Only one Arlington County Board member has served in office longer than departing board chairman Jay Fisette’s 20 years. And he thinks she deserves a special honor.
One of Fisette’s goals as he begins to close out his last months in office is to rename the county government’s headquarters in honor of the late Ellen Bozman, who served a record six terms on the County Board from 1974 to 1997, when she retired.
Fisette succeeded to the seat of Bozman in 1997, and has gone on to serve five terms. He opted not to seek re-election this year; Democrat Erik Gutshall and independents Audrey Clement and Charles McCullough are vying to succeed him.
The prospect of renaming the government center – located at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. – in honor of Bozman has not been discussed publicly among board members, although it recently garnered support of the Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB).
Current government naming policy dictates that an individual be dead at least five years before having a facility named in his or her honor; Bozman died in January 2009 at age 83.
The proposal to rename the government center was one of a number of priorities Fisette supplied at the request of the Sun Gazette.
“As you will see, it’s not a short list,” he said. “No slacker here!”
Among the others:
• Fisette wants to see the county government make “significant progress” on plans for Four Mile Run, the Public Spaces Master Plan update and the bike element of the Master Transportation Plan.
• He aims to complete a number of actions related to affordable housing, including a code amendment for accessory-dwelling units and adoption of a framework for tools to protect market-rate affordable units.
• He proposes to move forward on a number of initiatives related to the Community Energy Plan.
• He wants to develop a funding strategy “the stakeholders can rally behind” for the Metro system.
• He aims to initiate a joint-planning process for the Arlington Career Center site and a review process for the proposed new facility at the Reed School.
Arlington established its County Board form of government in 1932. The five-member, at-large board supplanted the previous Board of Supervisors, which had been composed of three members elected in districts and had served as Arlington’s governing body since shortly after the Civil War.