The never-makes-a-mistake Board

Unlike normal mortals, our all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors has never made a mistake.

Several times recently they have planned to do incredibly stupid things, motivated by the worst political pandering, only to have it blow up in their faces when word leaked out to the citizens at large (who do not share the wacko political agendas of the fringe GOP voting blocs the Board was trying to curry favor with). When that happens, does our Board acknowledge it made a mistake, apologize for trying to do something incredibly idiotic, apologize for trying to slip it past an unsuspecting public, and vow to do better next time?

When pigs fly.

The most recent example of this MO in action was with the Board’s remarkably obtuse plan to spray dangerous pesticides in several county parks, including the Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve, as part of its unscientific and misguided “attack” on Lyme disease. The Board, we now learn, utterly ignored vigorous internal protests from staff, which pointed out the ridiculousness of spraying pesticides in a nature preserve — especially one that had just been certified pesticide-free! (The Board earlier ignored the recommendations of the one scientifically literate official involved in the whole  crazy Lyme project, the county health officer, who pointed out that trying to control Lyme disease by spraying pesticides in a few parks in the hopes of reducing tick numbers is futile, unscientific, ineffective, counterproductive, and unsupported by scientific research. But his was a voice in a political wilderness.)

The day before spraying was to begin last month, the county issued a press release revealing the parks to be sprayed and the spraying schedule. Luckily, bad weather intervened and the spraying of Banshee was postponed a few days. That gave outraged citizens the chance they had not had up until then to learn about this idiotic plan and protest it.

A few days later, the Board quietly canceled the planned spraying of Banshee Reeks. (All of this was done behind the scenes.)

But did the Board even admit they had made a mistake in including Banshee in the first place? Did they admit that they had backed down only because citizens protested? Did they admit that it is a bad idea to do things in secret and not allow just possibly better informed people (we do have a lot of scientifically trained and environmentally knowledgeable folks in Loudoun) have a chance to weigh in? Did they admit that maybe they ought to listen to their own better informed staff next time?

No, instead Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), for one, has been acting as if  he doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. He responded to one constituent who protested the spraying of Banshee as follows:

“As a note, the spraying at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve was cancelled.”

Thanks for that “note,” Geary! That sure clears it all up. A complete explanation, a handsome apology, and a warm thanks to the people of Loudoun for saving the Board from another of its half-cocked and unbaked ideas.


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