Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Autumn is upon us and with it our civic responsibility to vote on 6 November.
I recently had the pleasure to participate in a mock “election day” at the Primose School of Ashburn. I taught the children a short lesson on the election process and answered a few of their questions. Then, the children, voter registration cards in hand, voted for their class mascot and received “I VOTED” stickers after casting their ballots. It was a wonderful observance of the democratic process for our youngest citizens.
As you know, this board is highly committed to recruiting new businesses to Loudoun in order to increase the commercial tax base, which affords us the opportunity to reduce the residential tax burden. I recently worked with county staff and other members of the board to broker a deal to sell 75.4 acres of the “Farmwell Site” near Loudoun County Parkway to Raging Wire, a data-center company based in California, for $20 million. The county purchased the site of approximately 100 acres in 2004 for $13.5 million. A portion of the site was retained for ball fields, as well as land for the future Discovery Elementary School. Of note, this valuable land will now be back on the tax rolls. Raging Wire plans to develop a 750,000 square foot facility, generating up to $16 million per year in property tax revenue. Kudos to the Department of Economic Development for their hard work in bringing this company to Loudoun! We will continue to pursue innovative measures to grow Loudoun’s business base.
ES-22: Discovery Elementary School
With the building of a much needed new elementary school in our district comes the boundary adjustment process. The School Board is the public body that manages this process. Please click here to view the attendance boundary calendar.
HS-8 – Lansdowne Area High School
The Planning Commission forwarded the land use applications associated with the Lansdowne Area High School (HS-8)* to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) with a recommendation of approval (7-0-2) on 19 September. These applications will be on the Board’s agenda at the 13 November Public Hearing. This is the second public hearing for these applications as the first was held on 18 July as part of the Joint BOS/Planning Commission Public Hearing at Belmont Ridge Middle School in Lansdowne. During the 13 November Public Hearing the Board could: 1) decide to vote on these applications; 2) forward the applications to the 4/5 December Board of Supervisors General Business and Public Input Meeting for a final vote; or 3) forward the applications to the Transportation/Land Use Committee for further discussion. All of this information is available on the Loudoun County Public Schools website and on the Loudoun Online Land Applications System (LOLA).
*ZCPA-2011-0010, SPEX-2011-0033, ZMOD-2012-0004 Loudoun County Public Schools (HS-8)
Loudoun Math and IT Academy Charter School
The proposed Loudoun Math and IT Academy Charter School is holding an information session on 29 October at the Lansdowne on the Potomac Clubhouse at 43459 Riverpoint Drive from 7:00-8:30 p.m., to provide an opportunity to learn more about its proposal and its efforts to increase the education choices available to Loudoun County’s children.
The LMITA charter school project grew out of an effort by a group of Loudoun County parents, many of whom work in the IT field, who became interested in opportunities to have more focused math and IT education choices within LCPS for grades 6 through 12. It is designed to enhance the excellent education Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) currently provides, with a particular emphasis in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) and cyber security areas. The application was approved by the State Board of Education in late July, enabling the local review process to begin.
The application is currently being reviewed by LCPS staff and the Loudoun County School Board will make the ultimate decision with regard to approval of this charter school. By law, charter schools must have open enrollment; therefore, any student living in Loudoun County would be able to attend the Loudoun Math & IT Academy at no additional cost to the family or the school system, as long as there are available seats.
Ashburn Village Boulevard widening to Morley Corner
After months of hard work between my office, developers and a local HOA, all of the necessary paperwork has been completed in order to finally widen Ashburn Village Boulevard in the Farmwell Hunt vicinity to four lanes. In fact, the road opened today!
Belmont Ridge Road/Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD)
MWCOG Street Smart Event
Wednesday, 14 November
Belmont Ridge Road Crossing of the
My office is hosting a “StreetSmart Safety Event” with the Metropolitan Washington Council on Governments (COG) to raise awareness of pedestrian and bicyclist safety at multi-use trail crossings.
Believe it or not, we are already beginning work on the FY14 budget! At the first business meeting in October, we provided fiscal guidance to the County Administrator to follow as he prepares the budget. I put a lot of thought into this matter and am thankful that the board agreed on guidance that would result in an equalized amount for county government operations with regard to the current tax rate, and would lower the schools’ fund transfer by three cents. This includes direction for two cents of the budget to be allocated to transportation purposes. Please note, this is preliminary fiscal guidance; the School Board sets its own budget after the Board makes the transfer.
While I strongly support our School Board and the need to deliver an exemplary education to our children, the increases being requested on an annual basis are simply not sustainable. Last year the requested INCREASE was $86 million, this year it is $64 million - that is a requested increase of $150 million in just two years! I understand that we need to accomodate for the growth in the school system - both in terms of new students and new schools - but these increases far exceed the amount needed to do that.
Fall Multimodal Transportation Meeting
The Secretary of Transportation and the Commonwealth Transportation Board will conduct nine 2012 Fall Multimodal Transportation Public Meetings across the state in October and November to give stakeholders the opportunity to review and provide comments on projects and programs to be included in the Fiscal Year 2014-2019 Six-Year Improvement Program (FY14-19 SYIP), including highway, rail and public transportation initiatives. The Northern Virginia meeting, beginning at 6 pm, will be held on Tuesday, 30 October at the Virginia Department of Transportation, District Office Potomac Conference Center at 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA. If you can’t attend the meeting you can also send comments to Diane Mitchell, Virginia Department of Transportation at 1401 E. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219 or e-mail them at Six-YearProgram@vdot.virginia.gov by 30 November.
OTHER BOARD NEWS
The “Action Reports” from the Board’s October meetings have been posted on my Facebook page.