Road spam and special rights: Two great tastes that taste great together?

Now this is really getting interesting. The new Board of Supervisors is apparently considering a motion to kill the volunteer illegal sign removal program, and it is not going over well with LI. I happen to agree; the program seems like a perfectly sensible way of dealing with the vexing problem of road spam.

“So in keeping with the overriding theme of this Board, paybacks, one of their first acts will be to kill this program as payback to those who helped fund their campaigns – the builders and developers and David Ramadan, and Godfather Dick Black as well. Here is the link to the staff report for this item, pay special attention to the motions at the end. They’re not doing this to keep things the way they are. This program costs Loudoun very little in minimal staff oversight, and provides its citizens with a great service – keeping our roadways safe and free of trash. But does that matter to this Board? Apparently not – this program ticks off their masters, so it must be done away with.”

He’s right, that sure does sound stupid. But you know what? How is this really different from what the School Board just did, as their first action? Perhaps the board feels that the road spam is “not a Board of Supervisors issue.” Perhaps they don’t want to keep things the way they are because they want to “put their mark” on the arrangements made between their own body, and the staff and volunteering members of the public.

Seeing this (so far theoretical) Board of Supervisors action as fundamentally different from the (equally nonsensical and possibly payback oriented) School Board action is a stretch.

Regarding the sign removal program, a commenter cites data of 80+ volunteers and 50,000 illegal signs removed from county roads at virtually no cost to the county. It has the additional value of signaling to members of the public that they can legally and safely participate in solving a community problem. And the board considers this something not worth continuing?

Regarding the human rights issue, the previous school board identified as a problem not having the freedom to extend LCPS nondiscrimination policies as needed. It therefore included in its legislative agenda a recommendation to change the offending law, a motion that passed unanimously; was without controversy; and cost the county nothing. Not only that, the recommendation had the positive effect of taking seriously the issue of bullies who think they have a special right that other bullies don’t have, who think the rules don’t apply to them because their targets are or are perceived to be gay. So the new board decided to actively eliminate something that could only have had a positive effect, and in the process they created a negative effect: The perception, right or wrong, that LCPS is an unfriendly place for LGBT students, parents, and employees.

Sorry, but in both cases they’re doing the wrong thing.

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