Editorial: Setting the Tone

We are closing the door on a year filled with successes, tragedies and changing political winds—locally and nationally.

Looking back on the past 12 months, there is plenty for Loudouners to be proud of; in many areas, they set examples that others around the country could benefit by following.

In this issue, we have put a spotlight on instances when residents and community leaders responded to threats to the public health and safety with compassion and collaboration. They are devoted to making sure their neighbors do not fall victim to suicidal depression, to domestic violent, or to fatal addictions. Our work is not done yet.

Those campaigns would not be as successful without the support of the county’s government leaders. The Board of Supervisors deserves some of the credit, if for no other reason than setting a standard of civility that is so lacking in other legislative chambers.

County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall set that tone from the onset of her term. She was the first Democrat to be elected to post since it was created in 1992 and she stepped into a room that had been controlled by an all-Republican board for the previous four years. With four other first-term members, including two other Democrats, taking board seats in January, the stage was set for another swing of the political pendulum—a trend that has come to mark Loudoun politics more much of the past quarter century.

That didn’t happen. Or it hasn’t yet.

Instead, the new board quickly found solid footing. Supervisors Ralph M. Buona, as board vice chairman; Matthew F. Letourneau, as chairman of the workhorse Finance and Government Operations Committee; and Randall have formed a leadership team that has kept a strong focus on the county’s priorities and left little time for diversionary political mischief that can derail their work.

The successes of the board’s first year highlight what voters in purple Loudoun County have long known: The success of their government won’t be determined by the number of Republicans or Democrats serving as its leaders, but by the quality of individuals they elect to those service posts.

After Year One, the board has given voters reasons to feel good about their choices once again.