Editor: In what appears to be a concerted strategy to assist a Loudoun County developer in his attempt to subvert the planning processes of both the Town of Leesburg and Loudoun County, four members of the Leesburg Town Council have indicated they will move for the firing of Leesburg Town Attorney Barbara Notar.
This effort is being spearheaded by Leesburg Councilwoman Suzanne Fox who, coincidentally, received no less than $23,000 dollars in campaign contributions from the developer. She is being supported in her scheme by Council members Tom Dunn, Ron Campbell and Josh Thiel. It may be useful to recall that Mr. Campbell and Mr. Thiel were responsible for a failed 2018 effort (based on no evidence at all) to remove Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk.
The four now appear determined to remove Ms. Notar, whose only offense has been to represent the town in the face of an onslaught of legal attacks by the developer. Ms. Fox, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Dunn and Mr. Thiel accuse Ms. Notar of “being in over her head.” But three of the four, by denying a motion for a closed Council session, refused to hear legal advice that would have been provided by expert outside counsel hired by Ms. Notar.
Mr. Dunn, who often claims expertise in a variety of fields, seems to feel that he knows better than licensed attorneys. The four also maintain that Ms. Notar mishandled the town’s position with Loudoun in the ongoing negotiations for a Boundary Line Adjustment. Yet, curiously, the county is on the cusp of signing into agreement the first phase of that very same BLA. (The county, by the way, is facing legal attacks of its own from the same developer, and there are some who suggest that the county attorney has also been subjected to whispers of his dismissal.)
It is interesting to note that several decades ago, the Virginia legislature found it necessary to write legislation, specific to Loudoun County, dealing with conflicts of interest (VA. Code 15.2-2287.1). Perhaps the Leesburg Town Council, in its upcoming ethics discussion, will include that language as part of its own policy.
So, Ms. Fox seems bent on helping a campaign donor whether in the best interest of the town or not. Mr. Dunn, who so often claims to represent the taxpayer, appears oblivious to the potential negative impacts of the developer’s proposal. Mr. Campbell often speaks of process and vision, but in this case is ignoring both. And Mr. Thiel? Well, he often seems willing to be swayed toward whatever direction the prevailing wind will carry him.
Neil Steinberg, Leesburg Town Councilman
Marty Martinez, Leesburg Vice Mayor
Kelly Burk, Leesburg Mayor