It’s a shame you have to leave to be appreciated.
But, thank you for leaving.
The two Loudoun County supervisors who live in Sterling don’t always agree, but they are on the same page in rejecting a supervisor candidate’s call for new residential development in the district.
Longtime residents Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) and Scott York (I-At Large) say the Sterling community does not need the type of redevelopment sought by Phyllis Randall, a Democratic Party nominee who lives in Lansdowne and is running for York’s position as Board chair in the November elections.
Among her suggestions for Sterling District, Randall recommended “redevelopment of some of their shopping areas to mixed use communities.”
In a newsletter earlier this week, Delgaudio said “‘redevelopment’ is the wrong word to use in Sterling.” He warned that Randall’s plan would mean density-packing of new residences, and a corresponding negative impact on schools, traffic and emergency services.
Delgaudio told FirewallNOVA that converting existing shopping areas to mixed-use “will lead to residential high-rises and apartments that will change the character of the Sterling community.”
York agreed that Randall’s suggestion to bring mixed-use developments is “very concerning.”
“Sterling doesn’t need to be redeveloped,” York said. “The shopping center needs to be revitalized. But other than that, I like the community the way it is. I’m not going to support any plan of hers to come in and try to density-pack Sterling.”
Randall’s fellow Democrat, Koran Saines, who is running against Delgaudio for the Sterling seat, sounded a similar note, saying he envisions “revitalizing” the district in a way that would “not take away from the character of Sterling Park.”
After a decade of unprecedented growth, Loudoun County faces a new phase of changes and opportunities. Phyllis Randall believes it’s time for fresh leadership, and a new tone of openness and ethics in county government.
The Democratic Party nominee for chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS), Randall has a twenty-year history of volunteer service in roles of increasing responsibility, including her current position as vice chair of the Virginia Board of Corrections. Throughout her time in public service, Randall has also maintained a career in the mental health field, which she intends to put on hold if elected to the Loudoun BOS.
In a recent interview with FirewallNOVA, Randall set forth a clear policy agenda regarding education, development, attracting businesses, and the need to revisit the county’s Comprehensive Plan. On education, for instance, she’s committed to increasing science/math/technology and vocational instruction, and establishing a more cooperative relationship between the BOS and the School Board. She has specific ideas about the Loudoun Gateway and Ashurn Station Metro developments. She wants to improve the transportation grid to make the county more business-friendly (a proposal echoed the other day in Reston with regard to the Silver Line).
In the area of politics, Randall takes exception to the idea that Sterling’s Eugene Delgaudio is attracting Democrats to vote for him.
Moreover, beyond politics and policy, Phyllis Randall thinks it’s time to put a new “face” on Loudoun County. The current chair, Scott York (whom we interviewed earlier this week) has held the office since 2001. Randall wants to apply her own leadership experience to make the government more open, and “build a respectful relationship that honors the job we have been elected to do for the citizens of the county.”
FWN: For Loudoun residents who don’t know about you: I think of you as a “moderate” Democrat. Is that true, and what does it mean?
In the recent political fundraising reporting period, Algonkian District Supervisor Suzanne Volpe collected $31,942, and had $122,184 on hand as of May 27. Her opponent, Democrat Andrew Resnick, brought in a total of $4,010 from April 1 to May 27. He had $25,279 on hand.
Volpe, a Republican, had the highest money totals of local candidates. Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, also a Republican, was next with $84,727 on hand.
Chairman Scott York thinks the decisions facing the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors over the next four years are too important to be used as on-the-job training.
Having served as Board chair since 2001, York was planning to leave public office when the current term concludes at the end of the year. But after being on the receiving end of an “outpouring of concern for the quality of leadership” from constituents, he reconsidered, and is running for a fifth term.
York is running for the office once again as an Independent, as he did prior to the current term, and will face declared challengers Charlie King (Republican), Phyllis Randall (Democrat), and Tom Bellanca (Independent).
In a recent interview with FirewallNOVA, York discussed the key upcoming challenges and opportunities for the next Board, his message to voters of all political persuasions, fellow Sterling resident Eugene Delgaudio, York’s endorsements for county offices, and various other issues. (This is part of an occasional series of candidate interviews prior to the November 3 elections. FirewallNOVA plans to interview Republican nominee Charlie King in the near future. Democrat Phyllis Randall and Independent Tom Bellanca have not yet made themselves available for interviews.)
By not participating in the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) convention, York is again able to launch his Independent bid without having broken the LCRC “pledge” – the same tack he took earlier in his political career when leaving the GOP. Though he took criticism from LCRC Chairman Mike Haynes, York said the current group of candidates for chair “is simply not qualified to lead the county.”
York believes any voters who “do their homework” or talk to the other candidates will come to the same conclusion.
After serving for four years as Sterling District supervisor, York was elected chairman in 2000 and has held the office ever since. Last month, recognized as “Citizen of the Year” by the Loudoun Times-Mirror and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, York was praised for his “steady presence” over the four terms, whose “leadership was critical to the historic change in residential and business growth.”
In the coming years, that leadership will be just as crucial, according to York. The next Board will need to handle numerous important policy issues, including: oversight of critical transportation improvements; a long-overdue review of the county’s Comprehensive Plan; Silver Line Comprehensive Plan Amendments, initiated by the current Board to study land uses surrounding the new stations; as well as address school budget funding, new school construction, and requests for all-day kindergarten.
Having previously endorsed Sheriff Mike Chapman for re-election, York is also announcing support for several other candidates in the upcoming elections.
FWN: What are the top issues that will face the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors over the next four years?
Michael Haynes, chairman of the Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC), observed that “after days of rain and gloomy weather, the sun came out to welcome our candidates,” an appropriate backdrop for Friday’s GOP “Unity” event in Leesburg. Joined by Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Whitbeck, it served as an unofficial kickoff for the 2015 campaign, a chance to clarify positions on Independent candidates, and an opportunity to smooth over differences from the recent LCRC convention.
This is the second half of our coverage of Friday’s event. As noted in yesterday’s post, Sheriff Mike Chapman carried the GOP’s main message of unity (contrasting with the chaos on the Loudoun Democrats’ ticket).
Opening speaker and candidate for chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Charlie King, said, “It’s time for new leadership and a new vision for Loudoun County.” [The Bull Elephant has the full text of King’s remarks.]
King took two Independent candidates to task: Scott York (Board chair), who left the Republican Party, and Steve Simpson (sheriff candidate), who pledged to support the 2015 ticket, and then broke the pledge for a second time since 2007.
Regarding Simpson, King said that for police, “reputation is everything”:
Based on an officer’s word, people will be convicted of crimes and sent to jail. How can Steve Simpson possibly lead the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office when he cannot honor simple promises to play by the rules?
But King focused most of his condemnation on York, his opponent for Board chair. He characterized York’s change of heart about seeking another term as “waffling”:
Loudoun County needs a decisive leader. If Mr. York takes months to make a decision while reversing himself over and over, how can the voters believe he is capable of making the many tough calls the next Board will have to make?
The GOP nominee for Broad Run supervisor, Ron Meyer, highlighted nuts-and-bolts issues showing the Republican ticket unified on “conservative values to make people’s lives better …. Better commute, better schools, better cost of living, a better place to be.” Meyer noted the economic potential of Metro locations coming to Loudoun, and said commercial development will allow the county to continue increasing school funding and road improvements.
Meyer said the best way to seek lower fees on the Greenway is by expanding alternatives to the Greenway: “Take it to their pocket book so we can bring them to the table.”
Sterling’s voters will meet a different kind of Democratic candidate when they get to know Koran Saines during the upcoming campaign season. Upbeat, knowledgeable, and relentlessly positive, the longtime Sterling resident will also pose a new test for Eugene Delgaudio.
Saines prevailed in the Democratic primary earlier this month, winning the nomination to challenge Delgaudio for the Sterling District seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in the November elections.
Previous Democratic campaigns have appeared, to those who live here, overwhelmingly negative and targeting a caricature of the Sterling supervisor that was always a bit off. With messages that could have been cribbed from progressive Web sites, possibly emanating from distant voices in Arlington, Ashburn or Lovettsville, they painted a picture that had no resonance with many residents who know the “real Eugene” (but managed to lock in their already locked-in hardcore base). The cheerful Delgaudio, meanwhile, connected with actual voters – and extended his advantage over opponents who were out chasing ghosts.
Not this time. Koran Saines comes with an agenda that could find supporters in both local parties as well as among Independents, and a message strong on content and noticeably light on ideology.
Much like the incumbent in the orange hat, Saines has nary a negative word to say about his opposition. He seems committed to making lots of personal direct contact. So the question becomes: Can he out-Delgaudio Delgaudio?
In a recent interview with FirewallNOVA, Saines talked about his commitment to Sterling, the importance of collaboration, attracting businesses to improve the local economy, and improving the quality of life in the district. He has a non-partisan attitude and can talk specifics about policy.
Unsurprisingly, Saines has positions that some will oppose. Topics such as education spending and Metro-related projects will engender debate with Delgaudio in the coming months, as will other policy questions that force the candidates to take concrete positions. But from this first impression of the Democratic candidate, I think we can look forward to a lively and intelligent discussion.
FWN: You had a great turnout at the recent Sterling primary, but it is safe to say there are still plenty of Sterling voters who should learn more about you. What do the residents of Sterling need to know about your background?
While he’s not saying “I told you so,” Eugene Delgaudio says the scope of miscues by Metro authorities is “gigantic” and bears out his warning of a Silver Line boondoggle prior to the last election. At the same time, he thanks his Democratic opponent for recognizing Delgaudio’s accomplishments in bringing improvements to Sterling.
The incumbent Loudoun County supervisor will face Democrat Koran Saines in November for the Sterling District seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Delgaudio recently answered some questions for FirewallNOVA, about his opponent, the Sterling District, Metro and various other issues, including his uncanny ability to get reelected in a Democratic district.
Delgaudio, a Republican, has won the Sterling seat in every election since 1999, making him one of the longest-serving supervisors in county history.
Anecdotally, from spending time with the group over the past few months, I can tell you that Delgaudio enjoys a strong position with area Republicans – even more than in the run-ups to past elections. During the current term in office, he survived a grand jury investigation where the key witness was a disgruntled former employee and turned back a “recall” attempt led by defeated former opponents. So he has something akin to an aura of invincibility that, from my perspective, has increased his stature among not only Sterling supporters but within the Loudoun County Republican Committee as a whole. Everyone respects a survivor.
Following is our interview with Delgaudio. FirewallNOVA looks forward to presenting similar question and answer sessions with other candidates throughout the 2015 election season.
FWN: We now know that Koran Saines has edged out Tony Barney as the Democratic nominee to challenge you in November. What was your reaction on learning of the Sterling primary results?
Until 4 pm today, voting is ongoing for the Democratic candidate to challenge incumbent Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling district supervisor in November. Voting is at the Community Center/Library near the DMV.
Candidate Tony Barney says the turnout so far has been impressive, and that there was a line out the door for quite a while after voting began.
Several people asked me about the LCRC convention and some were under the impression Eugene Delgaudio was being primaried. They were surprised he was still the GOP candidate, and more surprised he was uncontested.
I explained a little about the strength and survivor instinct and the reliability and, yes, the mystique.
Having earned a record 91.5% public approval rating, and with the crime rate down 18%, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office under Mike Chapman would seem headed into the 2015 election season on a high note. And by all accounts, among county residents, that is the case.
But within the local political party it’s a different story, and Chapman faces a nomination contest prior to the November elections. Instead of anything resembling smooth sailing, Chapman’s potential path to re-election will be turbulent. He must overcome a Republican faction bearing overheated rhetoric – and taunting Chapman to quit the party – and an opponent leading a mini-rebellion from within the agency (which actually began about the time Chapman took office) who also happens to have the backing of a Republican-turned-Independent, turned-Republican, former sheriff (who always seemed to hold substantial Republican support). And there is a subplot, with sock puppets.
Party politics is about nothing if not chest-thumping, temporary loyalty, brandished in a bellicose spree of righteousness and situational ethics, where a careful observer can almost always pinpoint the irony.
This introduction is the first in a series of articles between now and the May 2 Loudoun County Republican Committee (LCRC) convention, in which we’ll cover some of the complexities of the race for the nomination for sheriff.
Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman penned a detailed response to a Republican hit piece last month, which has left the GOP faction opposing him, thus far, dumbfounded. Composed within a few hours’ time span, the Chapman article is remarkable both for its comprehensiveness and clarity – in a campaign that, so far, has seen some confusing messages.
As noted in yesterday’s post, the Loudoun County Republican Committee faction supporting Chapman’s “tag team” of opponents includes Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. “Endorsements” is probably a topic worth its own post, but I will expand a little on what I said yesterday: I think sometimes endorsements reveal more about networking than they do about public policy. The tag team has Delgaudio and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman and some prominent activists; Chapman has Ollie North, Barbara Comstock, Mike Farris and his own host of prominent Loudoun activists.
I can think of a couple reasons that Delgaudio weighed in on this race, one of which is, half of the tag team duo is former Loudoun deputy Ricky Frye who was stationed in Sterling district for some time. While I am a Delgaudio supporter for a number of years, I find it odd that he did this, and I wonder if he really thought it through.
Because it looks to me like Mike Chapman made some changes in the Sheriff’s Office that some of the existing deputies did not like (and in fact it looks like some were committed to taking Chapman down from the moment Chapman took office). But we did elect Chapman, after all, to replace Steve Simpson in 2011 and presumably also to make changes. Sterling was one of the areas where residents took an active interest in the Sheriff’s department in recent years, and one would think that rolling back the clock, to reinstall the old regime that Chapman has shaken up, would not be high on the Sterling supervisor’s list of priorities. But whomever is supposed to be benefiting from Eugene Delgaudio sticking his neck out for the tag team – I hope they appreciate it.
Anyway, Delgaudio circulated a message both in email and paper copies criticizing Sheriff Chapman. The Sheriff, immediately, sent out the following message listing all of Delgaudio’s points and answering them in full:
Last night, Supervisor Delgaudio sent an email message out in support of my opponent, utilizing statements solely from my opponent, without checking a single fact. The information Delgaudio relayed was FALSE. It is time to distinguish fact from fiction.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio accused me of being a liberal.
Fact: False: I am a fiscally conservative Republican and due to the management efficiencies I put in place, the LCSO was able to return over $4.5M in budgeted funds to the county over the past three years.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio accused me of being inexperienced at the local level, having served only federally.
Fact: False. I served law enforcement at the local level for over 10 years; 7 with the Howard County MD Police Department (3 Patrol, 3 SWAT, 1-Detective), 3 with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, 23 as a Federal Special Agent (Drug Enforcement Administration), and 3 as a law enforcement Subject Matter Expert with Booz Allen and Hamilton. I served in critical law enforcement capacities all over the world. Additionally, I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration; a Bachelor’s in Business Management. I am a recent graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute, the VA Sheriff’s Institute, and the FBI’s National Executive Institute and stay educated and involved with the latest trends and techniques in addressing and preventing crime. My opponent’s has never been an investigator, and has far less education, training and experience.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio said that Loudoun County has a DUI problem.
Tony “Coach” Barney is on a mission. His one-and-done game plan to defeat Eugene Delgaudio hinges on emphasizing fiduciary responsibility and promoting a different image – a “more positive direction” – for the Sterling community, building on his two decades’ history and ties here. (This is first in a series of candidate interviews at Firewall NOVA ahead of the 2015 elections)
During a recent conversation (click here to skip ahead to interview), Barney’s key themes were openness and return on investment. In a nutshell:
Sterling wants to grow and Loudoun wants to grow and the only way we can grow is to work together on real issues, and be open and listen to people, and be able to compromise and negotiate, and invest in the future, and always ask the question – what is our return if we do invest?
Barney first needs to secure the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Delgaudio in the November, 2015 elections for the Sterling district seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS).
If he can win the nomination, then defeat Delgaudio, after serving a single four-year term on the BOS, Barney would pass the baton to a Democratic – or Republican – successor, having “cleared” the office.
In what is certain to be one of the most closely-watched campaigns in the coming year – and not just locally – Delgaudio once again will build on his own long history in the Sterling community while fending off slings and arrows from those who disagree both with his work as supervisor and his day job as an advocate on controversial political issues.
Democrats will try to follow up a “recall” movement aimed at forcing Delgaudio from office mid-term, led by his failed previous Democrat opponents, which fizzled when dismissed by a judge. (As Barney notes in the conversation below, his personal opinion is: The way to remove Delgaudio from office is through the ballot box).
Barney’s task will not be easy. Delgaudio first won election to the Sterling supervisor seat in 1998 – making him one of the longest-serving supervisors in county history – and has beaten back fierce challenges in each subsequent contest.
In the Democrat wave election of 2007, following a Republican primary challenge and under vigorous attack by Democrats and other interest groups, Delgaudio was one of only two Republicans on the board to prevail in the general election, defeating longtime Sterling resident Jeanne West by a little more than 200 votes.
Then in 2011, Delgaudio increased his margin of victory and beat the combined vote total of two challengers: a spirited Independent and the Democrat Al Nevarez. The Democrats made an unforced error in putting up the weak candidate: a recent transplant to Sterling, “Occupy” cheerleader, Daily Kos contributor, and self-professed union activist who claimed the U.S. middle class is actually funded by the federal government.
For more background on Delgaudio, click here for a round up of stories at Firewall NOVA, and click here for an in-depth interview from the 2011 campaign.
Firewall NOVA met with Barney on election day, November 4, while Barney and his better half – Marlene – were working at the Rolling Ridge precinct. Your humble correspondent was handing out sample ballots on behalf of the Republican Party, and the Barneys for the Democrats.
Having worked across from Tony Barney at this same precinct for years, your correspondent can report that, for a Democrat, Barney is a congenial fellow – easy going and plain spoken in demeanor, who seems moderate on the ideological scale. Through the long election days Barney can be generous in sharing suggestions and observations about conservative policies and Republican Party tactics, all of which, your correspondent can assure you, are received politely and with fathomless gratitude.