Letter: Robert Ehinger, Leesburg

Editor: There is a reason that many people do not regard the functions of governments as adequate to the interests of constituents. Those we elect make every effort to ignore meaningful issues that would serve the people who put these politicians in office.

The issue of White’s Ferry is a case in point.

What should be a simple decision to move forward in reopening this necessary and convenient ferry service to Maryland that is used by many commercial and personal travelers, has been tied up in wrangling over a clear attempt by one family who claims it should be awarded money for doing nothing related to the operation of the ferry.

I wrote a letter to the local papers that was published in the first week of January this year suggesting that it was necessary to move forward with eminent domain for this crossing due to the fact that it is a route of interstate commerce and that the roads to the site are built and maintained by the taxpayers. I sought the support of political leaders in getting behind this suggestion.

Other than a few faint whispers saying it should be resolved, nothing has been seriously acted upon to take firm stands to get this done and fast.

Everyone seems to agree that this crossingis vital and a welcome respite from the torture of goingnorth on RT. 15.

Response from the Leesburg Town Council – NADA.

Response from the Loudoun Board of Supervisors – ZIP

Response from the several state delegates and senators who represent people who did and still want to use this ferry – SILENCE.

Even on simple issues like this, the political leaders are absent unless a loud and frequently contentious effort is launched against them. Supposedly, these pols are adults who should understand their role in advancing services that benefit their constituents … but they almost always have to be treated like inattentive children who have to be threatened with adverse results just to get their attention.

Now, once again, the attempts by this one family to intimidate the public and the current owner of the ferry by demanding a fee per car for contributing nothing to the operation of the ferry has arisen.

Can we please hear an unambiguous and vigorous public announcement with our political leaders standing in a photo saying, “Get this eminent domain done ASAP and open this ferry operation.”

Just for the record, I do not know Chuck Kuhn nor the owners of Rockland or have any vested interest in any of their operations.

And finally: No, Libby Devlin, despite what you said publicly I am not willing to pay you any amount of money since you contribute nothing to the operation of the ferry.

11 thoughts on “Letter: Robert Ehinger, Leesburg

  • 2021-04-12 at 5:00 pm

    Agreed. Not a lot of leadership on this issue by any of our “Elected Officials”.

    This is an important issue.

  • 2021-04-12 at 5:30 pm

    I don’t use the ferry. I will probably never use the ferry should it reopen. But the state must have a compelling legal reason for exercising eminent domain and it should never be used to benefit one party over another party in a private dispute. There are courts established precisely for such disputes and the state taking private property should always be a last resort.

    Moving several hundred cars a day across the river does not materially change the lives of the 400K residents of Loudoun County. It cannot be seen as a compelling legal justification. The author himself notes this is a convenience.

  • 2021-04-12 at 7:36 pm

    I don’t believe that a business owner of Maryland should be allowed eminent domain over a VA landowner (or vice verson) to run a profitable ferry. If this ferry is necessary (a bridge would be better) then the state should apply eminent domain to the ferry as well.

  • 2021-04-12 at 8:38 pm

    The family that owns the land….owns the land. They shouldn’t be forced to do anything they do not want to do. Sorry it affects the commute for people, but we for darn sure do not need the government getting involved in this.

  • 2021-04-13 at 9:31 am

    The ferry is a private business and the dispute is between the land owner and the business owner.

    Government should stay out of it.

    If government wants to help, work on building a bridge.

  • 2021-04-13 at 10:16 am


    You don’t think our County government is responsible to its’ citizens needs and you want it to seize private land from county citizens to help facilitate a recently purchased private business across the river in another state?

    Have I got that right?

    So you don’t think the owners of the property used for the Ferry operation in Loudoun are “doing anything”?

    Since the author of this letter doesn’t want to pay his way I cry not that he’s going to have to drive the long way.

    Chuck- 50 cents ain’t jack. Come to a fair agreement with the owners of Rockland or be prepared to drive the long way, just like Rob.

  • 2021-04-17 at 8:06 pm

    Robert E. sounds like he has some anger management issues—

    “I am not willing to pay you any amount of money since you contribute nothing to the operation of the ferry.” Umm, Rockland owns the land. I would say that is the very basis of the operation of the ferry as Rockland has owned the same landing for hundreds of years. It is unclear why the ferry owner believed he could trespass for decades while stuffing hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pockets every year (hopefully, actually paying the IRS on all that cash).

    So, Robert E., can I use your property for personal profit, just cause I am a bully, and not pay you one penny? Let me know ASAP, OK?

  • 2021-04-17 at 8:25 pm

    The government should stay out. The ferry is a convenience for a small number of commuters mostly from Maryland to Loudoun. Our supervisors adore Chuck Kuhn because of his political contributions and his data centers that provide tax revenue. If he wants to open the ferry, then he needs to pay his business expenses, and not use the public purse for a handout to a billionaire.

  • 2021-04-18 at 12:36 am

    Loudoun County clearly paid for land on the Virginia side for a ferry launch. Why isn’t the BOS at least demanding they recieve right-of-way on that ferry launch? If it is not where the White’s Ferry is located, the Virginia farm should be forced to identify where the easement is on their land. It’s baffling to see the BOS just allow an easement that taxpayers funded 150 years ago just go by the wayside.

    • 2021-04-19 at 7:34 pm

      VA SGP, You have got this very wrong. If the BOS suggests they have a right-of-way, then it is up to them to prove that they do. Throughout history, there apparently were many ferries over the Potomac, upstream and downstream from White’s Ferry. If it is so clear that the County paid for land, it should be clear where that landing is and the gov’t needs to prove that.

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