Chair candidates

From left, incumbent Phyllis Randall (D), Bob Ohneiser (I) and John Whitbeck (R). The three are running for Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chair in 2019.

Three candidates are hoping to be Loudoun County's next Board of Supervisors chairman. Incumbent Phyllis Randall (D) is battling challengers John Whitbeck, a Republican, and independent Bob Ohneiser.

All registered voters in Loudoun County can vote in the chairman's race.

Click here for fundraising and campaign finance information on the race.

The three candidates recently answered a Times-Mirror questionnaire. Here are their responses.

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Phyllis Randall (D)

What would be your top three priorities if elected to another term?

I continue to believe that adequately funding our Education System is the most important and impactful advantage we can give our children. When elected in 2015 only 11% our young students had the option of full-day kindergarten. I’m proud to have led the effort to provide sufficient funding to our schools. Today 100% of Loudoun students entering Kindergarten are offered a full-day option. Funding our schools will allow for needed counselors, nursing staff, security staff, bus drivers, etc., and of course ensure that our teachers receive a competitive salary. In addition we need to close the educator pay lag for people who have worked over fifteen years in the Loudoun Public School System. I have and will continue to support our School System. I’m grateful the Loudoun Education Association has once again endorsed my campaign.

Finding multimodal traffic solutions will continue to be a priority for me. As Chair of Loudoun, I led two transportation and three transit summits with the goal of finding creative, sustainable solutions to ease traffic congestion. This current board has allocated $582 million to widen and/or build new roads to include main thoroughfares such as: Shellhorn, Battlefield Parkway, Northstar and Route 15. However, simply building roads is not enough to completely reduce traffic. We must rely on multimodal transportation options such as an effective bus system, bike and pedestrian paths, telework, ride sharing and soon, the Metro. Finally, the most effective way to ease traffic is to continue to create jobs in Loudoun County. The creation of 16,000 jobs during this board term is significant to addressing traffic congestion.

When I was elected Loudoun County Employees were paid 86% of what their counterparts in surrounding counties were paid. I led the effort to raise their salaries and today they are paid 94% of what their counterparts in surrounding counties are paid. However, I won’t be satisfied until our Firefighters’, Teachers, Sheriff’s Deputies, Behavior and Mental Health Staff and all County Employees pay is equal to that of their counterparts. Not paying our employees has led to a loss of talent and institutional knowledge and eventually cost more money because new staff, especially First Responders, cost more money to train and retain. Our county employees are hardworking, dedicated public servants; they deserve to be fairly compensated. I’m honored the Loudoun and Virginia Professional Firefighters as well as our Employee Service Union have endorsed my campaign.

How are you going to balance the different viewpoints and priorities between the east and west for the overall benefit of the county?

What helps make Loudoun County such a unique and special place to live is our three, soon to be four distinct areas. (Urban, Suburban, Transition and Rural policy areas) Our Rural West offers beautiful rolling hills, wineries, breweries an equestrian industry, farm to table restaurants, bed and breakfast hostels and more. Eastern Loudoun is booming with excellent restaurants, retail opportunities, mixed-use communities, higher education institutions, sports facilities and beautiful neighborhoods that house the bulk of our residents. These two areas complement one another. We should do all we can to ensure no additional residential growth in Western Loudoun, protect the rural roads, and environmentally sensitive areas. In Eastern Loudoun we should reinvest in some of our older communities and ensure they have equal amenities as other parts of the county. We should ensure the proper infrastructure is in place before approving any new homes and offer homes at different price points. Finally, we should continue our strong economic growth and add to the 16,000 new jobs created during this board’s term thus allowing our Eastern Loudoun Residents to live closer to where they work.

Do you support building another bridge from Loudoun County across the Potomac River? Explain.

A recent study through the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) revealed that more Loudoun Citizens travel to Montgomery County, Maryland to work than travel to some Northern Virginia Jurisdictions. Clearly a second crossing would considerably ease traffic congestion for Loudoun commuters. However, I have personally traveled to Maryland on three occasions to discuss with my elected counterparts the possibility of a second bridge crossing. Unfortunately they adamantly oppose, and campaigned against a second bridge crossing. In addition, I’ve requested information on when Elected Officials were initially briefed on the possibility of a second bridge crossing. The first briefing occurred during the John F. Kennedy Administration. Finally, through the NVTA, I requested a cost estimate for a second bridge crossing. The conservative estimate is 1.3 billion dollars; obviously Loudoun County tax payers would not cover that cost without significant financial assistance from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Government. After more than fifty years I don’t believe it’s fair or financially prudent to have Loudoun Staff continue to work on this issue unless and until Elected Officials in Maryland shift their position and Federal Government officials engage in the discussion.

The 2019 Comprehensive Plan has been approved. Explain one thing you would have done differently.

After almost twenty years and over two hundred thousand new residents, completing a new Comprehensive Plan was absolutely imperative. Completing a new plan was a campaign promise I made when running in 2015 and I’m proud to have kept. I am equally proud that the current BOS did not have one vote along party lines during the entire process. If I had the votes, I would have added more interim uses in what will be the new Urban Policy Area (UPA). Because the UPA is close to the new Metro Stations it can absorb most of the expected residential growth in Loudoun. What we know is that currently the housing market has no demand for high rise, dense development in Loudoun’s UPA, however eventually that will change. Designating interim uses in the UPA (such as surface parking lots) will allow for future vertical residential growth and protect the Rural Western Loudoun from future development. I’m thankful of the thousands of hours from hundreds of residents and county staff who helped in this three year effort. Although, not perfect, I believe the plan to be an excellent start and I look forward to completing the underline zoning.

Outgoing Vice chairman Ralph Buona gave the Board of supervisors a “B+” in his assessment of the current board. How would you grade the current board and why?

If one knows the current Vice Chair, they know this Conservative Republican is not an easy grader; receiving a “B+” from Mr. Buona is high praise. I’m so honored to have led this Board for the past four years. Many have asked if we really get along as well as it appears. For the most part, we do. Although we have varying opinions, ideological and political beliefs regarding various policy matters, this is a body that has worked well together. We have disagreed without being disagreeable or disrespectful to one another, staff or citizens. I believe as a body, this board has had many accomplishments, our positive and respectful conversations and interactions is one we should all be pleased with. I am very proud of is the tone we have set. The agreeable nature of this board has been noted by staff, other elected and appointed officials and most importantly, Loudoun’s citizens. While there is always room for improvement, I would agree with my friend Ralph that this board deserves a” B+” or maybe even an “A.” I look forward to continuing to set a high tone of respect and collegiality on the next board.

Explain if you agree or disagree with the Board’s decision to not add elementary school resource offices in the fiscal 2020 budget.

During the past four years, I have voted to fund every request brought to the Board by the current Loudoun County Sheriff. If our County Sheriff or future Police Chief believes adding a School Resource Officer to every Elementary School is important for the safety and security of our Elementary Schools, I will acquiesce to their expertise in this matter. Of course, SROs are just a piece of a school’s safety net. Ensuring LCPS is adequately funded to employ enough student counselors and support staff is key to student safety. Peer to peer student groups, availability of after school activities and decreasing in school and cyberbullying must all be encouraged and addressed on an ongoing basis. Finally, schools construction is important. Any person entering a school should be individually buzzed in and enter the front office through a vestibule before being allowed to proceed into the main student area.

Loudoun has grown significantly in recent decades. Should there be additional hard caps on housing? 

The current Board has not approved one new home in Western Loudoun County. It’s my hope future board will continue this practice; however, by-right development can and will take place if we don’t provide Western Loudoun landowners the ability to monetize their land. While I don’t believe “housing caps” are realistic, I believe we must complete the Strategic Housing Study before making decisions as to where and what types of housing are needed in Loudoun. Growth in Eastern Loudoun County should first focus on the new Urban Policy Area near the new Metro Stations. In the Suburban Policy Area our focus should be on reinvestment and adaptive reuse. Where there is new housing our goal should be to ensure the proper infrastructures such as: roads, schools, public safety facilities, parks and green space is in place before or in conjunction with any new developments.

One of the major tasks for the next board will be overhauling the County’s zoning ordinance. Explain one are the future board should consider revision. 

Just as the Comprehensive Plan was long overdue, a full rewrite of the County’s Zoning Ordinance has not been completed since 1993. With the amount of growth in Loudoun over the past twenty six years it’s impossible to concentrate on just one area. However, because the Urban Policy Area (UPA) is completely new I assume a great deal of discussion will focus on those land bays. The UPA is expected to be a vibrant area that will include all of Loudoun’s new Metro stops. The UPA will include mixed use communities, retail, arts, new urban schools etc. It’s essential that the zoning in this area is thoughtful and malleable. In all our residential zoning there should be a hyper- focus on addressing Loudoun’s unmet housing needs. Finally, I continue to be committed to not building any new residential developments in the Rural Policy Area, Western Loudoun County.

Loudoun has done well economically in recent years. What will be you top priority to continue economic growth?

The unmet housing need is one of the main challenges facing Loudoun and the National Capital Region. Lack of attainable housing prevents small and large businesses from locating to Loudoun because their employees cannot live where they work. During the Comprehensive Plan discussions my motion to complete a Strategic Housing Plan passed unanimously. Workforce development equally is important to achieving sustainable economic growth; this effort should start at the middle school level. In addition vocational and certified trainings should be encouraged in LCPS. Because businesses identify our strong education system as a reason to locate in Loudoun, it’s important to adequately fund our schools. Finally, we need to keep the personal and real property tax rates as low as possible while still providing needed county service. Due to increases in business tax revenue, over the past four years, this board has been able to lower real property taxes every year.

In a time filled with partisan rhetoric, please give a compliment to your opponent or opponents. 

I have known both my opponents for over 10 years. Mr. Whitbeck is a dedicated family man who is clearly adored by his wife and three beautiful daughters. Mr. Ohneiser (also known as Bob O Esq.) is an engaged citizen. He has strong opinions on a variety of issues and is willing to offer his thoughts regularly.

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John Whitbeck (R)

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

First, I will take action to improve school safety and fight for high quality schools. As a father of three daughters attending Loudoun public schools, quality and safe education is extremely important for me and my family. This is why Sheriff Chapman and I proposed the expansion of our School Resource Officer program to our elementary schools. We will get to work make this a reality immediately when I am Chair. Likewise, quality education means supporting our teachers, providing the resources they need, and keeping class sizes small. Loudoun remains among the highest ranked school districts in the state even with our high rate of growth. As Chair I will ensure our schools remain at the highest level possible by supporting county budgets that fully invest in our schools.

Second, we need a Chair who will work to provide substantive property tax relief to Loudoun residents. Our budget has increased by over $1 billion in the last four years and residents continue to pay more in property taxes. We need business-friendly policies to lure high paying jobs to Loudoun to broaden our tax base, create jobs inside our county thereby reducing commutes, and cutting property taxes.

Third, I will be a strong advocate to reduce traffic and fight the punishing tolls on the Greenway. More than 50% of Loudoun residents commute out of the county for work, some driving an hour or more. Traffic and tolls have a daily impact on quality of life. Improving transportation includes bringing more high paying jobs to Loudoun to shorten commutes, preparing for full utilization of the Metro to help get cars off the road, and supporting improvements to existing infrastructure to improve the flow of traffic. Also, for the first time in 10 years we have a shot at distance-based pricing and toll reduction on the Greenway but only if we have a change in leadership at the Chair position. My opponent the incumbent Chair was the only member of a bi-partisan Board to vote for guaranteed high tolls on the Greenway until 2056.

How are you going to balance the different viewpoints and priorities between the east and west for the overall benefit of the county? 

Politicians have pitted eastern and western Loudoun against each other for far too long. I have been very clear that my vision for “strategic development” is to push infrastructure needs to the forefront, preserve the rural west, build more parks and support attainable housing efforts.

When we do approve projects for development, we should have a strategy for how this development will be coupled with infrastructure improvements to accommodate the impact on our county. Our rural west must be preserved by strengthening our rural economy and supporting preservation of farmland. I also support a Transfer of Development Rights program that would help to preserve our open space, while incentivizing attainable housing efforts. Finally, less than 2% of all of Loudoun’s land is public parkland and this needs to change.

The current board, led by the incumbent Chair, was the first board to convert designated rural space to high density housing. It is planned to go in south of Leesburg, which will further crowd Leesburg schools and increase traffic. I think that was a mistake and it was a proposal Chair Randall supported after promising to protect the rural areas of Loudoun.

Do you support building another bridge from Loudoun County across the Potomac River? Explain. 

I support exploring our options to build another bridge crossing with as little impact to residents as possible. Nearly 70% of the cars driving on our roads during commute times are coming from outside Loudoun. The lack of a crossing from Loudoun and Maryland, along with the punishing tolls on the Greenway, means eastbound commuters are all bottlenecked into Rt. 7. We always need to build more roads, but we need strategies that will redesign our flow of traffic and get cars off the road. This will be my approach to transportation when elected.

The 2019 Comprehensive Plan has been approved. Explain one thing you would have done differently? 

Chair Randall’s plan moved P1 and P2 from Rural Policy Area to high density housing, which I believe was a mistake. This was the first time a Board voted to take away zoned open space to create more housing. I have talked to countless Leesburg and Loudoun residents who are concerned that such a plan will lead to more crowded schools and even more traffic. It also sets a dangerous precedent.

Outgoing Vice Chairman Ralph Buona gave the Board of Supervisors a "B+" in his assessment of the current board. How would you grade the current board and why? 

Higher taxes for FY 2017 and a 62% pay raise were two very wrong decisions this Board made. At the same time, our budget has increased by almost $1 billion dollars in four years while residents are still paying higher annual Greenway tolls, traffic has increased and schools are becoming more crowded. For that reason, I would give the board a B-.

Explain if you agree or disagree with the board's decision to not add elementary school resource officers into the fiscal 2020 budget. 

Let’s be clear: Sheriff Chapman and I together were the first to propose expanding our School Resource Officer program. Two of my daughters attend our elementary schools so I am driven to get this issue done for them, and for all our children. My SRO Proposal was never seriously discussed before I made it a campaign issue and it was disingenuous for Chair Randall to attempt to slip it in the budget at the last minute. If you’re going to support school safety, you should do it, but not as a reaction to your challenger in an election year.

The Board should have acted to put the SRO expansion in the budget but I would’ve started the conversation earlier, collaborated with the Sheriff’s office, created a broader strategy for implementation, and supported the measure as a well thought out policy proposal, rather than a last second addition to the budget.

Loudoun has grown significantly in recent decades. Should there be additional hard caps on housing? 

Loudoun’s growth has posed significant challenges for both new and long-time residents. I have been very consistent that I propose a balanced approach to development, but putting arbitrary caps on our county government doesn’t help us address the root of our development problems.

One of the major tasks for the next board will be overhauling the county's zoning ordinance. Explain one area the future board should consider revising. 

Zoning ordinances must be in line with the Comprehensive Plan. We spent two years working on the Plan and many of the stakeholders from the development and preservation community walked away feeling like they were not heard. Much of this was due to inconsistencies about how many houses were going to be allowed in the Transition Policy Area and where the boundaries of the Rural, Transition and Suburban Policy Areas would be. The incumbent Chair started the process declaring that the Board would take a “hands-off” approach to the rural west, but then lead the Board to reverse itself and reclassify rural open space as transition area for more density. I will be clear and consistent on where I stand on development issues, engage with all stakeholders and make sure that development decisions are made with regard to their impact on our schools, our transportation and our quality of life.

Loudoun has done well economically in recent years. What will be your top priority to continue economic growth? 

I’ve started three small businesses in Northern Virginia, each harder to establish than the last. Restrictions and inconsistencies have made the process increasingly challenging in Loudoun, sending a signal that we are not a business-friendly county.

Loudoun also lacks Class A office space, which means that we do not have the ability to create many high paying jobs here at home. Creating jobs in Loudoun would reduce traffic, get cars off the road, diversify our tax base, allow us to lower property tax rates and more.

Finally, we must support our rural economy as well. Our wineries, breweries, and farmers need to know that our county is committed to preserving open space and supporting their industry.

As someone who has created jobs in Northern Virginia for nearly twenty years, I will know how to get the job done for our county.

In a time filled with partisan rhetoric, please give a compliment to your opponent or opponents. 

I have two opponents, Phyllis Randall and Bob Ohneiser. I have worked with Bob in our capacity as lawyers and I have great respect for him. Bob is a gentleman who practices law and politics with civility.

As a person strong in my Catholic faith, I appreciate when Phyllis talks about the importance of faith in one’s life. I commend her for not shying away from this as Chair.

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Bob Ohneiser (I)

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

Overall Loudoun should have significantly lower property & personal property taxes, more efficient government and more support of the community. Fairness not political favoritism must guide the agenda. As a former member of each local party I have many friends on both sides which I plan on working with to accomplish a far more productive agenda than belaboring over historic statues and other nonsense current chairperson Randall has wasted precious time and resources on. Below are a couple of specific issues that I would prioritize:

1. Coordinate BOS meetings with Fairfax County to execute joint bidding opportunities, improve relationship with the state which now extracts hundreds of millions from what Fairfax and Loudoun should get back in sales taxes and obtain relief from the federal takeover of Dulles airport so we can obtain appropriate property taxes from MWAA parking lots that only serve the Metro. Counties should force VDOT to do its job on all the roads it is responsible for - TRAFFIC MUST BE ADDRESSED!

2. Obtain consensus from the majority of the Board of Supervisors that assessments need to be fair and taxes need to be significantly lowered. Large politically connected entities like the private Howard Hughes Institute, hospitals, large developer held land, the Greenway and others need to pay their fair share while homeowners especially small lots need to have their taxes reduced including eliminating the 4.2% personal property tax. Fairness includes supporting non-profit charities to a much greater extent around Loudoun. I volunteered for a decade to help Loudoun’s homeless while on the Good Shepherd Board yet they receive less funding now than a decade ago while handling much greater problems the government can’t do as efficiently.

(What charities have either of my opponents volunteered for?)

3 The School Board is legally required to use utmost efficiency when managing $1.3 billion given to it. (state statute 22.1-79) This needs to be enforced by the Board of Supervisors. In addition to decades of corporate financial experience and former chair of the school board finance committee I know how to get this done. Artificial turf fields built on perfectly good water well supported grass fields make no financial sense nor do bus routes ( 5 students on 55-seat buses). Overhead at LCPS unrelated to students needs to be treated differently than what teachers do and need. For more detail of my school board voting record review candidatebobohneiser on Facebook.

How are you going to balance the different viewpoints and priorities between the east and west for the overall benefit of the county?

The majority in both areas do not like traffic, pollution, burying unidentified garbage, unfair taxes, self-serving/unavailable and misleading politicians. The majority likes efficient government that listens to and respects constituents, lowers taxes, executes traffic solutions and is efficient. By defining, prioritizing and analyzing problems faced by the Board of Supervisors through the lens of fairness, efficiency and community support I expect constituents from both areas to accept such decisions and move forward as a community. Commuters from both areas are overpaying for their commutation as Loudoun chose not to distinguish Loudoun riders from non-Loudoun riders even though Loudoun subsidizes the transportation. Most citizens recognize unfairness in government policies and actions. Enforcing fairness is a priority the entire county will benefit by. Instead of taking campaign donations from developers who want a return on those investments I chose to rely on 25 years of volunteer community involvement to justify asking for your vote. Review candidatebobohneiser at Facebook for details of my experience, school board voting record and priorities.

Do you support building another bridge from Loudoun County across the Potomac River? Explain.

Knowing that any bridge across the Potomac requires both Maryland and the federal government it is amazing that there hasn’t even been a joint meeting set up by this Board with all required parties to precisely go over the possibilities which include far more options than to build another bridge crossing or not. Current Chair Randal voted for a tax wasteful $300 million widening which does nothing to actually solve the problem. I would support a federal riverside highway that goes from Point of Rocks Bridge to Route 28 as that would take pressure off both Route 15 north of Leesburg and Route 7 and preserve Catoctin District. We may need to toll the entry to Virginia at Point of Rocks on a time of day basis to get Maryland to the table. Any decision on road construction should stabilize what residents need not foster new tax corrosive development. Loudoun is a boundary county between DC and two states that do very little to reduce commutation. The State of Virginia WANTS as much development as possible in Loudoun to drive income taxes to Richmond! This is an issue the BOS needs to seriously consider as VDOT is underfunded.

The 2019 Comprehensive Plan has been approved. Explain one thing you would have done differently? 

I would not violate a promise to the community not to expand the transition area from a buffer between highly dense eastern development and the rural areas. This was done by the comprehensive plan approved by current Chair Randall which also exacerbates the traffic issues around the County, is tax corrosive with high density residential projects and only benefits the developers who funded her campaign and John Whitbeck’s campaign. The new Board needs to take the plan back into consideration. Until and unless the state provides both needed infrastructure funding and stops harvesting Loudoun for every nickel it can gauge out of us the high density residential projects STOP! As the former vice chair of the Good Shepherd Alliance which supports homelessness throughout Loudoun I am again disappointed the BOS doesn’t even consider where to authorize homeless shelters in such a long-term plan. The plan needs to focus on the community NOT merely be a tool for developers to get a return on their campaign investments into the Whitbeck and Randall campaigns! Loudoun should not accept 33% higher property tax rates than most of the State of Virginia.

Outgoing Vice Chairman Ralph Buona gave the Board of Supervisors a "B+" in his assessment of the current board. How would you grade the current board and why? 

The Board should be graded in four categories:

A- for bringing in more commercial development and maintaining the AAA bond rating.

D+ for operations such as managing traffic, managing the budget, coordinating broadband infrastructure, managing the school board, fairly taxing the population and controlling high density housing.

D- for operating ineffectively with the State of Virginia as we continue to be harvested. VDOT remains under budgeted and composite index extracts hundreds of millions from Loudoun every year.

D- for approving comprehensive plans which violate transition area promises, add high density housing which erodes the tax base and ignore the will of the residents of the county and even violated prior agreements with the town of Leesburg. I am still surprised the local democratic party did not support former Mayor Umstaddt for Chair rather than allowing the overly ambitious, less than productive Randall take the reign.

Explain if you agree or disagree with the board's decision to not add elementary school resource officers into the fiscal 2020 budget. 

As Chair of the first Health, Wellness and Safety Committee of LCPS I made the successful motion to add panic buttons to all Loudoun Schools so the lead time for police response would be minimized. This should be improved by adding wireless panic buttons accessible from anywhere on school grounds not just the office. I discussed with Sheriff Chapman the need for all traveling deputies to route themselves as close to our schools as possible to minimize committed response times for all schools. Having officers sit in a school without a program of activity is a waste of time and money. Safety programs which maximize parental involvement and student awareness should include high tech cell phone options. LCPS should consider stopping over-disciplining children especially expulsions for non-violent actions by using the Douglas School as it was intended.

Loudoun has grown significantly in recent decades. Should there be additional hard caps on housing? 

Housing means different things to different people. The state is pushing Loudoun to build to attract higher income tax generating newcomers not building affordable units. The state harvests hundreds of millions of funding away from Loudoun every year which HAS TO STOP! Low cost housing for single professionals such as lofts and one-bedroom apartments should be incentivized in urban areas. Until the state stops harvesting Loudoun we need to stop high density student generating housing projects. The proffer system needs to be investigated as it unfairly understates school impact from high density residential projects. As former chair of the school board finance committee I know how to fix this. Knowing both my opponents have no experience on the school board nor any extensive financial management experience I doubt they would be willing or able to challenge their developer donors to fix this system.

One of the major tasks for the next board will be overhauling the county's zoning ordinance. Explain one area the future board should consider revising. 

Small lots and homes are over-taxed and over-regulated especially in overlay districts. We should Incentivize constituents to garden and enhance land without county minimum acreage requirements. Why should someone have to have 5 acres to justify small farm status with chickens or a commercial garden? Many commercial entities are not taxed at market value. The BOS needs to petition the state to stop charging fees which have no practical value other than state fundraising. It is time to push back against the state thirst to harvest as much money OUT OF LOUDOUN as possible. The BOS controls zoning not the other way around. This needs to be more apparent to the general population by action not political rhetoric and not driven by a desire to please the campaign donor developer community. Unlike my two opponents I am not bound by developer campaign donations or associated influence.

Loudoun has done well economically in recent years. What will be your top priority to continue economic growth?

Loudoun needs much more discipline to balance high density residential and quality job producing commercial or our tax rate would be equal to the state average of 79 cents which Loudoun is currently 33% above. LCPS needs $4.4 billion to catch up with school capacity or risk crowding our classrooms. Traffic and the lack of infra-structure to mitigate traffic is further evidence that QUALITY OF GROWTH COUNTS! The growth approved by the last few Boards would only be viewed as done well if one accepts high tax rates and choking traffic as inevitable.

Decades of financial work experience, education and 8 years on the school board allows me to better understand the actual financial status of Loudoun. I plan to positively influence an agenda of affordable growth which could also be improved by reducing or eliminating the 4.2% personal property tax.

In a time filled with partisan rhetoric, please give a compliment to your opponent or opponents.

Whitbeck is a well prepared, aggressive, extremely ambitious lawyer who built a 7 lawyer firm. I believe he will find a way to overcome conflict of interest issues (VA Code 2.2-412, VA Bar Ethics Rules 1.7, 419, 1278, 208, 245 & 847) between his firm and potential role as Chair.

Randall is a proud mom, good communicator and extremely aggressive politician who received less votes for chair than I did for Commonwealth Attorney.

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-Click here for more information on the Nov. 5 election

-70 candidates will be on the ballot in Loudoun County Nov. 5

(29) comments

BobOhneiserEsq

Amerigirl, you asked two questions which I assume you wanted answers to. NIH is a federal facility excluded from any municipality taxing it while the $23 billion in current assets from the former billionaire Howard Hughes estate is not. Second, Although Maryland was part of the north in the Civil War and took the ownership of the Potomac it is not superior to the federal jurisdiction over interstate commerce which is precisely what will dictate their participation to the extent inter-state commutation and commercial movement of goods requirements need to be met. I hope that helps answer your question and reinforces my promise that EVERY citizen of Loudoun who expresses a view to the BOS will have that suggestion/complaint put on a priority list and worked transparently by the county staff and not ignored as many are now. The county will again belong to all residents and local businesses not just developers who expect a return on their generous investments in the campaigns of both my opponents. ALL REGISTERED VOTERS SHOULD VOTE ON NOV 5th :-)

amerigirl

Bob, Janella is still a Nonprofit/Charitable Organization. The Pickens mansion is a registered landmark and therefore remains the same, and if Loudoun uses that mansion as a tourist attraction on their brochures why would we want them to tear it down for more research space? With an attitude like that why would any philanthropist want to sink money into Loudoun? How did you come up with $23 billion in assets? It’s not like he lived here and everything or even anything he owned was here, it wasn’t even purchased until 2000 by the non-profit medical institute. How does that equate to being part of a private asset for Hughes?

As far as Maryland owning the Potomac, the Charter of Maryland, which had been granted by Charles II to the second Lord Baltimore in 1632, was clear: the entire Potomac River was included in Maryland’s jurisdiction. After the American Revolution they had meeting with VA and the Mount Vernon Compact, or Compact of 1785, which recognized Maryland’s sole jurisdiction of the river but gave Virginia certain rights of use. Nothing else happened until the 1950’s. I don’t see what the civil war had to do with anything. I am from Maryland and was required to learn its history in school. Per the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, they still have to have permission to build over the Potomac.

BobOhneiserEsq

Areyoukidding, First . - you won't find the word "garages" in any of my statements because I never used that limited term so why don't you just say who you are for using your own name and be upfront about it instead of making stuff up anonymously? Second, if you review the history of how Dulles Airport was TAKEN by eminent domain substantially from former slaves who owned small farms (without even hearings) you might appreciate the travesty better. The justification for transferring the entire property to the federal government was based on national security then giving MWAA a long lease on the entire property which they have profited handsomely WITHOUT SUPPORTING LOUDOUN SCHOOLS which being subject to property taxes would have done. So what is the benefit to any American especially Virginia taxpayers for continuing to have the non-national security land kept in the hands of the federal government? :-)

Mark Gunderman

Mr. Ohneiser is the proverbial “Renaissance Man.” He has degrees in engineering, finance and law. As a candidate, Bob guarantees voters that he will formally define key county problems and report to the public regularly on progress to resolve those issues with emphasis on fairness, efficiency and community support. As a recently retired attorney with Loudoun elected official experience combined with decades of Loudoun based community volunteerism, Bob is uniquely capable of managing the county agenda working at a highly charged full time pace. He has the time to work with both parties to move defined problems to successful resolution. Bob is the only citizen of Loudoun who has been a member of both political parties as an elected official meaning he understands party strategies in great depth and will be able to move the BOS through the more complex issues. Voters should expect the Chair of the BOS to have proven management experience acquired over decades while still volunteering to help the Loudoun community, not just profit from it.

Bob would strengthen the ability for local charities to help support Loudoun’s indigent population. When the mission of a charity assists the Loudoun community in a manner the government is not committed or effective, then the BOS needs to substantially increase financial support to such charities.

Bob is the only candidate who has in depth knowledge of how to control LCPS spending without impacting the quality of education. Loudoun is facing critical issues which need to be seriously addressed to reach the successful future the county deserves. The current LCPS capital budget along with the growing multi-billion yearly operating budget may push the already unfair property tax rate sky high, without demanding more efficient management.

Bob desires to improve coordination with Fairfax County to alleviate complications with the state relationship in Richmond. Bob would explore opportunities with Fairfax to increase leverage with the state for better treatment (composite index, VDOT and interstate commutation traffic issues).

amerigirl

Is this a paid promo?

amerigirl

springerdad can I ask what you are talking about with your post "I suggest you pony up the $200k to pay back the county DavisB since you agree with how it was spent"? I didn't see anything that Davis said about agreeing how anything was spent. What $200k? and why would you make it personal like that?

springerdad

Read the thread between SGP and DavisB again. If you don't get my comment then that is fine.

amerigirl

maybe you should explain, I only see that he was saying it that she was trying to instill a bit of politeness. Nothing else.

springerdad

Installing a bit of politeness by spending $200k of our money to do that.

DavisB

springerdad - I suggest your read the thread -I never said I agree with the action to give VA SGP a 6 hour time out from the facebook page. But I definitely disagree with VASGP's characterization of him/herself as a martyr.

amerigirl

Please explain what and why you think it cost $200K?

AreYouKidding

Bob Ohneiser comments on this site continuously show a lack of understanding of reality. This continues in this interview. For example he talks about getting back tax dollars for parking garages at Dulles airport which just support the Metro. There are no Metro parking garages at Dulles airport. In fact the MWAA has leased airport land to the county for $0 per year for the parking garage the county is responsible for providing at the Loudoun Gateway station.

Loudoun4Trump

Randall or O....either will do....

BobOhneiserEsq

Concerned, If you go to the 5th line of my answer regarding interstate commutation issues and bridges I did address the refusal of Maryland to cooperate. The federal government has jurisdiction over interstate commerce! The two forcing factors (neither of which has the current board deployed) is to engage the federal government into the issue with long term traffic forecasts and begin time of day asymmetric tolling operations if they drag their feet. Nobody should assume any of this is easy but it needs to be worked on not just talked about as it is getting noticeably worse for Route 15 and Route 9. Thanks for your input. :-)

Matthew

I like what Bob O. has to say and especially like that he is neither a "D" or an "R"; however, I do not know if his words are simply campaign rhetoric and is simply hiding behind the "I". I don't want to see extremism in Loudoun on either side.

BobOhneiserEsq

Virginia SGP, You are right but that just scratches the surface of her self serving behaviors. Yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce debate she actually defended her vote to continue the exemption of the "private", $23 billion in current assets Howard Hughes Institute from paying ANY property taxes for their $700 million property in Ashburn. She said it would cost the County $300,000 in lost donations without the exemption. Their tax bill would be about $8 million so one can only conclude their donation of import was to her campaign. (pay to play?) Ask Sheriff Chapman about the $20 million she wanted to waste on a "friendly" consultant to revamp the emergency system which he did on 1/20th of what her friend would have charged. Loudoun deserves better management than such obviously self serving political operatives who in this case never even got the majority of votes to win. The 72% that don't normally vote in local elections need to show up for this to get fixed! :-)

DavisB

self serving - have you not read your posts here trying to turn each and every article into a campaign event for yourself - get off your high horse, bob

amerigirl

Why do you say "private" when it is a medical research nonprofit?Would you expect NIH to pay property taxes?

Concerned

What is your position on the current suit? Why are our public interests not being protected? If it is a public-right-of-way, it should be protected by the public.

amerigirl

Why do they keep asking about bridges to MD when MD owns the Potomac and the land on the other side? Way back when Rep. Frank Wolf, said it was not feasible to construct the bridge without disrupting parkland. Md is against it because the highway would cut through the county’s agricultural reserve, a 93,000-acre area in upper Montgomery County that was set aside in the 1980s to be protected from excessive development. How about a question that is realistic?

Concerned

There is a current lawsuit going on arguing that there is a public right of way from VA to MD where the ferry operates. Not sure why none of the candidates have taken interest.

Virginia SGP

Gotta agree with Bob O on virtually everything. I too am interested to see how these politicians avoid conflicts of interest. I see Randall didn't mention she wasted $200k in taxpayer money legal fees) trying to censor her own constituents.

Concerned

She also didn't mention supporting the 150K payment to the Waterford Gentrification Foundation to repair their finances; the $42,000 payment to Loudoun Mutual Insurance to rezone their property to commercial; or her support of the county attorney #metoo.

amerigirl

Partial story, and very biased. Why Waterford's fiances were in trouble was because after years of delay brought on at least in part by state and federal red tape have cost the project to save the historic Waterford Mill $762,354 in federal grant money, $94,260 of which had already been spent.

You also didn't mention that County supervisors voted unanimously, Supervisor Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) absent for the project to approve. That $42,000 payment was because Loudoun had rezoned the area it was in and had been in for 170 years, to residential, which would have put them out of business. I'm glad that Loudoun stepped up and took responsibility for their actions , it was the right thing to do. Again, Loudoun County supervisors had an unanimously vote. Both republican and democratic's supported the grant not just Randall

DavisB

not censuring her own constituents, rather trying to instill a bit of politeness on you

Virginia SGP

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees with you and Randall. And how is stating that LCSB members are violating the LAW (special prosecutor later issued this very opinion) on her Facebook page by not disclosing their family conflicts "slander"? That is what she accused me of because I pointed out voting raises for spouses who work at LCPS must be disclosed per the Virginia Conflict of Interest law.

springerdad

I suggest you pony up the $200k to pay back the county DavisB since you agree with how it was spent.

DavisB

VASGP - how is anonymously posting threats and insults on Facebook civil and polite?

amerigirl

Funny, at first (Jan) it was $150,000, and Loudoun County Attorney Leo Rogers said the total cost of the appeal was more than $122,000.That was the total cost and he said that the county's insurance covered a portion it. How much will it be by election day?

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