John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Local politics

I should state up front that this post will likely be of no interest to anyone but crimsonblossom and my brother. You have been warned.

We had municipal elections here in Leesburg yesterday, and both of my candidates won. Which is a good thing, I suppose, though frankly I'm not all that happy with the results.

I didn't really like either of the candidates for mayor. In the last mayoral election, I supported Kristen Umstattd, because I admired her slow growth positions. But I lost a lot of respect for her a couple years ago when she came out in opposition to the town annexing some undeveloped land near the municipal airport. Right now, that land is under the jurisdiction of the county, so the town has no say in when or how that land will be developed. And since the county board is currently dominated by pro-development politicians, there's no question that it will be developed. So in this case, being both pro-growth and anti-annexation is logically inconsistent, not to mention self-defeating.

The other candidate, Bob Zoldos, was pro-annexation, so under normal circumstances I would have supported him. But as a member of the town council, Zoldos stood in the way of the construction of a Park and Ride on the edge of town, even though the lease on the current Park and Ride lot was due to expire next month. Since I use the Park and Ride lot every day, his opposition to the new lot directly conflicted with my interests, and not just in an philosophical sense. Ultimately, the county was able to find a new location for the Park and Ride lot, which should have eliminated my objection to Zoldos's candidacy. But then I found out Zoldos had been endorsed by a County Board member named Stephen J. Snow, who is completely nuts. Since being elected last November, he's called a slow-growth activist an "idiot" in a public meeting, wrote privately to another slow-growther, calling him "un-American" for accusing Snow of "giving developers a free ride," tried to have county employees fired after they released a report that contradicted his position on growth, and compiled a list of county employees who lived in the western part of the county on the theory that they probably supported slow growth policies. Long story short, a candidate supported by Stephen Snow is a candidate to be suspicious of. So I somewhat reluctantly voted for Umstattd.

For the town council seat, I could have voted for up to three candidates, but in the end I only voted for one, Kelly Burk. I supported Burk when she ran for the County Board last year, so I decided to vote for her again. I'm glad she won, but I would much rather have her serving on the Board of Supervisors. Oh well, small steps.

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