Loudoun County supervisors spent much of Saturday at two ceremonies to mark the beginning of a new term.
That morning, all nine county supervisors—including the four new faces, and five returning incumbents—took part in a two-hour ceremonial swearing-in at the National Conference Center in Lansdowne. In speeches during the ceremony, they offered various messages—thanking family members, campaign staffers and supporters, calling for bipartisan cooperation, or celebrating Democratic victories.
New Supervisor Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) thanked the volunteers “who kept the blue wave going.”
“I believe history reveals bright intersections in time, when individuals are faced with clear moral choices,” Briskman said. “We are living in one of those moments, and time will eventually judge who stood up and who stood by.”
Others struck a more conciliatory tone, such as returning Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge), who said the board has “done a lot of good at putting aside partisan politics and working on things that the people of Loudoun really want us to work,” and thanked his opponent in the 2019 election, Tia Walbridge.
“You made me work really, really hard to be here, and I think you would have made an outstanding supervisor, so don’t give up,” Buffington said.
Meanwhile, new Supervisors Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) described public service as placing the needs of others above one’s own. And returning Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), now the longest-serving current member of the Board of Supervisors in this third term, said the reason he serves is his family.
“More than any other form of government or part of government, I think the local government, the Board of Supervisors, is closest to the community,” Letourneau said. “It’s where we work. It’s where we play. It’s where our kids to school. That’s where you can really have the most impact.”
And returning County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) praised her colleagues and told Republican members she would work with them, telling Caleb A. Kershner (R-Catoctin) “my commitment to you, Caleb, is I will listen to you, even if we don’t always agree, but you will always, always have my ear.” To Letourneau, she said, “we are moderate, pragmatic people, and in a day where compromise in politics seems to be a dirty word, I so appreciate you and your willingness to compromise and talk.”
In fact, the swearing-in on Saturday was ceremonial. Supervisors had already taken the oath of office in smaller ceremonies before the new year, when their term officially began.
Supervisors closed out the day with a $40-a-ticket, gala also at The National. Randall said any money raised beyond the cost of the event will go to the Loudoun YMCA, Loudoun Hunger Relief, the Dulles Area Food Pantry, and the Loudoun Commission on Women and Girls. The commission was an organization Randall sought to create as a government entity during her first term, but was rejected by the previous Board of Supervisors and formed as a nonprofit instead.