- "The state of the County is good. Actually the state of the County is great!" said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey at yesterday's State of the County forum. Held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Washington DC - Crystal City, the event was attended by 150 business leaders, elected officials, and community figures.
Chair Garvey presented about the economic and developme
ntal status of
Arlington and answered a range of questions from those in attendance.
At this event, Garvey touted the strength of Arlington's business services and economic health, but emphasized that there is still work to do. She discussed the difficulty that businesses face operating in Arlington and how the Board is coming together and working with staff to make Arlington an attractive and accessible place for business with streamlined systems and economic incentives. "We are hustling" she said, "which is something new for Arlington." With three new faces, the County Board has certainly experienced a shake up in the past two years. When asked about the feedback she received as a candidate for her own seat, Garvey said that she thinks voters see that Arlington is in a good place, and that they understand there is a "willingness to listen."
Garvey provided updates on many of the core functions and services that the County is responsible for including the school system, attracting and retaining businesses, and County economic performance. She emphasized that Arlington has once again received a AAA bond rating, even despite a high commercial vacancy rate, allowing the County to issue bonds at low interest rates.
In response to questions about Columbia Pike Garvey said that though the area is wonderful, but "we could do a little better job on the Pike" and mentioned her hope for a "single-seat trip" from West Columbia Pike to Crystal City, and the potential for a "Crystal-Pike Transitway." To questions about the challenges of the Metro system, Garvey praised the work of WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, saying "If anybody can fix this, I think Paul Wiedefeld can do it."
This was Libby's first time presenting the State of the County. Chair Garvey is up for reelection in November and will face Independent Audrey Clement.