Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Update on Dulles South Schools Lenah Property, MS-5 and HS-7

Here's an update directly from our Loudoun County Dulles District Supervisor - Stevens Miller:

(Note also Tom Reed's comment on a previous posting, "The Joint Committee of the Board of Supervisors and the School Board will meet on July 10th at 4:00PM at the County Government Center. The agenda this month concerns capital facility projects. The first 15 minutes of the meeting is set aside for public comments.")


"At my request, the board has directed county staff to create a list of potential school sites. My request was and is intended to make it easier to find sites, obtain them, and open schools on them, than it already is. It is not intended to delay the opening of any school, nor will it freeze any procurement already in progress. By having a list, I hope to make the process more competitive amongst sellers, so as to save citizens some money, and create a more liquid market. It's only an idea, but I think it deserves a chance.

Quite apart from whether that list ever turns out to be useful, I have some questions about the Lenah site regarding price and location. Some people seem to think that just by asking questions I am showing a desire to oppose the site. There's nothing I can do about such misconceptions, it appears. For example, I have asked why the school board is offering $200,000 per acre when the seller has filed an appeal with the Board of Equalization arguing that the land is worth about one-tenth of that rate. I would be in gross dereliction of my duty to all Loudoun taxpayers if I didn' t at least ask for an explanation of that extraordinary difference.

Somehow, many people have come to the conclusion that there is no other site but Lenah that can host a school. Again, by moving for a list of sites, I have only asked a question: are there any other sites or not? If not, then I will accept that. But I feel it is my duty to ask, even if some people are going to criticize me for it.

I am committed to opening schools where they are needed just as soon as doing so responsibly is possible. I will not knowingly act irresponsibly.

Best,
Stevens

Stevens Miller
Dulles Member
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors"

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