No Big LoCo Surprise – Arrogant, Scheming LCPS Wins, Citizens Lose

By Loudoun Insider

I am too disgusted to even write much about the Leesburg school boundary cases right now. Even though I thought this would be the outcome, I am still infuriated. Strike up another GOBGN win.


  • LoCoTransparency says:

    “Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Judge Horne’s ruling states that, since LCSB is allowed to consider “other factors” than those specifically outlined in their Bylaw Section 2-32, the defendants did not prove the recent LCSB rezoning was arbitrary and capricious.

    Maybe so.

    I MUST assume the judge acted within the letter of the law.

    But ask yourself how much power the LCSB now has to manipulate our children when they do not have to be held accountable for this type of fourth quarter end-around maneuver:
    A) deciding special education (not in the list of specific criteria) is THE number one factor AND SHARING THAT “OTHER FACTOR” WITH A FEW SPECIAL COMMUNITIES,
    B) then manufacturing SPED census numbers and SHARING THEM with those few special communities days before they were available to all other communities (and at a critical time in the proposal process),
    C) and using that “other factor” AND the manufactured numbers to exclude all other plans which had been already submitted.

    If not strictly illegal, then undeniably unethical. Manipulating the rules of the game in the fourth quarter to guarantee the outcome you wanted at the start of the game obviously does not produce fair and equitable results . It produces results consistent with a certain agenda..
    Unfortunately, the court’s decision just reinforces the school board’s power… essentially absolute power… to manipulate results to their own political end.

    Absolute power.
    Loudoun County is put on notice.

  • BlackOut says:

    LoCoT, The SB is held accountable every four years by a general election.


  • Sic Semper Tyrannis says:

    “Well, I want to make a comment then on Miss Bergel’s motion. I’m very concerned about the patchwork effect that this has on the school attendance boundaries. I’m very concerned what this does to special education programs. The K-5 regional special education programs, under this pan, 50 percent of them are concentrated on two schools out of nine in Leesburg under this plan. Two thirds of them are concentrated in just three schools and that’s a disruption that I can’t support.” Chairman Stevens, December 13, 2011

  • Sic Semper Tyrannis says:

    One of my favorite quotes from Mrs. Bergel:

    “I am not using some of the neediest kids to make numbers.” Ms. Bergel, December 15, 2011

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    LI, in your love for conspiracy, you’re telescoping some things: “got a job working for the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association while on the School Board to help push the big Greenvest rezonings all while working deals with Greenvest for school sites” is a good example of what BlackOut is talking about in cobbling things together to “prove” something.

    The only reason Greenvest was selling land for schools is because the rezonings never happened, so as you’ll recall if you stop and try to remember, someone couldn’t be “pushing” rezonings at the same time they were trying to buy the same land for public facilities.

    This does read a lot like Sarah, as it has developed. It would make sense for her to be here and she MAY be, since she has seemed to hate Bergel with the flames of death since she didn’t get a high school in Lovettsville right where she wanted it. I don’t have a dog in this (and have kids that have moved around too, mainly because down here on the driveway to the holy land we get schools as late as possible since we aren’t even supposed to be here) but the hoa website lost me a bit on the first article you ever linked to there, when an explanatory complaint tacked on that Catoctin is “the oldest elementary in Loudoun”.

    I hadn’t heard Middleburg had closed, but maybe Catoctin isn’t old enough to be historic, just too old?

    If the object is to amass details to prove a conspiracy, the verifiable ones (i.e. simple facts like the age of a building, as opposed to layers of meaning in emails) shouldn’t be a distraction.

  • HOAhell says:

    Good point. The story should have said that at 46, Catoctin is less than half the age of Middleburg Elementary. Or maybe just reprint this from the school history posted at its web site:

    “Catoctin Elementary School was the first school using a circular design to be constructed in Loudoun County. It was built in 1966 at a cost of approximately one million dollars. The money for this construction was provided by the first school bond referendum to be initiated and passed in Loudoun County. The school was named after the beautiful Catoctin mountain range rising west of the town of Leesburg.”

    Just for curiosity’s sake, how often do you post when you DO have a dog in something?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Hundreds. I think including this, I’m up to five on this thread. And you’re at what?

    I understand I should shut up and not disrupt the narrative, but details DO matter, if you want people to focus on the details you prefer they infer from the email dialogue.

  • Loudoun Moron says:

    So which other SB members voted in favor of this plan in addition to Bergel?

  • HOAhell says:

    Yeah Barb, but you’d have more credibility if you at least read the complaint.

    BTW what is the ceiling on posts here?

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Read the complaint, thanks, just not the hundreds of email excerpts.

    Is it a variable ceiling? lolol

  • LoCoTransparency says:

    @BO The SB cannot be held accountable by elections if the citizens who are voting have been kept in the dark and only told 25% of the story.

  • BlackOut says:

    25% of what…BS like there was a barter of proffers for boundary commitments?

    Doesn’t really matter as the threat is out there, take the message to the next campaign(s). Let public opinion decide. I am sure there will be many others, just like you, trying to fill in the other 75% of what each deems important.

  • HOAhell says:

    Copy of lawsuit for those who have not read it:

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Barb, the fact is, this is my first post on this thread.

    LCPS inexplicably refuses to use the software they already own to systematically and logically generate boundary options.

    Not only would using tools we’ve already paid-for have the potential to allow staff to work more efficiently (not to mention more effectively), it could possibly limit LCPS’ growing number of expensive legal bills.

  • Sarah says:

    Barb at 10:58a makes an incorrect and frankly totally inappropriate comment. While I disagree with, and have been extremely disappointed in many of her choices, I do NOT hate Jennifer. What I and many others do hate is Loudoun GOBGN politics getting away with favoring insiders over children, communities and taxpayers.

    Thank you Loudoun HOA for your efforts to raise awareness in Loudoun!

    Aside since Barb raised the issue regarding landbanking MS/HS-10 site: many hope the new Lville Mayor and Town Council make good on their campaign platform supporting future community-based schools and securing grant funding for town sidewalks through VDOT’s Safe Routes to School program.

  • BlackOut says:

    Now you’ve done it colleague!

    Shrapnel to follow.

  • Hillsboro says:

    Damage Control team on full alert… requesting hazardous duty pay.

  • HOAhell says:

    General muster!

  • BlackOut says:

    Ah, that’s Colonel Mustard in the conservatory.

  • HOAhell says:

    “…they grab onto an idea, an idea that has a few grains of truth in them and they are off to the races. Eventually a massive story develops and eventually they are way in over their heads and they start making things up to justify their preconceived notions. As more truth is tossed on the pile they refuse to consider it or adjust their original conclusions. It becomes a big game. They are only looking, hearing or reading things that they want to hear. Once this goes on for sometime then things get real personal with them and they go into defensive mode. It’s a pattern over and over.”

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    As I’ve said many times before, Sarah Stinger deserves an award for all she has done to expose LCPS’ shady dealings and deception. It looks like this ridiculous boundary process is producing some more Sarah types, and that will be a great thing for parents and taxpayers in the long run, although there will be certainly some gnashing of teeth in the short term.

  • Hillsboro says:

    Hopefully, the victims of this awful boundary change will work to unseat Bergel in 2015 if she chooses to run again. She’s clearly a favorite of the GOBGN, so it will be an uphill battle, and her challenger will need all the help he or she can get.

    School Board races are very low budget, usually run with only a couple thousand dollars funded mostly by the candidate. A few donations and a few volunteers can make a big difference.

  • Hillsboro says:

    I was never a fan of John Stevens, but have to give him credit for actively fighting against Bergel’s plan. I assume Bob Ohneiser and Tom Marshall were also in opposition.

    What were the final votes?

  • HOAhell says:

    “The final vote on the adopted plan was close with Jennifer Bergel (Catoctin), who submitted the plan on behalf of community members, Marshall, Robert F. DuPree (Dulles), Priscilla Godfrey (Blue Ridge) and Tom Reed (At Large) voting in favor, and Ohneiser, Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and School Board Chairman John Stevens (Potomac) voting against it. Joseph Guzman (Sugarland Run) was absent.”

  • Hillsboro says:

    So, if I’m reading the electoral district maps correctly, CL-19 was in Catoctin, but shifted to Leesburg in the 2011 redistricting?

    If so, Bergel had little incentive to represent you guys. I’m a bit surprised by Marshall’s vote. And not at all surprised by Reed, DuPree or Godfrey’s (or by Guzman’s absence for that matter).

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Sarah, read my “incorrect and totally inappropriate” comment again–I said it SEEMS that you do, and so it does, to me, in my opinion, which is neither correct nor incorrect but is open to agreement or disagreement, and as an opinion is COMPLETELY appropriate–called “free speech”.

    Unlike hoah, I don’t care whether it is your first post or your hundredth on this thread under your name. If we sorted IPs, I imagine it would be much shorter though, with some surprising instersects given the categories on the HOA blog!

    By all means, carry on with the conspiracy of the moment, and campaign as you wish in your district. You were for Ms. Bergel before you were against her, and there’s plenty of time before the next election to sort that out and plan anew in campaign wars.

  • HOAhell says:

    The phrase “hate with the flames of death” is a pretty strong indictment to have no factual underpinnings other than idle vicious gossip.
    Good for Sarah for calling out the perpetrator.
    Hey LI could we get clarification on the rules of engagement that Ma. Munsey continually insinuates?

    “Sarah Stinger” is a widely respected name in these parts.

  • HOAhell says:

    Please excuse typo.
    That’s “Ms.” Munsey, unless her preference is “Mrs.” or HRH.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    Re “a pretty strong indictment to have no factual underpinnings other than idle vicious gossip”, um, so are accusations of conspiracy, fraud, bribery and other terms with established legal definitions, extrapolated from nothing other than inferences from email conversations.

    Sarah is passionate in her campaigns, and has many many posts laying out her feelings on Ms. Bergel’s actions over the past term, so go do some google-fu and then reread my hyperbole. Still an opinion.

    That she is respected in some quarters is no doubt quite true. She is also taken with a grain of salt in others. Both opinions.

    And yes, I still understand that I must shut up and stop disrupting the narrative–gets a bit more pronounced with every frantic call you make on number of posts, rules of engagement, etc.

    And yes, the collection of topic categories on that website is interesting.

  • LoCo Parent says:

    good for these petitioners. good for Sarah. good for those who have come before and will come in the future to call out LCPS when they exceed their authority, lack transparency and accountability, and make terrible decisions for our communities.

    We have several current school board members who ran on the promise of transparency and accountability. “Transparency and Accountability = a New Voice”, “Complete transparency and genuine accountability “, “Our school system must be fully accountable”. Hold them to it!

    This school system is in need of reform. It must not continue to be guided by senior staff who ignore or “vaguely” respond to school board and public inquiries, or who withhold or manipulate the data they provide in order to satisfy their own agenda — as we’ve seen in these FOIA’d docs.

    Would love to see a coalition of citizens formed who pay attention, challenge decisions, and demand accountability of our school system and who bring important issues to light.

    Keep up the good work! People are paying attention.

  • LCPS spy says:

    Edulog site SS identifies makes for an interesting point. It can accomodate balancing many factors, subsidized lunches, special ed, ethnic, etc… If Adamo had used it,, “Edulog generated” label would have been used for that boundary option as political cover. But Platenberg’s and Meghans’s River Ck kids would never have been routed to FHR under such a boundary plan. Edulog is not cheap, another example of LCPS wasting tax dollars.

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