Amateur hour

Aside from the sheer political ineptness of drawing up in complete secrecy a plan to eliminate a dozen important government advisory commissions — and, even more incredibly, doing so without even consulting or informing the members of the committees to be abolished, or the citizen constituencies they represent — Loudoun Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) has ably demonstrated why this is a bad idea: if you don’t bother to gather any facts, you make yourself look like an idiot.

Clarke’s plan — which was sprung without warning a couple of days ago and will be presented for a vote to the Board of Supervisors today, and which would axe the Historic District Review Committee, the Rural Economic Development Commission, the Commuter Bus Advisory Board, the Affordable Dwelling Unit Advisory Board, and other bodies that provide expert and citizen input to a local government increasingly unwilling to listen to anyone but themselves — offers no logical rationales whatsoever for any of the proposed changes.

The rationales it does provide are in fact comical in places. My favorite was this “explanation,” vying for the Ken Reid Impenetrable Prose Award, for why the Transportation Safety Committee should be abolished:

To put all transportation under a committee called “Transportation Advisory Board” and eliminate the Transportation Safety Committee due to an environment of multimodal transport.

Yes, I guess we can’t worry about safety when we’re in “an environment of multimodal transport,” whatever that may be.

She then goes on to explain that this nefarious committee also needs to be axed because of its recent rogue behavior:

This committee has recently sent a letter on letter head that says ”Transportation Improvement & Safety Commission” although that is not the name designated by the Board of Supervisors.

Yes, indeed! Shocking behavior that must be slapped down with authority if the all-Republican Board of Supervisors is to retain control over the forces of anarchy! Except . . . that its name, according to the county’s own website, is the “Transportation Improvement and Safety Commission,” and its official bylaws, also posted on the county website, begin as follows: “Article I. The name of this organization shall be the Loudoun County Transportation Improvement and Safety Commission.”

Our local “news”paper I see refers to Clarke’s plan as a “study.” But to be a study, don’t you first need to “study” something, such as for example the information posted on the very website of the county government you are proposing to overhaul?

Just asking!

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