Affordable Housing Vital
As I listened to one speaker after another expressing concerns regarding development and zoning regulations in western Loudoun at a public input session on Monday, I could not help thinking about infrastructure and affordable housing.
I am talking about housing for teachers, firefighters, police officers, health care workers, utility company workers, broadband and communication workers, postal employees and all the county, city and town employees that build, maintain and support our infrastructure throughout Loudoun County.
I fear the supervisors are failing to consider the issue of affordable housing for these folks. What, if any, are our supervisors' plans for affordable housing to keep those who support our infrastructure within county limits? It seems to me that having our infrastructure-support people traveling through gridlock from places such as Prince William and Clarke counties, the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia is not a good thing. Eventually, all that traveling must affect them, which in turn affects their work, which in turn affects the county.
Whether it's low density, high density, no planning or smart planning, our supervisors must have a plan and a vision that includes affordable housing for the hardworking men and women and their families who build, serve and support our infrastructure.
Group School Projects
In November's bond referendum, voters will be asked to approve funding for eight school projects -- five for construction and three for renovations.
Traditionally, the bond initiative packages all the school system's projects into one question. This single question asks voters to approve the issuance of county bonds to finance the total amount needed for all the school projects. Eight of the nine Loudoun County School Board members support grouping the school projects into a single question.
This year, however, four supervisors, Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac), Lori L. Waters (R-Broad Run) and D.M. "Mick" Staton Jr. (R-Sugarland Run), support separating the school bond package into eight questions, asking voters to approve the funding for each project. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to separate the projects on the ballot.
Critics of this "cafeteria approach" to funding believe it will pit one community against another, jeopardizing the concept of one community, one school system. The School Board thinks all eight projects are needed to maintain the quality of the public school system.
Since separating the school projects could put some or all at risk, it appears that separation would jeopardize the quality of all of our schools.
If the projects are listed as eight separate questions and one or all fail to pass, what happens? What alternative financing will the supervisors propose? Where will our children go to school? Will they be bused from overcrowded schools to schools that are under capacity? Will attendance boundaries be changed?
The supervisors need to answer these questions before casting their votes Tuesday. After all, as our leaders, they need to think ahead and consider the potential consequences of their actions. They also need to communicate their answers to us.
Susan Klimek Buckley
I'd like to thank Monica Patty and Maureen Taylor of Leesburg for confirming in their letter ["CSTA Issues," Loudoun Extra, July 10] that the group Citizens to Save the Transition Area is in fact a group of the Piedmont Environmental Council.
I'd also like to thank them for suggesting that I do better research. Unfortunately, it was difficult to comply with their directive to do a "fact check," which they averred would "show that the CSTA was the result of a community meeting at the Arcola Community Center held Jan. 19 . . . to discuss developers' requests to the county to revise the comprehensive plan in the transition area."
I called the community center, and they were kind enough to check their records for me. The records show that on Jan. 19, no event or meeting occurred in the gymnasium or the Senior Cafe.
I asked whether any classroom space had been reserved on that date by any group interested in discussing growth, and while checking those records the staffer remarked that perhaps I was thinking of the more recent meetings at Arcola Elementary and Mercer Middle schools.
A classroom space check showed that the only event at Arcola Community Center on Jan. 19 was a Spanish-language class for preschoolers.
I apologize for not doing sufficiently thorough research to be able to concede that CSTA was founded Jan. 19 at a meeting in the Arcola Community Center, but such research is rather difficult to do if the public record of the public facility in question does not support the existence of the referenced meeting.
I promise I'll keep trying.