Board Supports Budget Audits, Rezoning

Board Supports Budget Audits, Rezoning

The Board of Supervisors passed a motion at the March 21 business meeting to request that a financial performance audit be conducted of both the Loudoun County Public Schools and the county's government to determine if they are operating practically with regards to their respective budgets.

"I am asking to examine the Loudoun County government and school system to see if they are spending the money the way it needs to be spent," Supervisor Mick Staton (R-Sugarland Run), who made the original motion, said.

While the original motion only applied to the School Board, Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) made a motion to amend the original motion to include the government.

"If we are going to do audits, we should look at the government as well to see if there is a way to synchronize," he said.

One of the main concerns of the board regarding the school budget was the recent findings that additional money had been left in accounts of schools that had already completed construction.

"The revelations lately about leftover construction funds from years past has been a little disturbing," Supervisor Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge) said. "That money should have been returned to the general fund to be used for other things quicker than it did."

In passing the motion, board members said that they hoped the audit would be done by an independent group.

"If you are going to do this, [the auditor] needs to be completely accountable to the Board of Supervisors and not the county administrator just so it is a clean bill of hands getting the job done," board Vice Chairman Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) said.

THE BOARD OF Supervisors also passed a motion to approve the rezoning of approximately 465 acres of land known as Seven Hills, located south of Braddock Road and west of Gum Spring Road. The rezoning will allow for the development of 1,112 homes at a density of 2.39 units per acre. The plan also includes 5.5 acres for a child-care facility and various recreational facilities.

The motion passed 5-4 with Supervisors Lori Waters (R-Broad Run), Sally R. Kurtz (D-Catoctin), Chairman Scott K. York (I-At large) and Burton opposing.

"When the neighbors to the south have five or 10 acre zoning, for us to go to 2.8 runs against what I think the environmental plan should be for the area," Kurtz said. "I think a comprehensive village is a much better plan for 1,110 houses."

In support of the plan, Snow said that without rezoning only approximately 13 percent of the county is officially zoned for houses.

"We need houses for the people who work here," he said. "This is perfect smart growth planning. We need to have smart growth."

THE COUNTY will soon be entering into a sister relationship with Main-Taunus-Kreis, Germany, following a motion passed by the board Tuesday. The relationship would allow for political, cultural and economic affiliation between Loudoun County and the Main-Taunus-Kreis.

"It is important to realize that not only do we have the benefit of an international airport," York said, "but we live in a global community. Our children will have to deal with people from outside Loudoun County and not just Fairfax County, but all over the world."

Waters and York visited the town, which resides inside the Frankfurt-metropolitan region, in December 2005.

"We are trying to leverage, through the sister county relationship, to get companies to locate here so they will pay taxes here," Waters said. "At the end of the day it is about gaining businesses and placing ourselves in the international community."