Editor: I am Venezuelan born. I always wanted to live and grow old in the United States. Why? Because to me, the United States was always a country with rule of law and with ordered liberty, where George Washington, the Founding Fathers and the people fought for the principle of self-government.
Now I am a proud U.S. citizen. However, it has come to my attention that the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is seeking a referendum to change the future of law enforcement and government. I consider “referendum” a term that should be handled carefully.
Unfortunately, in my experience, a “referendum” can be a “democratic” way to take the rights out of the people’s hands. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez had many “referendums,” all made to appear “democratic,” the goal of which was ultimately to undermine the constitution and gradually take power away from the people and concentrate it in his hands. And even though Chavez lost in one of them, he would then find other ways to accomplish his goals, and the rest is history.
I am not here to talk about my country, but I am wondering with so many other things that this county needs, and dealing with such a crisis like the pandemic, why some members from the board want to focus at this moment on unnecessary big changes that perhaps have simpler solutions? For example, in Ms. Randall’s Facebook statements, she expressed concern about the qualifications of the chief law enforcement officer. Well, obviously the qualifications concern voters, too, and I am pretty sure the people did their research and showed their confidence in Sheriff Chapman in last November’s election by choosing him overwhelmingly.
Ms. Randall is also apparently disappointed that the sheriff uses a political party to be elected. Well, so does the county board.
However, what is not clear to me is who would the prospective police chief answer to? Also, why push for a change in the government structure of this county that could potentially result in citizens losing the right to choose the individual they feel best qualified?
Also, why would Ms. Randall want to make such a position open to a nationwide search for candidates? Our county sheriff is, and has always been, part of this community and is well known to all of us. It takes someone deeply embedded in the fabric of the local community to understand that community and how best to keep it safe.
Loudoun County is a unique and wonderful place to live with exceedingly low crime rates compared to other counties nationwide. If I had wanted a different way of life, I would have chosen somewhere else.
Marjory Serrano-Coyer, Leesburg