Letter: Leonard “Hobie” Mitchel, Aldie

Editor:  I read a recent letter to the editor by Daniel Haney and would like to set the record straight on the misstatements that he has made.

I have served on many state and local Boards over the past 30 years and I truly understand the responsibilities and integrity those commissions and boards require both legally and morally.I have served for over this 30-year period on boards and commissions ranging from housing authorities, which advocated and developed affordable housing (20 years), the Commonwealth Transportation Board of Virginia (seven years), the Loudoun County Fiscal Impact Committee (26 years), and Loudoun Water Board (20 years), plus other miscellaneous organizations such as the American Red Cross, A-Home, Northern Virginia Building Association, Dulles Area Transportation Association, Urban Land Institute, Boy Scouts of America, (I am a proud Eagle Scout), and six years as a Scout Master, Troop 1130.

If ever I perceived a conflict, I abstained from not only a vote on a matter, but from even participating in any discussion on that matter.

I can proudly say that my record is impeccable and I feel strongly about my moral obligations which started in my youth in scouting nearly 60 years ago.

The Loudoun Water Board members and the staff of Loudoun Water are persons of the highest integrity and I am proud to have served that organization over the past 20 years.

There are several items in Mr. Haney’s letter which are categorically untrue:

1. I am not a partner in MOJAX, LLC.I am, however, assisting my good friends to ensure the best quality and highest standards for this development.

2. Middleburg Preserve is connecting to a sanitary sewer system that has been in existence for nearly four decades.There is no “action” that needs to be taken by Loudoun Water to bring this system online, as theproperty is located within a sanitary sewer district that has been in place since the mid-1980s.

3. The discussions related to utility extents of Sanitary Sewer and Water arenot under the purview of Loudoun Water; they are under the purview of the Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Haney also suggests that anyone associated with my industry should be prohibited from serving on boards and commissions.I absolutely disagree and here is why.Board and commissions should have a broad range of experience, opinions, and individuals.I have always believed that individuals from all socioeconomic groups, environmental groups, as well as representatives of industry should have a seat at the table to discuss policy, manage public assets and recommend to our elected officials on matters that concern the future of our county.

Over the years, I have participated with many organizations having that makeup and have learned from those individuals and they have learned from me.I have lived in Loudoun County for many decades and as such I am a stakeholder in the community.I find that in our current environment we have too much extremism. Somewhere, we must find balance to solve many of today’s problems and issues. But “misstating” the truth is not the way to go about it.

Leonard “Hobie” Mitchel, Aldie

One thought on “Letter: Leonard “Hobie” Mitchel, Aldie

  • 2019-12-20 at 2:57 pm

    You are half-right and mostly wrong. Developers are consituents and their input is approriate. Serving on a Commission or Committee is appropriate. Where you cross the line is serving on a Board. Boards take votes that have real authority. Developers should never serve on Boards, especially a Water Board. As a developer you are certainly aware that the location of public water and sewer is a primary driver a development and knowledge of where those lines will go or–worse yet–voting on where those line will go puts you in a clear position of a conflict of interest which, as defined, is actual or percevied. It is definitely perceived as a conflict of interest and, by your own admission, is actual–“I am, however, assisting my good friends.” You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Someone now owes you a favor.

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