Letters to the Editor

Arkoosh’s undeserved promotion

Jan. 17 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 the 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 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

Montgomery County Commissioner

Early childhood education training is key

Many thanks to Mark Zimmaro for his report on a special 12-week training program for early childhood educators and caregivers (“Enroll in early childhood education and care program,” Jan. 18). The program started on Monday, Jan. 23.

As Zimmaro reported, this program is meant to improve the leadership skills of those who provide education and child care to preschool children. He gives credit for creating the Exceptional Bilingual Leadership Program to three impressive professional women, Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, Obioma Martin and Aliya Johnson-Roberts.

I was particularly impressed with the dedication of these women to providing role models for black and brown women who want to dedicate themselves to serving the needs of very young children, especially those from bilingual backgrounds. This kind of approach gives hope and encouragement to all those involved with early childhood education. Well done.

Gloria C. Endres