Pro-Growth IntimidationAs the development debate in Loudoun County escalates, the voices of growth proponents on both sides of the dais are getting more strident.

At several public meetings, Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) and his appointee on the Planning Commission have accused their constituents -- or anyone else who disagrees with their pro-growth stance -- of being environmental extremists or paid lobbyists. Both have attacked the press as being biased and printing fiction about them. They allege that anyone whose views diverge from their views is anti-American and part of a conspiracy or, most recently, that their opponents are using McCarthy-era tactics.

At one recent hearing, a member of a board advisory committee made wild accusations against any speakers opposed to the Ridgewater Park development plan.

Meanwhile, at public hearings and business meetings of the Board of Supervisors, developers use such intimidation tactics as filling the meeting room with large numbers of "supporters" who don't speak but carry signs and wear slogans.

It is little wonder, then, that so few citizens take the time to attend these sessions where people who speak their mind are fair game.

It seems our representatives are out of touch with their constituents. They should be trying to find common ground in order to bring our community together instead of sowing seeds of discord. Developers, too, should welcome citizen input instead of pushing their agenda in such an underhanded manner.

B.K. Gogia

Ashburn