Each year in May the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce and the Loudoun Times Mirror host a gala where they award the Citizen of the Year for the county. The award is not given to current political candidates or those in office who intend to run for office re-election.
After Loudoun County Chairman of the Board Scott York assured Chamber President Tony Howard and the publisher of the Times Mirror, Peter Arundel, that he had no intention of running for office again, they chose to make him Citizen of the Year. Had the Chamber been aware of York’s intention to run again, he would not have been chosen for the award, or so they said. When Scott York declared his run for re-election a week after he accepted the award, reactions were swift and universally negative.
A member of the Board of Directors of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, Colleen Gillis, a partner in Cooley LLP’s real estate group, knew in April that Scott York intended to run again, and was in fact helping him get the required voter signatures to get on the ballot while also helping him to secure the Citizen of the Year award. Gillis is a land developers’ attorney who is frequently before the Board of Supervisors on behalf of real estate developers including One Loudoun development, Dulles World Center, Brambleton and Willowsford. She and Scott York have a very friendly relationship as was evident in York’s email to her on April 6th:
See attached petition form and instructions. The form is a two page form and needs to be printed on one sheet of 8.5” x 14” paper.
Good news, I only need 125 “Loudoun Registered Voters” to qualify. 200 less than I thought!! However, should I pull the trigger, It would be nice to dump a boat load into the electoral board. Would show strong momentum! We want to at least collect 200 + incase we end up with some bad sigs. (perhaps I should send someone to the LCRC convention to collect sigs! : ))
Candidate filing deadline is June 9, 2015
It will be interesting to see what the other two candidates file on the 15th.
It would be good if we can begin to get the sigs taken care of along with all the paperwork so if a certain thing that needs to happen happens, the paper work is all done and we will not need to scramble.
Have you heard if anyone out there is donating to the King camp?
(One question might be, where did this email originate? Did York send it from his county email during work hours? It’s not legal to campaign while on county time. York went after Eugene Delgaudio for campaigning from his office. Delgaudio was vindicated.)
York said in the email “It would be good if we can begin to get the sigs taken care of along with all the paperwork so if a certain thing that needs to happen happens, the paper work is all done and we will not need to scramble”. The ‘certain that needs to happen’ is the Citizen of the Year award. Gillis was helping York to secure the award but they had to keep that on the downlow because they knew York couldn’t get the award if other members of the Chamber board learned that he intended to run for re-election. Unfortunately it’s this kind of blatant cheating and dishonesty that we have come to expect from so many elected officials.
The bigger question, why is a land developers’ lawyer helping York to run again for Chairman? I think we all know how pro-development Scott York is, along with several of his buddies on the board, Suzanne Volpe, Matt Letourneau, Shawn Williams, and Ralph Buona. (Since writing this article I have been informed by Supervisor Letourneau that he, Williams, and Buona do not always approve every housing development that comes before the board and I should not lump them all together with that assumption.) Of course Gillis wants to keep York on the board, it’s good for developers! She wanted to keep him on the board so much that she was helping him collect signatures for his re-election while also helping him to secure the Chambers’ Citizen of the Year Award, an award not given to sitting elected officials unless they are retiring. Gillis obviously knew that Scott York had no intention of retiring when she was helping him collect signatures for a run.
We might also ask, was it only Colleen Gillis who was aware that York was planning to run for re-election or were other members of the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce also aware that York was running? York has a close relationship with the Chamber. Were they all pretending to be unaware that York was running for re-election so they could support their buddy for the award? Scott York betrayed our trust, was the Loudoun Chamber complicit?
On May 28th, Scott York became Loudoun County “Citizen of the Year.” By Scott York’s actions, that award had been seriously tainted.