January 17th marked Valerie Arkoosh’s last day as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Her next stop is Harrisburg after having recently been appointed Secretary of Human Services by Pennsylvania’s new Governor, Josh Shapiro. To say the least, this is not good.
As the sole Republican Montgomery County Commissioner, I had a front row seat to Commissioner Arkoosh’s incompetence, arrogance and elitism.
Val Arkoosh never saw a money grab she didn’t like. During her seven years in office, she and her Democrat colleague voted to raise property taxes five times. Under her reign of fiscal insanity, residents saw their county tax bill increase by a whopping 46.8%.
In addition to growing the size of government on the backs of working families, Dr. Arkoosh will long be remembered for her totalitarian response to the coronavirus pandemic. She was one of nation’s most ardent defenders of business lockdowns, school shutdowns, and mask and vaccine mandates. And, regrettably, her prescribed ‘cures’ were worse than the disease itself, as many of our children and grandchildren continue to suffer emotionally, socially and academically.
There was no better example of Val Arkoosh’s Covid lunacy than in May of 2020 when she refused to release American flags to veterans’ organizations to display on the graves of military men and women for Memorial Day. Montgomery County had already purchased over 50,000 flags, but Commissioner Arkoosh held them hostage claiming that volunteers placing flags in the open air of cemeteries would lead to an outbreak of the virus. Outraged by such nonsense and disrespect, I worked with the VFW to raise private funds to buy flags and helped arrange them on the headstones of our heroes.
Too often, big-government bureaucrats don’t just get it wrong, they get promoted. And, sadly, Valerie Arkoosh is the latest politician to fail forward. Be prepared for more of the same as she joins Democrat Josh Shapiro’s administration in Harrisburg. God help us.
Joe Gale has served on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners since 2016. Currently in his second term, Commissioner Gale is the sole Republican on the three-member board.