Finally. Times reporter Jason Jacks provides a balanced treatment in this article.
The reporter for the Loudoun Times Mirror has a new report addressing the problems in Sterling – our community in the easternmost part of the county.
A Loudoun supervisor, known for being outspoken with respect to the issue of illegal immigration, is drawing criticism for comparing the district he represents to a sewage pit…
In the nearly eight years she’s lived in Sterling Park, Anne Lawver said her neighborhood has become dotted with boarding houses. Vandalism and litter are also common, she said, as are groups of Hispanic men who “hang about and shout at women driving or walking by.”
“Sadly, I have to agree with Mr. Delgaudio,” she said. “We still love Sterling but are deeply saddened to see it becoming a cesspool.”
Somehow they always seem to find an angle to criticize Eugene Delgaudio for what is wrong in Sterling, while also nailing him for SAYING what is wrong in Sterling. It puts our supervisor in sort of a no-win position.
What we need are more citizens speaking up about the situation in Sterling. Send an e-mail to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors at the following e-mail address:
… if you have an opinion on how to fix the problems in our community.
UPDATE: Well, the fecklessness of our Zoning Administration division and – apart from Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio – the Board of Supervisors’ failure to even recognize the problem, is indeed causing a brewing tempest in eastern Loudoun. Following on my June 23 post about a case in point, here is coverage in today’s Examiner.
The problem has been building for years, but up until recently the citizens of Sterling have been relatively mute. Now, I think enough people are realizing that something is seriously wrong, and our supervisor has been making public statements on the problem, picked up by local media, which are galvanizing public opinion, or providing a focal point for public opinion. Judging by the blithe, head-in-the-sand attitude of the other eight supervisors, however, I think it is going to take a mob with torches and pitchforks marching down Harrison Street before anything gets fixed. With the August break approaching, my prediction is they sweep this under the rug and hope we all shut up and go away by September.
UPDATE II: Un-frickin’-believable. ACTivist just informed us that Juanita Toriello – the zoning “inspector” I opined is a major reason zoning enforcement is nonexistent in Sterling – recently checked back in on one of the longstanding “problem houses” on my street (this would have been “House B” mentioned in the June 23 post), with a reported “apologetic tone” to one of our neighbors who filed the initial complaints long ago. This was a house where the owner moved to another part of the county and turned the residence into a boarding house, which at one time had a family upstairs and up to 23 people living in the downstairs, which also had a kitchen illegally installed. Originally, Juanita “inspected” and found no violations except the stove, which she reported would be removed (it never was). So now, perhaps as a result of recent public discussion, Zoning Administration decided to do an actual inspection and guess what: Everyone moved out.
If this indicates the beginning of a trend – namely, Zoning Administration doing its job in Sterling – it will make a HUGE difference. Now, let’s just consider what might have happened if Zoning had been doing its job all along. For starters, by having the laws on the books enforced the residents of Sterling would have enjoyed the quality of life the local government was supposed to be already facilitating. As I explained in the June 23 post, removing the flophouse piece of the illegal employment structure would have dealt a fatal blow to the whole house of cards. If the workers could not be boarded cheaply (and illegally) the corrupt businesses would have had to either start hiring legally or moved somewhere else or found another solution like building their own bunkhouses. I guarantee you Help Save Loudoun would have never been formed, the entire “illegal immigration” controversy of 2007 would not have arisen, and a whole bunch of people who moved out of Sterling Park would still be living here … all as a result of one county agency doing what it was supposed to have been doing.
Thus far this is hearsay and only one house, so we’ll have to wait before declaring any major problems solved, but if more Sterling residents realize how they have been getting the short end of the stick from the county government, it just may be torches-and-pitchforks time.