Loudoun supervisors, at their long-delayed strategic planning retreat on Monday, laid out the bones of the vision statement that they hope will guide their current tenure.
The strategic planning retreat is normally one of the first things a new board of oversight does when it comes to the stage after an election, but that board’s tenure has been dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the jostling to deal with it. But the supervisors finally came together for the one-day meeting on October 26.
After several drafts throughout the day, supervisors have arrived at the basics of a new vision statement, with the caveat that there will be a bit more grammatical forging:
“While appreciating and acknowledging our history and planning for a prosperous future, Loudoun strives to ensure a high quality of life in a safe, sustainable and inclusive community where everyone can be proud to live, work, learn and to play.
This compares to the previous vision statement, written at the Board‘s previous strategic planning retreat in 2016:
“By honoring its rich heritage and seizing the solid opportunities of a new day, Loudoun County is maintaining the high quality of life it has achieved, shaping a future that represents the best of both worlds, and creating a place where its residents are proud. live, work, learn and play.
County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she will meet with Supervisors Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn), Juli E. Briskman (D-Algonkian) and Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) to refine how the new vision is written. Briskman is a professional writer as a former journalist and communications professional, Buffington wrote the final version of the new vision statement during the planning retreat, and Randall said of Turner “I literally never met a better writer.”
But with the elements of the new statement in place, the foundations of the council’s mission — things like recognizing the county’s history and creating an inclusive community — are laid.
“I think past vision statements were more past-focused, and this one is more future-focused, what you will,” Randall said. “It’s not called a reflective statement.”
She particularly applauded the new emphasis on inclusivity.
“We’ve never had this before,” Randall said. “We just want to say, we are a welcoming country, we want you to be here, we welcome you here.”