Loudoun supervisors during their long-delayed strategic planning retreat on Monday crafted the bones of the vision statement which—they hope—will guide their current term.
The strategic planning retreat is normally one of the first things a new Board of Supervisors does upon arriving to the dais following an election, but this board’s term has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the scramble to address it. But supervisors finally got together for the daylong meeting Oct. 26.
After several drafts throughout the day, supervisors arrived at the foundations of a new vision statement, with the caveat that there will some more grammatical wordsmithing:
“While appreciating and acknowledging our history and planning for a prosperous future, Loudoun strives to ensure a high quality of life in a safe, sustainable and inclusive community where everyone can be proud to live, work, learn and play.”
That compares to the previous vision statement, written at the previous board’s strategic planning retreat in 2016:
“By honoring its rich heritage as well as embracing the robust opportunities of a new day, Loudoun County maintains the high quality of life it has achieved, shapes a future that represents the best of both worlds, and creates a place where its residents are proud to live, work, learn, and play.”
County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she would meet with Supevisors Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn), Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian), and Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) to fine tune the way the new vision is written. Briskman is a professional writer as a former journalist and communications professional, Buffington wrote the final draft of the new vision statement at the planning retreat, and Randall said of Turner “I’ve literally never met a better writer.”
But with the pieces of the new statement in place, the foundation of the board’s mission—things like acknowledging the county’s history and creating an inclusive community—is laid.
“I think the past vision statements were more focused on the past, and this one’s more focused on the future, which is what you want” Randall said. “It’s not called a reflection statement.”
She in particular cheered the new emphases on inclusivity.
“We never had that before,” Randall said. “We want to just say, we are a welcoming county, we want you to be here, we welcome you here.”