In each of the seven district races for the Board of Supervisors, candidates are wrangling over how to deal with Loudoun County's explosive growth rate.
Only two incumbent supervisors are up for reelection Tuesday. The rest are stepping down from the board, running for other offices or were defeated in primary elections. Supervisors serve a four-year term.
In the Sterling District, Eugene A. Delgaudio, the Republican nominee, is the only candidate on the ballot. Each of the other races is contested:
Sugarland Run District
This race pits Bernard J. "Bernie" Way, 41, a county planning commissioner and an assistant professor at Christendom College, against William D. "Bill" Bogard, 47, a staffing manager.
Way, the GOP nominee, emphasizes keeping down taxes and trimming county government. He said he would consider several measures being advanced by slow-growth advocates--requiring developers to pay fees and preventing development where there are inadequate roads and schools. But he said he has reservations about both measures.
As a planning commissioner, Way voted for many development projects; he said he was bound to do so by existing county plans. He said he favors rewriting the plans to limit the amount of development that can occur.
Bogard, a community activist who is running as an independent, said he favors charging fees to developers and rejecting development when nearby schools and roads are inadequate.
He said the county's land-use plans need to be rewritten in a way that requires communities to be better designed. The environment also would be one of his priorities, Bogard said. He said he would push for a storm water management program that includes close monitoring of ground water and wetlands.
Broad Run District
This is a three-way race among Democrat Charles A. "Chuck" Harris, 53, an engineer with EIS Inc., independent Timothy F. "Tim" Powers, 35, a lobbyist, and Republican nominee Bruce E. Tulloch, 39, an area manager for Sodexho-Marriott Services Inc.
Harris has cast himself as a candidate who would work to preserve Loudoun's rural character. He said he is a fiscal conservative who would make developers pay more of the costs associated with new construction, such as school building. He said he also would seek to fully fund the School Board's budget requests.
Tulloch, head of the Countryside homeowners association, casts himself as a pro-business candidate who wants to hold the line on taxes. He also said that he wants to rework the county's land-use plan and that the amount of residential development should be tied to business development. And he said he wants to increase slightly the amount that developers are expected to pay in exchange for rezonings of their land.
Tulloch and Powers have spent much of the campaign locked in disputes over everything from campaign finance to campaign yard signs [Story, Metro section] to which candidate is the "real Republican." Powers describes himself as an "independent Republican."
Powers, who has been a Loudoun anti-tax activist, advocates making developers pay substantially more money when they want to build, and he supports a measure that would require adequate roads and schools for construction to take place.
The Mercer race is between the incumbent, independent James G. Burton, 62, a retired Air Force colonel, and Republican Mark D. Tate, 34, an owner of the Coach Stop Restaurant in Middleburg and a Middleburg Town Council member. Both candidates said dealing with growth is their priority, and both have unveiled slow-growth plans. Both said they think developers should pay more toward schools and other facilities. Both call themselves fiscal conservatives.
Burton has been a supporter of slow-growth measures on the board. He said he wants to continue working on such efforts, including a proposal he and another supervisor have advanced that would link the number of building permits the county could issue with its ability to afford debt for new schools and other facilities.
Burton also touts his record working with two factions of Republicans on the current board--one that has viewed growth more favorably and one that has sought more limits. In the Air Force, he uncovered technical problems with the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a controversial armored troop carrier that later was modified.
Tate, who grew up in Loudoun, said he also would do more to slow growth. The county's rural way of life, he said, is "hanging in the balance."
Tate said he wants to improve relations with the county School Board. He cites his endorsement from the Loudoun Education Association and said he favors smaller classes and neighborhood schools. Supervisors cannot control such issues, although they decide how much money may be spent by the school system.
The race includes Republican J. Drew Hiatt, 42, founder of a communications company, and independents Ellen D. Oliver, 47, a former School Board member, and James G. "Jim" Kelly, 35, a customer service supervisor for Airbus Service Co. who also is running for board chairman.
Hiatt's platform calls for a number of slow-growth measures, including fees on new homes and adequate public facilities in place before developments are approved. Hiatt said he wants developers to pay more for schools and other facilities, saying that would help hold the line on taxes. In the meantime, he said, the county needs to find ways to reduce school-construction costs.
Oliver said action must be taken immediately to limit construction of homes previously approved by supervisors. She said the issue could be addressed by linking the number of building permits that could be issued annually with the county's debt and ability to pay for schools and other services--a plan advanced by several current supervisors.
Both candidates have been locked in a heated campaign and have traded personal barbs over contributions from development interests and other issues.
Kelly said he is focusing primarily on the chairman's campaign, in which he is also a candidate. [Story, Page 1.] If he wins both contests, there will have to be a special election to fill the seat he does not want.
This race includes Leesburg Mayor James E. Clem, 57, co-owner of Colonial Funeral Home, and Mark R. Herring, 38, a lawyer.
Clem, a Republican, said he wants to make sure the school system has enough money to hire good teachers. Accomplishing that, he said, probably would mean giving more money to the system. He said he is not sure where that money would come from. "That's what we're going to go in there and find out," Clem said.
Clem also said he wants to ensure that growth is managed properly. He said he would do so by checking whether land is zoned accurately and asking residents whether they want the current land-use plan changed.
Herring, a Democrat, said more must be done to combat sprawl. He said Clem's record on development is "very poor," adding that he voted for too many residential rezonings in Leesburg. Clem said that all of the projects were "good zonings at the time they occurred" but that some need to be adjusted.
Herring said he wants to rework the county's land-use plans to reduce the number of homes that can be built. He said he wants developers to pay the full cost of schools and other services needed for the residents their developments bring in. And he said he wants the state to return more money to Loudoun to pay for larger school budgets to reduce class size.
This race includes Democrat Sarah R. "Sally" Kurtz, 54, owner of WaterWays Nursery, and Republican Richard L. Roberts, 43, who runs a strategic planning business.
Roberts is a former supervisor who represented the Catoctin District. He said he would focus on preserving western Loudoun's rural character. He said he wants developers to pay more for schools and other facilities. He said he would work on the problem of development in rural areas, where more people are building one home on every three acres.
Kurtz also delivers a slow-growth message. She said she wants to preserve rural areas in the western part of the county. Kurtz said she would push for a measure to allow the county to stop issuing residential building permits if it could not afford the schools and other capital facilities the new residents would necessitate.
Kurtz has attacked Roberts for his votes as a supervisor, saying he had a "poor record on growth issues," and has criticized him for staying at a beach house at the invitation of a developer's attorney who had business before the board. Roberts said that he did nothing wrong and that his record on limiting development is strong.
Blue Ridge District
Republican Patricia S. Grigsby, 37, a political activist, is running against Democratic incumbent Eleanore C. Towe, 62, who works part time for her family's medical practice.
Both candidates are focused on controlling growth. Both said they want to keep farmland viable. Both portray themselves as fiscal conservatives.
Towe said she would seek to prevent tax increases by making the development community pay more for schools and other services. She said she supports adopting an adequate public facilities ordinance and getting income-tax money back from the state. While serving on the board, Towe has pressed for slow-growth measures, including reducing the number of homes in Dulles South and areas around the Dulles Greenway.
Grigsby, who frequently attends county meetings and speaks at public hearings, said that in addition to some of the growth-control plans suggested by Towe, the county needs to cut its capital budget. She said that education and public safety should be the highest priority and that some other items could be cut back, such as spending on parks. She said she is also skeptical of government, saying it is getting too much power: "Decisions that used to be made by families end up being decreed by distant administrators."
CAPTION: Loudoun County Election Districts (This graphic was not available)