Race for Dulles

Race for Dulles

Snow seeks the Republican nomination for the board’s Dulles District seat.

Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) wants the residents of the Dulles District to know one thing. He has spent the last four years working for their interests.

"I really believe I am acting as a buyer’s agent for the people," he said. "I am working only to serve the best interest of the people of Dulles."

Being the supervisor for the district that has been the focus of two large Comprehensive Plan amendments and developments that divided the county, Snow said his main goal has always been and will remain to be a planned growth advocate, having developers pay for the roads needed in the county and creating safe, livable communities for residents.

"I am not here with any aspirations to be a senator or president," he said. "I have no aspirations other than being a public servant."

SNOW FIRST BECAME involved with local politics when he campaigned for Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37), working the streets, holding up signs for residents to see.

"I saw where a great effort of people can make a difference," he said. "It was a true grassroots effort."

It was when Snow saw the direction Loudoun County was going, that he decided to run for office in 2003.

"I felt I had to get involved," he said.

Barbara Munsey, who met Snow during his first campaign, said she was always impressed with his drive, even before she became his planning commissioner.

"It is amazing how hard he has gone after trying to make Dulles South better," she said. "He has left no stone unturned trying to get services into the area."

IT IS HIS military background, Snow said, that turned him into the supervisor he is.

"I am a planner by nature, a planner by trade and a planner by occupation," Snow, who retired from the Army as a colonel after 25 years of service, said. "You have to have the vision and you have to have the drive. Those are powerful tools that I bring to the board."

Snow said the military gave him the training to get things done, not simply talk about ideas.

"We have the opportunity to build the best community in the world," he said.

Munsey said his ability to lead also comes from his military training.

"He is a good delegator," she said. "But if you are assigned something, you’d better have your part done. It’s a real ‘here’s what we’ve got to do and let’s get it done’ attitude."

While Munsey admits that Snow can be a polarizing figure in the county, she said that only comes from his personal feelings about the Dulles District.

"He is very passionate about the issues," she said. "I think some people are put off because he is direct."

ONE OF THE things he is most proud of is his extensive work for the youth of the county, through the Loudoun Youth Initiative, something he said he has been doing his entire career.

"I’ve been working with young people my entire life," he said.

Snow was a part of Robert McNamara's 100,000 program, which brought individuals into the Army who were originally rejected and trained them to be successful soldiers.

"I found that by training and educating people who might not have the God-given gifts others do, they can be successful," he said.

The experience taught Snow a life-long lesson, he said. Always invest in people.

"People are a phenomenal creation of God and you can’t give up on them," he said.

WHILE NOT all of Snow’s ideas have been embraced by residents or the rest of the board, the supervisor believes he is only getting started on the work to be done in his district.

"Loudoun County can no longer consider supervisors with learner’s permits," he said. "I studied and studied and studied to learn the process. It is very difficult to understand how to get things done and there is much to be said for experience."

Snow said he hopes to do more work, like the Route 50 task force, which helped create the framework for the Route 50 Comprehensive Plan amendment, which was approved last year.

"I did not want this area to look like Route 1 and I saw it was zoned that way," he said. "I knew I could not get that done unless I had all the stakeholders at the table, landowners and citizens."

Overall, Snow said he is satisfied with the work he has done for his district, but is always aware that more can be done.

"I work hard every day to get better," he said. "My service does not come at a light cost, it comes at a heavy one, but as long as [citizens] continue to honor me with their trust, then I will continue to work for them."