A couple of days ago I attended the League of Women Voters forum at the Gum Spring Library, where candidates for the Board of Supervisors from the Dulles and Ashburn districts appeared to discuss issues and answer voters’ questions.
During the questions, a member of the audience asked about Dominion Power’s recent announcement of plans to install high voltage power lines along Route 50. Anjan Chimaladinne, the Democratic candidate for the Dulles District, said he was unaware of such plans until Dominion Power announced that it would install 110-foot power lines along Route 50. Chimaladinne said he was unnerved that our elected representative to the Board of Supervisors didn’t react with swift action until there was a public uproar over the Dominion plan. Supervisor Letourneau responded, “Anjan wasn’t the only one to be just as surprised about the power lines.”
However, according to publicly available documents, Dominion met with Loudoun County officials about their plan as early as August 2014. They met with Monica Filyaw, assistant to Supervisor Letourneau [SCC document, page 61, part 3 of 11, Dominion Power] and met with a variety of Loudoun County officials on numerous occasions to discuss the project, provide progress updates on the routing study and other project planning developments [SCC document, page 61, part 3 of 11, Dominion Power].
In his recent mailer to constituents Letourneau said that since he “became aware of this issue,” he has been fighting to oppose the proposal. But based on the public record and the community uproar over the Dominion announcement, he didn’t act until May of this year. This raises a question of when Letourneau actually knew about the Dominion plans? Why did he not relay this information to his constituents sooner? Were his previous statements in support of data centers the reason he didn’t communicate with us? The truth is that our community was blindsided and has belatedly spent time, money and energy opposing the power lines after the project is underway. We could have had more time to demand that Dominion address our concerns earlier in the process had we known what Letourneau knew in August 2014; but we couldn’t because of the failure of our supervisor to inform us.
This is a significant issue to us and the failure by Letourneau to alert the community of such a momentous proposal by Dominion leads us to wonder whether there are other development issues affecting our community we don’t know about. We need new leadership in the Dulles District. I urge my fellow residents to vote in favor of new leadership this fall. Too much is at stake.
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