As the Blue Ridge Leader points out in an excellent editorial (amazing how the only paper we have left covering the substance of county government is run on a shoestring), the failure of the new Republican board of supervisors to consider imposing on itself an ethics policy has already proved to be most convenient.
Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), as mentioned here yesterday, has been the leading manufacturer of creative interpretations of the term “ethics”; in her case, she seems to believe that (a) no ethics policy is required for the Board of Supervisors but (b) an ethics policy, with “ethics” defined as fealty to Janet Clarke’s political positions and not saying anything mean about her friends on the Purcellville Town Council, is required for citizens serving on volunteer boards and commissions in the county (because they are “representing the . . . image” of the county). Clear?
The Blue Ridge Leader editorial mentions two votes Clarke has participated in already that would have been directly barred by a (real) ethics policy — such as, for example, the policy adopted by the previous board and signed by all supervisors except the ever-reliable Eugene Delgaudio (R-Alpha Centauri).
In both cases Clarke voted to approve measures directly affecting and directly sought by campaign contributors. There’s more of this ilk to come.
CORRECTION Unlike the pope when promulgating doctrine on faith and morals or the new all-Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors when evaluating its own ethical standards, this blog is fallible, and in yesterday’s post it incorrectly stated that Janet Clarke was on the Purcellville Town Council at the time the council executed its “Quick Take” condemnation of land last spring for the new “Southern Collector Road,” and at the time of her friendly little visit last summer to vineyard owner and land-grab opponent Stephen Mackey, during which visit she told him how worried he was about his reputation, and what a shame it would be if anything was to happen to it. Clarke was in fact on the council only from 2006 to 2008 (appointed to fill a vacancy, she was never elected to the post); since then she has merely played the role of unofficial henchperson and enforcer of the Purcellville Mafia’s pro-developer juggernaut.
Her role as a key proponent of the annexation and condemnation of Crooked Run Orchard does however date from her time on the council; in 2008 while on the council she tried to obtain as part of the settlement of Purcellville’s lawsuit against Loudoun County (over the location of a new high school) the county’s agreement to the town’s (probably illegal) annexation of the land for its new “Collector Road.” The county refused. Ms. Clarke’s took care of that with the snappy 9–0 vote in closed session last week by the Board of Supervisors that ended the county’s efforts to halt the town’s (probably illegal) annexation.
Again, for full details, see the estimable Blue Ridge Leader, here.