Loudoun Supervisors, Leesburg Town Council Seek Better Ties

Loudoun County supervisors and members of the Leesburg Town Council tried to forge a path toward a renewed relationship at a joint meeting of the two bodies Thursday.

The meeting was often a mutual airing of grievances, with town council members complaining about the board’s surprise vote in 2019 to change longstanding policy and cut the town out of providing water service in the Joint Land Management Area around its borders, and County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) complaining about the council’s vote opposing the idea of a new Washington Commanders stadium in Loudoun.

But both sides also expressed interest in rebuilding their relationship, and in beginning regular, at least annual, meetings.

The two bodies also abandoned an idea for a joint committee to hash out questions around sharing tax revenue from Microsoft’s data centers at Compass Creek after it was pointed out those would legally have to be public meetings. Some members had pushed to work it out the outlines of a deal publicly then and there.

Councilman Zach Cummings said, “to go into a closed session when we’re all sitting here right now, to talk about the taxpayer dollars, to me, doesn’t make any sense.”

“Nothing changes when we walk out of this room except if we can get a revenue sharing plan done, and I think we owe it to the taxpayers to try to do that,” he said. Councilwoman Suzanne Fox agreed.

“It seems to me, conceptually, we ought to be able to come to some sort of theoretical closure on the big items,” Supervisor Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) said.

However, attorneys for both pushed to keep negotiations secret.

“It seems like an easy thing to do to negotiate a contract out in the open, but you will hear from the public, likely if there’s disagreements, so I do not recommend,” said County Attorney Leo Rogers.

“The reason you have negotiations like this in closed session is to allow people to be sort of frank and give their opinions in an honest and open way,” said Town Attorney Christopher Spera. Neither supervisors nor council members pushed back.

The two bodies ended the meeting planning to have more in the future, and Randall said the meeting may have happened sooner but for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think this was very useful for us. I think it opened everybody’s eyes a little bit, and so I think it was very worthwhile,” said Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burk.

3 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors, Leesburg Town Council Seek Better Ties

  • 2022-04-29 at 4:54 pm

    Open lines of communication between our leaders & the larger community is vital. That’s just common sense. Having said that, I also realize sometimes sensitive negotiations must remain private. So no complaints about yestserday’s BOS-Leesburg joint meeting. Let’s hope the communication continues. Best Wishes for Holocaust Remembrance Week Loudoun!

  • 2022-04-29 at 6:07 pm

    Anyone that wants to support Dan Snyder and his worthless team and spend any of LOCO’s money need to be run out of town immediately. Including Phyllis

  • 2022-04-30 at 7:50 am

    All sessions of all boards/councils should be open and recorded.
    All decisions which affect any other board or council should include their feedback to that plan made publicly and recorded.
    The common exception would be child related which can be done in-camera as handled by courts.

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