Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Look at Proposed Cuts to Arlington's Environmental Services

Just got this email from Elenor Hodges, executive director of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment:
I am sure you know that the Arlington County Board is facing a lot of hard decisions, including budgetary constraints. Some of you may have received information that the County Manager's proposed budget includes closing Gulf Branch Nature Center and cuts to the County's invasive removal program.

Some people have asked for information on the budget timeline and how to comment:

- The February 21 meeting will include a presentation of the proposed budget by Ron Carlee (CountyManager@arlingtonva.us or telephone 703-228-3120).

- Interested members of the public may comment on the proposed budget at the Tuesday, March 24 County Board Public Budget Hearing or via email at countyboard@arlingtonva.us.

- The budget will be finalized at the April 29 County Board meeting.

Visit the Arlington County web site for additional information and updates on the FY 2010 County Budget process.
I'm watching Carlee unveil his budget right now on Comcast channel 74. Considering the overall cuts under discussion, including 100 staff positions, cutting services and eliminating Planet Arlington and the Neighborhood Day parade, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ask the environmental community to give something back as well. As long as Gulf Branch park remains open, closing a less-utilized nature center seems unfortunate but not draconian.

What do you think? Did Carlee's proposed budget do a good job of protecting important environmental programs? Any other cuts that you'd object to?
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