Loudoun supervisors vote along party lines to nix proposed Commission on Women and Girls
Loudoun's six Republican supervisors opposed creating the new commission, saying it wasn't the role of the county's governing body to implement such a commission.
A Commission on Women and Girls was proposed by Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) to help Loudoun women pursue leadership opportunities in their communities and focus on issues such as cyber bullying, domestic violence, substance abuse and help young women pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.
Randall would had been the advisor of the commission with 15 other Board of Supervisors-appointed members. Randall planned, at the end of her term, to hand the commission off to a private entity to lead.
But following the 2-6-1 vote against the commission, with Supervisor Koran Saines (D-Sterling) absent for the vote, Randall vowed to lead the commission on her own.
“I very much intend to do this initiative from the office of the chair,” Randall said. “I don’t want to be unclear and I don’t want to be coy, and I want to be up front with you all and I want to be up front with the people in loudoun: This is too important for me for it not to happen, this will absolutely happen.”
The first-term chairwoman said she planned to still use county facilities to hold meetings for her initiative, use taxpayer money from her district budget to fund it and post information about the initiative on county websites and through her chair newsletter.
Ahead of the vote, some GOP supervisors argued that, although they liked the idea of the Commission on Women and Girls, it was not the role of a corporate board to approve a commission that would advise them on issues unrelated to county business.
“I don’t think there’s any question that there are issues out there that we should be discussing that we should be taking action on,” Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles) said. “It’s a question of what the role of the Board of Supervisors is, and it’s certainly to provide leadership in the community, but an advisory commission to the Board of Supervisors is, again, supposed to be giving specific advice and direction on matters that pertain to county business.”
Broad Run Supervisor Ron Meyer (R) agreed.
“I remember when I first read the idea itself it seemed something that was very you, which is not a bad thing,” Meyer told Randall. “It seemed like something that wasn't necessarily focused on what the county government’s operations are -- advising us to consider policies -- but instead, more of a leadership group that would try to recommend things to the general community outside of just our government functions.”
Meyer said he had actually proposed the idea to Randall to continue the initiative from her county office and not as an initiative under a constitutional body.
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