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Budget Recommendation: Cut Programs, Find Efficiencies

At times, the preliminary budget recommendations from Arlington’s Fiscal Affairs Advisory Commission sound more like something you’d hear on CNBC than at a county board meeting. While recommending that next year’s estimated $25-$35 million budget shortfall be made up by a 50-50 combination of spending cuts and tax increases, the commission says that longer-term changes might be necessary.

“The County may have to make structural changes to accommodate continued significant financial challenges,” the commission said in a three-page report to the county board. “Those changes may include improved efficiencies, outsourcing (to realize improved efficiencies and reduced labor costs) and changes in service levels.”

FAAC recommends that the board “require departments to identify and implement operational efficiency improvements,” and “reduce or eliminate funding for programs that are no longer needed, are not effective, or are no longer affordable.”

The recommendations come at a time when the county will be taking on new operating expenses as a result of several major capital projects. Those projects include the Mary Marshall Assisted Living Residence, Artisphere (which opens this week) and the Columbia Pike revitalization project (which includes the assumption of road maintenance costs from the state).

The commission praised the board for balancing priorities during recent budget cycles, calling the past three budgets “fiscally prudent and responsive to pressing human service needs.”

“Arlington has been fiscally fortunate in comparison to many jurisdictions, in part because of a legacy of strong planning and prudent investments,” the report concludes. “However, the fiscal picture remains uncertain, and we believe that the recommendations contained in this report may provide additional options for the Board to consider in the development of the FY 2012 budget.”

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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.

Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.

We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.

For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.

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Almost, Maine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, join us for a series of vignettes that revolve around the theme of love. Taking place in an almost-town called Almost, Maine, we will show you different, but important, facet of love in each

First-time Moms Meet & Greet

The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…

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