Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chairman-elect Scott K. York (R-At Large) has proposed setting aside $1 million from the county's general fund to support the newly elected board's slow-growth platform.
York, who suggested the measure at the board-elect's orientation session Saturday, said the money would be used to hire a law firm to review the county's comprehensive plan and to establish a legal defense fund in case the board's slow-growth measures are challenged in court.
The money also would partially fund a lobbyist who would work for Loudoun and other jurisdictions in the Virginia Coalition of High Growth Communities. The coalition is made up of 23 local governments across the state seeking to strengthen localities' authority to control growth.
York's proposal, which will come before the board in January, was met with support from other supervisors-elect.
"I think it's critical that we start off in the right direction by setting the mood, and this is one way," said Supervisor-elect Charles A. "Chuck" Harris (R-Broad Run).
Sheriff Wants Pay Raises Reconsidered
Loudoun Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson said he is hopeful that the Board of Supervisors will reconsider a proposal that would allow all deputies to receive an approved pay raise, even if the money would push their salary above the maximum allowed in their pay category.
County staff members said 29 of the department's approximately 230 deputies will receive only a portion or none of a state-funded 6 percent raise approved by the board in April.
The board last week voted 5 to 3 against a proposal either to allow those deputies to receive salaries above the approved pay scale or award them a one-time bonus. Chairman Dale Polen Myers (R-At Large), Helen A. Marcum (R-Catoctin) and Lawrence S. Beerman II (R-Dulles) supported compensating those deputies. Steven D. Whitener (R-Sugarland Run) was absent.
Simpson, who says the move is unfair to longtime employees, said he's lobbying for the board to reconsider the issue at its Dec. 15 meeting. "I'd like to think they'll change their minds and do the right thing," Simpson said.
County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers said it would be unfair to make an exception for the Sheriff's Office. He said the item has not been added to the Dec. 15 agenda.
"We have to have a uniform and equitable pay system, and the board sets maximums and minimums," Bowers said. "If you go over that, you are treating one class of employee differently."
Grants Given to Preserve 2 Properties
Two Loudoun County properties will be preserved for posterity using more than $380,000 in state grants.
The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation, a program under the secretary of natural resources, awarded the Land Trust of Virginia $76,350 to buy part of Talbot Farm near Waterford.
The trust, a private, nonprofit conservation group based in Marshall, will buy a conservation easement to protect 25 acres of the 225-acre farm owned by Virginia Friend. Part of the property borders Balls Run Creek.
Another property, Welbourne in southwestern Loudoun, will be put in a conservation easement using a $308,250 grant to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation of Northern Virginia. That property is owned by Nathaniel H. "Nat" Morison.
Welbourne's 530 acres have been farmed for seven generations. It is bordered by Route 690 on the east, Route 671 on the west, Route 28 on the north and Route 734 on the south, and has a 2 1/2-acre acre portion along Goose Creek.
The Loudoun grants were part of $1.68 million allocated by the General Assembly in this year's session to give to nonprofit groups to protect land.
School Chief to Name Assistant
Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick will announce his choice for deputy superintendent at the next School Board meeting on Tuesday.
Six finalists from a pool of 38 applicants were interviewed by a panel of teachers, parents and administrators, said Molly Converse, a spokeswoman for the school district. Among the finalists is Ned D. Waterhouse, the assistant superintendent for pupil services and the only internal candidate for the job.
The new administrator, who will begin work Jan. 24, will replace Harry Bibb, who retired in June 1997.
No Charges to Be Filed in Traffic Death
Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert D. Anderson said that no charges will be filed in a traffic fatality last month involving a Leesburg employee who hit a pedestrian.
David E. Kerns, a town construction inspector, was driving a town-owned pickup on East Market Street the evening of Nov. 19 when he struck Debra Lewis, 43, as she was crossing the road. Lewis, of Leesburg, was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Kerns, who has worked for Leesburg's Department of Engineering and Public Works since 1990, did not see Lewis until it was too late to stop, Anderson said. He said Lewis was not at a crosswalk and was wearing dark clothing when the accident occurred shortly before 6 p.m.
Staff writers Maria Glod, Dana Hedgpeth and Liz Seymour contributed to this report.