Republican candidates for the Board of Supervisors announced Monday that they are united behind a series of slow-growth measures--a week after local Democrats made a similar announcement.
The Republicans said that if they are elected as a team, slow-growth measures will not be killed by party infighting, as has occurred on the current Republican-controlled board.
"I invite all voters in Loudoun County to vote for the Republican team, a team that will work to protect the future of this county--our schools, our roads and our pocketbooks," Scott K. York, the GOP nominee for chairman, said at a news conference.
The news conference, at which all but one of the eight GOP candidates for supervisor appeared with York and party officials, is part of an effort by candidates to define themselves as the ones who will do the most to slow development and make developers pay more.
But even amid the display of unity, philosophical differences began to emerge on some of the measures in the 10-point plan put forward by the GOP.
The plan calls for all the candidates to support asking legislators in Richmond for the authority to charge fees to developers for every new house, as well as permission to stop residential development if nearby schools and roads are deemed inadequate. But two of the candidates--Bernard J. "Bernie" Way in Sugarland Run and Eugene A. Delgaudio in Sterling--stopped short of saying they would vote to implement the measures if Richmond gave them the go-ahead.
Way indicated that although he would support asking permission to implement such measures, he would not necessarily vote to implement them. "I have hesitations," he said. "The debate needs to occur."
Delgaudio, who is running unopposed in the November election, also said he would support the request, but he declined to comment when asked whether he would vote to implement the measures.
The Republican plan also calls for a review of the county's land-use plans, a study of water supplies, the development of a plan to purchase development rights as a way to preserve open space and the elimination of a "fast track" provision that allows some developers to speed their projects through the public process.
Loudoun Democrats responded to the Republican plan by saying that it was an imitation of the ideas they have been pushing, and that the GOP supervisors would continue the party's history of infighting.
"We've had eight years of seeing Republicans bickering at each other," said David Whitmer, Loudoun Democratic Committee chairman. "What do we think--one press conference on a Monday afternoon is going to change that? Come the first vote in January, all this will be by the wayside."
He also criticized the Republicans' record on development during the eight years in which they have held a majority. "Republicans have had eight years to lead in this area, and they failed miserably," Whitmer said.
York attributed infighting on the current board to a lack of leadership, and said that if he was elected chairman, that would change. He said that even if two Republicans dissented from part of his slow-growth agenda, the remainder of the Republicans would vote for the measures.
York also criticized the Democrats' slow-growth plan, saying it is thin. "It looked tasty on the outside, but once you bit into it, you find it very hollow," York said. "This is no time for Halloween-style politics that offer lots of tricks but no treats."
The Democrats' plan, among other things, calls for the county to "grow at a rate we can afford" and to make developers pay their "fair share."
Voluntary Water Limits Lifted
Loudoun County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers on Tuesday lifted voluntary water restrictions that had been in effect throughout the area of the county served by the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority.
Bowers made the decision after sanitation officials said that rainfall in the past 45 days has been above average and that water supply levels in Goose Creek--one of the county's prime sources of water--are returning to normal.
The voluntary restrictions were put in place after county supervisors lifted mandatory restrictions that were brought on by the summer's drought.
Sanitation officials said the reservoir in the county, which is operated by the City of Fairfax, is at 55 percent of normal capacity. They said they expect the reservoir to be full by next summer.
Film Shoot to Close Some Roads
Stop! Lights. Camera. Action.
That will be the scene along portions of streets in Leesburg's downtown area Wednesday when an Arlington-based crew shoots a made-for-television movie.
The producers, McGee Street Productions, will work with the Leesburg Police Department to keep traffic flowing as they film from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but some roads will be closed.
Parking on King, Market and Wirt streets will be limited because of the filming, and North King Street from Market to Cornwall streets will be closed to vehicle traffic from 8 a.m. to noon while some scenes are shot on the courthouse lawn.
McGee's crew also plans to park production vehicles on East Market Street between King and Church streets and on part of Wirt Street, between Market and Loudoun streets, town spokeswoman Susan Farmer said.
Police will direct commercial drivers headed to businesses along the closed streets. They also will direct parents dropping off and picking up children at the Leesburg United Methodist Church preschool on West Market Street.
The movie, "Cupid and Cate," is scheduled to air in February on network television, producers said.
Zuckerman Tallies Most Donations
Whether or not School Board candidate Michele Zuckerman is victorious Nov. 2, she is winning the race to raise money. Zuckerman, one of three candidates vying for the Broad Run District seat, has received $8,550.28 in contributions so far, according to campaign finance reports released Friday. She has $4,729.33 left to spend before Election Day.
Most of the other 14 School Board candidates have raised between $1,000 and $4,000, finance reports show. All but two of Zuckerman's contributors gave less than $100.
Close behind Zuckerman is Patrick F. Chorpenning Jr., a candidate for the Mercer District, who has amassed a war chest of $8,130. Chorpenning has $3,125.62 remaining in his campaign account, according to his finance report.
His biggest contributor, Eleanor B. Syckes, of Phoenix, has donated $950 to Chorpenning's campaign. Who is she? His grandmother.
County Says It's Ready for Y2K
Loudoun County government representatives say that after more than two years of work, they are well positioned to deal with any glitches--computer-related or otherwise--that might arise New Year's Eve.
In a presentation to the Board of Supervisors, County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers and other staff members discussed measures taken to assure that county computer systems will not be affected by the so-called Y2K glitch.
The county government uses more than 7,000 software programs and has 1,300 personal computers, 50 servers and a data network that links 108 offices countywide.
All of these have been tested and upgrades are being made where necessary, according to Gene Troxell, Loudoun's director of information technology. In addition, public safety systems, such as 911, have been tested.
In case of unexpected computer failure, county departments have rehearsed various scenarios that require working without computer systems.
Human behavior could prove more problematic than computer glitches, said Robert Griffin, assistant county administrator. The county is preparing for lots of parties and the associated antics--accidents, assaults and "general goofiness," he said.
Information on how Loudoun is preparing for the year 2000, as well as tips for individuals, can be found on the county's World Wide Web site at www.state.va.us/loudoun.