DuPree Must Be Lobbying His Boss, John Wood

By Loudoun Insider

John Wood, CEO of Telos, and a prominent Loudoun businessman (and good guy from what I hear) is being put out front by the school lobby as a businessman in favor of ”fully funding” the proposed school budget.  He was prominently mentioned in a Leesburg Today editorial in this aspect, and now is the subject of a post at School Board member John Stevens’ blog.  Wood is the Chairman of the Economic Development Commission and has signed his letter posted by Stevens in that capacity.  Is he speaking for the entire committee and/or the entire business community?

What many may not know, and which they should keep in mind, is that John Wood gave a job to School Board Chairman Robert DuPree after he was let go from his conflicted job at the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA).  He apparently employs DuPree as a lobbyist.  This relationship would certainly provide DuPree with extraordinary access to Wood to in turn lobby him on school issues.  Any future news reports concerning statements by Wood on school matters should disclose this pertinent fact.  John Wood also happens to be a prominent member of the Joint Board of Supervisors – School Board Committee.  I would suggest to the members of that committee that perhaps another businessman without such close ties to the School Board Chairman would be a more appropriate choice in that role.  At the very least, Wood should disclose this fact before every meeting.

Update:  DuPree and Hatrick are both actually ON the EDC, so I guess they got to vote on the resolution supporting their own budget!  How convenient!


Comments

  • Really Not Sam Adamo says:

    Since Wood pays Dupree to lobby one would assume he’s effective in the ways of manipulation and spin. Can’t believe Wood hired that guy.

  • Lovettsville Resident says:

    I’m amazed more people don’t know this. The same with the ties between the school attorney and the Wheatland developer. It is really incestuous in the school system. isn’t it?

  • Sarah says:

    I always liked the idea of bringing someone from the business community to the Joint Committee, perhaps they should invite members of the public to serve as well, though I’d guess the appointees would likely be aligned with their views. Wood seems like a straight up guy I agree. Though he surprised me in December when I was fussing about the delay in getting the November Joint Committee meeting webcast posted (the one with discussion about eliminating the Special Exception permit for schools). Wood responded that if the minutes were available that the webcast was not required. He may have been accurate but reflected the general sense I see from most politicians here. Something like, the information is available if the public wants it (and in some cases if they are willing to pay dearly for it) but we just don’t necessarily need to go out of our way to make it easy.

    I know Wood has missed some Committee meetings. Most recently the meeting last week. Most of the Committee members as well as Dupree left before their public hearing began. It was a disappointment that so few Committee members cared enough to sit there to hear the public. Time will tell if they embrace any of the ideas brought up.

    As a business man, I would think Wood would lobby the Committee to be more efficient and cost-effective with what little funds are available, not just give LCPS everything they ask for.

    I have an expectation that anyone acting in a role where they are representing the public should recuse themself from a decision if there is even the slightest hint of a conflict of interest. However, those that have strong agendas are often very unwilling to do just that.

  • When I brought this up in a previous thread, DuPree’s main online apologist BlackOut went ballistic on me for daring to “attack” John Wood. Let me be clear – I am not attacking John Wood here, but pointing out that it is in the public’s best interest to know that he employs the Chairman of the School Board.

    Another entirely valid point I made earlier was that I don’t know if a multi-millionaire’s opinion on what the tax rate should be is particularly relevant to those on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder. No matter what the tax rate is I am sure John Wood will have no problem paying his tax bill. It’s those who are less fortunate that I worry about.

  • John Stevens continues to use Wood’s EDC letter as a prop to support “fully funding” the proposed school budget, with a reference in his latest post.

    He provided a link to Wood’s EDC letter, which looks like it was written on homemade letterhead:

    http://pubs.loudounschools.org/LCPSDocs/FY10Budget/EDC_Letter.pdf

  • Curioser says:

    Just what exactly does Dupree do for John Wood? This does seem like a curious circumstance.

  • A reader just sent me this link to the EDC February minutes:

    http://biz.loudoun.gov/Portals/0/PDF/EDC.Draft.Minutes0213%2009.pdf

    I see nothing in there authorizing Wood to send that letter. Maybe it happened under new business but isn’t specifically addressed, but you would think it would be. There was a little blurb about the FY10 budget, but no action item related to it.

    I also see that DuPree is on the EDC, along with Hatrick – so I guess it shouldn’t be a big surprise that the EDC wants Hatrick’s budget approved as is.

  • Really Not Sam Adamo says:

    John Stevens and the rest of the SB should be ashamed. This is a transparent attempt to claim the business community wants full funding.

    Wake up losers, full funding isn’t a possibility, and Wood doesn’t represent my small business.

  • G. Stone says:

    I for one am very concerned about the cozy relationship between all parties.
    I have looked at the budget every way possible. If those in the business community are advocating this budget against the backdrop of a 200 million deficit, we should be concerned, very concerned.

  • Lovettsville Resident says:

    Did the whole EDC approve that letter? Did DuPree and Hatrick vote for it? What in the hell are they doing on the EDC anyway?

    I guess it’s time for all us little folk to move out of this caviar county!

  • Stuck in the Middle says:

    I’m pretty sure that Hatrick and other folks who serve on the EDC solely because of their day jobs don’t have a vote…same with Chairman York.

  • [...] bloated budget (later proven to be bloated with millions left over) or face certain doom (here’s my Feb. 2009 post on that letter with some interesting commentary and comments).  That same boss is now in control of the PAC set up to re-elect big spender John Stevens to the [...]

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