Letter: Evan Macbeth, Leesburg

Editor: Over the past few months of campaigning around town, a number of residents and families have talked to me about how hard it is to find affordable apartments for young adults who are just beginning their careers. Our town is doing good work generating jobs that attract people here and, over the past few years, the options for arts and entertainment in Leesburg have exploded. However, for those at the start of their careers, it can be difficult to afford to live in our wonderful town.

The next Town Council should make reasonably priced living options a priority. Affordable housing located near restaurants, arts and entertainment venues will not only increase the customers and foot traffic that our downtown businesses need, but also enhance the population balance of our town. Balanced towns thrive because they’re able to flexibly manage changing needs, with diverse skills and interests mutually contributing to local prosperity.

The Council and Planning Commission can begin by giving preference to development applications that include reasonably priced housing. These options can, and should, be part of plans that also include age-limited options along with the other housing we’ve become accustomed to seeing proposed by developers. Welcoming young professionals into our neighborhoods makes the bindings of a community strong, ensuring our Town retains its integrity through whatever challenges may come.

Evan Macbeth, Leesburg

 

[The writer is a candidate for the Leesburg Town Council.]

9 thoughts on “Letter: Evan Macbeth, Leesburg

  • 2016-10-01 at 9:04 pm
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    MacBeth wants open borders for the same reason that Hillary and all the Democrats want massive illegal immigration flows… votes.

    However, that doesn’t mean less expensive housing is not a valid issue. Loudoun’s housing is artificially inflated because of its zoning policies. If you house costs $600K instead of $500K (or even $400K), you are paying $K’s/yr in unnecessary mortgage costs. Even if you have mostly equity, there is an opportunity cost to that. Sure, property owners from the 1990’s love the restrictive zoning since they have reaped artificial capital gains on their property. But there is simply no reason to continue our overzealous zoning policies.

    I am not for giving developers gifts. Land not in the hands of developers should be rezoned and then auctioned off to the highest bidder, especially for smaller size units so younger professionals can afford to live here. Currently, many live in West Virginia or far to the west and drive in (be they sheriff deputies, teachers or service workers). Why not provide them housing here to the east of their work sites. Younger folks working in Arlington are not going to rent 1200 sqft apartments here in Loudoun. Younger folks working in Loudoun will.

  • 2016-09-30 at 3:11 pm
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    RE: younger residents

    The local Chamber types desire younger residents for a couple of reasons. 1) They are cheaper labor. Middle aged and senior folks have higher salaries. The federal contracting environment, to which we are still tethered, has been one of “juniorfication.” That is, you hire someone with barely a college education and minimum qualifications so you can drive down your costs. 2) The younger set spends freely and there is a push to build entertainment venues that are well suited to a younger crowd for blowing cash. 3) it invites even more people into the area and the more people that show up the more HOUSES need to be built and houses are the easy money for developers. Anything that pushes more housing they will push for.

    Democrats such as MacBeth love social quotas and this is just another incarnation of another quota-esque policy. There is no good rationale to focus on attracting a younger crowd. Focus on job creation and transportation and let the demographics be what they may.

  • 2016-09-30 at 2:59 pm
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    Evan MacBeth is unfit for public office.

    I am a conservative Republican and I generally don’t like the Democrat-aligned candidates such as mayoral candidate Dave Butler (hey Dave, thanks for taking the bait and splitting the Dem vote). That said, I don’t think Butler or the Ds for mayor and council are unfit…I just don’t like their policies and don’t want them to succeed.

    But MacBeth is different. He is a wing nut. Leesburgparent, you state “I have observed that his discourse and manner is unfailingly respectful and polite, even to his political opponents.” Then you have not often observed him. Google his performance in front of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors (under Youtube “Evan Macbeth Testifies”). Is that normal behavior?

    I have, probably unbeknownst to him, worked the polls with him at Evergreen Mills Elementary. His behavior there was overly aggressive towards other workers and to the voting population. His loud, theatrical voice and mannerism were just plain weird.

    He wrote a letter to the WAPO editor that you can google entitled, “Virginia Needs Higher Taxes in 2014” and stated “I want to pay higher taxes” and “I am willing to pay, and I am happy to do so” and “I call upon the Virginia General Assembly to tax me and…I call upon Congress to do the same.” Who in their right mind says that???

    And, then, last year he runs for County Treasurer—a position he has no experience nor background to even consider and he gets pulverized losing by 40% because Loudoun voters actually want competent people in the office they are running for and he had none. If MacBeth had no clue that he was unfit for that office, then he is clearly delusional.

    MacBeth is just desperate to be somebody.

  • 2016-09-30 at 2:25 pm
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    Apparently mentioning the words “Affordable Housing” immediately entices republicans start calling you crazy (ad hom), implying that your concern for traffic is only to benefit the low income neighborhood near Plaza St (what?!), AND (best for last), concluding that because you are in favor of affordable housing, you are also in favor of an open border with Mexico? This is why we should never read the comments. There is nothing substantive or logical about these objections to Mr. Macbeth’s Letter.

    Mr. Macbeth is an educated, principled candidate with a great experience and success as a community advocate. He cares about our town, and he cares about all the people in our town. This letter is to point out that he’s observed a need and desire among young people to live in our town, but that there is a scarcity of housing they can afford. Unfortunately, instead of having a discussion on this topic in the comments, we have these long, borish, partisan attacks.

  • 2016-09-30 at 11:43 am
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    David Dickenson, your comments are unnecessarity rude and off-topic. The manner in which you resort to name-calling and personal attacks instead of offering any useful input on his commentary says much more about you than it does about Evan Macbeth. He is well-respected in our community and by local leadership for his efforts as a private citizen to improve our town. I have observed that his discourse and manner is unfailingly respectful and polite, even to his political opponents. Based on your comments here, that’s more than I can say for you.

    The debate over taxes is a worthy one when applied to a specific proposal, unless you categorically oppose collecting revenue to fund the basic services that every town resident needs. However, Macbeth’s proposal that we find ways to create more and reasonably priced housing for the county’s young professionals, many of whom are spending their income in Ashburn or Lansdowne instead of Leesburg, is neither socialist nor controversial. It’s just good business, or, as TCKforlife put it so succinctly, it’s a win-win for Leesburg.

  • 2016-09-30 at 5:54 am
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    Social engineering by MacBeth, what could go wrong?
    A man found wanting by the Loudoun Democrat party so he was replaced.
    Decided he was an adept money manager and ran a campaign against our national treasure, Roger Zurn. Not a campaign to improve on Zurn’s work (AAA)!
    Admire his want to I do it’s just what he wants to do is not admirable.

  • 2016-09-28 at 1:26 pm
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    MacBeth is a far, far, far left-wing nutter. Vote for anyone except him.

    I was going to mention his statement to WaPo about raising taxes to any level so that more social services can be doled out, but leesburgsfinest beat me to it. If you think Leesburg taxes are high now, just wait until this all-out socialist can vote to raise them.

    Add to that his strange behaviour sprinkling water at the BoS meeting (another item to google) and me personally watching his odd behaviour working the polls on election day and it all adds up to a very strange person.

    Don’t vote for him for dog catcher. He belongs in theater (and not just because he has a name for it). He lost by 40% for county treasurer last election cycle! The voters don’t like him. You’d think the guy could take a hint.

  • 2016-09-27 at 5:57 pm
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    For those of you who don’t know Evan MacBeth, his overall game plan doesn’t include what he professes in the article above. Please go to his Twitter and Facebook accounts, and trace back years, and you will find it void of anything unless it relates to assisting mostly low-wage, non-professional and non-white persons including his open-door policy on (illegal) immigration, and nothing on our MS-13 gang problem. His main and only goal is to squander our tax money, if elected to the Town Council, for his pet projects aimed for the extended Plaza Street area, which is why his webpage cites the two major intersection on 15 as his priorities, and not Battlefield Parkway, which was recently approved (he does tout this seemingly as an accomplishment, perhaps of his own, as a private citizen). What he is referring to in the article is trying to force the Developer (LDG) of Crescent Parke to accommodate his goals at forcing his social engineering on our Town (as outlined in his rhetoric from the phrase “enhance the population balance”). Please refer to the Town/County websites as I believe we have an extremely balanced population, but I wish Evan MacBeth we comment on what he deems as well balanced. On December 30, 2013, Evan drafted a commentary to the Washington Post, which outlined his intent to the Virginia General Assembly and US Congress for them to raise his taxes in 2014, so that they could “fund the public good”. This reckless thought is truly not what we need for our future Town Council, as how can we expect that his known very liberal ideology, won’t expect us to continue to pay for all his pet projects. We must first look at our how public funds are being spent, our pocketbook, and incoming taxes before even considering raising taxes, which is why the likes of Ken Reid, Tom Dunn, and John Hilton are best suited for the job of Town Council as they are fiscal conservatives. To add one further comment. Katie Hammler recently provided a commentary that she wanted the Town Council race to be devoid of the National Race. I don’t think it is possible, per say, as our Town, County, State and our Nation is bearing a massive financial, criminal, educational (overcrowding), etc. burden and the likes of Evan MacBeth fully supports open borders and continues to feel that we, the public, should financially subsidize their housing, health, education, etc. Although we as a Country, and my family personally in several different respects through church, volunteering, charity, etc. help assist those in need regardless, we can’t continue down the road anymore, which is why a vote for Evan MacBeth is the wrong solution, as he adds to the problem. I will kindly offer a link to the WaPo article, but believe LN will flag this comment. It is easily searchable under Google.

    • 2016-09-29 at 5:25 pm
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      If I understand you correctly, you think the fact that Mr. Macbeth mentioned two intersections along 15 Bypass as needing long-term solutions means he is only interested in the needs of the “extended Plaza area” and this is further highlighted by his failure to mention the Battlefield/Rt. 7 intersection. However, why should he mention a plan for said intersection when there is already a plan in place? Also, how does this show he is not interested in the community at-large when he DID fight for said intersection and his campaign page mentions as much (July 25th)? Furthermore, this presupposes that the only people who benefit from these improvements would be the “extended Plaza area”, which is not the case. Even further to the point, during the Candidate Forum last Thursday, Ken Reid mentioned the Battlefield/Rt. 15 Bypass intersection as one of the issues he deeply believes the new Council needs to fix. This is an area both candidates agree needs a solution. Calling our Mr. Macbeth on his interest in bettering the infrastructure of our Town seems insincere since infrastructure benefits every resident of Leesburg.

      As for Mr. Macbeth’s interests in speaking up for our less fortunate neighbors, I see that as a testament to his character. It is easy to look out for one’s own interests. It is far harder to speak up for those who may not have a voice. Whether you like it or not, there are neighbors in our Town who need a helping hand and there is plenty of evidence that charity alone is not enough make sure everyone’s needs are fulfilled. It is laudable that you volunteer in our community and give to charity. Mr. Macbeth has been doing so as well. Together we can all make a difference to those around us.

      Finally, if I understand Mr. Macbeth’s point about enhancing “the population balance of our town”, he is referring to age demographics. Younger residents are a boon to the area because of their tendency to go downtown and dine and their relatively low need for services. This will help businesses in Town as well as the Town budget. Sounds like a win-win for the Town.

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