The Soil and Water Board – what we do!

And why I’d like to continue on the Soil and Water Board

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Serving as Director of the Soil and Water Board is a public service.  It doesn’t pay anything.  It’s not a political stepping stone.  It is all about an issue that many of us think is critical and care deeply about – assuring the quality of our water and soil.

This is the reason I ran for this office four years ago, and why I seek re-election to continue another four years. I believe we have been making a difference for the better. I want to continue in that vein.

This job and the Board we serve imposes no regulations on any one. Participation is voluntary. We serve farmers and landowners by underwriting the cost of keeping their streams and creeks clean for the welfare of everyone. These waters make their way to the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay and, along the way, folks in Loudoun and Fairfax Counties drink that water.

The overall objectives of Soil and Water are straightforward. First, we seek to keep “nutrients” (waste) out of our waters. We underwrite the cost of fences to keep our livestock out of our waters, and subsidize troughs in the fields, and the necessary power and water lines. Second, we are similarly concerned to avoid soil runoff and erosion.  We preserve and protect our top soil because its loss takes a thousand years to replace.  That’s why we encourage buffers, cover crops, and tree plantings.

The funds come from federal, state and local governments. I’m proud to say that our Board including this Director approved $580,000 only a few weeks ago to make these changes possible for farmers and landowners in Loudoun County.

As a Director and the Board’s treasurer, I review those projects that we may implement with our staff, review the topography in technical review committee meetings and then we discuss them before our Board and implement, revise, grant or deny projects. I also serve as the Board’s liaison to the Potomac Council that considers how our individual districts may learn from each other and coordinate change across the region.

As for the merits of my re-election, the most obvious consideration for any voter considering whether to continue my services, is that I have been doing it for more than four years and that we have had to deal with some complex decisions about those projects that we may underwrite, attended frequent subject matter training sessions and performed special assignments as they have arisen.

The Board designated my service to the Board as Treasurer and as the Board’s liaison to the Potomac Council. I was assigned to investigate whether Loudoun Water had compromised the water flow in the historic Goose Creek that empties into the Potomac River; Loudoun Water corrected the problem.

I’ve had this interest even as a kid in the South Bronx, watching Saturday morning television show, “The Morning Farmer.” Many years later, I had a 70-acre horse farm in Lincoln, and that focused my attention on issues involving soil and water. Presently, my wife Holly and I have a small farm outside Lovettsville, and our largest contingent of livestock is our pig rescue operation.

While my education is in the science and law, the most rewarding thing I do is the time we spend on what for some might be tedium – to sort out how we can help farmers and landowners preserve and protect their soil and water.

I hope you’ll consider giving me a chance to continue as a Director of the Soil and Water Board.  My passion for the work is undiminished.  Thanks for reading this and, if you think I’m worthy, vote for my re-election on Nov. 5.

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