Yesterday evening, Libby was sworn in to the Arlington County Board. Weren’t able to make it? That’s OK! You can watch the video courtesy of Arlington County!
Prefer to read her remarks? Keep reading for the full transcript.
Thank you all for coming. This includes those who are here virtually, I think I have some family watching me from various places, including my grandchildren Hi Jeremiah, Mikaela, Owen and Megan! And maybe my mother in Madison Wisconsin: Hi Mom!
Isn’t technology wonderful? We are so lucky to live in a time where technology can help us not only work faster and better, but also bring us closer.
And you only need to read the front page of the paper any day of the week to see how lucky we are to live in a democracy that works well – we have an election and a simple swearing in ceremony and leadership continues. Of course, those of us who live in Arlington County are very fortunate indeed.
I feel very blessed to be able to continue to serve as an elected official for this community.
As you know, I come to this new position after 15 years on the School Board. It has been a true honor, privilege and real pleasure to serve on the School Board. Some of our staff and my school board colleagues are here and I assure everyone that our school system is in very good hands with my board colleagues, our superintendent and his wonderful staff.
I want to express my gratitude and deep respect for them and for all our teachers, principals, support staff, and administrators who serve our children each and every school day, always committed to doing whatever it takes to help our students learn, and often performing small miracles that improve the lives of our children and their families.
I look forward to now joining Mary, Chris, Jay and Walter in serving the County in new ways. I look forward to working with our outstanding County Manager, Barbara Donnellan. And with her committed and talented staff and the employees of Arlington County. I know these are the people who do the work needed to make Arlington one of the best places in the world to live.
As this is a bit of a “getting to know you” opportunity, I’d like to share with you a few words that always guide me in my public service. First is the mission statement of Marriott Corporation: “We are committed to being the best lodging and food service company in the world, by treating employees in ways that create extraordinary customer service and shareholder value.”
Obviously, our schools and our County are not Marriott Corporation, BUT, I love the simplicity of this message: it clearly says its all about the people who do the work. Our employees are where the rubber hits the road. If you have quality employees and you, as a Board member, treat them well: with good policies, clear direction and strong support, they will in turn render extraordinary service to the people we serve: the residents of Arlington County.
The other phrase I like is quite short: “don’t let good be the enemy of great” which is another way of saying, “don’t rest on your laurels.” In many ways I see our excellent and well deserved reputation for being one of the best places to live as the biggest challenge we face. We’re really good in Arlington, and we love to be forward looking, which is great, but…..it can be all to easy to forget that no matter how good we are we need to constantly examine what we do and how we do it, to make sure our core responsibilities are being met and we are serving our citizens as they want to be served.
Another good phrase is: “brevity is the soul of wit” So, we’ll keep this short. I’m leaping right in tomorrow with my first County Board meeting. As many of you know, it will be with our School Board. It’s a meeting that has been on my calendar for some time, I just haven’t been sure on which side of the table I would be sitting.
I believe Hope Halleck and Jessica Gilmore have put together some light refreshments: thank you Hope and Jessica. I hope you will all stay a bit and visit. Thank you again for coming.