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CARS ON FRONT LAWNS?

June 13, 2008

 The Air Quality is Code Orange Forecast for Friday, June 13th.  Code Orange is considered Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.  Pollution levels harmful to children and anyone with breathing or heart conditions. This does not apply to the Hulk, the Marvel comic hero in movie theaters today, since he is green.

>>> REGARDING TALL GRASS
I am talking to homeowners who let their grass grow 3 feet high and MOST of the grass is getting cut quickly. There are 18 houses that still refuse and I am visiting and calling the respective banks and homeowners. Every day I am asking for help and answers to the question: Why is this grass not cut?  There is much work to do and I will not rest.

>>> COUNTY IS IGNORING ILLEGAL ALIENS AT PRESENT

The county board of supervisors has voted down 5 no, 4 yes to ask all companies doing business with the county to use the e-verify system to make sure they are hiring employees who are here legally.  I have expressed a desire for the board to reconsider the move away from measures to enforce immigration laws and to ask the Sherrif to account for a general lack of enforcement of the ICE and deportation laws.

With five supervisors against it, I do not plan to waste the time of the board in bringing a reconsideration up. Instead, I must ask the board to consider urgent emergencies one by one as they occur in Sterling and in Eastern Loudoun.

This board majority is hard working and I respect their kind consideration of these folllowing new and urgent matters.

>>> Interest free Loans for Deputies, Teachers, Zoning Inspectors

The BOS (Board of Supervisors) has voted to open a loan program directed at county employees and with a Delgaudio amendment to include all employees of companies in Loudoun, to purchase foreclosed houses in the entire county rather than focus on Sterling Park. It is estimated that 40 houses could be purchased with 40 individual $25,000 interest free loans.

>>> WILL COUNTY ALLOW VOLUNTEERS TO CUT GRASS?

On Tuesday, I am sponsoring legislation that directs the county to allow for, and authorize volunteers to cut grass. This could be in the fashion of a Loudoun County Grass Cutters Advisory Committee with the limited purpose of cutting grass on foreclosed houses in Sterling Park and in other areas where volunteers are from.

>>> WILL COUNTY OUTLAW CARS ON FRONT LAWNS?
On Tuesday, the county is finally considering the Delgaudio proposal, first put forth by me years ago and now sponsored by Chairman York, to remove cars from the front lawns of private homes.

Consider that fire and rescue units find it difficult to access homes due to this problem. All of Sterling is threatened by that.

>>> ONLINE COMPLAINTS FOR OVERCROWDED HOUSES

On Tuesday the county is considing a Delgaudio proposal to allow for on-line complaints for zoning violations, overcrowding abandoned vehicles and garbage piled on front yards.

>>>> MAKING IT TOUGH ON LARGE TRUCKS PARKED IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS

On Wednesday, there is a committee that will consider legislation to ban large commercial trucks and large trailers in residential areas on public streets (there are about 50 in Sterling).

To answer concerns that we would hurt the truck industry expressed by Chairman York and other supervisors, I have produced a short list of companies that offer private spaces for commercial trucks in Sterling.

>>> METHODS TO RESPOND OR EXPRESS OPINION.

Some of you write letters and send photos in the mail. Many of you also write by email to bos@loudoun.gov This goes to all 9 supervisors and is a public record.

300 of you have gone to four Sterling community meetings. Please consider speaking at the Public Comment meeting on Monday also. Just a few speakers would help. Even one.

Monday, June 16 6:30 PM Public Input Meeting - Board Room  This is the time to talk to the board of supervisors for 3 to 5 minutes.

Tuesday, June 17 9:00 AM Board of Supervisors Business Meeting - Board Room. While a public meeting with citizens present, there is no opportunity for citizens to express opinions unless asked for by a member of the board and if there is no objection by the other board members.The meeting is webcast which is spotty.

The county has moved the public comment portion of the business agenda to Monday nights prior to the regular board meeting.

This is to make it easier for citizens to come out and comment about public events, public policies or proposed rezonings or legislation. Hundreds of citizens have come foreward and I believe it is a success as far as number of people turning out.

AGAIN: I DO NOT KNOW how the board will respond to these above ideas. They may not act on any of them. They may act on all of them. They do respond to citizens who explain current urgent situations that they think they can have an impact on.

They also have decided to go in other directions for what I consider wrong or unfounded reasons.

>>> REPORT ON PLANNING STAFF AT PARK VIEW HIGH SCHOOL

Planning staff singled out hispanic family residents on Wednesday night June 11. About 30 women and one man attended.

Most worked for the county as parent liaisons, support staff or teachers for LCPS.  Not all lived in Sterling but they worked here.
 
According to my source, the format was entirely different from the 4 public meetings. There were no easels with Poster Pads to write down ideas.  Instead they used the Spanish version of the surveys as the conversation piece at the breakout tables.  Some simply filled out the surveys without much discussion.  One table actually discussed the survey while filling it out.

The Planning Staff intends to have other outreach meetings to Hispanic students in the future.

This of course may or may not help our current planning process to deal with the top concerns of citizens.  I have said it already: semi private meetings seem to smack in the face the 300 citizens who came foreward to list problems that need to be solved.

I hope that the county can quickly figure out why the county can not get 20 abandoned houses with tall grass to get cut by county workers when planning staff is finding time to schedule semi private gab sessions with non-English speaking residents during this crisis.

>>> JULY 22, PARK VIEW HIGH SCHOOL

The county has set July 22 as the "tentative" date for the board of supervisors to meet at Park View High School to hear recommendations on how to address nearly unanimous outcry from Sterling Park residents to fix the quality of life issues. It will probably be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 22. I will keep you informed.

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