Clogging the Courts

Welcome to the Litigious States of America. Lawsuit fever is an epidemic across the land, and now we see it in Loudoun County. If you spill hot coffee on your lap, hire a lawyer and sue. If you don't like the results of an election, hire a lawyer and sue.

Developers and trial lawyers have joined to clog Loudoun's courts with nearly 200 lawsuits. They hope to change the results of the last countywide election when voters had the temerity to support candidates willing to make tough decisions regarding growth.

The sentiment of the voters doesn't seem to have changed. A recent poll showed that 70 percent of county residents support better planning to deal with the dramatic increase in the county's population.

Every dollar spent to defend our county against these lawsuits is money taken from places where it could be better spent, like the school budget. Will tax increases be needed to pay for these lawyers who are in effect henchman for big developers?

Keep your eyes open because the folks attempting to use the courts to reverse the last election are going to pour big money into the next election. Ask the new candidates for the Board of Supervisors if they are accepting money from big developers and trial lawyers.

I wonder if they'll drop the lawsuits if we just vote for their candidates?

Bill Eckman,

Vice Chairman,

Great Falls Group,

Sierra Club


Turning the Tables

Based on Mr. [Wesley S.] Corber's letter to the editor ["Meeting Was Out of Order," Letters, Feb. 9], the public would be left with the impression that the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) was cynically manipulated into voting, in a decidedly overwhelming fashion, for a convention as its election process.

Most curiously and certainly ironically, Corber accuses the LCRC of not respecting the electoral process when, in fact, it is Corber who is seeking to thwart the will of the super-majority on the committee that favors a convention.

Corber has to realize that even his strategically ill-timed appeal to have the LCRC membership shuffled will have very little effect on the desire of Republicans of all stripes to vote for a convention.

Members present at the LCRC meeting Jan. 27 witnessed many needless procedural maneuverings. The chair had the very difficult job of conducting important business while trying to keep the meeting from being derailed by overzealous committee members.

In fact, Robert's Rules of Order states: "It is the duty of the presiding officer to prevent members from misusing the legitimate forms of motions, or abusing the privilege of renewing certain motions, merely to obstruct business."

I feel that the chair was exceedingly patient but necessarily firm.

Corber, as campaign manager for Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large), promised to lead the Republican candidates to victory so our party could reclaim the Board of Supervisors. I am waiting anxiously for Corber's leadership and contribution to the Loudoun County Republican Committee.

Rodney Huber


Keeping Families in the Loop

Regarding Ian Shapira's article concerning the Fauquier County School Board meeting to discuss the budget ["Schools Request Defended," Loudoun Extra, Feb. 2]:

The meeting was held at 7 p.m., when most of the parents of Mary's Family are busy changing catheters, using g-tubes to feed their child, getting medicine dosages right and calming autistic children down from the day so they can sleep at night.

Parents are calling insurance companies to get refills on pills that cost $5 apiece, and they are working second jobs to pay for these pills. They are exhausted from the struggle of putting shoes and socks on a child who has extreme sensitivity to touch.

These parents are trying to feed their children dinner, a chore that can take two to three hours. Our parents are trying to keep the evening calm so seizures don't occur.

Mary's Family parents are keenly aware of every nuance of the school budget. They know about Line 271 that requests a full-time classroom for autistic children in the southern part of the county.

They are watching for full funding of a summer program, the Parents Resource Center and extra therapists.

They applaud the request for additional transportation and extra teachers. Mary's Family parents are watching the potentially negative ramifications of the No Child Left Behind Act on their disabled children.

You might not see the parents of special education children at budget meetings, but they are paying close attention. We thank The Post for sending Ian Shapira to these meetings. We depend on newspapers for this information since we have truly unbelievable schedules.

Martha J. Toomey,

Executive Director,

Mary's Family


More Antics From Black

As a Loudoun County resident, I have observed the antics of Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) for quite some time. I was finally moved to write by the eloquent letter of Supervisor Eleanor C. Towe (D-Blue Ridge) about Black's latest outrageous behavior.

Black is allegedly a conservative, which, as I understand it, is someone who believes in less government. Yet his hypocrisy is constantly on display for the public, and it is remarkable that more people don't recognize it for what it is.

For example, Black stood against proposed legislation to give localities more control over the ability to manage building in their communities. In his view, only the state and the General Assembly knows what's best for citizens, not local governments.

Remarkably, Black also believes that the state must stand guard over our bedrooms and medical centers, attempting to place as many obstacles as possible before a woman's right to choose, as guaranteed by the Supreme Court.

But God forbid that a state trooper should pull someone over for not wearing a seat belt! Black stood against proposed legislation that would give law enforcement officials the ability to stop drivers for not wearing safety belts.

For someone who claims to be pro-life, it is more than incongruous that Black defends the "heritage" of those who honor a system that enslaved millions and murdered countless numbers in support of that "heritage," while attempting to turn aside a statute honoring a president who ultimately gave his life so that all could live in freedom and equality.

It is time that people recognize Black's hypocrisy and misogyny for what it is.

Ross Crumlish


Fiscal Nonsense

Last week, our Board of Supervisors voted to pay $4.6 million to six landowners in return for agreements that they will not build on their land. This action represents giving away your precious taxpayer dollars.

Then I read where a property tax rate increase is under serious proposal, which calls for a 5 1/2 -cent increase. This is in addition to a probable increase in your property tax assessments.

To me, these two actions together do not represent a common-sense approach to our financial management on behalf of all taxpayers. These actions seem to contradict each other in light of our economic climate. It is obvious that the state is not going to give Loudoun financial assistance, so we are apparently on our own.

I believe it is time for us to make our concerns known and ask the county's elected officials to stop balancing the budget on the backs of its citizens.

If we had plenty of money to spend and economic times were better, we could consider actions that benefit a few. But this is not the time or place for it. Why are we protecting the land in the west at the expense of most citizens who live in the east?

This is not a fiscally balanced environment. The economy and sales figures are weak, and people have lost their jobs.

Sadly, the average Loudoun citizen cannot follow what policies are being decided on a daily basis that ultimately impact their pocketbooks. It's time for the Board of Supervisors to take responsibility and manage the county's budget with fiscal restraint and a conservative approach to spending.

Paying a few landowners for not building on their land, and setting aside millions to defend the county's actions on this matter, is not my idea of spending my taxpayer dollars wisely.

Mary Jane Spence