We must maintain a high level of fiscal responsibility, while providing quality services at good value to taxpayers. We must maintain our AAA/aaa bond rating. Our libraries, recreation centers, and fire stations are aging and need to be renovated or replaced to serve our community. We must set priorities to effectively manage these challenges.
OPEN SPACE/ PARKS AND RECREATION:
A sustainable community needs open space for passive and active recreation. We must respond by creating new recreational opportunities for our growing population. I am proud of my 6+ years serving on the Long Bridge Park task forces. The recreation fields and pedestrian esplanade have recently opened, providing a new gathering place for Arlingtonians.
We must always be mindful of respecting our natural environment by protecting wildlife, trees, and water quality.
We need to increase our efforts to offer choices beyond cars. We need to make smart investments to expand transit service to provide convenient alternatives to driving. Our transportation decisions need to acknowledge that driving may be a choice for some of our residents.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING:
A sustainable community must also care for the most vulnerable among us, by providing a safety net, coupled with the resources that enable people to become independent. A sustainable community must include economic diversity, which requires preserving affordable housing opportunities for the middle class including teachers, public safety workers, and others.
We have learned that we can not rely as heavily on the federal government and related contractors to provide jobs in Arlington. We need to attract high-quality employers, with high-paying jobs, to Arlington. As our neighboring jurisdictions adopt our success model of transit oriented development, we risk losing our competitive advantage of Metro. We will need to work harder to distinguish Arlington as a great place to do business.
We must continue our commitment to great schools. We are faced with the challenges of significantly growing enrollment. We need to build additional classrooms. The time to factor this into our budget and capital improvement projections is NOW.