Chair, Arlington County Board
Jay Fisette was elected to the Arlington County Board in 1998, serving as the Board’s chair in 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2014. Mr. Fisette believes deeply in Arlington’s tradition of policy-based good government, strong civic engagement, progressive social policies coupled with responsible fiscal policies, and effective regional engagement. As a former Government Accountability Office (GAO) auditor, he has long been a proponent of fiscal discipline and accountability in balancing responsible tax policies with needed public investments.
In 2016, Mr. Fisette is focusing on: (1) school and facility siting needs; (2) economic competitiveness; (3) housing affordability; and (4) balancing the budget with our values. Please see his January 1 speech here.
In 2001, Mr. Fisette oversaw Arlington’s response to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon in 2001. He then served on the Regional Emergency Preparedness Council.
Mr. Fisette is an avid environmentalist and an advocate for smart growth and New Urbanism principles, such as the importance of linking land use and transportation, providing robust transportation options, and designing inviting public spaces. His 2010 initiative to develop a Community Energy Plan is designed to ensure Arlington’s sustainability and competitiveness for decades into the future.
As president of the Virginia Municipal League (VML) from 2007-08, Mr. Fisette created VML’s Go Green Virginia Initiative, which established an annual friendly competition among local governments across the Commonwealth to promote sustainability and reduce their carbon footprints. The Initiative has been enormously successful and has expanded to include the Virginia Association of School Boards and the Virginia Association of Counties. He later served on the National Association of Counties’ Green Government Advisory Board.
Mr. Fisette works to advance pedestrian and bicycle activity and safety. He started Arlington’s Community Bike Ride in 2005, receiving an award for Visionary Leadership in Bicycle Transportation from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. Mr. Fisette also was a major contributor to Capital BikeShare’s start and success in the Washington Metropolitan region.
Mr. Fisette has been a leader in expanding Arlington’s e-government capabilities, including initiatives to improve service delivery and bridge the digital divide. He also pioneered Arlington’s Walking Town Meetings, with Board members touring various neighborhoods with its residents, listening and learning about local issues.
In 2007, Mr. Fisette received the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s (COG’s) highest honor – the Elizabeth and David Scull Public Service Award for leadership and dedication to regionalism. He has served on and/or led many regional bodies, including COG’s Climate Energy and Environment Policy Committee, the regional Air Quality Committee and the Transportation Planning Board, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. He is a member of the Ashton Heights Civic Association, the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Arlington, the Arlington Committee of 100, the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, Equality Virginia, and Leadership Greater Washington.
Prior to serving the County Board, Mr. Fisette served as the director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic of Northern Virginia from 1990 to 1998, as a staff consultant to the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee from 1988 to 1989, and as an auditor with the GAO from 1983 to 1988. He has a Master of Arts degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Bucknell University. An Arlington resident since 1983, Mr. Fisette and his husband, Bob Rosen, have been residents of the Ashton Heights neighborhood since 1987.