Arlington County Board chairman sets 2014 priorities

At the traditional New Year’s Day meeting of the Arlington County Board, Chairman Jay Fisette laid out his priorities for the coming year. “It won’t surprise you that my focus this year will be on sustainability, the ability to prosper through change,” he said. “Everything we do should be judged by how it advances our goal of building a community that will sustain Arlingtonians for generations to come.”

Among the priorities cited by Fisette (D) were making Arlington a hub of the area’s “innovation economy”; strengthening the partnership among government, businesses, entrepreneurs and residents; accommodating a growing student population in the public schools; intensifying efforts to preserve affordable housing; and adopting a 25-year strategy to achieve zero waste in the county.

Fisette was elected to his fifth term on the County Board in November and elected its 2014 chairman at the Jan. 1 meeting. The full text of his remarks is at

Free leadership program extends application deadline

The application deadline for Arlington County’s Neighborhood College program on civic leadership, a development session for residents, has been extended to Friday. The free eight-week session is designed to teach Arlingtonians how to get involved and advocate for change in their communities.

The program is open to residents 18 and older, with priority given to people from 11 areas: Buckingham, Columbia Heights West, Pike Village Center, Nauck, Arlington View, Long Branch Creek, Radnor/Fort Myer Heights, Barcroft, Lyon Park, Penrose and Westover.

Neighborhood College will be from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays from Feb. 13 through April 3 at the Arlington County Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Dinner, Spanish translation and child care are provided. For information, visit .

Arlington delays next phase
of upgrading Long Bridge

Contract bids for the second phase of Long Bridge Park construction will not be considered by the County Board early this year as planned, County Manager Barbara Donnellan said. Bids for the construction, which included aquatics, health and fitness facilities, were higher than estimated and need to be assessed further by architects, a statement said.

“The County Board and the community will continue their careful consideration of the costs and benefits of building and operating this facility as we shape the fiscal year 2015 Budget and the Capital Improvement Program,” Donnellan said.

Henry Elementary named state distinguished school

The Virginia Board of Education has recognized Patrick Henry Elementary School as a Title I distinguished school. Henry is one of 55 schools statewide honored for raising the academic achievement of economically disadvantaged students. The awards are based on student performance on Standards of Learning assessments in the 2012-13 and 2011-12 school years.

“I commend the staff, students and families at Henry for this accomplishment,” Superintendent Pat Murphy said in a statement by Arlington public schools. “We recognize that when all students are challenged and when teachers and families work together to set high expectations, our kids will rise to the challenge and excel.”