Clearing Things Up

In my short tenure as mayor of Purcellville, I have benefited from a quick (and sometimes dirty) education on the political realities of the position. One of those realities is that if I neglect to explain what I'm doing, then someone else will try to and will do it with a bias that is not reflective of my thinking.

With that in mind, I would like to try to inform the citizens where I stand on the issues and where I am trying to lead the Town of Purcellville.

I campaigned on three issues -- tax equalization, performing and implementing a comprehensive transportation/traffic plan and providing water and sewer to the new elementary school. I still believe that my stance on these issues is correct and compatible with a slow-growth platform.

To some in town, the most burning issue is the school/water issue. I would like to remind those who oppose providing water to the school that the need for a school is a result, rather than a cause, of development.

That school would be unnecessary were it not for the fact that we have had such an explosion of development and residential annexations in the past three years.

That said, Purcellville is not in charge of building schools; the county is. Why anyone with children, and I am a father of two, would not want to provide water to a school is beyond my comprehension.

So I will continue to press for making certain that the children who attend that school are provided the best facilities possible, while working hard to make sure that our township is not damaged financially in the process.

The Southern Collector Road was a huge issue during my campaign. This road was portrayed by its proponents as an absolute necessity for the traffic problems that plague our town. To date, not one red cent has been spent on an overall comprehensive traffic study that identifies or prioritizes our traffic problems.

The Southern Collector Road, estimated to cost taxpayers $3 million to $4 million, is not a priority in my administration. Traffic control is, and I will continue to push for an overall, sensible and aesthetic plan that doesn't use taxpayer dollars to fund development.

I campaigned on the issue of not raising taxes. Our town's real estate taxes are based on county assessments, and when the county raises its assessments, you end up paying more taxes -- a piggyback tax to both county and the town.

The county will soon deliver its assessments of our homes, and from what I understand, there will be yet another increase. If that happens, I intend to work to "equalize" our rates, so that our current rates hold.

I intend to hold a public hearing on the budget within the next month, and I would encourage all citizens to be part of the input process. I have not forgotten this promise. I have been waiting for the budget process to occur to begin my work on this very important issue.

Bill Druhan

Purcellville

Meeting Was Out of Order

Amid all of the alarm concerning the reactionary local GOP nominating process [Loudoun Extra, "Letters to the Editor," Feb. 6], I want to reassure your readers that all is not lost yet. One might say that the sky is only partly falling at this point.

As a former chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) and chairman of Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York's campaign committee, I have sent an appeal to the Republican Party of Virginia aimed at overturning the actions of the LCRC at its meeting Jan. 27. I believe that the appeal has a reasonable chance of success.

That meeting, at which the convention process was adopted, was punctuated by a startling series of irregularities that I believe render the meeting wholly invalid. In fact, the meeting was nothing but a farce.

For starters, LCRC members who opposed the convention were systematically denied their rights to participate in the meeting by the presiding officer. Every motion made by a convention opponent was arbitrarily ruled out of order.

All of these rulings were entirely improper. As a result, none of the convention opponents was allowed to have a debate or vote on their motions.

Even more troubling, one member pointed out that the roll call for the meeting included a large number of people who were not legitimate LCRC members. These illegitimate names were apparently added to the LCRC roster in recent months even though no vacant seats existed. This is tantamount to packing the meeting and is prohibited.

On top of all this, the convention process adopted is completely erroneous in the numbers of delegates it apportions to each election district. These flawed delegate calculations would result in improper representation for voters who elect delegates.

I cannot predict the outcome of my appeal, but I believe the evidence for a reversal is overwhelming. The fundamental problem is that the current LCRC officers do not seem to feel very strongly about democracy or the integrity of our electoral system. It is a problem far too great to be ignored by the state party.

Wesley S. Corber

Purcellville

Fashions Misrepresented

Regarding the "World's Largest Sleepover," [Loudoun Extra, Feb. 6], I have one concern about the way the fashion show was represented -- the use of the word "sexy" in describing the fashions.

The staff and volunteers went to great lengths to assure that this was a modest fashion show. Our goal was to communicate that girls can dress fashionably and still be covered up. Our announcer was even instructed to describe the fashions so as to send the correct message.

Girls and parents of models were instructed to sign a contract based on clothing choice. It said:

"My guardian will make sure that I am in complete cooperation with the store managers' and my TNL volunteer coordinators' guidelines for selecting merchandise from the designated stores. They will not be tight and will not be revealing of the cleavage area. The garments will be modest."

There was a one-piece suit on a thin girl and therefore not tight. There was also an evening gown appropriately modeled with a shawl.

I would appreciate the effort that could be made to properly represent what we were communicating by our fashion show.

Wendy A. Howard

Vienna

Women's Director

Next Level Student Ministries

McLean Bible Church

In Whose Best Interests?

In response to the Metro article Feb. 6 regarding the lawsuits over the new Comprehensive Plan and implemented zoning ordinances in Loudoun County, does anyone else find it ironic that the very same crowd that decries litigious society is resorting to those very tactics?

Citizens for Property Rights consist of the most right-wing elements of the Loudoun Republican Party.

It's the same right wing that criticizes consumers of health care for seeking justice when they feel that the health care system has failed them or criticizes states that seek compensation from disingenuous corporations that lied and concealed the truth about the health effects of tobacco products.

It hardly seems fitting to me that any lawsuit based on a legal "notion" rather than law and precedent is credible. Yet, Loudoun taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for these suits, another fleecing of the taxpayer for the special interest elite landowners and developers who place their right to gain even more ahead of the best interests of the rest of us, and our tax burden.

The CPR ethic seems to be "lawsuits are okay, as long as it's my money being protected and to heck with the little people. . . ."

Doug Reimel

Sterling