As one of its very first gifts to the real estate development industry that put them in office, the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted back in January to eliminate the very successful volunteer program that had been cleaning up illegal signs along Loudoun’s roadsides.
A small sample of the fruits of the board's Keep Loudoun Ugly campaign.
At that time, Ken “Ken” Reid (R-Leesburg) provided a classic Orwellian rationale for the board’s action: he explained that the very success of the program was its failure—since the 50,000 illegal signs the volunteers had cleaned up had added to the stream of paper, wood, and “paint chemicals” choking the county landfill.
In place of the 100 or so volunteers who were able to attack the problem all across the county and do so on weekends when the developers blanket the roadsides with hundreds of their illegal eyesores, the new “program” the board adopted to replace it consists of a single county employee who devotes one weekday a week (with a break for lunch).
Having defined success as failure, it’s probably no surprise that Ken’s fellow board members have now added the nicely symmetrical argument that failure is success.
County staff reported to the board’s land use committee last week that the new sign cleanup effort had so far bagged a mere 300 signs, versus 1,800 collected under the volunteer program during the same period last year. Continue reading