2019 Loudoun State of the County | Phyllis Randall

Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) praises her fellow supervisors and county staff at her State of the County address on May 22.

Compromise has been the key to how Loudoun County's Board of Supervisors has helped the county lead the nation in several surveys and categories over the past four years, Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said in her State of the County address Wednesday night.

In recent years, Loudoun has been named among the the top counties in “The Happiest Places in America” report focused on unemployment rate, poverty rate, affordability ratio, marriage rate, divorce rate, bankruptcy rate, life expectancy and physical activity.

On Jan. 2, 2016, Randall said the road to those honors and other distinctions – including a strong median income and low unemployment – began when members of the Board of Supervisors, for the first time, were sworn-in together.

Randall said that was a signal to Loudoun citizens that the elections were over and the board was committed to working together for all residents.

That tone had to start with Randall, newly elected to the board, and returning supervisor and eventual Vice Chairman Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), the chairwoman said.

“During my installation speech, I looked at the supervisor from the Ashburn District and said to him, if you and I can commit to working together during this term, we will be able to accomplish great things for our county and move us onto the national stage,” Randall said. “When I said those words, even I wasn't convinced a Republican man and a Democratic woman could forge not just a working relationship, but eventually a lasting friendship.”

Randall said she questioned how things would work out, but as Buona's term as a supervisor comes to an end in December, Randall said their union should be example for everyone.

“I believe the story of Chair Randall and Vice Chair Buona—Phyllis and Ralph—is a lesson that can be instructive for so many legislators, not just across the commonwealth, but across the country. A lesson of what can happen when legislators at every level put down their egos, put away their pride and focus on the people they represent,” Randall said.

County Administrator Tim Hemstreet, Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer and Visit Loudoun President and CEO Beth Erickson were among those Randall recognized for Loudoun’s success under the current board’s term.

The chairwoman credited Rizer and staff for bringing in 352 economic wins totaling almost 16,000 jobs and over $1.1 billion in commercial tax revenue to Loudoun during this board’s term. Loudoun’s rural economy also produced over $24 million in transient occupancy tax – a 28 percent increase from fiscal 2016 to the present – with a projected increase of 15 percent more in fiscal 2020.

Additionally, Erickson and Rizer were credited for Loudoun’s newest rural initiative, “Take Loudoun Home,” a program that encourages people to not only visit our rural venues, but to contribute to the rural economy by purchasing locally grown products.

However, one area of concern is the loss of open land, specifically 12,000 acres.

“While we are pleased that our rural economy has generated significant profits, we continue to be concerned that, like the region and the country, Loudoun is losing precious farmland,” Randall said.

Still, Randall said through the efforts of the Economic Development Department and the Rural Economic Development Committee, Loudoun’s rural harvest increased by 5.7 percent. Revenue from Loudoun farm products also increased from $37 million to $44 million, which is a 19 percent increase over the past four years.

The county is continuing its efforts to focus on renewable and sustainable green energy solutions, Randall said. In February, the county received the “SolSmart Silver Designation” from the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference for taking steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of a local solar market.

“With the addition of ‘Solarize Loudoun’ and our new Commercial Property Accessed Clean Energy Program, known as Commercial PACE, Loudoun is focusing more on renewable and sustainable green energy solutions,” Randall said. “I hope that far into the future our youngest citizens will know that we, the community and elected leaders who came before, realized our greatest responsibility was to them, and that we only have one earth to bequeath to those who follow us.”

Woodgrove High School student Colleen Clark sang the national anthem Wednesday, Duke Ellington School of the Arts student Joshua Teague provided two selections on saxophone and American Legion Post 2001 Commander Chuck Loomis led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Randall was introduced by South Region Director of the National Association of Counties Board of Directors Ruby Brabo.

The chairwoman closed by saying, “The state of our county, the state of the best county in the country, is inclusive, vibrant, brilliant, advancing and, yes, the state of Loudoun County is strong. Thank you very much, and I’ll see you all next year.”

(6) comments

Virginia SGP

This woman is a joke. She doesn't understand any of the business that goes on. She has no clue on finances.

In her mind, she got elected to royalty and gets to spend taxpayer $$ to put on shows of perceived power. Does Fairfax have such an ostentatious show? No. Fairfax is a professionally run county. Only clown counties put on such stunts.

tolerantleft

MAGA

amerigirl

[offtopic]

BobOhneiserEsq

This meeting was somewhere between a political rally and an award ceremony but the quotes in this article were accurately portrayed with just a few exceptions: The majority of the BOS and School Board did not attend yet there were plenty of developers and political activists in attendance. The words METRO, TRAFFIC, TRANSITION AREA, ROUTE 15, ROUTE 9, GREENWAY TOLLS, CONTINUATION OF AAA RATING, 7% EXEMPT FROM PROPERTY TAXES, DEVELOPER CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS, EXPANSION OF TRANSITION AREA, DATA CENTER REVENUES NOT FLOWED BACK TO TAXPAYERS, LCPS REQUEST FOR $4.4 BILLION iN CAPITAL, COUNTY DEBT LOAD, COMPOSITE INDEX were not mentioned nor was there even a hint of what we are facing as a County mentioned. The word "I" was repeated to such an extent I wonder if the balance of the BOS realize they had little to do with the continued success of Loudoun if you ignore the fact that the average property tax rate in Virginia is 79 cents not $1.04. I have been to and provided many business status reports. The business of this presentation was political theatre. Loudoun deserves better. Please vote on November 5th.

amerigirl

Again with the tax rate thing. Virginia has a huge amount of rural areas that are naturally going to pay less taxes. If you want to live in NOVA you will need to pay more . You could move to Fredricksburg and pay only .77 but they don't have the job opportunities and since 50% of Loudouners commute to DC for their jobs that would over double their commute time. We have a denser population so we need more schools, better infrastructure, and we expect it. Other NOVA counties also pay higher taxes than rural areas and we are pretty much on par with them. Nobody wants to pay high taxes but if you want the benefits of living in an area that has higher taxes then you just got to do it. If we went much lower than Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, or Falls Church we would quickly become over populated with everyone wanting to move here.

Virginia SGP

"If we went much lower [in taxes] than Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, or Falls Church we would quickly become over populated"... are you serious? You think we need to keep taxes high so folks don't want to move here? Did that really come out of your mouth?

We have the lowest vacancy rate and attrition rate of teachers in the state. We have 6000 applicants for 700 jobs. We didn't need to give $75M in raises. Giving a generous $27M in raises (instead of $75M) would allow us to cut our tax rate by 6 cents to $0.98. Removing Matt Letourneau's $100M slush fund could also reduce our tax rates another 6 cents at least. There is no reason whatsoever except for tax-and-spend supervisors to have a rate over $0.92.

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