Loudoun-Danville Exchange Program | Buckner, Randall

City of Danville Councilman James Buckner and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) exchanged lapel pins with each other after the Virginia jurisdiction exchange program launched on Thursday.

Loudoun County officials are partnering with their counterparts in Danville as part of a new pilot exchange program.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced the new initiative in front of guests at the executive mansion Thursday.

Originally a textile and furniture leader – and now placing an emphasis on 21st century workforce training – Northam said Danville’s economic history should be a great example for Loudoun and other northern Virginia counties. Alexandria, the city of Norton and Wise County were also selected as part of the exchange program.

“I think for us to reach out to other areas of Virginia and learn about them, and then bring those ideas and experiences back to Richmond, and then make good policy that benefits all of Virginia—that's what this is all about,” Northam told the Times-Mirror.

The exchange program is modeled after the Sister Cities International program, which provides a forum to exchange information and build stronger relationships around the world, according to the governor’s office. President Dwight Eisenhower created the Sister Cities program in 1956 to promote “better understanding, respect, and cooperation across international boundaries.”

In partnership with Northam's office, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the Virginia Association of Counties and the Virginia Municipal League, the communities will assemble delegations that will visit their partner communities to highlight assets and familiarize themselves with the other community.

Loudoun is expected to create a group of local elected and appointed officials, state legislators and other key stakeholders to partake in the program. The delegation will travel and visit their partner once over the next year and then serve as hosts to Danville representatives. Loudoun will develop an itinerary that highlights tourism, natural and cultural assets and economic development strategies.

Following Northam’s remarks, representatives from Danville and Loudoun County said they are eager to begin.

“On behalf of Loudoun County, we are looking forward to sharing our story and successes with the city of Danville, and we are pleased to participate in the commonwealth’s effort to advance local government exchange opportunities through this new program,” Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said in a prepared statement.

Loudoun-Danville Exchange Program | Northam

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) welcomed guests Thursday to the executive mansion at the kickoff for the first pilot exchange program. Loudoun County will be partnering with the City of Danville.

Before departing from a meeting at the governor's mansion, representatives from both jurisdictions exchanged lapel pins with each other’s government emblems.

City of Danville Councilman James Buckner said he looks forward to “building off of each other’s strengths.”

One area he thinks Danville can help Loudoun is to enhance the county’s relationships between local towns and villages. Rifts between Loudoun County and its largest local town, Leesburg, have bubbled up in recent years, including a legal spat over the Joint Land Management Area.

Danville, which became an independent city in 1890 from Pittsylvania County, is in the south-central area of Virginia, located on the fall line of the Dan River. Nearly 41,000 people lived in Danville in 2018, according to the U.S. Census.

"Our knowledge of the way intergovernmental relations is with our city and county is a very good thing," Buckner said. “We've worked out some really good things with our city and county, and being that Loudoun County is such a large county, I think we'll be able to take a lot away from them, as well.”

"Certainly economic development is an interesting topic for us,” Danville City Manager Ken Larking said. “We understand Loudoun County is big in data centers, and we're trying to get into that game as well. Tourism is important. The relationship between the county and the towns and versus our relationship between the city and the county, which is unique as an independent city. We got some differences there, but it could be something that we can learn from each other.”

Loudoun has received several accolades for its work in tourism, government affairs and education, and the county is known for its strong economic portfolio.

But there is still room for growth, said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Koran Saines (D-Sterling).

“We'll just work together to see how we can help each other through economic development partnerships and through cultural exchanges,” Saines said. "We are both part of the commonwealth of Virginia, but we're in the northern part [and] they're down in the southern part—very close to North Carolina and then the Tennessees of the world—so, I'm looking forward to it.”

Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones was not in attendance at Thursday's breakfast, but did say he is looking forward to the opportunity.

“We feel like we’ve got a great story to tell, and I am certain the others do as well,” Jones said in a prepared statement.

Loudoun-Danville Exchange Program | Leaders

In Richmond, City of Danville and Loudoun County leaders met Thursday during a kickoff breakfast for the first pilot exchange program. The two jurisdictions will join Alexandria, the city of Norton and Wise County to exchange information and build relationships across county lines. Pictured from left is County Administrator Tim Hemstreet, City of Danville Councilman James Buckner, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D), City of Danville Councilman Sherman Saunders, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Koran Saines (D), City of Danville Manager Ken Larking and Deputy Loudoun County Administrator Charles Yudd. 

(25) comments

Pete

Psssstt! Hey Danville, got a tip fer ya, you wont learn anything from Loudoun except how to be in bed with developers, business interests and lobbyists, oh and say good bye to your History, Heritage and AG/Farmland if ya have any left.

amerigirl

That was back in the good old days when we were run by the good old boys.

amerigirl

No Marv, The Virginia DNC is not a Bloomberg Puppet. He just knows where to spend his money.

LIfetimeLoudouner

Please tell Danville Loudoun Lucked into data centers because of MAE east, the eastern hub of the internet is located in Ashburn VA. If we did not have MAE east then we would be like every other county in the country trying to get one or two data centers.

But this is a waste of money but better having a sister city in VA and traveling there then having one in Europe or China (which we do also have). All these are feel good programs for politicians and do little good for the citizens of each city.

Chris McHale

Did we waste money sending her there or did they waste money sending him up here? My bet is we both wasted money and sent the both to Richmond.

amerigirl

It's only about a 4 hour drive, how much gas could they use? Let's hope that something promising comes from this.

More Cowbell

Just more political corruption of wasting taxpayers money. This should come out of Gov Ralphie's pocket.

amerigirl

Another person worried about taxpayers dollars but could care less about the huge ripoff of taxpayer dollars by the trump administration.

More Cowbell

Good one, from Phyllis staff...

amerigirl

Sure Cowbell, just how much do you think this really cost taxpayers? Trump donates his salary but he has spent ‘278.5 Years’ worth of salary golfing to the tune of $127,000,000, and that doesn't bother you?

applicant45554

Wow. These folks really have nothing to do except parade around with this phony program wasting money. And Danville in datacenters.... yea, right

amerigirl

And you know this to be phony how?

tolerantleft

I will get to see all the Trump flags that are flying outside of Loudoun

amerigirl

Trump has flags? Does he plaster is face on them and if so doesn't the orange clash with the red white and blue? Or does he just put his name on them like he does with everything else?

LoudounClear

Virginians helping Virginians. Sounds like a good idea on the face of it.

hardworkingamerican

Oh my God, what a pathetic waste of tax payer dollars. The "governor's mansion", look at the suits and ties that our tax dollars are paying for. The pomp and circumstance while we are out here working our "you know what's off" to put food on the table and tax dollars in Governor "Coon Mans" pocket. The new Social Communist Democratic Party of Bloomberg is an infection that if the hard working Loudoun County 10th district residents and others don't get a handle on in the 2020 election we will lose all our rights. What a pathetic excuse for a "look what I'm doing moment", while our roads and infrastructure crumble anytime it rains for more than 1 hour. Rural roads that are falling apart, traffic patterns that endanger citizens lives everyday, not to mention the stealing of funds from Loudoun to go to Fairfax which of course is the strong hold of the Social Communist Democratic Party. Turn VA RED come 2020, which of course means "Remove Every Democrat" so that we can enjoy our freedoms once again from a KKK, Blackface, infanticide governor who is the head hypocrite of the "take away your rights" movement. Northam is in the pocket of big business Bloomberg who wants to stop you from being able to eat what you want, drink what you want and of course protect yourself. Turn VA RED for life!

Djfmer

Whole heartedly agree with everything hardworking American says.

amerigirl

Get some facts.

November Blue Wave

Virginia is blue for now. Get used to it. Your hero Trump has had over three years to improve infrastructure, health care, and create GOOD jobs for our people. All he has done is make the rich richer, deregulate to further destroy the environment, and make empty promises to the fools who continue to believe his lies. You all have been conned, admit it.

More Cowbell

Yep great paying jobs, economy doing great, low unemployment, houses flying off the market, job security, putting US citizens first. My healthcare is still 10 times too expensive thanks to Obamacare. And Dem gov just love taxing northern va, including gas tax to pay for metro. Dems priorities, tax more and gun laws(which won't do anything to get guns/weapons out of criminals). They'd be better off going after family members and Drs that know someone is having mental issues and could kill....

truckrider814

Great, spread the virus that is in abundance in Loudoun county to other parts of VA. Loudoun's model/creed of bow down and kiss developers rings and forget about the affects anything has on constituents or the county. Backdoor money and bad proffers for everyone.

Djfmer

It's a virus alright.

amerigirl

At least we don't have all those republicans that we on the take from the developers.

truckrider814

Yup flipping those seats solved all the problems. The democrats are just as bad. They're on the take just as much as the republicans. It's simple greed that drives that, not party affiliation. Each side blames the other, but they both got their hands out under the table for their support fee.

marv

The Virginia DNC is not a Bloomberg Puppet??

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