Sour Grapes?

The redistricting process has been a contentious mess, I will grant anyone that. I don’t think there was anyone in the county who was 100% satisfied (or would have been satisfied) by any of the plans. I was ambivalent – I saw positives and negatives in both “Miller 5” and “HOA 4”. My only hope was to see the Lansdowne on the Potomac community united into one district. In the long run, though, it didn’t matter to me which plan passed; I would have been able to live with either. But apparently not Supervisor Lori Waters.

I just received Supervisor Waters’ March 2011 newsletter in my e-mail inbox, and was a little taken aback by what I read. Instead of the usual district newsletter, where she touts board items she championed, notifies us of board actions that affect the district, and gives us tidbits of other district-related news, Supervisor Waters took it upon herself to inject politics and editorial comment into this issue.

I voted against this plan as it was gerrymandering to favor certain incumbents and candidates and even claimed as “our plan” by the Loudoun County Democrat Committee (sic). Unfortunately, these district lines will remain in place for 10 years, and this process ended with candidates trumping communities.

I took a cursory glance at newsletters released by some of the other Supervisors (at least those that were posted on the Loudoun County website), and saw none of them playing politics with their newsletters (I can only assume that the Sterling District Supervisor does this, given his track record).

Supervisor Waters, I’m sorry you didn’t get your way. We both had the same goal, to unite Lansdowne, and I was just as turned off by the political machinations last week as anyone. I understand your frustrations. But an innocuous district newsletter is no place for playing political games.  Just tell us the news, free from spin and opinion, and leave the politics out of it.

This is why we should all work hard to elect Valdis Ronis as the next Supervisor from Broad Run (or whatever the district will be called). He’s above playing politics – he’s fiscally conservative, socially progressive, and environmentally responsible. And he will provide a sense of leadership of which this board will be in dire need.

1 thought on “Sour Grapes?

  1. Stevens R. Miller

    Mostly agreed, Dave. (And good catch on that enduring-yet-silly business of replacing “Democratic” with “Democrat.”)

    I frankly have no problem with the idea that our two significant party committees might each put forth a plan. Why not? Each is composed of politically active, typically well informed participants. Knowing what they want in a clear and unambiguous way isn’t bad, and being able to blend their offerings into the mix towards compromise wouldn’t have been a bad approach. It was Lori herself who told me, at a meeting with about ten of the HOA plan drafters, that LCRC simply wasn’t able to adopt a plan. What’s funny (if anything is funny about all this) is that LCRC’s Chairman Sell went ahead and presented one of the HOA plans as “LCRC’s plan,” when, according to Ms. Waters, LCRC merely endorsed it. Not good PR with a Democratic majority on the board, imho.

    Even funnier (if not sadder) is the misperception that LCDC had (or has) a plan. I’m an LCDC member and I am pretty sure we never voted on any plan. Some of LCDC’s members drafted a plan which I took into consideration, along with other suggestions, when I drafted Miller 1. Since I wasn’t in on the discussions, I don’t know who drafted “Miller 5 Amended,” but I am again pretty sure LCDC didn’t vote on it, so that’s still not LCDC’s plan. (LCDC Chairman Turner’s public reference to “our plan” might have been a regrettable choice of words, but he gave me some advice on Miller 1 and I don’t blame him for saying what he did. Later references to “Miller 5 Amended,” of course, I wouldn’t be in a position to explain.)

    Is Lori being too political? Well, she lost that vote (along with me), so I am willing to cut her some slack. The function best performed by those who do not prevail is often to be critics, so I take her comments in that context. She is, at best, guessing at the purpose of the plan that passed (since I doubt anyone who voted for it told her what she says in her newsletter that their reasons were). Our neighbors are pretty rational people, though, so I think they can be counted on to know that.

    As for the future: Yes! Valdis Ronis will be a fine supervisor. I am pleased to say I was out walking doors with him, his wife, and his volunteers, just last weekend. Valdis is a sharp guy who, as a Planning Commissioner, architect, and businessman, is bringing some excellent credentials to this race. After redistricting is finally put to bed (but keep those e-mails, phone calls, and public input coming to the BOS until it is, which isn’t until April 15’th!), I’ll be looking forward to his campaign and its success.

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