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Committees at a Glance – July

July 31, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Committees at a Glance, Government, News, Uncategorized No Comments

(Committees at a Glance is a feature of the Blue Ridge Leader informing our readers about the inner workings of local government and how actions and decisions impact our everyday lives – from our tax rates to that new development we see going in down the road. For this 3rd Edition we discuss recent actions and discussions at the Loudoun County Government Reform Commission (GRC) and various committees and actions of the Purcellville Town Council. (Note: The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors established the GRC and appointed its thirteen members on January 3, 2012. Chairman Scott York, who sponsored the initiative, laid out four goals: (1) identify efficiency opportunities; (2) explore innovative ways to lower costs; (3) consider privatization and outsourcing opportunities; and (4) identify ways to enhance government transparency, accountability, and customer service.)

Loudoun County
Government Reform Commission
Meeting, June 28, 2012

– Topics: County Police Force, Loudoun Water Governance, County Debt Status, Privatization Update, Year Round Schools

– The commission voted to recommend that the county not pursue creation of a police force at this time, but continue to leave law enforcement activities under the Sheriff.
– The commission discussed (but delayed a formal recommendation) whether all Loudoun Water customers should pay the same rates. Dale Hammes, the Director of Loudoun Water, informed the committee that such a change would require central system customers to subsidize those on community systems, such as the Raspberry Falls and Lenah Run communities by approximately $350,000 to $500,000 per year.
– Co-Chair Scott Hamberger presented an analysis of the county’s debt, concluding that county staff and past Boards should be commended for establishing and following a set of conservative fiscal policies that enabled the county to maintain its financial health through the recent “black swan” event. The commission recommended that the Board continue to abide by the county’s established policies.
– The commission discussed its subcommittee’s initial recommendations for privatization. The initial focus will be the Office of Capital Construction and Waste Management.
– The commission received a report on the potential for year-round schooling.

Purcellville Town Council
and Planning Commission Joint Public Hearing, July 19, 2012

– Topic: Zoning Amendments

– The Purcellville Town Council voted unanimously to approve two zoning amendments. One was to allow the addition of a Brewery, Winery and Distillery as a permitted use in all commercial districts. The other was to allow indoor commercial recreation facilities as a permitted use in the MC, M1 and CM-1 zoning districts.

Purcellville Town Council
Work Session: July 24, 2012

– Topic: “City Status” for Purcellville, zoning amendments to allow student housing in residential districts,
– Councilman Tom Priscilla asked the town to lobby the Virginia General Assembly to remove the moratorium on city status. (Background: Purcellville gave up the right to seek “City Status” with the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP). Now that the County and Town of Purcellville, at the town’s request, are in accord to abolish the agreement/contract, Purcellville is seeking city status. In 2010 one of Purcellville’s top priorities was to look into “City Status.”)
– The committee discussed amending the zoning ordinance to allow for student homes in residential districts (up to eight students per house). Presently, the state statute allows for no more than three unrelated adults living together in one house. Planning director Patrick Sullivan indicated that this ordinance would accommodate the needs of Patrick Henry College (PHC). Councilman Tom Priscilla said that the ordinance change would be just for PHC students. Mayor Lazaro added that he hoped that Patrick Henry would not own the homes because if the college did purchase the houses it would take them off the tax rolls. He also directed staff to investigate how other college cities address the issue. Vice Mayor Joan Lehr said that the properties would be owned by the school and she did not want to get involved with lease agreements.
– There was brief discussion about landscaping issues along A Street as part of the Hirst Farm Subdivision incompleted work. Mayor Lazaro said that the county and town are working to resolve the issues of the pond that has to be configured into a dry pond. (Background: The BRL has previously reported that the Town of Purcellville failed to secure a performance bond from the developer.)

Loudoun County
Government Reform Commission
Meeting, July 26, 2012

– Topics: County Assessor’s Office Reporting Structure, County Financial Organization, County Debt Policies, Subcommittee Updates
– The commission heard opinions from the county treasurer, the commissioner of revenue, the deputy county administrator, the assessor, and the chief financial officer regarding the location of the assessor’s office within the county government structure and opportunities for streamlining the financial function for greater efficiency. Staff provided benchmarks from five other counties for the commission’s consideration.
– The commission finalized its recommendation that the Board continue to abide by the county’s established fiscal policy.
– Subcommittee 1 presented a video about Sandy Springs, GA – “the city which out-sourced its government.” The subcommittee handed out an initial list of specific areas to be considered for out-sourcing and privatization for study by staff.
– Subcommittee 2 provided updates on its consideration of the fire and rescue function, Loudoun Water governance, and adult day care. Efforts will be made to finalize its reports on these areas for consideration by the full commission at its September meeting. The subcommittee members thanked two citizens, Scott Lutz and Cynthia Klebonis, for a memorandum detailing numerous ways to enhance the transparency of Loudoun Water.

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Sustainable Planet

The Noisy Economist

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“[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists [economists] spend their time analyzing states of rest, balance, equilibrium.” – Yanis Varoufakis [1] Updating the evolving global surface temperature anomaly monthly for the Loudoun County …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Help for Shark Phobia

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Mount Zion Church

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Brandon Park

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Considering its location – amidst the swirl of transportation axes, commercial and industrial scenery, residential neighborhoods, and the shadow of the busy downtown section of Leesburg, I was surprised to have this quiet little oasis of (mostly) green to myself …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

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Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

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By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

Saving The Art Of Letter Writing

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel This year a woman in France received a letter in the mail. What made her experience unique was that the letter had been written on January 27, 1877, and was intended for her great-grandfather. Steve Insekeep, …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

The Marital Agreement

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– By Amy & Dan Smith In Virginia, as in most states, a marital agreement can be entered into before or after marriage. It can cover a variety of topics but commonly addresses issues pertaining to the disposition of property …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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Events

July 2015
M T W T F S S
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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Summer Expressions: an exhibit of abstract paintings by artist Rebeca Roman and ceramics by potter Steven Shiraishi

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

2

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

3

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Moonlight Zip Tours in Middleburg Virginia

4

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

5

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

6 7

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Garden Party

9

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

10

Garden Party

11

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Garden Party

Willie White returns to North Gate Vineyard

12

Garden Party

13

Barns of Rose Hill Presents Lúnasa

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

14 15

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

16 17

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Friday Night Jazz with Maddy Curtis and Caleb Nei

18 19

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Two Pound Sterling Live at North Gate Vineyard

20 21

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

22 23

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

24

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

25

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Kipyn Martin Live at North Gate VIneyard

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.

Event: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists – wood turner Harriet Maloney and photographer J Riley Stewart

The Gifts Within

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27

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

28 29

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

30 31

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck

1

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Spinners

2

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Editorial

How Did We Get Here And How Do We Get Out?? A Summary Of Purcellville’s Sewer Debt And Strategic Solutions

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Lifestyle

Artist’s Profile: Michele Sommers, Mural Artist – The Beauty Of Life, Evolving Over Time

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Kicking Off Farm To Fork With Music

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Hillsboro Celebrates Independence Day July 3

1 Jul 2015

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Bring your friends and family to Hillsboro’s Old Stone School on Friday, July 3 for the annual Independence Day Celebration. The celebration will be preceded by the second of four seasonal outdoor markets which will open on July 3 at 4 p.m., and the Independence Day festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Stone School located at 37098 Charles …

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Wild Loudoun

Ancient Oaks – The Great Providers

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wildloudoun

– By Andrea Gaines She feeds the birds. She shelters the mammal. She cools the air, provides us with shade and conserves the water and soil. She is the mighty old oak, an ecosystem unto herself. All except the smallest living things function as an ecosystem of sorts – whether harboring the bacteria and microscopic plants that break down organic …

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Around Virginia

Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill

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On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia

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Bipartisan Legislation Hopes To Reduce Wasteful Spending

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U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have teamed up on a bipartisan proposal to empower federal workers to identify and cut down on unnecessary federal spending. The Bonuses for Cost-Cutters Act of 2015 would build on existing law by expanding a program that allows U.S. government …

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Sports

Upper Loudoun Little League Pre-Game Ceremony

1 Jul 2015

ULLLpic5

– By Carri Michon The Majors championship game for Upper Loudoun Little League dawned with prospects of stormy weather. Nonetheless, a nice crowd assembled for the pre-game ceremonies in the light rain. Following the announcment of the AL Royals and the NL Pirates teams, the ULLL Hometown Heroes scholarship given …

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WLVBC Ignite Takes 2nd at Tournament

13 May 2015

Ignite Takes Silver at Spring Fling resized

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club U15 Team Ignite placed second at the NVVA 15’s Spring Fling Volleyball Tournament on Sunday, May 10 at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Leesburg. Ignite met the host team, NVVA 15 Fairfax Black, in the finals. “I’m proud of each player for pushing hard through 10 …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015

thismonthhistory

– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

Locks Of Hope Easy, Helpful

1 Jul 2015

Lunde new

– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m not the first one who has written about and done what I am about to describe, and I hope I’m not the last. It’s not an action that seems heroic, but it does make a difference. The best part is that no one is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015

sarahcloset3

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Letters

Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015

speak

With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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Minimum Wage: A Wrench in the Gears

3 Jun 2015

Dave_larock

By Delegate Dave LaRock You may have read in the news recently that the second-largest city in the United States, Los Angeles, voted to raise …

(3 comments)

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