Paybacks Are A Bitch!!!

By Loudoun Insider

Janet Clarke continues to show that she lives by the payback, both positive and negative.  Phil Tran did lots of free work for Clarke during the campaign, listing it as in-kind contributions.  Then he got a county job as one of her aides. Then she fired him because he differed with her on Metro, announcing it on Facebook then deleting it.  First a positive payback, then a negative one. Paybacks are a bitch, aren’t they?


  • BlackOut says:

    Clarke has officially become the McGimsey of this board.

    When is the next election?

  • Eric the 1/2 Troll says:

    There is a right place and time for everyone and I am blessed to have had this aide and my current aides working for me.”

    “AIDES”?? As in PLURAL?? How many aides does she have? And how much are they costing us.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    Et.5T, I don’t know how many she has now, but she told me when we met last year that she planned on having two (which she described as her “senior” and her “junior” aides).

    That’s pretty common. I had one to start, then added another, at half time. Most of my term, I had one full-time aide, one half-time aide. Cost was about $75,000, all in (pay, and a few rather limited benefits), for those folks, per year. It came out of the fixed office budget allocated to each supervisor. (At the end of my first year, we had a surplus, while Scott York came up a bit short. Rather than force him to cut his staff, I must transferred my surplus to his account, so he didn’t have to fire anyone that year.)

    I believe Lori Waters had 1.5, give or take, for most of my term. Susan typically had one. Burton had 1.5, I think. Andrea often had one or two, but it was kind of hard to keep track, since they tended to just sort of disappear without warning. Buckley and Kurtz only had one at any given time, as far as I knew. York tended to have two or three (the chairman’s office budget is slightly larger than the district budgets, as he represents everyone in Loudoun, while I only represented about a fourth of our residents). I think Kelly Burk typically only had one, but you really don’t need much office staff when you have an entire town government intercepting most of your constituent issues for you.

    Delgaudio must have had at least four, with one of them continuing to show up and wander the halls of the fifth floor as though they still worked there, long after I believe that person was no longer officially on the county payroll. It was never really clear to any of us just how many of them were being paid with any county funds, versus how many were being paid from other sources. I suppose one could FOIA that, but I grew tired of pointing out how many interesting things could be FOIAed about Eugene Delgaudio a long time ago (since no one, most particularly local newspaper reporters, ever seems to want to do it).

    I can tell you that, regardless of party, the ones I saw closely enough to know what they were doing were giving the taxpayers a lot of bang for the bucks they cost. Outrage over that particular expenditure is, imho, very much misplaced.

  • BlackOut says:

    I agree with Steven. Other than the bizarre make up of Delgaudio’s staff I have no problem with Supervisors being supported by the staff they have. In fact, I think they should receive real benefits for what they do.

    I have heard that Delgaudio’s staffers are commonly referred to around the county building as his disciplines. Scary.

  • Baron Rosedown says:


    I think you are inadvertently paying McGimsey a compliment, Janet “Conflict” Clarke is far worse.

    In 6 short months Conflict-Clark has lost the much vaunted approval of her colleagues, not the least of which Chairman York. Conflict needs to get it through her highly quaffed head, Purcellville is not the center of her district or universe. Based on Metro, Conflict-Clarke is persona-non-gratis in Brambleton.

  • Not Barbara says:

    Janet Clarke, one term supervisor.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    Agreed, NB. If she were a “yes” on Metro, she’d lock Brambleton. By the time of the next election, that’s going to be the single largest part of her constituency.

  • The Operative says:

    Even as vice-chair why does Janet need 3 aides? But I guess by firing Tran she’s down to 2 aides. Good point about Brambleton, that community is only 39% built out and is expected to have over 6,900 homes at completion. I guess math may not be Janet’s forte or she thinks the P’ville Mafia is omniscient.

  • Gee, it appears she’s lost the support of …

    1. The vanquished Democrat party’s leadership (“blackout”)
    2. One of the major reasons the Democrats were clobbered (Miller)
    3. Scott York, the closest thing to a Democrat in the Loudoun GOP, someone so unpopular he barely squeaked by against a weak primary challenger.

    Yep. Looks like she’s in BIG trouble! ;)

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    John, your presence in the open at the eleventh hour is a good sign things are getting desperate.

    The fact of the matter is, she did excellent outreach in Brambleton (and so did Matt Letourneau, who is well known and liked in Brambleton–they were hoping that with a different redistricting scenario they could have had him for their supervisor), and a lot of indys and crossovers took a chance on believing that she WOULD represent them.

    Remember, redistricting just screwed them for the sake of two “rural” districts.

    If they are negated for the wishes of the portion of the small percentage (and getting proportionately smaller as time goes by) of rural residents who stridently oppse this, she could very well pay big at the ballot box the next time she’s up.

    And a guy in Hillsboro, a couple people in Lovettsville, some folks in Purcellville, and a plastic pig in Hamilton are going to have a hell of a tough time outvoting however big Brambleton is in three and a half years. Especially when some of the most vocal CAN’T vote for her unless they move.

  • liz says:

    Considering how angry Brambleton was about redistricting, leading to Clarke’s election over Burton, if Clarke votes against Metro, that anger could easily be turned against her in the next election.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    Anyone who thinks I (or did John mean my wife?) had more to do with the 9-0 Republican sweep (even allowing for the fact that I supported an I and R over two of my partymates in that one) than did Mr. Turner’s disastrous effort to preserve two rural seats on the board (“it’s what makes us special”), should be sent back to school.

    The redistricting guaranteed Jim Burton’s loss to Janet Clarke, largely because of Brambleton, which she courted well. If she throws that away, it will cost her.

  • Shiloh says:

    Well, it looks like Brambleton isn’t happy. This thread should prove interesting to watch. See

  • Candy Murphy says:

    She won Brambleton was because she wasn’t Burton. There was no Democratic candidate in the Blue Ridge District, and Burton’s behavior during the redistricting saga sealed his fate.

    I haven’t looked at the numbers, so I’m not sure if losing Brambleton’s support would cost her re-election. What we need is to be lining up our own possible candidates (of whatever party) while we’re stuck in this ridiculously gerrymandered district.

    Barbara’s right… Matt is a great guy and a lot of Brambletonians, both liberal and conservative, would have loved to have him as our rep. He is fair and knowledgeable and works hard for his district.

  • Baron Rosedown says:

    The growing hostility towards Conflict-Clarke is like a smoldering wildfire, especially in Brambleton. The common thing I hear is Conflict-Clarke condescending responses when homeowners have emailed her about the Metro.

    Below are a few gems:

    “As Vice-Chair I have a much larger responsibility than my colleagues and this leaves me so little time to interact…”
    “…I have multiple towns and other incorporated municipalities in my district ”
    “I am so sorry I haven’t called you back yet. I have been booked to the extreme in these recent days after the election”
    “I have so little free time to meet or even return telephone calls, because I have the largest district in all of the County”

    Conflict-Clarke votes no on Metro, she is done all but done.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    She is soooo in love with that Vice-Chairman title. She better enjoy it while she can because she won’t be next year.

    I cannot believe she would write about this on Facebook and then delete it. The “Not Ready For Prime Time” Supervisor.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Candy Murphy, agreed on Matt. We are lucky to have him (and I’m not trying to rub it in, just grateful).

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Here’s the VPAP link to the Phil Tran in-kind donations to Clarke, all $8,875 worth:

    That got him a job, until he dared to disagree with the VICE CHAIR!

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    It gets worse! The LTM story has been updated and Clarke has totally changed her story from here original line about why Tran was canned -now it was supposed to happen all along:

    “Clarke told the Times-Mirror Monday releasing Tran was the original plan since his hiring, because he “is starting an internship in a couple of months.””

    Then Tran goes on about how it is about differing political philosophies:

    ““We have fundamental differences in our political philosophies that emerged over time,” Tran said. “This hindered our ability to work together efficiently and effectively to serve the citizens of Loudoun County.””

    What a complete PR disaster.

  • The Operative says:

    Ramadan made a convincing plea supporting Metro, while Clarke is clearly voting no. The gerrymandering of our district royally screwed Brambleton. We are stuck with Clarke, who could give two shits about us. Clarke courted us like a dog in heat during the election, now she could careless what Brambleton voters want. Time for Brambleton to find a fellow B-towner to challenge Clarke net election. Wondering if we can recall Clarke instead of waiting for 2015.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Is it my aging eyesight, or are all the comments gone on that article?

  • Wizard says:

    Poof. They seem to have vanished. 14 comments gone

    So who does she know at Times Mirror?

  • BlackOut says:

    I find it fascinating that “someone” can wrangle out an edit to a straight forward news story. At the least make an update so folks know what is happening. Otherwise, it sure looks like arm twisting. Guess they toss things up on line for editing purposes before it goes to print. Amazing.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    They appear to be back now (the comments).

  • Shawn Pickrell says:

    Will this playing both sides by Higgins/Clarke/Reid actually work?

    Either they are banking on voters forgetting all aboot Metro in 2015, or are playing up their “fiscal conservative” cred before deciding to support Metro.

    Most of what I’ve predicted has come to pass, with the exception of someone suggesting a referendum.

  • G.Stone says:

    Good for her for putting her stance on a public policy she deems to be fiscally irresponsible ahead of getting re-elected.

    Folks talk a good game when they say they want politicians who will put policy or doing the right thing before politics and re-election. However, a large percentage of those folks are simply full of crap.

    Good for her for firing Phil Tran. Frankly, it was a bad hire to begin with, she should have never hired Phil. When aides or an employee goes off the reservation spouting policy positions not in concert with the boss, they get fired.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Greg, by your logic then she never should have accepted his campaign work, nor should she have told Brambleton that she would represent their concerns.

    THEIR concerns.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    Mr. Stone is missing a large part of his own point: If Mr. Tran was sacked for the reason Mr. Stone provides, then Ms. Clarke isn’t being honest about it.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I missed the comment drama, but now my link goes to a different story. Fixing it now. Bizarre.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    But Stone, Phil Tran was such a valued member of the LCRC After Meeting Drinking Crew, how could he be such a bad guy now? Remember he took those hilarious photos of you supposedly scaring me at the LCRC convention? Phil was the toast of the clique back then.

  • liz says:

    And that’s the thing. Brambleton really wants the Metro. Broadlands really wants the Metro. For the most part, Ashburn really wants the Metro.

    Because the people in Brambleton, and Broadlands, and Ashburn would actually use it. Daily. It would make our* lives better.

    The people of Brambleton tend to be educated and motivated voters and, more than any other neighborhood I’ve ever knocked doors in, they think about what their neighborhood needs to succeed as a community. Perhaps because of the central park? I don’t know. My point is, they seem to be more cohesive than other new developments in Loudoun. If I were Clarke, I would not risk pissing Brambletonians off.

    *”our” does not necessarily in this instance mean me. I work 3 miles from home and would not use the Metro daily. But I am a Broadlander and my neighbors are very clear about how the Metro will improve their lives. Happier neighbors are a force for good.

  • BlackOut says:

    @Stevens. Haha how inconvenient for Stoner. Astute observation.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Here’s Higgins:

    Here it is in short form: “I would like Metro, it’s not simple, I want to negotiate a better deal and if I can’t I’m a no.”

  • liz says:

    Which is a little disingenuous since he was previously on the record as being against it because of the PLAs. Now that’s out of the picture, he’s got a different reason for being against it. I’m guessing he’ll keep moving those goal posts and he’ll always be a no.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    That’s a good letter from Higgins – but let’s move that discussion to the thread above, please.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Sorry LI. Didn’t see that post…

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Just put it up – trying to keep this thread focused on Conflict Clarke.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I still can’t believe she now says this was planned all along after announcing that she canned him because of their differences over Metro! Why didn’t the reporter pressure her to explain this discrepancy???

  • BlackOut says:

    Clarke has developed a real trend here. She seems impulsive and then when she get criticized she says “that’s not what I said, that’s not what I mean, …” and she seems to be getting support from the media to let her do her own edits.

  • G.Stone says:

    “how could he be such a bad guy now ”

    This is why this is at times a waste of time.
    Who said he was a bad guy ? I like Phil, he is a talented young man. He simply got cross ways with his boss and got shit canned ? It happens everyday. I have fired people before and don’t dislike them, they were not performing to expectations or screwing up. I still like them as people.

    Had I been Janet I would have never hired him, but that is me.

    Phil let his uber support 4 Metro get in the way of serving his boss. He was not being paid to pontificate about metro, he did and got canned. It is what it is.

    Now lets concentrate on making Metro to Loudoun go bye-bye.

  • G.Stone says:

    ” If I were Clarke, …. ”

    If you were Clarke , Stevens would be married to a Republican.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    If she were Clarke, Blue Ridge would have a pro-choice supervisor.

  • Stevens Miller says:

    @My Wife: Some people think I am. One of them stole the “Obama 2012″ bumper magnet off my car, just to prove it.

  • BlackOut says:

    Wow, just did a search on “Clarke” over on the Brambletonian blog. She’s dealing with a s*it storm over there. That is if she is paying attention to them, which apparently is a big part of the bitching.

  • Hate to spoil the party. Phil made a mistake. So, he got an extra 2 weeks before he started a new job.

    As for Ms. Clarke’s vote, the fact is 1+1 = more that $280M. So, she stood her ground. For Brambleton, your property assessments will go up and cost you an average of $450 per year. The Dulles Toll Road tolls will go up about $4 a day (both ways) for another $888 then there is a gas tax increase. We’ll all be paying out about $1300 + of our money so our neighbors don’t have to drive to the Sterling/Herndon stop to take the Metro, or ride the Loudoun Transit Bus. And, there’s more…

    Basically, she thought it through and pushed for a better deal. It takes bigger Kahunas to do that.

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