Unsurprisingly, Eugene Delgaudio and Janet Clarke voted against expanding a Muslim center in Leesburg, after some Very Concerned Citizens suggested that the most pressing social issue of our time (parking) would be a problem. Scott York and Suzanne Volpe were out of the room for the vote, so that left Supervisors Reid, Higgins, Buona, and Williams to do the right thing and vote “yes” on the merits. They could have done only that and moved on, but one paused to remark, on the record, “I don’t remember seeing anybody who came here tonight concerned about traffic on Sycolin Road with this Muslim Community Center come before the Leesburg Town Council complaining about the Cornerstone Chapel. I don’t think it ever would have been this controversy if it had been a church or synagogue, but it is a Muslim community center so we have some folks raising concerns.”
Those remarks came from Ken Reid, who is Jewish. He is also the only supervisor who has to answer to the voters in Leesburg, since he is the Leesburg district supervisor. It might be a stretch to make this connection, but maybe the Leesburg speakers opposed to the application were mostly Republican-leaning voters, too. In other words, Reid stuck his neck out when he didn’t have to, and was the only board member who risked anything by doing so. With not much to cheer about on this board from a leftie’s point of view, let’s not ignore it when one of them not only gets it right, but shows a little backbone in the process.