Board to citizens: Who asked your opinion?

The last time the Loudoun Board of Supervisors was run by that offshoot of the development industry known as the Loudoun County Republican Committee, in 2003–2007, it made a practice of ridiculing, harassing, and even threatening citizens who came to speak in opposition to their developer giveaways. (One citizen was told by a Republican supervisor that he ought to move to Canada if he didn’t like their pro-rampant-growth policies; another who tried to present a petition was literally threatened with a legal investigation on the supposed ground that the names were forged.)

The current all-Republican Scott York (R-Frequently At Large) Board is much smoother. They have merely drastically cut opportunities for public comment, rearranged the meeting schedule so that they can actually vote on controversial matters before the public comment period the same day (they did that on the budget that slashed the school’s funding this year), and adopted controversial matters with minimal public notice or behind the scenes altogether (eliminating the volunteer illegal-sign cleanup program, appointing developer reps and party hacks to important commissions that guide zoning and development rules).

The Board used to allow citizens to speak for 3 minutes; now it is 2 minutes, and sometimes 1 minute.

There is an exception, of course: those with pending applications before the Board are allowed to speak much longer. Gee, who would that be?


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