[Promoted by Liz]
Janet Clarke, Vice Chairman (R-Blue Ridge)
Loudoun’s 2011 BoS held its first meeting on Tuesday Jan 3, 2012 and Janet Clarke (R – Blue Ridge), the Vice Chairman graciously handed the public a litmus test to be applied over the course of the board’s tenure. The Leesburg Today reports that Supervisor Clarke blocked the reappointment of Stephen Mackey, owner of Notaviva Vineyards to the Economic Development Council. Her rationale was:
“We want to have a positive approach with the community, with the towns, with the businesses,” she said. “I don’t think that people who hold themselves contrary to that position should be allowed to serve.”
Geary Higgins, Ken Reid, Eugene Delgaudio and Shawn Williams voted with Clarke. Scott York, Ralph Buona, Matt Letourneau and Suzanne Volpe abstained. Clarke was upset by Mackey’s “heated exchange” with the Purcellville Town Council. Mackey blogged about the issue.
Stephen Mackey interviews Sam Brown after land was siezed
July 11, 2011
Mayor Lazaro, Purcellville Town Council Members:
I am writing to inform you of our alliance with Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard in their efforts to preserve their farm.
For some time now, we have followed with mounting disappointment and ire the news reports of their ongoing battle with the Town of Purcellville. Perhaps, like many others in the community, we held high hopes the issue would somehow “sort itself out” and that the Browns would prevail in their campaign. And perhaps, like many others in the community, we also held high hopes that their rights as citizens, rural business owners, and landowners would be preserved.
We reacted with shock as we learned of the Town’s aggressive tactics in removing the injunction preventing the seizure of the Brown’s property, and your subsequent acquisition of their land. In our opinion, you have violated a sacred American right, and we find it unconscionable that the Town of Purcellville has engaged in such actions.
Picking blackberries at Crooked Run Orchard
Given the negative actions of the town – bisecting a thriving farm with a road – most would see Mackey’s response as a positive approach. But we are dealing with elite Loudoun Republicans who have consistently aligned themselves with so-called “property rights” activists, activists who, aside from Joe Lafiandra, ignored, and perhaps even celebrated the Purcellville land grab.
Let’s add some perspective. Judeo-Christian scripture confirms, over and over, that opposition to injustice and hypocrisy is positive. But let’s turn the other cheek and give Ms Clarke her litmus test. Like Ms Clarke, we’ll ignore Mackey’s credentials; Board of the Virginia Wine Council, President of the Loudoun Wineries Association, Co-Founder, CEO and President of Notaviva Vinyards and focus on the one item she deems important. For the next four years, we expect a “positive approach with the community” from all members of our local government and their appointees. If there is a deviation, the guilty party should not be “allowed to serve“. If you witness such a deviation, post a comment and be sure to let Janet Clarke know.