Saturday, October 13, 2007

Loudoun Easterner Candidates' Forum

BrambleDirt attended the Loudoun Easterner's candidates' forum this evening, and it did not disappoint (although I was hoping for more crazy). Readers were invited to submit questions to be asked of their specific district's candidates, and some of the questions showed that people either (a) don't know what district they live in, and/or (b) don't understand the role of a county supervisor.

The first panel had candidates from the Potomac District (Bruce Tulloch-R, Andrea McGimsey-D, Ken Mikeman-I), Sugarland Run District (Mick Staton-R, Susan Buckley-D), and Sterling District (Eugene Delgaudio-R, Jeanne West-D). Ken Mikeman thinks that every question is a great one. At least that's what he said. Questions predictably revolved around GROWTH, housing, future budgets (particularly in the face of falling property values), traffic, ethics, and the "slumlike decay" of Sterling Park (seriously, from the way people were talking, you'd think it was the South Bronx circa 1980).

Eugene Delgaudio was his usual laugh riot. In response to a question about the need for more walking pathways to connect Sterling Park residential areas to Sugarland Crossing Shopping Center, he said that walking in general will be safer if we can reduce the number of illegal aliens driving without licenses. Seriously. He also made lots of jokes about his signature orange hat, signs, and other campaign materials. When asked about the numerous "dark spots" in Sterling Park resulting from lack of street lights, he responded that Juniper Street is pretty well lit at Christmastime (probably even viewable from space!) and that he encouraged more Sterling residents to put up Christmas lights and leave them up longer, and that he fought against the "light pollution" ordinance a few years ago. I honestly expected him to blame the "dark spots" on illegal aliens, but he didn't go that route.

After a brief break, the second panel filed in. Scott York-I, current Chairman, sat alone (Mike Firetti-R had the flu); the panel also included candidates from Broad Run District (Lori Waters-R and Phyllis Randall-D; Jack Ryan-I had a family commitment in Ohio) and our very own Dulles District (Steve Snow-R, Stevens Miller-D). This panel was asked about traffic/roads, hospitals, budget, Dillon Rule, developers, and zoning enforcement. The Dulles District questions/answers were:

(1) HCA / Broadlands hospital

Snow: Thinks there should be an equal distribution of medical care throughout the county. In analyzing the population, determined (using a "Zen diagram"; I confess, I snickered) that Broadlands and Lansdowne have too much overlap. Figured out that (surprise) a hospital on Route 50 could cover everyone from Ryan Road south.

Miller: County needs hospitals, but placement should involve residents and corporations (including both HCA and Inova).

(2) Direct ties to developers

Miller: No donations from developers, not employed by developers, no deals with developers. Doesn't hate developers; believes that developer input is necessary to plan balanced growth.

Snow: Employed by Dietze (construction company). Accepts donations from development community. Developers bring jobs to Loudoun. "Slowing down" growth means stopping jobs. Affordable housing will come from increased density.

(3) Improving traffic on Route 50

Snow: Route 50 Task Force used "best minds" working together to plan improvement. Miller called this and the Waxpool Task Force "fake" in the League of Women Voters debate; he owes an apology to all the hardworking people who volunteered their time to make these improvements happen

Miller: Snow is the one who owes an apology to all the people who were frozen out of the Route 50 Task Force. He didn't follow the implementation program anyway.

[This was a pretty heated exchange.]

The budget questions were interesting. The next budget cycle is going to be nasty because of falling home values, and while schools and public safety seem to be the highest priorities, some of the candidates seem to think that the school board and the sheriff's department are not separating their needs from their wants -- and the BoS is going to do that for them.

Finally, I would like to say that Mick Staton briefly sat in front of me during the second panel and I found him to be rude. He was loudly whispering to some woman. Then, he started humming the "Jeopardy!" theme song when Scott York kept talking past the red card (York hadn't been there during the first half, when it was explained that the time limit for responses was being marked by a series of colored cards). I don't know if anyone else heard him but me, and I was relieved when he left soon after.

1 comment:

David said...

I honestly expected him to blame the "dark spots" on illegal aliens, but he didn't go that route.

I was waiting for that, too. Hilarious!