Scott K. York (R-Sterling) last week took the oath of office to become the county's next chairman of the Board of Supervisors and pledged to "bring about a better Loudoun."

York, who overwhelmingly defeated incumbent Dale Polen Myers (R-At Large) after promising to slow the county's rapid residential development, was sworn in Friday afternoon by Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne.

After the brief ceremony in the board chambers, York thanked his supporters, especially a citizens group called Voters to Stop Sprawl. The citizens group endorsed York and several other winning candidates with slow-growth platforms.

"It has been amazing, the excitement in the community over the results of the election," York said. "People are concerned about our overcrowded schools, our transportation network. They are very concerned about the effect on our rural community."

York noted that his campaign raised about $148,000 even with a decision that he would not accept donations from developers.

"It was a leap of faith because historically it's the developers who put the cash out," York said.

Most of the supervisors-elect are scheduled to be sworn in Tuesday in the board's chambers, according to a county spokesman. Supervisor-elect Drew Hiatt (R-Dulles) said he will be sworn in in a private ceremony next Thursday.

The newly elected board will meet Wednesday for a strategy session and have its first business meeting Jan. 5.

Deputy Pay Raise Issue Gets Personal

The heated political battle over raises for sheriff's deputies has turned personal between Supervisor Scott K. York and Loudoun Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson.

The two exchanged words outside the board's chambers Dec. 15 after supervisors voted against giving pay raises to senior deputies who already are at the top of their pay categories. That means that 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.

In a prepared statement sent to reporters last week, Simpson said York approached him in the government center lobby after the meeting and "began berating me and repeatedly poking me in the chest." He said he received many phone calls afterward from citizens urging him to pursue criminal charges.

Simpson said that would only cause "further hard feelings and embarrassment to the county." But he warned that the board started its term four years ago "by sanctioning a member for similar untoward behavior. It never recovered its footing." He said he would like to see the matter "handled by an apology" rather than in the courts.

York acknowledged that his comments were inappropriate but said he never touched the sheriff. He said he became frustrated after several deputies at the meeting blamed him for their lost pay raise.

"I did not poke him in the chest," York said this week. "I'm apologizing for the fact that I said what I said about him and I should not have done that."

This was the second time the board has rejected a proposal either to allow affected senior deputies to receive salaries above the approved pay scale or award them a one-time bonus.

York and other supervisors have said it would be unfair to make an exception for deputies when workers in other county departments may find themselves in similar situation. York said Simpson raised the problem too late for the current board to consider fully and promised that the new board will reconsider the issue after it takes office next month.