Acknowledging that “we’ve had a little struggle in the previous years between the town and the county,” Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk told county leaders she wants the Town Council and Board of Supervisors to cooperate
She made those remarks during a reception for supervisors hosted by the Town Council at Tuscarora Mill Restaurant in Leesburg Thursday, Jan. 30. She pointed out that town residents pay both town and county taxes, and are county constituents as well.
“We really want to be a partner. We want work together. We want to be able to do things together rather than the adversarial back-and-forth,” Burk said.
County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) agreed.
“One of the things I want to do this term is do this more, and make sure that the county talks with the towns,” Randall said. “I shouldn’t mistake my relationship with Kelly, which is very good, for the towns and the county having a good relationship. But that is the goal, to have this stronger relationship.”
The relationship between the Town Council and Board of Supervisors deteriorated in the previous board term, reaching a nadir when the board made an eleventh-hour decision during their work on the new county comprehensive plan to change longstanding policy around giving the town’s water utility system the first right to serve new development in the Joint Land Management Area that borders the town to the east and south. Under the new policy, Loudoun Water now has the first go at those new customers.
Randall also said Town Council members should have offices and legislative staff, which they do not: “Kelly has no office, and she’s the mayor of the largest town in Virginia.”
“These are hard jobs, and it helps to have just the assistance just to keep up with the email sometimes,” Randall said. “It’s very, very hard to do.”
“At some point, we have to recognize that we are a growing county, and we have to behave like that while still keeping the small-town charm and the small-town feel and all those things,” Randall said.