April 25, 2005
Big Fish, Little Ponds

Lest ye think all DC-area political action happens on the hill, we have this story of a more local political drama:

People have dragged a hodgepodge of props -- sheep, tractors, Darth Vader, Patrick Henry, fake coffins, the music of Tammy Wynette, thousands of Monopoly houses -- into the battle over suburban sprawl in Loudoun County.

But none of the theatrics ever got anyone into serious trouble, until a man walked up to the podium at a board of supervisors meeting last year and identified himself as "Mr. Valerie Kelly," the husband of a vocal critic of development.

Ms. Kelly is a real charmer too:

Valerie Kelly was sitting in the audience that February morning last year when Grigsby appeared before the board inside its Leesburg chambers. The 56-year-old Middleburg woman was outraged. Here was a man she barely knew pretending to be her husband, telling everyone that she didn't respect him anymore.

"I was stunned," she recalled. "I was completely stunned."

But she didn't say anything. Actually, she couldn't say anything: Her mouth was taped shut.

At the previous board meeting, Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) had referred to Kelly as an "idiot" after she blurted out a remark about his ancestors (he later apologized). So in part to protest Snow's comment, Kelly attended the meeting wearing a piece of duct tape over her mouth, one of several theatrical presentations she has made before the supervisors over the years.

Our old friend the Bishop would almost certainly feel right at home with these people.

My mom used to be a part of a local city council, and her tales of pettiness, lunacy, and political mayhem were quite similar to this.

Posted by scott at April 25, 2005 01:11 PM

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