Cost of 'Selling' the County

A recent Loudoun Extra article described the work of Loudoun County's Department of Economic Development and how it sells the county to prospective companies looking for a new location ["Courting Corporations," June 17]. The department's budget is quoted as "about $1 million."

This is preposterous. Here we are in a county already so overdeveloped that we rank as third in the nation in growth. New arrivals are said to number 1,000 per month. Overbuilding has created an incredible school system debt. The water supply of the future is endangered by increasing the demand. Officials decry the inadequacy of the road network struggling to service the ever increasing traffic.

In the face of these dire conditions, Loudoun County continues to "sell" itself at the cost of a million dollars per year?

I find it egregious that the Department of Economic Development sent a delegation to Harvard to recruit workers for companies here. If local companies need to recruit talent, let them spend their own money on recruiting, not taxpayer money. The Department of Economic Development should be abolished. The million it spends annually could be used toward paying the astounding public debt the department helped create. We don't need more companies. AOL didn't help at all and instead has exacerbated the situation. More companies require more building, more infrastructure, more housing and increase congestion.

Before the [George L.] Barton Board of Supervisors opened the floodgate of development and the [Dale Polen] Myers board shoved it into high gear, Loudoun had reached a rare and enviable economic equilibrium of almost full employment, low taxes, low inflation, relatively high per capita income, a relatively low cost of living and a high quality of life. In other words, an economy about as perfect as possible within the limitations of our present world.

The pro-growth policy changed that and put us in the mess we're in today. Common sense should make us put the brakes on development and switch to controlled smart growth. Stop the selling!

CLAUDE BACHE

Ashburn