Loudoun Firefighters, County Board Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement

Fire Fighters

Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors ratified a collective bargaining agreement with its firefighters Tuesday, the first such agreement in the county’s history and one of many popping up across the commonwealth.

“I don’t know when I’ve been happier and prouder to make a motion,” said Board Chairwoman Phyllis Randall, D-At Large. “If I were a crier – and I just might – I would be crying right now.”

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Youngkin Seeks to Force Whole Loudoun County School Board to Run Again in November

Governor Glenn Youngkin wants the whole Loudoun County School Board (LCSB) to run for re-election this year instead of just two of its members, and has amended a bill from Delegate David Reid (D-Loudoun) to make that happen.

“The last few years just absolutely signified some real challenges with the Loudoun County School Board. And so in the spirit of transparency and accountability, my amendment gives parents the ability to elect their school board. This election can reflect the will of parents, and it’s a chance with my amendment to do that right now, this November,” Youngkin said in an interview with 7 News DC.

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Loudoun County Supervisors Vote to Eliminate Confederate Road Names

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to rename Jeb Stuart Road and Fort Johnston Road. The Board also directed staff to amend county naming standards and initiate renaming roads that include Confederate and segregationist names. In a November 3 meeting, Board Chair Phyllis Randall said the issue had been a long-time priority for her during a minor dispute with Supervisor Juli Briskman over who would second one of the motions.

“Having a name on a road school or structure is an honor that should be reserved for a very select few,” Randall said in a county press release.

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Another Group Aims at Northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys for Recall

Another group is targeting northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Buta Biberaj, from Loudoun, and Steve Descano, from Fairfax. This week, Virginians for Safe Communities (VSC) announced recall efforts against Biberaj and Descano, already the targets of a separate organization Stand Up Virginia (SUV). VSC is also targeting Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Deghani-Tafti, from Arlington and Falls Church.

“Northern Virginia deserves honest, hard-working, and effective Commonwealth’s Attorneys who seek accountability for criminals, protect our communities, and uphold the law without reservation or ideological blinders,” VSC President Sean Kennedy said in a press release.

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Loudoun County, Virginia Moves Forward with Collective Bargaining

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to direct staff to draft a collective bargaining ordinance that will be presented to the board in a closed meeting, with a public hearing on October 13. On Tuesday, the board’s three Republican supervisors voted against moving forward with drafting the ordinance, but the motion passed six to three.

At the beginning of discussion, Chair Phyllis Randall (D) addressed common concerns she had heard about collective bargaining. She said participation in unions under the ordinance wouldn’t be mandatory, and employees wouldn’t be required to pay dues if they weren’t members.

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Northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Seek Big Budget Increases

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano’s (D) office is getting more funding, after the Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for 2022 on Tuesday, according to the Tysons Reporter. The budget includes $8 million for Descano’s office, about 27 percent more than $6.3 million for fiscal year 2021. But that’s far less than the $19.1 million budget Descano has said his office needs.

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Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Opts to Draft Collective Bargaining Ordinance

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted six to three to draft a collective bargaining ordinance enabling labor unions to represent county staff in negotiations with the county. County staff proposed drafting the ordinance, noting that a new law going into effect in May enables employee organizations to petition the county for formal union status. However, the law allows localities to decide for themselves whether they will recognize those organizations. As May approaches, other localities in Virginia are considering similar action; Alexandria has already adopted an ordinance allowing collective bargaining. 

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Loudoun Board of Supervisors Criticizes Commonwealth’s Attorney for Handling of Domestic Violence Cases

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has decided to give Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj a smaller budget increase than requested amid concerns over high turnover in Biberaj’s office and her handling of domestic violence cases. In recent budget work sessions, supervisors cited a statistic that out of 735 cases, Biberaj’s office dismissed 491 cases. As an elected official, Biberaj herself is not under the authority of the board, but the county contributes a significant portion of her office’s budget.

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Loudoun County Postpones Vote on Gun Ban

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors postponed until March 2 a decision on local gun bans at a public hearing Wednesday night.

The BOS has been considering a ban for months. The current proposed ordinance would ban firearms and ammunition on county property, but the supervisors are also considering drafts with exemptions for concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders to carry concealed in parks despite the ban.

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Democrats Pressure Virginia Delegate LaRock to Resign for Questioning Election Results

Delegate Dave LaRock (R-Hamilton) is under fire from Democrats after he called for Vice President Pence to nullify the 2020 General Election and attended the January 6 pro-Trump rally that turned violent. Loudoun County Chair Phyllis Randall, the Loudoun chapter of the NAACP, and three northern Virginia Democratic chapters are among those demanding LaRock’s resignation. LaRock is one of the last Republican delegates in Northern Virginia.

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Loudoun County Takes Next Step with Proposed Gun Control Ordinance

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to send a proposed gun control ordinance to public hearing. The proposed ordinance would ban firearms in county buildings, parks, and on streets near permitted events, similarly to new gun control ordinances in other cities. Second Amendment advocates spoke against the ordinance during public portions of the Tuesday meeting.

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Loudoun County Does The Obama Apology Tour Rendition on Race

Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) issued an apology for operating segregated schools and for resisting efforts to integrate their schools for over a decade after the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education that made segregated schools illegal. The apology is part of the district’s “Action Plans to Combat Systemic Racism.” The apology coincides with the 57th anniversary of the 1963 march where Martin Luther King, Jr. declared, “I have a dream.”

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