County supervisors adopted most of the recommendations of its ad-hoc Committee on Advisory Boards, Commissions, and Committees during their annual organizational meeting Tuesday.
The board dissolved several advisory panels after finding they were redundant, had served their purpose, or just weren’t doing much. The committee on committees was a yearlong effort begun early in the board’s first year and aimed at cutting down on the more than 50 citizen advisory committees the county has, many of which require support from county staff members.
Some changes were more contentious than others among board members. In particular, board members were divided on whether to fold the Lyme Disease Commission into the Loudoun Health Council, dissolve the Transportation Improvement and Safety Commission, or remove cable franchise agreement oversight from the Communications Commission and establish a timeline for that panel to produce recommendations for expanding broadband service in the county.
On the latter, county staff members worry that the commission was stretching beyond its authority, seeking to enforce franchise agreements with cable television providers. Supervisors entered a heated debate over whether to make those changes. Some argued the commission could get ahead of itself and put the county into a legally tenuous situation; others said the committee is making up for shortfalls in enforcement by the county staff, and interfering with the commission’s work could interfere with efforts to expand rural broadband service. Ultimately, the board sent the matter to its Finance, Government Operations and Economic Development Committee for further review.
The board also voted not to fold the Lyme Disease Commission into the Loudoun Health Council. A majority of supervisors agreed that Lyme disease is, in Supervisor Geary M. Higgins’ (R-Catoctin) words, an “epidemic” that is “not something we can be casual about.”
Supervisors also voted to dissolve the Transportation Improvement and Safety Commission. Randall, the lone dissenting vote, said she could see that commission doing some good; Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) countered that in his time on the board, he had “not heard from this commission a single time.”
Also the board’s less controversial changes: The Trespass Towing Advisory Board was dissolved, while the Police Directed Towing Advisory Board will remain; the Landfill Special Exception Committee was dissolved; the Courthouse Grounds Committee was dissolved; and the Water Resources Technical Advisory Committee will convene only as needed.
The county staff will also prepare updated directions for individual committees for supervisors’ approval.
Here’s a list of the Loudoun County advisory boards, commissions and committees that remain:
- Advisory Commission on Youth
- Advisory Plans Examiners Board
- Affordable Dwelling Unit Advisory Board
- Agricultural District Advisory Committee
- Animal Advisory Committee
- Art Advisory Committee
- Board of Building Code Appeals
- Board of Equalization
- Board of Zoning Appeals
- Communications Commission
- Commission on Aging
- Community Criminal Justice Board
- Community Policy and Management Team
- Community Services Board
- Disability Services Board
- Dulles Town Center Community Development Authority
- Economic Development Authority
- Economic Development Advisory Commission
- Electoral Board
- Facilities Standards Manual Public Review Committee
- Family Services Advisory Board
- Finance Board
- Fiscal Impact Committee
- Heritage Commission
- Historic District Review Committee
- Housing Advisory Board
- Housing Choice Voucher Resident Advisory Board
- Library Board of Trustees
- Loudoun Health Council
- Loudoun Water
- Lyme Disease Commission
- Other Post-Employment Benefits Investment Committee
- Parks, Recreation & Open Space Board
- Planning Commission
- Police Directed Towing Advisory Board
- Rural Economic Development Council
- Transit Advisory Board
- Transportation Improvement & Safety Commission
- Water Resources Technical Advisory Committee
- Zoning Ordinance Action Group