Arlington County

The following were among actions taken at the June 23 meeting of the Arlington County Board. For more information, call 358-3130.

CHILD CARE FEES -- Low-income Arlington families whose children currently receive free or reduced-cost day care under a program subsidized by the state and the county must pay a larger share of the costs, beginning in October. The County Board adopted a new sliding-fee scale in keeping with a recent state mandate.

The new fees will take effect in August for people whose children are not currently enrolled in the program.

Approximately 500 county children -- whose families' gross monthly incomes are no more than 70 percent of the state median income, or $1,856 for a family of three -- currently receive free or reduced-price day care in the program.

The program covers all the day care costs for almost three fourths of these children, whose family's gross monthly income is less than 56 percent of the state median. Families who earn 56 to 70 percent of the state median contribute $134 to $298 per month toward day care services.

However, because of the mounting costs of providing day-care services, the state recently ruled that all families participating in the day-care subsidy program must contribute by paying a percentage of their gross monthly incomes based on a sliding scale.

As a result, a three-person family whose day-care costs are now fully subsidized will instead contribute one to seven percent of the family gross monthly income -- or about $5 to $102 per month. Families which earn 56 to 70 percent of the state median income, which is $2,652 per month for three-person family, and currently pay a portion of day-care costs must now pay between 4 and 7 percent more, or a total of 9 to 17 percent of the family income -- about $143 to $316 per month -- toward day care.

The cost to the family of day-care services for each additional child will continue to be half the cost the family paid for the initial child. Costs diminish for large families, with a third child paying half the cost of the second, and a fourth half the cost of the third.

The county has allocated about $1.5 million in local funds and is expecting about $430,000 in state funds to finance the program for the fiscal year starting July 1.

City of Falls Church

The following were among actions taken at the June 25 meeting of the Falls Church City Council. For more information, call 241-5004.

PAY INCREASES APPROVED -- The City Council voted 6 to 1 to increase the salaries of the mayor and members of the City Council, the School Board and the Planning Commission by 50 to 200 percent, the first increase for these officials since 1966.

The salary raises for the mayor and the six council members will take effect July 1, 1992, after the current term of each one has expired. All other pay increases will start at the beginning of next fiscal year, on July 1.

The council doubled the annual compensation for council members, bringing it to $2,400 per year, and raised the mayor's compensation by 50 percent, to $3,600.

The council also doubled the annual compensation of the six Planning Commission members and the six School Board members, to $1,200, and tripled the annual pay for the chairman of each of the two bodies, to $1,800.

"Even with these raises, we're not keeping up, but it is a step in the right direction," said council member Carol DeLong. Delong proposed the increases last winter, in part, she said at the time, because the pay for such positions in Falls Church, a city of 9,500 residents, lagged behind that of even smaller jurisdictions in the area.

In Manassas Park, for example, a city with about 2,300 fewer residents, council members are paid $2,500, the mayor is paid $3,100, School Board members are paid $1,800 and the School Board chairman is paid $2,200. Planning commissioners in Manassas Park are not paid.

Mayor Elizabeth Blystone and council members DeLong, Elizabeth Havlik, Gary Knight, James Slattery and Susanne Bachtel voted for the pay increases.

Council member Cynthia Garner opposed the pay increases because, she said, she refuses to look at the position of council member "in terms of hourly wages" and because she would have preferred that the council include language in the new ordinance that would allow council members to waive their pay. Garner said she plans to introduce legislation that would allow a pay waiver.

COUNCIL MEMBERS HONORED -- More than 15 city residents took the microphone to pay their respects to the mayor and three council members who are retiring after serving at least six years each on the seven-member governing panel.

Mayor Blystone and council members DeLong, Havlik and Knight, who belong to the Citizens for a Better City political organization, all announced last winter that they would not seek reelection last May. Each cited personal reasons for retiring, and all said they made the decision independently.

The four council members will give up their seats July 1 to Philip Thomas, Brian O'Connor, Dale Warren Dover and David Minton, political newcomers who also belong to the Better City group.

The three remaining council members are Slattery, Bachtel and Garner, all of whom belong to the Falls Church Citizens Organization, a rival party.

"Falls Church is a better place to live because you all loved it and worked hard for many years," former council member Robert Hubbell told the retiring officials.

"Although we have differed from you," said resident Lou Olom, who belongs to the Citizens Organization, "we have honored you for your service."

DeLong served 16 years, including four two-year terms as mayor. Knight served 12 years on the council, and Havlik and Blystone served six years each.

Fairfax County

The following were among actions taken by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its June 25 meeting. For more information, call 246-3151.

DIVESTING FROM SOUTH AFRICA -- The board voted 7 to 2 to halt county investments in most companies that do business with South Africa, but agreed to allow investments in a select number of companies committed to ending apartheid.

Last month, Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder directed all state agencies and institutions to refrain from investing in companies that are not "substantively" free of interests in South Africa and to begin divesting of interests in companies with such connections, in protest of the country's policy of apartheid, or racial separation.

In May, the board deferred action on divesting until all board members were present and after some said they needed more time to consider what economic impact divesting may have on the county.

Republican supervisors Thomas M. Davis III (Mason) and Elaine McConnell (Springfield) voted against divesting. Davis argued that the county should not get involved in foreign policy issues, while McConnell said she feared divesting would adversely affect companies that provide jobs for the poor.

BOND REFERENDUM -- The board set a July 23 public hearing on a proposal to consider which of seven proposed bond referendums, totalling $850 million, to put to voters on the November ballot, including $330 million that may be needed to fund the completion of the Fairfax County Parkway.

The parkway, formerly known as the Springfield Bypass, is considered the county's top transportation priority. When completed, the 35-mile road will provide a new cross-country route, extending from Route 7 in the northwest to Route 1 in the southeast.

The county plans to sell revenue bonds through the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission -- which do not require voter approval -- to finance most of the parkway. Howver, a circuit court judge who recently ruled this use of revenue bonds is legal is now reconsidering that ruling.

Other potential bond questions include money for public schools, transportation, human services; public safety and maintenance facilities; housing; storm drainage improvements, and money for trails and sidewalks.

The board is expected to decide what issues to put on the ballot at its Aug. 6 meeting.

SECURITY ALARMS -- The board deferred until July 9 a proposal to charge businesses and homeowners for excessive false alarms for home and office security systems.

County public safety officials have proposed the fine system in an effort to reduce the number of false alarms county police are responding to. The county spent more than $1 million responding to such calls last year, according to figures put out by the Fairfax County police.

The proposed changes are similar to those enacted in other local jurisdictions, including Prince George's and Montgomery counties and the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax.

Under the Fairfax County plan, businesses or residents with more than five false alarms a year, three in four consecutive months or three in one month, would be required to have the devices inspected. Fines of $20 to $150 would be levied for alarms that continue to go off without reason, beginning with the third false alarm in a year.

Last year, 98 percent of all burglar alarms in the county were false, according to Richard A. King, deputy county executive for public safety. Of 37,383 alarms, police were needed in 439 cases, but police personnel spent more than 15,000 hours working the calls. If adopted, the ordinance would be enforced by the Fairfax County Police.

SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTMENTS -- The board reappointed four Fairfax County School Board members to two-year terms on the board. Board members serve staggered terms and are paid $8,000 a year.

The board reappointed Annandale District representative Laura I. McDowall, Springfield District representative Anthony Cardinale and Providence District representative Letty Fleetwood -- all unopposed -- and Mount Vernon representative Armando M. Rodriguez, who was challenged by local PTA leader Joe Brockert for the seat.