Monthly Archives: May 2013

Scott York covers posterior, throws Clarke cement life preserver

Our intrepid all-republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors last night did what all skilled politicians do when a controversial scheme they were hoping to slip through without anyone noticing blows up in their face: Run for cover, and blame others!

The Board voted last night to “refer to committee” Supervisor Janet Clarke’s quarter-baked, secretly developed plan to abolish a dozen citizen advisory boards, including the Rural Economic Development Commission and the Historic District Review Committee. Clarke’s plan triggered a (completely predictable to anyone who has a clue) outraged reaction from the members of the REDC, who held an emergency meeting yesterday morning and issued a strongly worded protest; they were particularly incensed that they had never been consulted or informed about the plan and only learned of it indirectly over the weekend.

Clarke’s plan, it turns out, had in fact been ordered up by Chairman Scott York. But York, seeing which way the wind was blowing, quickly went into full CYA mode, trying to remove his fingerprints from the scheme as fast as humanly possible. He assured the REDC that there had been a “misunderstanding” and that he supported their work. Now many politicians in such a bind resort to such tried and true rhetorical dodges as saying that there were “misunderstandings” or that the proposal was merely a “starting point for discussion.” You don’t normally expect, however, a politician to argue as a point in his favor, “I was on repeated taxpayer-funded  junkets to Germany so  didn’t have a clue what was going on.” But that’s what York told the REDC yesterday, according to Leesburg Today: “York said he had not put any effort into it, being involved with other things and being out of the country at times.”

Additional facts about how Clarke went about her “study” underscore that it was a hatchet job from the get-go, determined to trump up some justification for getting rid of what this Board of Supervisors obviously considers a major irritant: to wit, any official venues where differing views can be aired and citizens involved in the business of county government. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Clarke’s arrogant power-grab

More dumbfounding details have emerged about the no-warning plan which Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) sprung a couple of days ago to immediately terminate the Rural Economic Development Commission, the Historic District Review Committee, and a dozen other county boards and commissions that just happen to represent interests which the all-Republican Board of Supervisors sees as a threat to its absolute control of local government:

Not only did Clarke or the Board fail to give the public any warning that such a sweeping government reorganization plan was being considered at all — much less that it will be taken up and voted on tomorrow — but she did not even talk to the committees affected or the constituencies they represent. The members of the REDC only learned about the proposal indirectly over the weekend: in other words three days before the Supervisors plan to move on the proposal. Continue reading

Our power-hungry pols

Our all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors have pulled off yet another political power grab, getting a bill passed in Richmond to make Loudoun the only county in the entire state in which the Board of Supervisors, and not the judges of the Circuit Court, will henceforth get to appoint the local Board of Equalization — an anachronistic but incredibly powerful body that has complete authority to revise real estate assessments. Continue reading

Farming and history is so yesterday

SO Loudoun Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), who represents one of two rural districts in the county, has a new plan for better representing her district’s interests: under a proposal sprung on the public with the usual couple of days’ notice, the Board of Supervisors will be voting this Wednesday, May 15, on her motions to eliminate the Rural Economic Development Commission and the Historic District Review Committee, among other “reforms.”

Though billed as part of a larger overhaul of committees and commissions in an effort to “streamline” government, Clarke’s proposal would of course faithfully preserve all of the committees that serve the interests of the developer and loony lobbies that the all-Republican Board owes so much to (notably the “Zoning Ordinance Action Group” that keeps up a steady supply of developer-friendly zoning changes and the laughable Lyme Commission that is spending upwards of $100,000 a year on completely duplicative and wasteful efforts to justify its existence).

It’s only the citizens whom Clarke supposedly represents who lose under her proposal. But then, this Board has never left any doubt who their real constituents are: the folks who gave ’em half a million bucks in the last election, and the various fringe extremists like politico-religious zealot and Lyme loony extraordinaire Michael Farris who control the Loudoun County Republican Committee.