The controversy over a Herndon day-labor site consumed a large amount of time at the Board of Supervisors Tuesday — partially due to an executive session, which extended roughly 90 minutes. While the issue was listed on the agenda, Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) and Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) moved the planned discussion behind closed doors.
"We are going into an executive session and we are going to learn the issues," Delgaudio said prior to the session. "We don’t want to undercut our legal position."
Such was the reasoning for deferring the item — the idea that preparation should precede public discussion. According to Delgaudio, he and Snow had arranged an emergency board meeting during the recent vacation break to discuss the legal issues surrounding the relationship between neighboring Loudoun residents and the proposed day-labor site.
With the board back in session, Delgaudio was still unable to estimate when this issue will be brought to public action. However, the issue will be brought up again as supervisors such as Vice Chairman Bruce Tulloch (R-Potomac) felt adamant that the decision in Herndon was a slight against Loudoun County.
"They [Herndon] didn’t walk the walk with this jurisdiction, nor did they talk with this jurisdiction. And moving the problem over here isn’t the answer," said Tulloch.
HURRICANE RELIEF for the Gulf Coast and disaster preparedness for the local region was a major topic of discussion. County Administrator Kirby Bowers presented a report to the board concerning Loudoun County’s role in the relief effort for areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. With five firefighters and more than 35 deputies on standby for deployment, Bowers said that "we are trying to put our resources together so that we can respond when asked to do so."
In addition to emergency manpower, the county is currently working on compiling city management support teams, which would work on rebuilding the damaged infrastructure in Louisiana and Mississippi. Each support team would work for a duration of two weeks.
The board also unanimously voted to pass a motion that allocated $25,000 for disaster relief. Following the example initially set by Brunswick County in southern Virginia, the allocated money will be collected by the Virginia Association of Counties (VACO) and then distributed by the American Red Cross. If every county in the state follows Brunswick’s example, $2.5 million could be raised in the commonwealth.
FINALLY, THE ANNOUNCEMENT was made that George Mason University will be opening a campus in Loudoun County. With 123 acres of property donated by Greenvest LLC, university officials are projecting to open the campus in the fall 2009. While the announcement pleased some supervisors, others such as Chairman Scott York (I-At Large) were less than thrilled.
"I am thankful that George Mason is looking into our community, but I can’t support it if it means 27,000 more people in our community," said York. "I can’t support the amount of houses that Greenvest wants to put here."
Others such as Tulloch, looked at the opening of the university as a opportunity to serve the demand for higher education.
"Sixty thousand higher-education seats are needed in Virginia," said Tulloch. "One-third of those are needed in Northern Virginia."
The donated land is in the Dulles South area, north of Route 50.