Letter: Mary Martha Aubry, Leesburg

Editor: The Board of Supervisors decision to close the Rust Library and Ashburn Library disgusts me. The attorney’s letter stating that as the board of supervisors they “own” the libraries is Orwellian, like their decision. They don’t own anything; the libraries are public and therefore owned by me, and about 300,000 other residents of Loudoun County.

Shutting libraries to serve a grand total of 56 children of county employees between libraries that serve over 6,000 patrons weekly is the kind of thing that authoritarian regimes do when consolidating power. The privileged government employees get private childcare, no matter the cost to the public. 

The decision was made in a completely undemocratic fashion. There should have been public debate about this question, an opportunity for constituents to weigh in with their representatives. 

Why can’t these children of the elite government workers muddle through school closures like the rest of us? Ms. Randall says it will serve the public because a fireman will do his job better knowing his child is being cared for; what about grocery workers, pharmacists, truck drivers, and all other taxpayers in the county who confront the same childcare problems? Why is the county employee more important than the rest of the taxpayers in the county?

Our libraries provide more than books and access to information. Rust Library is home to a stunning and expensive, taxpayer-funded maker’s space. Conference rooms, restrooms, study rooms, and reference librarians all serve our community, as well as many computer terminals that provide free internet access. 

I wonder: why can’t county and LCPS find childcare like the rest of your constituents? Why must two libraries be closed to serve 56 children? And why, if this is truly the only option and these children’s parents are indeed owed this sacrifice by taxpayers, can’t we have a democratic debate and an open vote about this issue?

Mary Martha Aubry, Leesburg

9 thoughts on “Letter: Mary Martha Aubry, Leesburg

  • 2020-09-03 at 12:37 pm

    This is the dumbest decision the BoS has ever made (and that is saying something). How many schools are sitting vacant right now? Why not use one of those giant, empty buildings some of which actually have preschools?

  • 2020-09-03 at 2:08 pm

    Ms. Aubry couldn’t be more correct. The BOS doesn’t own single thing. We, the People of Loudoun, do.

    Always know; just below the surface of every politician, is an authoritarian screaming to get out. We deserve so much better.

  • 2020-09-03 at 3:22 pm

    Ms. Aubry, I hope the majority of Loudoun registered voters who didn’t bother to vote last November read your letter.

  • 2020-09-03 at 3:53 pm

    Get over yourselves. The BoS isn’t doing anything that any Fortune500 company isn’t doing; making sure that their workforce can work. They are saving jobs and keeping your taxes lower by offering this service; the employees who utilize it have to pay for it. The employees that benefit are not “elite” but good hardworking people trying to make a living. If the grocery stores, restaurants, etc were offering childcare to their employees you would applaud. And by the way, no one is stopping them from doing so. So stop picking on the BoS for trying to stay in business and provide your needs as citizens. If you don’t like it, no one is making you live here.

    • 2020-09-04 at 6:37 am

      Yet the BOS whined to the Gov to stay closed when Loudoun’s death rate to date is 0.029%, and no one under 39 has died in Loudoun. All the C19 deaths in VA are just 3.9% of the 68,000 who die annually in VA. The BOS are public servants, not a private company. Keeping school closed isn’t about education, its about keeping working parents at home out of the workforce until elections. They think we forgot it was the BOS and Gov who shut down and ruined our economy for 2 fiscal quarters. This will make annual CR’s a joke, it will be fun watching them scramble for funds from the mess they themselves created. And they are by no means “keeping taxes lower”, that’s some funny common core math there!

  • 2020-09-03 at 6:41 pm

    What makes you think the BOS is ever, ever, going out of business? They’ll track you down Moose and pick you and yours clean before they ever inconvenience themselves over anything.

  • 2020-09-03 at 10:05 pm

    I emailed the entire BOS, told them I was not pleased with their decision and posed a series of questions. The answer I received back was: there is so much misinformation about this issue, to include almost everything in your email, and to watch the BOS meeting. Appears the BOS queried the Loudoun County Employees for ideas, how to use CARES Act funding to provide childcare. Looks like they have asked for and received $12 million dollars (must be expended by the end of Dec 2020) to undertake this endeavor. No, the childcare is not being paid for by the parents/employees per se. Yes, we all are paying for this as CARES Act funding comes from our federal tax dollars. I heard 4 schools are being used for daycare, but others cannot as teachers are occupying the schools to conduct the distance learning. Also the “hybrid” model, students attending on-site, will prevent more schools being used for daycare. (How many of you believe the “hybrid” model will be in effect prior to the end of Dec 2020? I do not.) Apparently, the BOS received a Powerpoint presentation which explains how this decision was reached. Not sure why it cannot be redacted and posted on the BOS website. Yes, if we do not have all of the information, we are at a disadvantage. Also, do you believe life will resume as usual Jan 1, 2021? I do not. Who will pay for childcare once the CARES act funding is depleted at the end of Dec 2020? Local funding perhaps? I heard the total number of slots for childcare is 1000, (but then someone else said 5000 slots were needed) so BOS stated there may be some slots to offer the general public. How will the others know of this? I want COVID to go away like everybody else. I have been sheltering in place, wearing my mask and safely patronizing local businesses. I simply want to use my library in person. Come on now, we really can’t come up with 50 more slots other than Rust library? Was it simply just easier to make this decision than say convert part of the old Walmart in Leesburg, which is centrally located to the county government building and LCPS? Yes, you would need to negotiate a lease (emergency circumstances justification, to get it done), etc and outfit it, but just think of the “social distancing” possibilities. Here is the link I was given to the meeting. You may use it as a starting point should you desire. https://www.loudoun.gov/2203/Meeting-Videos

  • 2020-09-04 at 6:29 am

    Then you will be upset that the county has apparently been using school bldgs. to provide free daycare for county employees for months, except now they will have to pay $800 a month from now on according to a county employee. I guess we the taxpayers have been paying school employees to be baby sitters for sometime, but hey, we cant have school, too dangerous they said, yet seems safe for daycare, especially when no one under 19 has died in VA to date and Loudoun has had no one under 39 die after 6 months. I will keep my School tax dollars now that I am the bldg., the staff, the cafeteria, the bus driver, janitor and paying the utilities and rent out of pocket. No school, no services rendered, no pay. Actually since they are not getting any income tax revenue from me this is already accomplished. Cant justify the LCPS paying employees for no work performed. Never mind all the small Day Cares put out of business, though first responders have had daycare available the whole time. Daycare doesn’t care who the parent is employed by, yet politicians deny citizens that which they benefit themselves, vote em out!

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