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Arlington County Appoints New Leaders

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sean Casey

    The Arlington County Board bucks the trend of government officials not working on the federal holiday each new year, and Monday was no different.

    The Board started the new year by appointing a new chair and vice-chair, according to News4's Julie Carey. Mary Hughes Hynes was appointed the new Arlington County Chair while Walter Tejada was appointed the new county vice-chair.

    The meeting was held amid news that there were zero homicides in the county in 2011.

    During the meeting, Hynes named her initiatives for the new year. She said her top priority is the development of better civic engagement -- i.e. getting the community more involved in county issues -- and unveiled her “PLACE -- Participation, Leadership And Civic Engagement” initiative, which she hopes will strengthen what she calls the "Arlington Way" of public participation in government decision-making.

    “We've been busy building this great place more than 60 years, and we have had many successes to show for it,” Hynes said in a release. "Our challenge now is to ensure that Arlington – our home town -- continues to tap into our residents’ and County staff’s talents so that Arlington remains a great place for all kinds of folks – even in these increasingly demanding times.”

    Meanwhile, Tejada's focus will be on urban agriculture.  He said he will create a task force to “research best practices in sustainable urban agriculture policies and programs.”

    “My hope is that we can develop an inventory of existing programs and activities, identify gaps, and explore new options such as rooftop gardens, land exchanges, demonstration gardens, and backyard hens, and investigate issues concerning food security, health and fitness benefits, and food and zoning ordinance changes,” he said.

    For more information on the meeting, click here.

    Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for more information.