Jan. 20-24 was Constitutional Officers Week in Loudoun, recognizing the five elected officials who oversee the county’s tax rolls, finances, law enforcement, court records and prosecution.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors recognized the week with a resolution passed unanimously Jan. 7 and presented Jan. 21.
Commissioner of the Revenue Robert S. Wertz Jr. used the opportunity to argue for his job.
“There were discussions of the possibility of changing the form of government in Loudoun, and I look forward to having that conversation and citizens weighing in on that,” Wert said. “Thomas Jefferson said that the best government is where power is distributed, not where it’s concentrated, and that’s the way it’s best effective, and I’m hoping that we continue with that tradition here.”
County supervisors have privately discussed the possibility of changing Loudoun’s form of government. That includes forms that would do away with the two elected finance officers, the Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue, according to those officers. Doing so would require a voter referendum and trigger an immediate election for the Board of Supervisors.
Sheriff Michael L. Chapman thanked the Board of Supervisors on behalf of the constitutional officers who did not attend the ceremonial presentation, county Treasurer H. Roger Zurn and Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj.
Although the county cannot abolish Chapman’s office, it is possible he could face reduced power if supervisors move ahead with Randall’s suggestion to institute a Loudoun County police department. In counties with a police department, the sheriff’s office is responsible for court security and the county jail.
And Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary Clemens said Loudoun’s constitutional officers love to serve the community and working with local lawmakers and government staff.
“What I do want to share with you is the reason that we love serving, because we truly serve together,” Clemens said. “All five constitutional officers, regardless of political affiliation, do work as a team, and that will always continue because that’s the way it should be in service of our constituents.”
For the first time in years, Loudoun has constitutional officers from both major parties. In November 2019, Democrat Buta Biberaj defeated Republican Nicole Wittmann in the race for Loudoun Commonwealth’s Attorney.
According to the resolution, “the constitutional officers in Loudoun County are setting new standards of customer service, innovative service delivery, and responsiveness that fellow constitutional officers and other public servants in Virginia would do well to emulate.”