County Supervisors and School Board members on a joint committee of the two bodies have hashed out an agreement to once again allow school system staff members to attend meetings with county supervisors.
Until that point, school staffers were not permitted to attend meetings where county supervisors or their staff were present. County Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) credited joint committee co-chair Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) with leading the push to fix that.
“If we requested a meeting with Loudoun County Public Schools staff, they would not attend. If a member of any of our offices or us ourselves as board members were in attendance, they would not attend. And if we weren’t there at the beginning of the meeting and we walked in in the middle of the meeting, they had been directed to stand up and leave the meeting,” Buffington said. “I have no idea how it got to that point, because we had to figure that out the hard way through numerous times of things like that happening, but when I first came on the board it was not like that, and we had a great working relationship. And it obviously behooves the community when we have a good working relationship.”
The new protocols dictate county supervisors and their offices must go through the county and school system chiefs of staff. School division staff should also have advance access to any presentations that are planned for the meeting.
School Board members approved the policy unanimously Nov. 10. Supervisors passed the new protocols 8-0-1 on Nov. 17, with Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) absent.