Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reporting from the Dean South Region of Loudoun County

This week in the Loudoun County political circus (bested only in this region by the Debacle known as the DC District Government), the Loudoun Board of Supervisors changed the name of the “District 4” region of Eastern Loudoun County to the “Jennie Dean” District, from the “Dulles District”. At the core of the proposal are some interesting and well-intentioned proposals for highlighting Jennie Dean, a former slave and famed evangelist who founded the Prosperity Baptist Church in the former African-American community of Conklin, next to South Riding on Braddock Road.

Here in the “why fix what’s not broken, and in fact is heading down the road to recovery” column, this extremely parochial and short-sighted decision has some interesting business and local marketing ramifications. The Dulles region is both a locally and internationally-recognized area of economic activity represented by organizations and companies flying its banner – from the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce, to the Dulles Area Association of Realtors, Dulles World Trade Center and Dulles South Public Safety Center, use of “Dulles” in the names of many local hotels, tourism descriptors and businesses is pervasive, durable and successful. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority also works to attract new investment to the “Dulles Business Area”, which they describe as “situated to the immediate east of the Washington Dulles International Airport” - obviously therefore only in Fairfax County.

This decision to remove the label “Dulles” from Loudoun County government interests will likely seriously impair the support of this region’s economic development interests by Loudoun County and its business and marketing-related investments. For example, every mention by the County of significant interest to potential investors in the “Dean” District, loses an opportunity to mention the “Dulles” area – building therefore a volume of information tagged with an unknown moniker, unrelated to all the supporting and linked interests. Every time our taxpayer dollars is spent on advertising Loudoun County investments in the “Dean District”, or communicating events and news about the “Dean District”, this dilutes and in fact is competitive to the Return-on-Investment (ROI) we expect from our close business associations with the Dulles Airport and surrounding region.

Therefore, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, every time the word “Dean” replaces the word “Dulles” in official County publications, websites, emails, newspaper and magazine articles – I’d like, say, 5 cents returned to me – the cost of squandered economic opportunity in the form of Loudoun’s withdrawal from participation in and support of regional branding and marketing, especially on the Internet. This means you, incoming Dean District Supervisor. (In fact, incoming Supervisor, please help your Dulles area constituents understand how you propose to extend and enhance the economic vitality of the Dulles region and brand, leveraging the "Dean" label?).

You're welcome, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, county research documents that it was Ms. Dean's cousin who donated the land for the church, and that Ms. Dean was a resident of Prince William where she founded here famous trade school for freed slaves.

The motion to name the district "Dean", and not "Jennie Dean" as announced, describes her as a Loudoun resident, and had some other historical inaccuracies easily remedied by using county resources.

This is what leads me to feel that the effort was superficial at best, and a political stunt at worst.

Other items in the redistricting process lead me to conclude that more than just removing the name of what many of our most non-business-friendly BoS members yet fatuously refer to as "our economic engine" is something that they wish to torpedo for the foreseeable future.

The newly-configured/supposedly rural Blue Ridge district controls all E/W and N/S roads in the souther half of the county, through the preposterous arms snaking out to take Rte 50 all the way to the airport boundary, the entire 659 corridor, and the southern portion of Rte 15.

Included in this is all of the rezoned/unbuilt mixed use in the Arcola corridor.

The newly configued Broad Run district (fondly and aptly called by some "The Pink Amoeba") has the entire rail corridor, and all of the large rezoned/unbuilt mixed use and transit oriented development, including Moorefield Station, Kincora, One Loudoun, Dulles World.

The incumbents in these districts are Burton and McGimsey, which should be horrifying to anyone who wants a road grid and business development that pays taxes.

We have removed Dulles Airport from our map (literally, in drawing the Dean district--it is the only connective tissue attaching Loudoun Valley to the portion of Dulles South south of 50), and handed control of all transportation networks and commercial development to the two largest extreme ideologues on the Board.

It is horrifying.

Barbara Munsey

11:32 AM  
Blogger T said...

Here's a comment from "Anonymous" - we've redacted it here at G2L, because it includes personal attacks...while person-to-person debate is great, personal attacks behind the veil of anonymity is not productive or acceptable.

It's also too bad that the race card is even introduced in intelligent debate - this particular article is all about economic marketing ramifications.

"Anonymous" says: "The motion was for Jennie Dean, not Dean, but though it ended up being Dean, everyone knows it was to honor Jennie Dean who clearly spent a huge amount of time in Loudoun and other places setting up chapels to train African-Americans. [Redacted] Let’s look at other names. Jefferson district is after Thomas Jefferson. He didn’t live here, wasn’t born here. Mercer (Mercer District) did live here, but wasn’t born here. John Foster Dulles (Dulles District). Wasn’t born here. Didn’t live here. Oh may three white guys who were not born here. [Redacted]"

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wish I'd gotten to read it unedited before you redacted it!

I can guess where it may have come from though.

No, Thomas Jefferson wans't born here, but he did write the Declaration of Independence, and was President, and so on.

And it was not the THOMAS Jefferson district.

The Dulles Airport was named after one of the Dulles bros. But it isn't named JOHN FOSTER Dulles Airport, and neither was the district, just as Dulles South Planning Area used to be part of the Mercer district, and neither the CHARLES FENTON Mercer, nor the MARGARET.

I wait with interest to see which supervisor next uses the term "economic engine" in relation to the airport, as is often the case directly before a vote is taken to further hobble actual business development in the county.

More lip service to reality.

Barbara Munsey

2:12 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home