Waiting for the start

Campaign signs outside Stone Bridge High School as the Loudoun County Republican Convention convenes on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Campaign signs outside Stone Bridge High School as  Loudoun County Republican Convention convenes Saturday, May 2, 2015.

No results yet from the Republican convention in Loudoun County this morning, where it was show time for a pool of 1,420 people who registered as delegates to elect candidates in two contested races and several that simply ratified incumbents.

Actual numbers shrank on election day to 827 voters, undoubtedly owing to conflicting events and gorgeous spring weather. Candidates in the countywide race for the Republican nomination for sheriff, incumbent Mike Chapman and challenger Eric Noble, spoke for five minutes each. Candidates in the Ashburn District race for supervisor, incumbent Ralph Buona and challenger Joe Scalione, followed with the same time constraint.

Voting followed by district, with Ashburn called first at 10:50 am. Delegates were promised the vote would be over by noon.

Official tally of voter numbers by magisterial district:

Algonkian,  47

Ashburn, 235

Blue Ridge, 142

Broad Run, 68

Catoctin, 157

Dulles, 41

Leesburg, 89

Sterling, 48

See The Bull Elephant for updates and final tally. 

Posted in All | Leave a comment

Vocabulary word for today

profligate (adjective)

[prof-li-git, -geyt]

On three different days this week, the percentage of occupied spaces in a commuter lot at Telos has ranged from  14.6% on April 28  to 12% at 10:20 am on April 30.

On three different days this week, the percentage of occupied spaces in a commuter lot at Telos has ranged from 14.6% on April 28 to 12% at 10:20 am on April 30.

1. utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute.

2. recklessly prodigal or extravagant.

(Source: Dictionary.com)


Number of cars in Telos commuter lot today: 20.

Capacity: 164.


Monthly cost to Loudoun taxpayers, 164 spaces: $8,200

Monthly loss to Loudoun taxpayers at 13% occupancy: $6,650

Posted in All, Ashburn Supervisor Ralph Buona, Loudoun Board of Supervisors | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange flags: perception or reality?

Telos, housed in the building at right, earns $50 per month for each of 164 commuter parking spaces. Christian fellowship church, left, gets $6.77 per month for each of 300 spaces.

Telos, housed in the building at right, earns $50 a month for each of 164 commuter parking spaces. By comparison, Christian Fellowship Church on Beaumeade Circle gets $6.77 a month for each of 300 spaces.

We turn today to dictionary.com, our online advisor when we are confused about the precise meaning of a subjective term such as “conflict of interest.”

What happens when the vice president of a corporation becomes the third successive vice chairman of the board of county supervisors who tax it, and in the case of Telos of Ashburn and the County of Loudoun, enter with it into a supernumerary relationship by which Telos profits $98,400 a year? In Virginia’s present climate of heightened political ethics, is this contract viewed as actual conflict of interest, or merely the perception of one?

Ralph Buona has been Ashburn supervisor for four years and an employee of Telos Corporation for 21 years; his present title there is senior vice president of corporate business development.

Now some observers, including Buona’s challenger for the Republican nomination for Ashburn district supervisor, ask why, with eight local institutions including five churches leasing commuter parking spaces to Loudoun County, Telos earns by far the highest fee: $50 monthly for each of 164 spaces.

Each one is marked with yellow paint to distinguish it from Telos employee parking in the same lot at the north end of Ashburn Road. At 4:30 p.m. on a recent weekday, 24 of 164 commuter spaces were occupied by cars whose drivers were, presumably, hard at work in the District of Columbia. The other 140 were vacant. At 5:15 p.m., a full-size Loudoun Transit bus pulled up and discharged one passenger, leaving 23 cars in the commuter lot with 141 empty spaces.

The question is posed in the context of an impending May 2 Republican convention that will nominate as Ashburn supervisor one of two contenders: Buona, the incumbent, or Joe Scalione, the challenger. Both are Air Force Academy graduates with masters degrees.

In a recent email to Republican delegates who are qualified to vote on May 2, Dulles Supervisor Matt Letourneau says Buona recused himself from discussion and vote on the contracted parking spaces.

Neither Letourneau nor Dictionary.com resolves the prickly question about perception vs. actual conflict of interest, but such wild variation in pricing underused commuter parking in Loudoun County is a strong endorsement for regular attendance at the Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches who subsize it so generously. At $6.77 per space, Christian Fellowship Church off Loudoun Parkway also beats Telos’s parking rate by 86%.


Conflict of interest (noun):

1. the circumstance of a public officeholder, business executive, or the like, whose personal interests might benefit from his or her official actions or influence. (courtesy of Dictionary.com)

Cost per space per month / number of spaces:

  • 1. Telos: $50.00 month / 164 spaces
  • 2. Broadlands South: $41.67 month / 150 spaces
  • 3. Lowes Island: $35.00 month / 65 spaces
  • 4. Christian Fellowship Church: $ 6.77 month / 300 spaces
  • 5. Galilee United Methodist: $ 5.21 month / 48 spaces
  • 6. St. Andrew Presbyterian: $ 3.06 month / 68 spaces
  • 7. Crossroads United Methodist: Free / 90 spaces
  • 8. Our Lady of Hope: Free / 150 spaces

(Source: Loudoun County Office of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure)

Posted in All, Ashburn Supervisor Ralph Buona, Loudoun Board of Supervisors | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ouch! Journalism sure is hard!

Ouch. Freedom of Information Act as an acronym is commonly referred to as FOIA. But that convention  is more for those familiar with it.

Ouch. Freedom of Information Act as an acronym is more commonly referred to as FOIA by those familiar with it.


Image | Posted on by | 1 Comment

The ask

The Stone Bridge Booster Club operates as a public charity under Internal Revenue Service restrictions on political activity.
This is the text of an email sent from the booster club president to the email addresses on the club’s Yahoo group on March 19 2015: the president’s name and email address have been redacted.

—– Forwarded Message —–
From: “SBBC President
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2015 8:26 AM
Subject: [SB-BC] Re-Elect Ralph Buona for Supervisor!

Fellow Booster Club Members,
I am writing to ask you for your support in re-electing our current Ashburn District Supervisor, Mr. Ralph Buona. Ralph has been an excellent Supervisor in many ways, described in the letter below, and he has personally assisted the Stone Bridge Booster Club! In the summer of 2014, I reached out to Ralph with an innovative proposal on how to accelerate the construction of a turf field for SBHS. Ralph was quickly able to work with other members of the Board to allocate up to $750,000 toward the construction of the field with our Booster Club agreeing to raise $250,000. We can thank Ralph for this fine work by helping him get re-elected! See below for information on how to be a delegate on 2 May. DELEGATE FORMS ARE DUE NEXT WEEK – SO PLEASE ACT QUICKLY!!
[name redacted]
Stone Bridge Athletic Booster Club
[email address redacted]

It has been my honor to serve as your representative on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors in the Ashburn District. I am writing to let you know I am seeking the Republican nomination to once again represent and serve you. The party nominee will be selected at the Loudoun County Republican Convention on 2 May at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn.
We have accomplished a lot in the past three years. During this time, I delivered on my campaign promises to prioritize wise fiscal management by cutting taxes, grow our commercial tax base, implement smart growth policies, build roads, install pro-business policies, and improve our schools.
As Chairman of the Finance, Government Services, and Operations Committee I worked hard to identify long-term systemic changes to the budget to “get our fiscal house in order”, including revisions to the Virginia Retirement System (VRS), Other Pension and Employee Benefits Committee (OPEB), and (Length of Service Awards Plan (LOSAP). As you know, these long term entitlements can crush us unless kept carefully in check. The previous VRS funding formula created a huge financial liability for Loudoun. The change that I spearheaded and the savings that come from it, will substantially improve the county’s fiscal position over time by saving more than $100 million over the next decade.
As Chairman of the Finance, Government Services, and Operations Committee, I have worked diligently to apply cash to capital projects in lieu of borrowing, to decrease debt to the greatest extent possible, and to refinance debt to obtain lower interest rates based upon the county’s AAA credit rating. This is an area I monitor carefully and continuously.
Diligently managing our finances has allowed us to finally provide dedicated road funding. Our six year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has $750 million in funded road projects, up from just $300 million when I took office. We are fighting to relieve the massive traffic congestion we all face every day that is primarily a result of poor land use planning and past democrat supervisors ignoring our transportation needs.
But my work isn’t done. That’s why I need your help. I need you as my delegate at the Loudoun County Republican Convention. Only voters who sign up in advance can vote as delegates in the primary, so make sure your voice is heard and sign up early.
If you have questions about my position on any topic, feel free to call me at 571-218-2226, email me at RalphBuona4Sup@gmail.com, or visit my website http://www.SupervisorBuona.com .
Please also consider getting involved in my campaign. If you believe in principled conservative leadership, limited government, and fiscal responsibility, then I would also appreciate it if you would identify friends and neighbors who are like-minded to become delegates at the Convention on 2 May. You can share the delegate information directly with them or let me know who they are and I or my campaign staff will follow up. The time commitment on 2 May should be less than two hours.
Thank you for your support and see you on 2 May!
Respectfully Yours,
Ralph Buona

Posted in All, Ashburn Supervisor Ralph Buona, Loudoun Journalism, Virginia Ethics Commission | Leave a comment

‘Wreck-it Ralph’ redux

Residents of Belmont, Lansdowne and Ashburn Farm have been bombarded with copies of a “2015 Republican Party Delegate Filing Form” asking them to sign a restrictive pledge to support certain candidates vying for the party nomination at a May 2 intra-party convention. Deadline for  “delegates” to register is March 29, lending a note of desperation to these appeals.

They are concurrent with the flap over domestic abuse issues concerning several current office holders  — sheriff visits, police reports, charges filed and charges dropped — that underscore the imperative need to know the candidate for whom you are willing to sign a five year pledge of support to the party.

And in Lansdowne in particular, they cause a familiar mix of irony, disgust, and hilarity when the return address is “Friends of Ralph Buona.”

The irony is heightened by Buona’s shamelessly boldfaced appeal to the Stone Bridge Athletic Boosters for access to their Yahoo group list of thousands of email addresses for residents of that high school’s catchment area — a treasure trove for a candidate who must be nominated at a convention to be held at Stone Bridge on May 2.

Buona is better known as  ‘Wreck- it Ralph’ to Lansdowne residents after he voted to destroy a state of the art sports park that once lay across the street from Redskins wide receiver and Lansdowne resident Santana Moss. Thanks to Buona’s non-intervention, the public fields have been ripped out, along with an irrigation system worth hundreds of thousands that was paid for entirely with volunteer dollars.

The sports park was purloined after the Board of Supervisors paid $20 million for an overpriced  and unbuildable parcel — for a questionable high school site that was the rough equivalent of Florida swampland, meanwhile selling a preferable  site to Raging Wire for $20 million in flat dollars without ever putting it on the open market.

Buona’s airy assurances that replacement fields for the sports park would be found have yielded nothing. The supreme irony that he turned to Stone Bridge Athletic Boosters to bail out his flagging race against an attractive challenger — Loudoun Youth Soccer Coach Joe Scalione — is not lost on the Lansdowne residents who voted for Buona four years ago but would not  miss soccer practice to vote for him now.



Posted in All, Ashburn Supervisor Ralph Buona, Lansdowne Sports Park, Riverside High School | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What a coincidence!

By Thomas Heath

The Washington Post

August 12, 2012
Sterling-based JK Moving Services, a 31-year-old mover started by entrepreneur Chuck Kuhn at age 16, is launching a $750,000, five-month multimedia advertising campaign starting Aug. 13 .

The company, with $85 million in revenue, started a rebranding effort a year ago in an effort to become better known.

The company will link radio, print and online ads in an effort to increase its market share.

“Although we have been in business for 31 years and are the third-largest independent-owned moving operator in the country … we want to get our name out there,” said Kuhn, whose residential business has moved past presidents — think both Bushes and Bill Clinton. “We talk to local customers that use us for local moves, but they don’t know we do international moving. Or we talk to a commercial customers we have serviced for 10 years who don’t know we do residential.”

Kuhn, 47, said he is trying to grow the business, which has been profitable every year, to $100 million annually. The firm has 650 employees and 380 vehicles.

Posted in All, Loudoun Board of Supervisors, Loudoun Journalism, You pay so they don't have to. | Leave a comment