Four new faces on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and one familiar one spent Saturday morning touring county services that often work invisibly.
Supervisors-elect Kristen Umstattd (D-Leesburg), Ron Meyer, Jr. (R-Broad Run), Phyllis Randall (D-At Large), Koran Saines (D-Sterling) and returning Supervisor Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) toured the Emergency Operations and Emergency Communications Centers, the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center, The Emergency Homeless Shelter and Transitional Housing Program, and the Loudoun County Solid Waste Management Facility.
“Things are constantly changing,” said Higgins, who is completing his first term. “I wanted to come out and get re-educated. While we’ve seen it before, it’s good to get back out and see what’s going on.”
Police, EMT, and fire officials showed off their state-of-the-art systems and capabilities, while juvenile detention center staffers explained their facility’s woes—including inadequate space to easily separate juvenile offenders by gender or gang affiliation.
“I think the tour of the services, especially for the juvenile center and shelter, it gives us a more personal touch about what the county is doing and what resources they need, so we know in the next four years, when they ask for help, that it’s actually going to something that’s very needed,” Meyer said.
“It puts a face to the need,” agreed Randall. “I think sometime you can talk about a shelter or juvenile services and it seems not real, but when you visit it, when you see the kids, when you see the facilities, it makes it real, and I think it’s important for servant leaders to look at the need face-to-face.”
“I want to go back to the juvenile facility, actually sit down with the kids if allowed, and speak with them,” Saines said. “Hear what they have to say, and hopefully pass on my experience and knowledge.”
The current Board of Supervisors will hold its final business meeting and a farewell dinner Tuesday, Dec. 16. The new board will start work in January with five new faces among its nine members, including the four on the tour and Tony R. Buffington, Jr. (R-Blue Ridge.)