In a vote tally that has become familiar for the Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) was re-elected, by a 5-4 margin during the Wednesday, Jan. 3 business meeting, to the vice chairman position for the board's final year in office. He defeated Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) for the position for the second year in a row.
Supervisors Jim Clem (R-Leesburg), Stephen Snow (R-Dulles), Mick Staton (R-Sugarland Run) and Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) supported Tulloch's nomination.
IN ADDITION TO being nominated for vice chairman, Waters attempted to restore the rules of order the existed before the board took office, including restoring some powers to the chairman. In 2004, the board striped the chairman of some of the powers that had previously been granted to him.
"It is time we go back to having the appropriate powers of the chairman's office restored," Waters said. "There was probably the perception three years ago that we stripped the chairman of everything. That's not true."
Tulloch, however, said that the action of the board in 2004 was a direct reaction to actions taken by Chairman Scott K. York (I-At large).
"Right after we [new members] were elected, the chairman made comments that were derogatory to us in the press," he said. "Derogatory about those of us who had just been elected."
Tulloch, as well as Clem, pointed out that the board did not strip the chairman of any of the duties that he is required by the state statute to have.
Clem said that it made sense to give more power to the vice chairman, such as setting the agenda for the board's meetings.
"[The point was] to properly address the absence of either member should they be out of town on business," he said. "Collectively, I thought it was the best for our organization for all involved."
ONLY SUPERVISORS Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin), Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) and York supported Waters' attempt to change the rules of order.
"It is time to return to normalcy," Burton said. "Put aside the reasons, whatever they were, for the change in the power structure that occurred three years ago."
"I do think that re-establishing power to the chairman is appropriate," Kurtz said. "He is the only member that is elected at large, by all districts."
Waters motion also included allowing residents to sign up by phone for public hearings scheduled for special items, such as the budget, which most of the Supervisors supported. However, the change was not added to the board's rules, with Supervisors only agreeing to include the language in future hearing advertisements.
The board did vote unanimously to keep the same committee and regional panel assignments.