Discussion Areas-

Roads and Highways:

The sudden halt of forward motion of the proposed rail extension of Metro to Dulles Airport and into Loudoun has caused many exasperation related headaches already. The Federal Transit Administration announcement last month that the line appears to not meet federal cost benefit criteria was a real slap. Tony Howard, president of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce has been quoted saying “The impact on our local economy will be profound if this does not go through. Many people and businesses have been operating under the assumption that Loudoun would be connected to the nation’s capitol and visa versa via rail service. Those assumptions are on the verge of being smashed. This impending decision will negatively affect our quality of life-economically, environmentally and socially.”

Steve feels it is imperative that the commonwealth government and the FTA work out a compromise plan that will get this program running again. Rep. Frank R. Wolf was successful in 1999 of securing $24 million for the project. We need that money and the other millions budgeted since to reappear soon. Everything is at stake.

Cultural Events:

Among the many nice cultural event occasions that Leesburg residents are able to enjoy is the First Friday Night on the Town. This event is part of the Leesburg, Discover the Charm and Meet Me Downtown in Leesburg promotional programs. The events are centrally located at the intersections of Market and King Streets. They start at 6 PM and run until 9 PM on the First Friday of every month.
There is live music, art showings, a live comedy show at the Tally Ho theater, recipe tasting presented by The Very Virginia Shop, Yoga Happy Hour, and even an on street furniture sale handled by the Old Country Peddler store. There is something for just about everyone.

Steve thinks first nights are great. Having participated in a couple of them in Frederick, MD, he knows they are fun and entertaining. A good thing for everybody.

Community Issues:

One of the hottest issues in Leesburg and surrounding Loudoun County concerns the conviction of several important people that it’s time to change from a Sheriff’s Office to a county police department form of law enforcement. The two behind the change are Mike George and Greg Ahlemann. They feel that with the counties rapid growth, we soon will emulate sister county Fairfax, and we should start building for the inevitable now.
The opposite side is of course represented by current Sheriff Steve Simpson. His most heard words on the subject are “I am accountable to the voters,” meaning he is directly accountable without going through the 9 person county Board of Supervisors. In the past, when this subject has come up a vote, George and Ahlemann together have garnered many more votes together than Simpson alone with his insistence on the status quo. Sheriff Simpson is backed by Supervisor Chairman, who also feels it is to early to change, noting that Loudoun’s population of 263,000 I s25% of Fairfax County.

Steve sides with Mike George and Greg Ahlemann because a canvas of Mid-Atlantic counties would not doubt reveal that the most modern, well equipped, and effective police organization are in fact city and county police departments, not low population rural sheriff’s department.


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