Latest News

LINK Food Drive Again?

December 12, 2008

>>FLOOD WARNING

The National Weather Service reports a Flood Watch for Northern Virginia including Loudoun.

>>>REDSKINS DEAL GRABBED BY FAIRFAX BOARD 9 TO ZERO
>> HAIL TO THE REDSKINS?

On a motion from Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield) the Fairfax Board's seven Democrats and 2 Republicans voted 9 yes, zero no to encourage a deal with the Redskins football team headquartered in Ashburn, Loudoun County to build a proposed Redskins Hall of Fame in Fairfax. This vote was last night.

Prince William County chairman Corey Stewart announced he would welcome the Redskins too.

I had voted last Tuesday in favor and wrote you all about how Loudoun County had voted 5 "no" to a partnership with the Redskins and then six "no" to even considering a Redskin's Hall of Fame. So a five member majority had voted to welcome illegal aliens on the one hand and kicked out the 2nd largest football franchise last week.

The December 2nd meeting is "recessed" until next Thursday Dec. 18 but the Redskin Hall of Fame can be reconsidered. Write the bos@loudoun.gov if you want to keep the Redskins Hall of Fame in Loudoun. One supervisor has announced that they will reconsider their "no" vote, but a lot goes on day to day.

The vote against the Hall of Fame was six "no" and three yes, so if you favor the Redskins staying in Loudoun, we need two supervisors to change their votes.

My belief is that the county needs to do more to attract tourists in Eastern Loudoun, in the airport (millions of people a year) and at the Air and Space Museum (500,000 annual visits) to support Loudoun businesses (restaurants, hotels, stores). This proposal was responsive to my frequently stated requests. And the Redskins are truly America's team in every sense with former players that live in Sterling and Loudoun. The Redskin family is already an economic partner to Loudoun County so I believe cooperation with a record of success will help us with revenue we need.

There is another possible "reconsideration" I am pushing for the "recessed" December 2nd meeting which takes place December 18.

Only Scott York and I voted no, so the 7 board members must change course to save $36.8 million on another front (see below EXTRA LONG EXPOSE >>>COUNTY RADIO DEAL COULD BLOW NEARLY $37 MILLION ).


>>>LINK NEEDS FOOD and VOLUNTEERS

This report provided by Mark Gunderman in buletin style.

LINK feeds nearly 3,000 local residents at Thanksgiving events.....Christ the Redeemer Catholic, Herndon United Methodist and Trinity Presbyterian to Host Christmass.....Record Number of Walk-ins request food and clothes....Hundreds volunteer in support of pre-staging activity and distribution .....1,000 pound of deer meat being transported from Front Royal

>>>Christmas Food and Toy Distribution scheduled for December 20 in Sterling and Herndon

To Volunteer: Diana@hamiltongroup.com

To Donate: Email HolidayFoodBasket@LINKAgainstHunger.org

More information: LINK Web Site http://linkagainsthunger.org/ <http://linkagainsthunger.org/>

LINK Christmas Basket Information

December 20, 2008

Food Distribution, 8 am - 4 pm
Locations: Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in Sterling and Trinity Presbyterian in Herndon
Toy Distribution, 8 am - 4 pm

Location: Herndon United Methodist Church (701 Bennett St., Herndon VA 20170) Families will receive a ticket from the food pick-up location to be used to pick up toys. Donations Needed

Food - Donations of non-perishable food can be dropped off during the sorting hours listed below at either Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church or Trinity Presbyterian Church.

December -

Monday, Dec. 15 - Sorting from 9 am - 12 pm; 7 pm - 9 pm

Thursday, Dec. 18 - Sorting from 9 am - 12 pm; 7 pm - 9 pm

Friday, Dec. 19 - Sorting from 9 am until finished

Volunteer Dates & Hours at Christ the Redeemer or Trinity Presbyterian:
Saturday, Dec. 20 - Volunteers to help re-stock food, assist families, load vehicles, and act as translators, and clean-up, 7:30 am - 5 pm at Christ the Redeemer Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Drivers needed to help deliver food to people who are home-bound, 9 am - 12 pm at Trinity Presbyterian Church.

NOTE: Volunteers are also needed to pick up food donations from schools located in Herndon, Ashburn and Sterling area and drop it off at either Christ the Redeemer or Trinity Presbyterian between Monday, Dec. 15 and Thursday, Dec. 18.

BE CAREFUL DURING CHRISTMAS SEASON
>>> Christmas and Holiday Safety Tips
The Sheriff's Office Crime Prevention Unit is reminding residents that festive and holiday seasons are also seasons to be wary of burglars, thieves, pickpockets, and other holiday grinches. Nothing can ruin the spirit faster than becoming the victim of a crime.

Remember, whether you are leaving the house to go shopping or out for an evening of parties, lock your doors and windows! Do not leave the drapes or curtains open with your presents in plain view. Presents displayed around your hall can be a pretty sight, but can also be quite tempting to burglars. It's better to scatter the gifts around the house, in closets or cupboards, where they can't be so easily seen.

If you are leaving town for the holidays, make sure your home appears occupied. Leave inside and outside lights on timers and have your neighbors pick up newspapers, mail, and take flyers off your door. Ask neighbors to park in your driveway. Put a timer on a talk radio station for several hours a day.

>>> FIRE MARSHALL WARNING ON Alternative Heating Sources Safety

>>Space Heaters

These appliances can be an affordable option for heating a small space, but they are also the leading source of house fires during the winter months.
Look for products tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
Buy models with an automatic shut-off feature and heat element guards.
Maintain a 36-inch clearance between the heater and combustible materials, such as bedding, furniture, wall coverings, or other flammable items.
Do not leave a heater unattended.

>>Electric heaters should be inspected prior to use.
Check the cord for fraying, cracking and look for broken wires or signs of overheating.
Use only heavy-duty extension cords.
Never run the heaters cord under rugs or carpeting

>>> Firefighter Family Days Dec. 13-14

*Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a firefighter?

*Looking for a free family-oriented event for this weekend?

Then come out to Loudoun County Fire-Rescue's Firefighter Family Days.

Watch from a safe distance as the members of the Volunteer Firefighter I-II graduating class test their skills during live burn evolutions on Saturday Dec 13th and Sunday Dec 14th between 8 am - Noon at the Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Training Academy at 16600 Courage Court, Leesburg, VA. (Across from the Leesburg Airport)

The 30 Volunteer Firefighter I-II's graduating from Loudoun Fire-Rescue academy will work in concert to extinguish the live burns as a veteran firefighter provides commentary of each call starting from dispatch until the scene is cleared and ready for the next evolution. Each day will see multiple fires possibly coupled with a car fire.

WARNING: DETAILED EXPOSE OF MASSIVE WASTEFUL SPENDING FOLLOWS

Extra Long Commentary CONDEMNING $37 million boondoggle!
>>>COUNTY RADIO DEAL COULD BLOW NEARLY $37 MILLION

As much as we hear about dire economic straights and the Redskins being publicly condemned and beaten down by the Board of Supervisors, things do get stranger and stranger.

Only Chairman York and I voted "no" to nearly $37 million in waste being approved by seven members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors for a "public safety radio contract".

Supervisors in Loudoun are about to spend nearly $37 million on a sole source radio safety budget item that only two voted against. I gave a speech condemning it as wasteful. The vote to approve the contract for Motorola was at the last board meeting (which has been recessed and comes back Dec. 18).

A week after the December 2nd vote there was an additional vote to approve the budget appropriation planned after a public hearing on Monday night, just 2 days ago, and after astounding and riveting condemnations from citizens, experts and one national authority, the board put off approval until Dec. 18.

It is possible that even after the contract was voted and approved, that the board might (maybe) vote down the appropriation of a whopping $37 million and then reconsider and reject the contract.

Four radio experts including one major competing company and one national authority who has written a book on the subject appeared at public comment on Monday night.

>>> COUNTY CAN SAVE $15 TO $16 MILLION ACCORDING TO NEW STARTLING REVELATIONS

These experts all publicly condemned the wanton disregard for a competitive process to obtain lower costs and greater savings readily available. "I bid 150 competitive bids against Motorola every year. Please give me the opportunity to bid. Our contracts for similar services demonstrate we can accomplish the same service at half the cost. We have accomplished this in a dozen counties and states, said one citizen and company representative for a radio supplier", Chris Sarantos of Tyco Electronics.

>>> RADIO BOOK AUTHOR CONDEMNS NON-COMPETITIVE BID

Author Bob Desides wrote the book on public safety radios, stated that radio systems today in America can be matched up very easily as a great savings in costs to governments. Another speaker who contracts out of the federal government stated "I outfit agency requirements at sites all over the country and you are paying more than any federal facility by many millions of dollars by site."

"Another speaker stated "you are paying more than the price for a system in a large midwestern state that I purchased recently."

>>>SOME STAFFORD COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS CAN NOT ADD

County staff refers to the "Stafford county competitive bid" that awarded Motorola the radio contract four years ago. Stafford is not a good reference for savings in Loudoun.

Here's a video posted in July 2008--this year--of a Stafford county board meeting where the four member majority can not add up simple numbers at a public hearing on budget matters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LaeN1Th54w

This is the same stafford county that the Loudoun County staff is using as a reference to award nearly a 37 million dollar contract to Motorola for public safety radios.

Loudoun should not rely on the board majority of Stafford county for its decisions in Loudoun County.

The testimony of 4 experts on radio systems was riveting as they publicly implored the board not to waste $37 millions dollars on a wasteful contract that can be purchased for much lower.

The board voted to send the entire contract to the December 18 recessed meeting of the Board of supervisors which will could approve it, despite "misgivings." Or they could reject it if they hear from some of you.

Only Supervisors Miller and Waters questioned the entire process for 20 minutes together but while Waters was ultimately unsatisfied, Miller seemed to be satisfied. Some supervisors asked questions but I am the only supervisor to openly oppose, again, the awarding of the contract. It looks like maybe 2, 3 or 4 votes against the 37 million dollar contract. We need more no votes and the rebidding and opening up of the awarding of the contract to save $10 to $15 million.

So if the people of Sterling have any chance at saving the county, some of you need to write.

>>> LEESBURG TODAY REPORTS NEARLY $37 MILLION WASTE

From the Leesburg Today (Erika Jacobson) "Despite having authorized the purchase of a new $36.8 million public safety radio system from Motorola earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors made it clear nothing was final Monday night, choosing not to vote on a budget adjustment needed to pay for the system.

The board is expected to vote on the funding Dec. 18. If the board declines to fund the purchase contract before Dec. 31, the price could escalate"
http://www.leesburg2day.com/articles/2008/12/11/news/fp336radio121008.txt

"I am here to tell you, you do have alternatives rather than sole sourcing," Chris Sarantos, of Tyco Electronics, said. "Tyco electronics has been in business for more than 70 years. There is no reason to sole source this."

Sarantos told supervisors they could potentially save $10 million on the purchase of a new system and that there were other companies, including Tyco, that could offer compatibility for existing systems as well as future systems.

>>> Write BOS, Tell them "NO SOLE SOURCE RADIO CONTRACT"

To save $37 million and put the entire contract for public safety radios on a public bid process, write the board at bos@loudoun.gov and tell them "No Sole Source Radio Contract. The county could save $10 to $15 million by competing this to other companies like Tyco and EF Johnson and Eads Companies among other radio producers. Don't allow Motorola to force the county to hold a five million dollar penalty for not sole sourcing over your head." All nine supervisors will get your email.

>>>>IBM REPRESENTATIVE SAYS "DON'T SOLE SOURCE"

Lt. Col. (retired, US Army) Scott Michael Padgett was one of the top national experts who said at the public hearing:

The price tag for this new radio system is extremely expensive, well above industry norms, and it's proprietary technology locking Loudoun into one specific vendor for another 5 - 7 years..... The Loudoun County Board feels it is being pressured into a "buy" decision by Motorola's negotiating style..... The consultant (CTA Communications) hired by Loudoun County to represent our county's best interests is biased to a specific vendor; versus conducting full and open analysis of other technology options...... CTA Communications only made their report and recommendations available to the Loudoun County Supervisors hours before the Supervisor meeting last night..... Giving the Supervisors no time to review the study ahead of time to formulate questions The study was began in October 2008 but given to the board December 8....

Padgett's Recommendations:...
Loudoun County put out to industry a Request for Information (RFI) for other solutions and technologies to address the study's requirements..... Loudoun County invite leading IT and Communications Companies to bid on this opportunity to create a fair and open competition. Companies could include (Tyco Electronics, MicroSoft, CISCO, Motorola, and KITS ).
Put the program out to RFP, competition will drive down cost....Loudoun County consider bringing in a new unbiased consultant to recommend a feasible roadmap and affordable plan to acquire a Public Safety Radio System, fairly and openly."

I agree with these recommendations. I hope you do too. We need to save the money. Please do not stand by and allow the board of supervisors to squander nearly $37 million. Thank you. I can not ask for a bigger Christmas gift for Sterling taxpayers if we succeed in this. Thank you again.

News Archives