Fred Jennings, who served for more than a year as Loudoun Water’s general manager, has been appointed to the Planning Commission amid controversy over a mysterious project atop Short Hill and the beginning of work on a new comprehensive plan.
The Loudoun Water Board of Directors terminated Jennings’ contract as the utility’s chief executive in February of 2015. He served on the board for nine years, including six as chairman.
Jennings is currently the principal and vice president of Consulting for Utilities International Inc., which creates financial modeling and forecasting for electric and gas utilities. He is also president and founder of F.E. Jennings & Company, Management Advisory Services.
He joins the Planning Commission as it begins work on the county’s new comprehensive plan. He said as a strategic planner he wants to help craft a “responsible approach to developing and growing a county.”
“I don’t believe the pressure to grow in the county can be simply stopped or abated,” Jennings said, “but I think we as planning commissioners and as county leaders do have an opportunity to make careful, considered decisions, cognizant of the fact that we likely can’t keep every element of the county precisely and exactly the same as it is today or as it was yesterday.”
Balancing the county’s history and culture with its growth, he said, is “a very delicate balance.”
“Stakeholders have a very personal view,” Jennings said.
Ashburn Supervisor Ralph M. Buona (R), who made the nomination, said it was clear to him that the board would have to put aside the usual appointment timeline—with a nomination one month and a confirmation the next—to fill all planning commission seats as soon as possible.
Jennings fills the seat left by the passing of late commission Vice Chairman Robert Klancher, who died at 57 on Wednesday, May 4, after struggling with cancer.
“He was a close friend,” Jennings said. “Our families, his oldest daughter and mine have been best of friends since first grade.”