School Board Out of Order

In our annual ritual of back-to-school nights, because we have more than one child, our school had these events on different nights. The intent of back-to-school night is for the parents to meet and greet their children's teachers for the coming year. Although not much time is spent with the teacher, a brief overview is given and phone numbers are generally exchanged.

In a never-ending attempt to make me feel guilty about our schools and the funding level that must be achieved to keep us supposedly number one in the nation, 45 minutes were taken by school administrators and School Board members to explain the upcoming $105 million bond referendum for four new schools, improvements and the fancy new $5.3 million administrators' offices. At every back-to-school night that we attended, it was the same story, the same 45-minute explanation. As I understand it now, this was done countywide, in all the schools.

It is offensive and inappropriate that this School Board uses these tactics to promote its agenda in front of a captive audience while promoting only one side of an issue. This forum was intended for parents to meet their children's teachers. The use of this time took away from the parents and the time to meet with the teachers.

Again, I believe it is inappropriate for politics to be practiced on unsuspecting parents and to steal our time. It is unfortunate that the School Board thinks so little of its constituency and feels the need to spoon-feed us this information.

In the future, I am hopeful that this School Board will honor my desire to keep our schools a politics-free zone.

JOHN GALUSKI

Leesburg

Seeking Hero to Save Land

What we need is a hero or heroine. Someone, personally wealthy, who will save for posterity the land in and around Leesburg that is being consumed by "developers." A person, like Theodore Roosevelt, who sees the need to save what land there is left for parkland. This person would go down in history as a great individual.

There are many parks in Europe that were set aside hundreds of years ago when a town was being constructed, and they add invaluably to the city today. What would New York be without Central Park? Even that enormous city started out like Leesburg once.

The chance of a lifetime is in someone's hands.

NINON P. ESTINTO

Leesburg

Growth Is Good Business

I have read with great interest over the last few months about this "slow growth" issue. I have lived here all my life and I have yet to understand the mentality behind the growth argument. What is growth? Is it not what happens when two people get married and have children, and two become three or more? Then their children have children. That's growth.

It is beyond me how anybody in Cascades, Ashburn Village, Ashburn Farms, Countryside or any of the other new developments can complain about growth or vote for any slow-growth candidates. If these candidates had been here 10 years ago, you would not be here. You are the growth. I did not complain when you moved here. Are you just sheep being led to the slaughter? Anybody who has moved here in the last 15 years is part of growth. But I do not see it as a growth problem.

As a small-business owner, I value new residents and consumers. It is no secret that small businesses are the backbone of the American market. By decreasing growth, you decrease the opportunities for businesses to grow. Businesses cannot be stagnant. A business is either growing or dying. Stopping growth will kill small business.

I have a problem with candidates running for local office who are using "slow growth" as a war cry. If they want to really slow growth, they should leave now, because they are the root of their own dislikes. Many new residents have moved from Fairfax County, Montgomery County and even from other states. These residents are pursuing the American dream, and some now have the nerve to tell others they are not welcome in Loudoun County. Are others not equally entitled to the same dream that new residents have pursued?

This election, let's vote for the most qualified candidates. The ones that will work to build better schools and public services. Let's vote for those who will take care of our sheriff's deputies. Let's vote for the candidates that can lead our county into the next millennium. Ones that care about all the citizens, not just a few squeaky wheels. Let's build Loudoun County this November into a county that is recognized all over the world as a leader in business and education. I am proud to say when I talk to people about these businesses that have chosen Loudoun County and they can't believe it. Loudoun County has some of the most prestigious businesses in the world.

Why are we complaining? We have our own mall, theaters, shopping centers, outlet malls, restaurants, Internet providers, cable company and much more. I love the fact that I do not have to leave Loudoun County to do any entertaining. I can do it all right here, and I think it's great.

NATHANIEL GRANT

Sterling