Letter: Dale Polen Myers, Ashburn

Editor: I know that many members of our Board of Supervisors will not be returning next year, and I want to first thank them for their service to the Loudoun County citizens.

         Over the past few weeks, the newspaper has been reporting what looks like will be the appointments to the Planning Commission for the next board. I have tried every attempt I know to try and reach out to the incoming Ashburn District supervisor and cannot seem to get a phone call, email or an opportunity to meet with him.

         As someone who is a life-time resident—in fact, a fifth generation native—of the Ashburn area, (my father served as the chair of the Dulles North Plan and the BZA. I served both on the Planning Commission and chairman of the Board of Supervisors) I cannot remember ever having a Planning Commission appointee who did not live in the district. The idea that one may live exactly at the opposite end of the county from where he may serve is just beyond belief.

         To me, this is saying there is not a single adult person who lives in the Ashburn District who has the education, common sense, ability to plan, communicate or help direct the future of what our community should look like. Are we so uninformed that we need an attorney and chairman of the Middleburg Town Planning Commission to come down to Ashburn to do this for us?

         We are not a community made up of AR-1 or AR-2; we have very little to almost none “rural roads.” We do not have private polo fields or fox hunting and we are not made up of a town surrounding by people trying to stop rural cluster development. So the question with us being 20-plus miles apart is why do we need a Planning Commission from a western Loudoun town?

         Are we to be the area that continues to have to take increased residential density around Metro areas and our community, so that the wealthy in the Middleburg can continue to enjoy their viewsheds? 

         The current Board of Supervisors rule on Advisory Boards and Commission is: “A portion of the advisory boards are comprised of appointees from each electoral district, requiringapplicants to live in the district for which the advisory position exists. Additionally, many advisory boards are comprised of at-large seats, which have no residency requirements and may also require appointees to have specific areas of expertise and/or representation.”

         I would submit that the Planning Commission is one of the most important appointments made by a board member. This person should be an individual who is in the community, understands the community and works to help resolve community issues for his or her board member, not some out-of-the-area person who has never been a part of that community.

         Lastly, the State Code concerning planning commissioners states: “A local planning commission shall consist of not less than five nor more than fifteen members, appointed by the governing body, all of whom shall be residents of the locality, qualified by knowledge and experience to make decisions on questions of community growth and development; provided, that at least one-half of the members so appointed shall be owners of real property. The local governing body may require each member of the commission to take an oath of office. One member of the commission may be a member of the governing body of the locality, and onemember may be a member of the administrative branch of government of the locality.”

         According to the Town of Middleburg website, the current chairman of the Planning Commission who it seems the Ashburn District supervisor may appoint to the county post, is serving a town term that does not expire until Dec. 31, 2021.

         The Blue Ridge District supervisor is appointing the mayor of Hillsboro.

         The Leesburg District supervisor seems to be reappointing her planning commissioner who served during the last term and is still on the Leesburg Town Planning Commission.

         It would seem to me that the “Planning Commission and a Mayor” would be part of a governing body seeing how they are all govern under the FOIA Act, how can this be legal under the State Code?

Dale Polen Myers, Ashburn

8 thoughts on “Letter: Dale Polen Myers, Ashburn

  • 2019-12-30 at 3:56 pm
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    Leave it to one term and out (and a legacy of being one of the worst chairs Loudoun County has ever seen) Myers to write a letter in which she so clearly demonstrates how she understands nothing about either State laws, and County Ordinances. Nothing like throwing out a letter to the editor for no good reason than to grouse that a sea change has now taken place in the County, as reflected by the new incoming Board of Supervisors.

  • 2019-12-30 at 5:54 pm
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    I was an Atlanta office building developer in the early ’90s and came to Northern Virginia to look for opportunities. The realtors who were showing me around urged me to look at Loudoun County, “The woman who runs that county is really dumb, and will approve anything at all.”

    Guess whom they meant.

  • 2019-12-31 at 9:32 am
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    It is interesting to me that Lawgh and Mr. Houston do not have the wherewithal to argue the facts of the matter and instead stoop to attacking the messenger. I believe that Ms. Myers presents a solid case for not appointing at least a couple of planning commissioners from the west. It looks like there could be up to 4 commissioners who live in western Loudoun. Maybe the citizens in the east are not paying attention, since Ms. Meyers seems to be the only person expressing alarm at this development. A reasonable person could believe that having someone on the commission who lives in the community he represents is a desirable attribute. It is possible that up to three commissioners can live in an area, since Ms. Randall can pick from the entire county. Having four or more is a stretch. It would be interesting to hear an argument that supports having four out of the nine commissioners all living in the same area. What would the western Loudoun folks say if all of the commissioners lived in the SPA or the UPA?

  • 2020-01-01 at 6:42 pm
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    Lady,

    I wouldn’t have called you back either. You divided the country when you served and I see you’re still a one trick pony.

  • 2020-01-02 at 11:54 pm
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    PublicIntegrity.org reported on an FBI inquiry into Myers’ actions while a Supervisor:

    ” Dale Polen Myers, the Board of Supervisors chair from 1995-1999, who actively recruited and helped elect a pro-development slate of supervisors in 2003. Soon after taking office, the board voted to enhance the zoning status of her family farmland – shared among multiple heirs which was sold to developers for almost $12.3 million, four times the $3 million assessed value at the time of the sale.”

    Sweet deal for a real sweetheart. She had been politicking for a Planning Commission seat and thankfully didn’t get it. Her letter is just sour grapes.

  • 2020-01-06 at 3:10 pm
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    A number of supervisors “give” the Planning Commission “job” to the one who helps the MOST to get that supervisor get elected! Meyers does not mention Ad Barnes by name, as Leesburg member of the County commissioner, but the only reason he is appointed over and over by Umstattd and now Mayor Kelly Burk is because he raises a lot of campaign cash for both of them. He leaves the meetings early and does very little — just like his boss. He considers himself a Republican, ironically. But it would seem prudent that the Planning Commissioner should reside in the district he or she is serving, though the state law does not seem to require it.

  • 2020-01-06 at 4:18 pm
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    Some on here can’t defend the facts so they attack the messenger. If you don’t think the points made are worth at least discussing then you should not be posting responses.

    It just seem wrong to have District appointees come from the far reaches of the county. So when there is a district question or town hall meeting about a project will they be there to talk to the citizens in the area? Will they walk local projects to see what the neighbors think? Will they know if a project is supported or opposed but those directly affected?

    Also under state code if a school board member or planning commissioner is redistricted out of their seat, they may serve till their term expires. That tells me that a planning commissioner must live within the district they represent. So those appointees who represent a district they do not live in may be in violation of state laws

  • 2020-01-06 at 11:17 pm
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    Lifetime Loudouner,

    I’d like to see the Code provision you mention. I just looked and the only stated reasons for removal are malfeasance or excess absences. (See below.) I do understand that there is merit in having Planning Commissioners and perhaps members of other appointed bodies live in the districts of the appointing Supervisor, but I also see the merit in choosing the best person. That’s all moot, though, unless the law is changed.

    Back to residency. Look at Code section 15.2-2212, which says this: “Members may be removed for malfeasance in office. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, a member of a local planning commission may be removed from office by the local governing body without limitation in the event that the commission member is absent from any three consecutive meetings of the commission, or is absent from any four meetings of the commission within any 12-month period. In either such event, a successor shall be appointed by the governing body for the unexpired portion of the term of the member who has been removed.” Again, I’m, open minded, so if you have another provision in mind, I’d like to read it.

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