Under the previous Board of Supervisors, Loudoun obtained from VDOT the authority to enforce the longstanding state law banning the placement of signs in rights of way. Because some 100 volunteers signed up to carry out the job of cleaning up this trash from our roadways, the cost to the county was negligible.
Last year as one of its first official acts, the new all-Republican Board abolished the volunteer sign cleanup program without warning. (Supervisor “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) added to the civility of debate by calling these hard-working volunteers “Sign Nazis.”) The blight that has ensued with the end of the program is out there for all to see. Every weekend especially the county’s roadways are littered with crappy real estate, furniture liquidators, mattress discounters, and other advertising signs. The abolition of the cleanup program of course was a big fat political payoff to the developer industry that bankrolled the Loudoun GOP’s election campaign.
All sorts of bogus excuses have come from the Board and the Loudoun Republican machine about why Loudoun can’t enforce the law against littering the roadways. Interesting that Fairfax County is now moving to enforce the law and to do so at considerable expense using county staff resources (estimated at $150,000 a year). One Republican Fairfax supervisor said it well in explaining why this trashing of the roadways has to end:
“It’s a safety issue. It’s a blight issue. It is a pride in the community issue.”
Maybe our esteemed elected representatives might show a little pride in their community, too?