Around the Novahood


The Loudoun County government voted to write an ordinance enabling collective bargaining among some county employees. Collective bargaining for state employees remains forbidden under the 1977 ban; the new law permits localities to bargain with nonstate public employees. The law will allow employees to petition the local government for a vote, but does not let them force collective bargaining—the local governing body would then hold a vote to decide whether to recognize unions, and if so, what sort of discussions to have with them. Doing so also requires the board to adopt a local ordinance.

Now the town of Leesburg has joined in: the Town Council recently voted 5-2 to allow collective bargaining to begin in Leesburg, but only with groups of employees identified by the council as eligible bargaining units. The subject matter of negotiations would also be limited to wages and benefits. An amendment to the state code passed last spring gave Virginia localities the green light to allow government employees to organize and collectively bargain, although they are still prohibited from going on strike. The new law took effect May 1.

The three groups identified by the council as potential bargaining units were the Leesburg Police Department;   the town’s labor and trades staff; and administrative and professional staff, not including the Town Manager’s or Town Attorney’s offices. In a survey, 60% of Leesburg’s 214 eligible employees expressed an interest in collective bargaining. A staff report estimated the fiscal impact of collective bargaining in fiscal year 2022 to be between $50,000 and $200,000.

A milestone for local employees.


Arlington County has revealed the five finalists for its new logo, and they have not been met with enthusiasm. The county is asking members of the public to vote online for their top two favorites. The logo concepts were selected by a Logo Review Panel, which will make a final recommendation to the County Board in June. Voting closes on May 26.

The new logo will replace the existing county logo, featuring a stylized representation of Arlington House, the plantation house of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Arlington National Cemetery. The logo has been criticized by the Arlington branch of the NAACP as “divisive and racist.”

Here are the five candidates:

Most reviews have been negative. A typical response was this one, from an Arlingtonian: ” Pretty disappointed in the options given… Changing the logo is the right move, but I had hoped that we’d replace it with something that gave our community some new symbolism to be proud of. Other than nonspecific references to bridges, there’s little that feels like Arlington.”

Ah, art. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?


7-Eleven is your old standby, right? Convenient when you need a quick drink, cup of coffee, or snack, but certainly nothing special. Well, change is a-comin’–right here in River City–er, Manassas. One of only eight concept stores nationwide for the company, the Manassas location will be the first to offer two restaurants with communal seating inside and out, and also the first to serve as a real-world testing ground for 7-Eleven’s “Sips and Snacks” emerging brands program.

Since 2018, 7-Eleven has hosted an invitation-only showcase for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to present their most innovative products. Hundreds apply, but fewer than 100 are invited. Franchisees and company employees vote on their favorites, and the hand-picked winners land on store shelves.

Look for the new store at 10601 Lomond Drive:


Not your father’s 7-Eleven.


Categories: AROUND THE NOVAHOOD, Issues, labor and unions, legislature, Local, police, State

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