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Supervisors ax three of six subcommittees

Loudoun County supervisors took the new year as an opportunity to do some tidying up.

In an unanimous vote, the board agreed Jan. 5 to eliminate half of the county’s subcommittees, including the Public Safety and Human Services, Economic Development, and Energy and Environmental committees.

Discussions that occurred before the subcommittees in the past will now be included in the board’s regular bimonthly business meetings.

Chairman Scott York (I-at large) introduced the proposal as a way to expedite the way the board does business, he said.

The Finance, Government Services and Operations Committee, Transportation/Land Use Committee and Joint Board and School Board Committee will continue to meet.

York said the elimination of the three subcommittees will not hinder the board from discussing issues that normally would come up in those meetings.

The change, he said, simply streamlines the process and gives the public more of an opportunity to hear the issues since the board’s meetings are broadcast on the Internet.

“It is my intent for us to discuss [an issue] as a board here at the dais and vote on it without necessarily having to send it to committee,” York said.

Supervisors were either spending too much time in or preparing for subcommittee meetings or were too busy to attend at all, said Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling).

“I did caution some of you because some of you had 18 appointments,” Delgaudio told the board. “I think it’s good to reduce the number of committees so you can increase your attendance. It’s getting to the point where we’re looking at our calenders and asking, ‘Where did the year go?’ It’s in those meetings.”

Subcommittee members were discussing issues that often overlapped, supervisors said.

“We’re not giving up on anything we’ve been working on, we’re just working on them in a more effective way,” said Supervisor Stevens Miller (D-Dulles).

The board also voted to use the first and third Mondays of each month—generally reserved for public input only—as an opportunity to meet on administrative items, such as administrator and board comments that normally take up the first half of their regular business meetings.

Supervisors generally were optimistic about the changes.

“It’s worth trying some of these changes,” said Vice Chairwoman Susan Klimek Buckley (D-Sugarland Run). “We won’t know what works until we give it a try. If it doesn’t work, we can always come back later and make changes.”

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