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Appointments made to Leesburg diversity panel

The Town of Leesburg's Diversity Task Force, created Dec. 10 after issues arose about the lack of minority employees and applicants in the town, now has members.

The Leesburg Town Council voted Feb. 26 to appoint nine members to the 10 member committee, with council member Kelly Burk serving the 11th member as a Town Council representative to the squad.

Last fall, a town evaluation concluded that whites disproportionately make up town staff positions. Of the 326 town employees, just 33 identify as minorities, despite 30 percent of the town identifying as minority. What's more, in 2013, of the 700 applications received for town employment, just 182 came from minority applicants. Together, those two factors prompted action from the town.

Every Town Council member was allowed to appoint one member; in addition, Inova Health Systems, the Loudoun NAACP chapter and La Voz, a local Hispanic advocacy group, all were given one appointee.

Mayor Kristen Umstattd nominated Mary Randolph, a co-founder of the Loudoun Douglass Alumni association and 12-year member of the Loudoun NAACP, for her selection. Also nominated from the Town Council were Greg Hudson, Gladys Burk, Linda McCray, Michelle Vocke and Tammy Carter.

Inova selected Rod Williams, while the NAACP selected Mildred Daye. La Voz submitted Maritza Saldana, treasurer of the organization, as it's nominee.

Vice-mayor Dave Butler did not submit a nominee, telling council that he is trying to find a volunteer from the Asian community to serve, as they are not currently represented on the task force.

“When we created this committee, the intent was to try and have it somewhat match the diversity of the Town,” Butler explained. “The Asian community in Loudoun is the largest minority there is, so I think it's important to have at least one Asian on the committee.”

Ultimately, the council voted 7-0 to approve all of the appointments.

"I really appreciate the fact that people are willing to come forward and donate their time to look at the diversity issue in hiring and how we can have a better outreach to the minority community,” Burk said after motioning to approve the nominees. “The people we've selected I think will do a great job.”


How do you get people to apply for jobs?  People know where to look for job openings.  They are either interested or not, qualified or not. 

Maybe they don’t pay well enough?  Maybe the minority who would be a great fit for some open project manager position with Leesburg is making $120k a year with SAIC working in Tysons, so he would never even consider a Leesburg job. 

I’m not sure how any “panel” increases that number, unless you just do the old “wink, wink” and start hiring people who would likely not be hired without the “wink, wink”.

Wow, someone who talks just like Tom Dunn.  Anyone who had to sit through Tom Dunn’s outbursts during Leesburg Town Council meetings knows exactly what I mean.  It is also amazing to me the number of “Tom’s” out there, who sound so much alike.  Anyway, I am sure that the TomasinLeesburg is not our dear Tom Dunn, because Tom Dunn voted to put a member on this diversity panel.  Oh well, two peas in a pod - unfortunately.

I am all about anyone being hired to fill a position when they are qualified. I am not into affirmative action and want to point out some errors with this article. taken directly from the town web page, 26 percent of the town population is minority and I assumed the 40 percent noted seemed extremely high. I don’t know what the word “identify” means, but liberals exploit terms to suit their needs and most whom are either the mayor or town council fit this mold. many of the 326 town employees do not live in leesburg, so you shouldn’t compare statistics and the 33 personnel “identifying” themselves as minorities. of the 700 applicants, exactly 26% (or just 182 as noted) applying for positions were minorities, which is the same percentage of minorities cited on the web page. once again, whether it be in my neighborhood, at the playground, work, etc., I don’t care if you are white, black, latino, chinese, etc. I do care about liberal agendas and appointing people to positions when they are not qualified, which is directly where this plane is heading. I am proud to be a Caucasian who is not exploiting his American Indian heritage when I otherwise could as many in government and elsewhere do. I would hope our town represents the most qualified, hard working person versus filling quotas. the DC government is still plagued with under-qualified personnel, especially in the police force, due to appointments and issues with plagued civil service tests, which give residents freebie points. the politics of outreach equates to liberals thinking minorities aren’t smart enough to educate themselves and work hard in order to be qualified for a position. although I have political beliefs, both left and right, I respect a hard work ethic and giving back to your community, which many in Leesburg, Loudoun, Virginia and the USA will never achieve since it is all about living for the moment, slacking, being given freebies, and expecting the government to do the babysitting. 

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