Editor: In his Oct. 16 letter to the editor, Mr. Dave Dickinson attempts to explain Delegate Dave LaRock’s unwillingness to meet with the Farm Bureau and his apparent lack of interest in preserving Loudoun’s rapidly disappearing agricultural and rural heritage. Unfortunately, he has to invent stories about the past to make his case.
We only have to look at Delegate LaRock’s website to confirm that rural preservation is currently not a priority for him. He has space on the site to re-interpret the Declaration of Independence (equating “happiness” with “property”) and to explain why we should transfer public school funds to special interests. But there is no mention of any concern for the growing rural challenges we face, much less potential solutions.
Still, let’s assume the absence of anything relevant on Mr. LaRock’s website is just an oversight, and take a serious look at the historic record to which Mr. Dickinson calls our attention.
Ironically, Mr. Dickinson claims that Mr. LaRock supported “proffer law” reform because he understood it would restrict residential development. However, there is no evidence in the public record that this was his intention or expectation. In an editorial last year, Mr. LaRock stated that his primary motivation was to reduce the costs of development. Since the reform was passed, its supporters have expressed surprise and alarm that the reform may be having the unintended result of producing fewer approvals for new residential developments in both urban and rural areas. But there is no indication that Mr. LaRock anticipated this, much less that it motivated him to support the reform.
Second, Mr. Dickinson asserts that Mr. LaRock’s past opposition to the metro extension was due to concern over expanding suburban development in Loudoun’s Transition and Rural policy area. Again, there is nothing to substantiate this in the public record. In various opinion pieces in 2012, Mr. LaRock said he was concerned the metro extension would increase local tax burdens and bring in more crime. But nowhere did he state that his concern was for restricting residential development in the County’s Transition and Rural policy areas.
In sum, neither Mr. Dickinson’s historical examples nor Mr. LaRock’s current website provide any evidence that our current delegate is concerned with preserving Loudoun’s rural heritage or plans on taking any action to address this concern.
Finally, Mr. Dickinson claims that Tia Walbridge, Mr. LaRock’s opponent, has “no viable plan” to protect our rural heritage. This is just not true. Unlike Mr. LaRock, Ms. Walbridge has attended local Farm Bureau meetings and her campaign website prominently features this issue. She has endorsed a range of practical, concrete and feasible actions that she will pursue if elected – including measures proposed by the Farm Bureau. Loudoun County voters really do have a clear choice on this issue in the coming elections.
John Ellis. Purcellville