Frank Buttery, a two-term Leesburg Town Council member, said he might be stepping down from his seat because of a possible conflict of interest in his new job as an assistant prosecutor with the Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.
Buttery, 45, told fellow council members Tuesday night that he is waiting for an opinion from the Virginia Attorney General's Office on whether he can finish his term, which expires in June 2002.
An individual who is employed by a constitutional officeholder, such as the commonwealth's attorney, may not hold an elected office, according to a prosecutor in the Attorney General's Office and previous opinions rendered from the office.
Buttery, who was first elected to the council in 1994, said his resignation, if it is necessary, would be effective Aug. 31.
"It's always hard to give up something you thoroughly enjoy doing," Buttery said. "It's been a lot of thought put into this. It's a professional and personal decision."
Mayor James E. Clem said he hopes to keep Buttery on the council until the May elections. If Buttery resigns, Vice Mayor B.J. Webb said, the council would appoint someone to the seat by Oct. 31.
Buttery has not been sworn in as an assistant prosecutor with the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, but he started a training program last week. He joined the Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office in 1982 after graduating from T.C. Williams Law School, a University of Richmond affiliate. In 1985, he went into private practice in Fairfax.
Buttery said he applied to work for Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Robert D. Anderson (R) because he was weary of the commute to Fairfax and hoped to convert some of the driving time to family time.
In other matters, the Town Council:
* Approved a special exception for the Loudoun Jewish Congregation to hold its worship services in part of a vacant warehouse on Cardinal Park Drive.
The congregation, which includes about 42 families, has been meeting at St. David's Episcopal Church in Ashburn for the past 2 1/2 years and in members' homes during the past few months. Since Irwin Wayne Uran, the reclusive philanthropist, gave the congregation $2 million last year to build the county's first synagogue in the greater Leesburg area, it has been searching for the right site, said Sidney Lissner, a leader of the congregation.
* Appropriated $128,400 to upgrade the town's information technology systems. About $37,900 will be used to install fiber optic cable between the town's government building and the Loudoun government building. An estimated $12,000 will be spent to train employees in using about $30,000 worth of new hardware and software.
* Addressed the concerns of dozens of residents who live along Edwards Ferry and Woodberry roads by voting unanimously to put in temporary stop signs in the neighborhood.
For a 120-day trial period, there will be stop signs along Edwards Ferry Road at Woodberry Road and Catoctin Circle. Council members also agreed to put in a temporary all-way stop at Fairview Street and Normandy Drive.
Residents of those streets had complained in public hearings of speeding and accidents.
* Took the first step in establishing a residential parking-permit system in the communities near Loudoun County High School. Homeowners have complained of students parking on their streets and blocking their mailboxes.
A public hearing will be held on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. to consider designating the following streets as residential permit parking: Ashton Drive, River Frays Drive, Wingate Place, Rosemead Place, Primrose Court, Tearose Court, Foxridge Drive, Deerpath Avenue, Dry Mill Road, Belmont Drive, Lafayette Place and Prospect Drive.
* Approved unanimously the selection of a Massachusetts firm, DMG-Maximus, to conduct a $45,000 management study of the Leesburg Police Department.