Making Democracy Work

Arlington Local Positions D.

D. Public Facilities

PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM (2003; 2010)


D1. Libraries

The League of Women Voters of Arlington supports an ongoing program expansion and modernization to ensure all members of the community are adequately served by the Arlington County Public Library Services, to include:

a. Maintenance of the physical facilities of the Arlington County Public Library System, accompanied by the hiring of adequate staff and the prompt filling of staff vacancies.

b. Improvements by the library System of its services to groups with special needs: ensuring that library facilities are accessible to people with disabilities and providing materials and programs to those with limited English skills.

c. Continuing assessment by the library of the needs of other groups in the community.

d. Ongoing training for staff and patrons to adapt to the rapidly changing technology in the library system. To included availability of trained staff to assist patrons in the use of new technologies.(2003)

D. Public Facilities

RECREATION (2000; 2016)

Resource Management —
The urbanization of Arlington has made issues of resource management an increasingly significant mission of the Department of Parks and Recreation. To meet these increasingly complex responsibilities, the League of Women Voters of Arlington supports:

1. The update and periodic review by DPR of its strategic plan to create a charter that is realistic about limitations and opportunities.

2. The enhancement and utilization of an Open Space Master Plan that includes a complete inventory of space by category (e.g., sewers, median strips, parks) which will be the basis for a space budget for outdoor recreational activities.

3. The creation and maintenance of an attendance/use records system that captures data needed to identify populations served by the department and clarify which programs have the most broad-based community support.

4. The assumption by DPRCR of additional responsibilities only if it is clear that a program will meet a defined, measurable need, has broad-based community support and if resources are first committed to the implementation of these responsibilities. Broad-based community support is considered involvement at the community base closest to the source of delivery of services.

5. The allocation of adequate funding/staff to the maintenance of natural and man-made resources, without undue reliance on the use of volunteers, as well as continuing exploration of further ways to forge public and private partnerships to acquire additional resources.

6. Exploration of the use of new technologies (e.g., "green buildings") and of new surface materials to address the concentrated use of athletic fields.

Meeting the Needs and Interests of All —
Given that fees cover the personnel and equipment expenses for programs for those who can pay, DPRCR funds a number of programs and services to meet the needs and interests of those who cannot pay, the League of Women Voters of Arlington supports:


1. Placing a high priority on concern for those residents most in need and locating services near them.

2. The policy of the Sports Division that gives priority to youth and residency.

3. Clarification of priorities in divisions (other than the Sports Division) among populations served: youth vs. adults, residents vs. nonresidents, for example.

4. The allocation of adequate funds for programs designed to meet the nontraditional needs of immigrants and refugees (such as ESL and homemaking classes).

5. Experimenting with new techniques to increase free enrollment and the use of the sliding fee schedule option for those who cannot afford to pay for fee-charging activities.

6. Looking for ways to bring classes that charge fees elsewhere to low-income neighborhoods where they are not offered.

7. Continuing the exploration of opening community center space to private groups or to the schools to provide day care for preschool children.

8. The continuance by the Cultural Affairs Division of reaching out to the community by providing programs to under-served areas with emphasis on programs for youth.

Community Building —
DPRCR's vitality reflects the energy and imagination of staff and residents who have initiated new programs that not only contribute to individual well being, but also contribute to Arlington's sense of community. The League of Women Voters of Arlington supports the initiation by DPRCR of serious public discussion of:

1. The community's and DPRCR's environmental role in maintaining and preserving the landscaping and park areas.

2. Transportation services that will make DPRCR sites and programs more accessible to all.

3. Ways to reduce friction among competing constituencies, challenging community advisory groups to assist in this process.

4. The possibility of constructing a performing arts center at Courthouse Plaza, as long as this item appears in the County's Capital Improvement Plan.

5. The need for and feasibility of constructing a modern community swimming facility.

D. Public Facilities

TRANSPORTATION

The League of Women Voters of Arlington supports:

1. Public mass transportation subsidy because of the benefits provided to all citizens, which include: the availability of transportation regardless of income, the reduction of traffic congestion and the reduction of air pollution. (1984 and 1992)

2. Meeting operation costs of Metro by farebox receipts plus subsidies coming from five sources:

  • County - there should be less dependence on the County as a source of funding;
  • Northern Virginia regional sources;
  • State - help in financing Metro operating deficits;
  • Federal - help on a continuing basis (1977); and
  • Employer participation in subsidy programs. (1991)

3. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) policies to reduce operating costs while not lowering the quality of transportation services; studies of cost-saving measures which should include:

  • the number of positions in management and operations
  • salary levels
  • the farecard system, including transfers
  • route selections
  • alternative structures for the WMATA Board. (1977 and 1991)

4. County support of existing volunteer and special transportation services. (1977 and 1991

5. Small-bus transportation services being provided by volunteer, private, or business organizations, complementing public transportation, and, as feasible and appropriate, encouragement of expansions of such services, and publicity to promote efficient use. (1991)

6. The enforcement of the standards set in the County's Master Sidewalk Plan. (1978 and 1991)

7. The enactment and enforcement by the County of a sidewalk snow removal ordinance. (1978 and 1991)