night as it was in the midst of making its final decisions on its budget request from the City, to announce that audits and consultations with Arlington County have determined that F.C. owes Arlington much less than the $2.2 million for its share of jail services it was previously thought to owe. The total, which was disclosed to the News-Press by F.C. Chief Information Officer Barbara Gordon Wednesday, now stands at around $800,000, and while that was presented by Shields as “good news,” it still leaves the City in a deep hole as it confronts its FY12 budget this spring.

Gordon said the City Manager was advised by Arlington County Barbara Donnellan that prisoner counts conveyed to the City by the county were inaccurate due to an error in the software used to track prisoners in the Arlington County Detention Center. “Arlington’s billing error was damaging to the City, its budget development and to employee morale because the million-dollar figure would require significant program cuts,” she said.