The Arlington County Board
The five-member County Board is Arlington’s governing body and is vested with its legislative powers.
Elected at-large, Board members serve staggered four-year terms and include an annually rotating chair, who is the official County head and presides over Board meetings, and a vice chair, both of whom are elected at the annual January Organizational Meeting. The chair and the vice chair have the same powers and duties as other Board members — a vote but no veto power.
The chair’s salary is $59,610. All other Board members receive a $53,282 salary.
Although Board membership is “part time,” Board members spend many hours preparing for and attending Board meetings; meeting with residents and stakeholders; responding to mail; researching issues and representing the County at local functions and on regional bodies.
The County Board hires four positions:
- Clerk of the Board — Hope Halleck
- County Attorney — Stephen MacIsaac
- County Auditor — Dr. Chris Horton
- County Manager — Mark Schwartz
- Makes County policy decisions that the County Manager administers (e.g., public safety, trash collection, parks and recreation, libraries, etc.)
- Makes land use and zoning decisions within the limitations imposed by the Code of Virginia
- Sets real estate, personal property and other tax rates
- Annually provides Budget Guidance to the Manager, reviews the Manager’s proposed budget and adopts the budget
- Oversees transportation policies related to such issues as widening; narrowing; and repairing County streets, sidewalks and bicycle trails
- Responds to constituent concerns: email the County Board
- Appoints community members to citizen advisory groups (submit application)
- Appoints the County Manager, County Attorney, County Auditor and the Clerk to the County Board
- Serves on regional, statewide and national advisory groups and commissions, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Virginia Association of Counties and National Association of Regional Councils.