Arlington County, Virginia
- 1 Website evaluation
- 2 Elected Officials
- 3 Administrative Officials
- 4 County Employee Salaries and Benefits
- 5 Budget
- 6 Taxes
- 7 Lobbying
- 8 Transparency and Public Records
- 9 Arlington Police Department
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The county was originally founded as Alexandria County on February 27, 1801 by passage of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801. Alexandria County along with the now-defunct Washington County were the two counties formed on that date within the District of Columbia. Due to issues involving congressional representation, abolition and economic decline, the county along with the then-Town of Alexandria were returned to the Commonwealth of Virginia in an act of the U.S. Congress which took effect in 1847. In 1920 the General Assembly of Virginia changed the name of the county to "Arlington County" in order to avoid confusion with Alexandria, which had become an independent city in 1870.
Arlington County is organized legally as one of the counties of Virginia. For purely statistical considerations, it is included with the nearby cities and counties as a city of the Washington Metropolitan Area by the U.S. Census Bureau. With a land area of 26-square miles, Arlington County is geographically the smallest self-governing county in the United States.
In 2005, Arlington was ranked first among walkable cities in the United States by the American Podiatric Medical Association. CNN Money ranked Arlington as the most educated city in 2006 with 35.7% of residents having held graduate degrees. Along with five other counties in Northern Virginia, Arlington ranked among the twenty American counties with the highest median household income in 2006. In October 2008, BusinessWeek ranked Arlington as the safest city in which to weather a recession, with a 49.4% share of jobs in "strong industries." In July 2009, CNN Money ranked Arlington second in the country in its listing of "Best Places for the Rich and Single." In June 2010, Parenting magazine named Arlington as the "Best City for Families" in the country.
- Main article: Evaluation of Virginia county websites
This website was reviewed on an unknown date.
- The most current budget is listed.
- Budgets are archived for 6 years.
- Administrative Officials
- Department heads are listed for each department.
- Contact information for administrative officials is provided including a mailing address, phone number, and personalized email.
- Elected Officials
- Elected officials are listed with a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
- The most recent audit is posted.
- Audits dating back to 11 are available.
- Bids and RFPs are posted online.
- Approved contract statements are provided for vendors.
- Public Records
- The public information officer is identified and maintained by the FOIA officer. This person provides a mailing address, phone number and personalized email.
- A public records form is provided.
- A fee schedule for documents is provided.
- Permits and zoning
Virginia County Board
The five-member County Board is the governing body of Arlington vested with its legislative powers. Members are elected at-large for staggered four year terms and the Chairmanship rotates annually. The County Board makes general policy decisions for all County government functions which the Board-appointed County Manager administrates (e.g., public safety, trash collection, parks and recreation, libraries, etc.). It sets real estate, personal property and other tax rates, and establishes the work program for the County by adoption of an annual budget. The Board makes all land use and zoning decisions within the limitations imposed by the Code of Virginia. It oversees transportation policies related to such issues as widening, narrowing and repairing of County streets, sidewalks and bicycle trails.
Its responsibilities include:
- Make County policy decisions that are administered by the County Manager
- Make land use and zoning decisions
- Set tax rates and annual County budget. See the County Board Guidance for the FY 2012 Budget.
- Respond to constituent concerns
- Appoint community members to Advisory Commissions and Task Forces
- Appoint County Manager, County Attorney and Clerk to the County Board
- Serve on Regional Groups and Commissions
The Chairman receives a salary of $53,900 and each Board member receives a salary of $49,000.
The current County Manager is Barbara Donnellan.
The County Manager's Office provides professional recommendations to, and implements the vision and policies of the County Board; ensures high quality services, with outstanding customer service, at a good value to taxpayers; fosters economic and fiscal sustainability; and enhances Arlington's reputation as a high performing, learning, caring organization that operates in a manner consistent with its mission and values, making Arlington an employer of choice.
The County Manager is the principal administrative officer of the County and is responsible for carrying out policies determined by the County Board, and for the day-to-day operations and management of a broad range of county services. These include those provided by the various departments, with the exception of the Schools, which as stipulated by the Virginia Constitution, come under the jurisdiction of the Superintendent of Schools and the School Board.
Five divisions of the County Manager's Office:
- Constituent Services
- Communications/Public Affairs
- Human Rights
- Legislative Affairs
- Community Corrections
County Manager Salary
No specific salary number is given, but the county does list minimum and maximum annual salaries for County Managers, which are $100,000 and $200,000 respectively.
County Employee Salaries and Benefits
The county provides a table with salary ranges for county positions. Below are the top 5 highest paid positions (based on maximum salary).
|Title||Max. Annual Salary|
| Assistant County Manager
Chief Information Officer
|Pension Investment Officer||$181,438|
Full-time employees participate in the Arlington County Retirement System and contribute 4%-5% of pay. Employees become vested in the plan at five years of service, and may receive the benefit in the form of an annuity on retirement. The County contributes to this defined benefit plan. Also available is a supplemental defined contribution plan (401(a)) to which the County also contributes 1%-2% of pay. In addition, an optional Deferred Compensation Plan (457 plan) is offered with the County matching up to $20 per pay period. County employees are also eligible for Social Security.
For 2011, the county paid $43.2 million into the Arlington County Employee’s Supplemental Retirement System.
For Arlington employees' other post-employment benefits, the county has accrued $202.5 million in unfunded liabilities. For Schools OPEBs, the county has accrued $99 million in unfunded liabilities.
For 2012, Arlington County's budget was $812.3 million for county government, plus $480.5 million for the school board, coming to a total budget of $1.293 billion.
|Area||% of General Fund Budget|
|Management & Administration||4%|
|Courts & Constitutionals||6%|
|Planning & Development||1%|
|Non-Departmental, Regionals, Metro||9%|
|Category||% of Total Revenues|
|Local Sales Tax||4%|
|Other Local Taxes||4%|
The Arlington County Board adopted a $955.9 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 that includes an 8.3-cent increase in the property tax rate. Board members said they listened to hundreds of residents who asked at budget Town Halls and public hearings that core services, funding for non-profits and funding for affordable housing be preserved as the County continues to cope with the economic downturn. Some key facts from the adopted budget include:
- The Board raised the base real estate tax rate 8.0 cents, to $0.945 cents per $100 assessed value.
- The stormwater tax rate was also increased by 0.3 cents to $1.3 cents per $100 of assessed value, for a blended tax rate of $0.958 cents.
- The personal property tax rate will remain at $5 per $100 of assessed value.
- Combined fee increases for water, sewer, trash, recycling and motor vehicle licensing totaled $71 a year.
- The total impact of tax and fee changes for a household, on average, will be an increase of $346 a year, or $29 per month.
- The Board voted to continue a Budget Stabilization Fund, setting aside $3.3 million for unexpected expenses or revenue shortfalls.
- The Board also identified funding to increase the County’s General Fund Operating Reserve from 3.25% to 3.5% as a continued commitment to maintaining the County’s coveted triple-AAA bond rating.
The total budget, which includes appropriations to the Arlington Public Schools, as well as Utility Fund and other self-supported funds, is $1.2 billion, an increase of 0.4 percent from the FY 2010 revised budget.
The local sales tax rate is 1.0%, in addition to a statewide 4.0% sales tax.
Real estate taxes
The county's base real estate tax is $0.945 per $100 in value, and with add-ons, the total real estate tax for Arlington County is $1.126 to $1.163.
- Main article:Virginia government sector lobbying
The county does not contract out for lobbying services -- all lobbying is performed by county employees.
Between May 2009 and April 2010, Arlington County spent $25,474 on state-level lobbying efforts.
Arlington County has reported $220,000 spent lobbying between 2001 and 2005 (see table).
|Year||Amount spent on lobbying|
Transparency and Public Records
Arlington County has a very user-friendly and explanatory page dedicated to FOIA requests. The website outlines citizen FOIA rights, how to make a request, the process of fulfilling a request, costs, guidelines, exemptions, and more.
Arlington Police Department
According to an investigation by Connections Newspaper reporter Michael Pope, the police departments of Fairfax County, Alexandria, and Arlington are among the most secretive and non-transparent in the country. According to the reports, the departments' interpretation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act in effect allows them reject nearly all information requests.
- Arlington Chamber of Commerce
- Arlington Economic Development Department
- Arlington Public Schools (dead link)
- Arlington County on e-Reference
- Arlington County on US Census
- county overview (dead link)
- walkable Arlington
- America's Richest Counties
- Some Cities Will Be Safer in a Recession
- Best Places for the Rich and Single
- Best Cities for Families
- Arlington County, Budgets, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Staff Directory, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Elected Officials, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Meeting Minutes, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Meeting Agendas, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Meeting Calendar, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Audits, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Contracts, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, FOIA Requests, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Taxes in Budgets, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Pay Online, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Lobbying, Accessed: January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Zoning, January 7, 2013
- Arlington County, Building Permits, January 7, 2013
- county attorney
- current manager
- psychiatrist salary range
- physician salary range
- physician supervisor salary range
- http://agency.governmentjobs.com/arlington/default.cfm?action=viewclassspec&classSpecID=731457&agency=596&viewOnly=yes county manager salary range]
- asst. county manager salary range
- CIO salary range
- department director salary range
- pension investment officer salary range
- commonwealth attorney salary range
- Arlington County, "2011 CAFR," accessed November 28, 2011
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- Arlington County, "Federal and state advocacy," accessed November 27, 2011
- Arlington County, "Lobbying Clients," accessed November 27, 2011
- Open Secrets
- FOIA requests
- "Trust Me: You Can Trust Us," Reason Magazine, August 30, 2010
- "Transparency Blackout: Police departments in Northern Virginia refuse to release public documents," Alexandria Gazette Packet, March 18, 2010