Council members, in the end, heeded the advice of several of their present constituents and chose not to take an official position on the BRMC project. Instead, the council passed by a vote of 6-1 a resolution penned by Councilman Ken Reid that supports the Inova Cornwall Emergency Room and Inova Loudoun's expansion plans.People new to the area may not know that Leesburg used to have a full-service hospital in town, on Western side of town, north of Market street. That hospital was converted in to an emergency room center and psychiatry facility upon Inova's completion of Loudoun Hospital (the facility in Lansdowne). The Town of Leesburg considers the maintenance and expansion of the Cornwall facility to be a critical long-term goal for various reasons, including the fact that such a facility makes Leesburg an attractive location for a four-year college or university.
Supported by all council members except Councilman Tom Dunn, the resolution states in part that "the Town of Leesburg believes the expansion of Cornwall and continued operation of the emergency room is vital to the local economy and attracting a George Mason University campus to the Leesburg area ... The Town of Leesburg supports the continued operation of Inova's Cornwall campus [and] requests the County Board of Supervisors to consider these factors when deciding on future hospital expansions in Loudoun County." - Leesburg Today
The interesting stuff happened after the initial resolution supporting the Cornwall facility was passed. Mayor Umstattd put forward a motion opposing the BRMC as detrimental to Cornwall, but that motion failed by one vote.
But Mayor Kristen Umstattd said she did not believe the resolution went far enough and, after the vote to approve the one, made a motion to approve a resolution declaring the council's opposition to the BRMC application and affirm support for the Countywide Health Facilities Plan.I tend to agree with Councilman Butler on this issue. Leesburg will do well to stay out of the debate over BRMC as long as support for Cornwall is expressed. Inova versus HCA is a fight between two corporations over turf, not over hwo to best serve the people of Loudoun. As long as Loudoun gets a new hospital soon, the people will be served. Everything else is so much corporate astroturfing and NIMBY bloviating.
The motion failed on a 3-3-1 vote, with Wright, Dunn and Councilman David Butler voting against the motion and Reid abstaining. Butler explained his impetus for voting against the motion, stating that he believed council needed to save the "big guns" for other issues.
"It was critical for me to have one motion passed that supports the Cornwall campus. That sends a strong message to the Board of Supervisors," Butler said. "We've accomplished what's most important for the town without the guns that are bigger." - Leesburg Today