From Arlington County Clerk of the Court Paul Ferguson:
Dear Fellow Supporter of Arlington’s Environmental Programs,
We have a serious issue! I need your help! Arlington County is recognized as a regional and national leader for its environmental programs. Unfortunately, there is a proposal that cuts 2.5 staff positions (1/3 of the program!) from Arlington’s Initiative to Rethink Energy (AIRE).
The cuts would eliminate (1) the Arlington Green Home Choice Program which assists homeowners with energy efficient renovations and construction; 2) development of Arlington’s District Energy Program; and (3) outreach and education to reduce emissions through individual behavior change.
AIRE was funded in 2007 by instituting a utility tax that is partially or fully rebated if energy usage is minimal. In 2007, the County Board unanimously stated that the funds from the utility tax would go directly to the AIRE initiative. The money from the existing utility tax is sufficient to continue funding the initiative and avoid the proposed cuts.
Only Jay Fisette and Walter Tejada were on the Board in 2007 when the AIRE initiative started. Jay has led efforts to expand the initiative – resulting in the adoption of the Community Energy Plan with broad community support. Economic competitiveness is a key goal of the plan.
I am told that the issue is “under the radar” and that the Board has received only a “few” emails opposing the proposed cuts. I urge you to email the County Board Members individually and explain why the AIRE initiative is important to you. The email can be short, opposing the proposed cut of the 2.5 staff, and should be received ASAP. The AIRE initiative empowers Arlington residents and businesses to do their part to reduce emissions and fight Global Warming while saving money. Let the Board know that Arlington values this program!
Email addresses for County Board Members are below. Thank you in advance for taking the time to voice your opinion.
Former County Board Chairman
Mary Hynes firstname.lastname@example.org
Libby Garvey email@example.com
John Vihstadt Jvihstadt@arlingtonva.us
Walter Tejada firstname.lastname@example.org
Jay Fisette email@example.com