Corey Stewart draws a Primary Challenge

 

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With the very popular Supervisor Candland deciding not to run for the Chairmanship of the Prince William Board  of supervisor,a GOP activist has stepped up to the challenge. Chris Crawford from Gainesville announced today that he will take on two term Chairman Corey Stewart this year. Crawford going into this has an uphill battle with little to know name I.D and Corey’s ability in  fundraising, Crawford has a 24/7 job on his hands to take down Core Stewart.  Crawford’s Press Release is here :

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Gainesville, VA –Today, Chris Crawford, a local activist and concerned citizen announced his candidacy to become the Republican-nominee for the Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County.

In his announcement, Crawford said “Our party has a serious problem, we are losing major elections and have not won a county-wide race for a Republican since 2009.  While we claim to be the party of low taxes, small government, and responsible development, the fact is our current leadership is not upholding these values.”

He added, “Our county has the highest tax rate in Northern Virginia and the hardworking people deserve better than the lowest SOL scores of the Northern Virginia counties, inadequate road infrastructures, and a business climate that deters large companies from moving to Prince William.  Therefore, it is up to us to hold our elected officials accountable for their record. I have spoken with people across the county and the message is clear, they are extremely upset about the current direction of the county and they want change.”

Lastly, Crawford noted that he views these issues as quality-of-life issues that impact the people of Prince William County in every aspect of their lives.  He articulated a need for focus and stated that his priorities will revolve around smart growth, lower taxes, education improvements, and creating a business-friendly climate.  He ended with “I look forward to meeting with more people in the coming months and sharing my vision for Prince William County.”

Chris Crawford and his wife of 16 years, Jo Anne Crawford CPM, reside in Gainesville with their three children, Meghan, Alex, and Emma.

 

Get the Popcorn folks this could either be a long boring movie, or a short action flick..

What’s Up With PWC’s Web Domain Address?

Prince William County government. Gotta love it if for nothing other than the entertainment value.

Want to find out more about it? Head on over to the county government’s official website at pwcgov.org.

What’s that you say? I mistyped their web address? It should be pwc.gov?

Well, one would think so, but apparently no one in the county government’s IT department ever bothered to apply for a .gov domain. In fact, to this day, that domain has gone unclaimed.

Our neighbors in Loudoun County have loudoun.gov, Fairfax County has fairfaxcounty.gov, and Stafford County has staffordcountyva.gov. Even Fauquier County has fauquiercounty.gov.

Apparently the OIT in Prince William County was too busy engaging in bid-rigging, fraud and embezzlement back in the 2000s to get around to registering .gov like everyone else was doing at the time. I suspect someone in the county was watching a Super Bowl half-time show when a sexy GoDaddy.com commercial came on and they decided to register the county its domain name. To their dismay, they discovered that not just anybody could register a .gov web address, so they registered pwcgov.org instead and hoped that nobody would notice.

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Why hasn’t anyone rectified that situation yet? (After all, you CAN have multiple domains that all point to the same website without having to duplicate any content whatsoever — see Stafford’s .us domain for example.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that things have improved much over there at OIT according to this post on BVBL:

If the county is actually paying $1,000 per office chair, $350 for a friggin’ telephone and an astonishing $2,500 for a 12 port network switch (that should cost less than $60), we have a much bigger problem in the county than where supervisors have their offices.  We’re actually running dedicated fibre lines to supervisor offices (costing $5,500 to install them) instead of signing them up for Comcast or Verizon internet service for about $60/month, which could also provide them with phone service through a VOIP provider?  Either there’s another massive embezzlement or bid-rigging scandal just waiting to be uncovered at the Office of Information Technology, or these figures are outright lies.

The more you look under the rocks in Prince William County, the more of a complete joke you see it to be.

UPDATE: BVBL has turned over some other county IT rocks as well — this time relating to the website for the Brentsville District and the latest county attempts to screwover new supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

Ray Utz Court Dates Set

In November, we wrote about former Prince William County assistant planning director Ray Utz’s arrest Nov. 19 on charges of indecent exposure in two instances (as well as why we were not the least bit surprised about it.) Since the initial article that appeared on InsideNOVA.com about the arrest, there hasn’t been a single mention of the incident (we didn’t even get a published mug shot, just his county headshot.)

Well, thanks to an article on InsideNOVA today about another indecent exposure incident, I decided to track down where things stand in the legal process for Utz.

Case # Defendant Hearing Date Hearing Time Charge Action
GC14014821-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM INDECENT EXPOSURE
GC14014822-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM SIMULATED MASTURBATION
GC14014823-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM SIMULATED MASTURBATION
GC14014824-00 UTZ, RAYMOND ERNST 04/16/2015 09:00 AM INDECENT EXPOSURE

Now, here is the interesting thing about it. According to court records, Utz was set to be arraigned Dec. 2 on all four charges and was scheduled to have a motion hearing on Jan. 8. Hearings on Jan 22 and Feb. 19 have already been continued until April 16.

We’ll be keeping our eye on this since justice in Prince William County can be of a questionable nature to put things kindly…

Corey, Fool Me Once, Shame on You…Fool Me Twice…Shame on Me

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2015 is here.  As we shake off the holidays, take down the decorations, and bundle up to keep warm, many of us will contemplate New Year’s Resolutions for a new “Me” which will be an improvement over last year’s “me.”  Did you know that health clubs and fitness centers have the highest enrollment in January?  If you haven’t received the mailers yet, you will.  Perfectly toned 20-somethings waiting to help you become the “you” you are meant to be.

 

And as 2015 rolls on, it appears that PWC’s Chairman-at-Large, Corey Stewart is also looking to improve over 2011-14 Corey.  2015 is a time for him to get back to his conservative roots, deliver fiery orations at town halls, and vote down Stone Haven to prove to everyone that Conservative Corey is back!  Heck, he even took the stage with Mr. Candland AND Mrs. Lawson at the Town Hall to show everyone how he is in lock-step with the two reigning conservatives in PWC and even told the crowd of 1,000+ that “Hey, we do actually get along” (insert nervous laugh at end of sentence).

Yes, Chairman Stewart has found his soul once again….or so it would seem.  And it’s working!  The Derecho blog pointed out on 14 January, that ” Chairman Stewart spoke passionately in opposition to Dominion’s proposal and for a brief few moments reminded me of the Occoquan Supervisor I once supported in his battles with Chairman Connaughton.  Time will tell whether the new/old Corey has any staying power but it was refreshing, at least for the evening.”

1 down…a few more to go..

But…something just doesn’t add up…

Corey clenched his fist in opposition to Dominion Power and promised to do anything in the county’s power to stop them from harming the Rural Crescent.  He even relayed that he had signed into law a provision that purchased land by the county which cannot be seized by immanent domain by Dominion Power.  Applause erupted…but this law doesn’t seem to actually stop the power lines.  I digress…when asked about possible solutions and changing the zoning, Stewart said a current BOCS cannot undo former BOCS decision. It’s the law.  Or the county would have to pay a penalty.

Wait, what?  Well how much is the penalty?  Corey had no answer.  This is ok.  Nobody has all answers, but he didn’t offer to find out and nobody called him out on it, because…I can only surmise…this is the new and improved Corey. Conservative Corey who has the back of the people!

But then…Corey became Chameleon Corey.  Changing when nobody is looking, or sometimes even when they are, and voted on the 14th at the 2PM BOCS session to spend 12.1 Million dollars (MILLION!) to bury power lines on a one mile stretch of road.  This writer does not know how much it would have cost the county in a penalty, but I will wager good money and Corey’s seat that 12 MILLION would have paid the fine AND bought the parcel back from the company-who-shall-not-be-named (Amazon) for a profit if needed and pointed them to Innovation Park.

So, now we are back to Costly Corey (this now officially reminds me of the Paranoid Rob Lowe commercials).  The guy who argued for the 1.158 tax rate INCREASE (~6% to you and me) and trotted out all of his democratic allies last April to support it.  The guy who spends and spends and spends so he can tax and tax and tax.  Because why?  Because nobody likes to be told they don’t get their stuff.  And not getting stuff loses votes.  So Costly Corey raises the taxes and redistributes our money for votes.

 All this to say, I will not be fooled twice.

With Deterrents Gone, PWC Supervisors Return To Their Free-Spending Ways

 

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Remember the good ol’ days of the Cold War when the American nuclear arsenal (and later President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative) had the deterrent effect of keeping the Soviets in line? The threat of mutually assured destruction (M.A.D.) actually made the world safe in an ironic sort of way.

The same applies politically. When it is an election year and elected officials face potential primary challenges, they tend to get religion pretty quickly and try to race as fast as they can back to their party’s base in order to survive. If they do, you can count on them reverting to their old ways 9 out of 10 times as survivors of these political deathbed conversions rarely keep their newfound faith for it was merely the threat of a challenge that kept them in line.

Witness today’s vote of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to rescind $12 million previously approved by the board to bury power lines along a one mile stretch of Route 1 in Woodbridge.

For nearly two hours [Gainesville Dist. Supervisor Peter] Candland contended that defunding the power line project was the right move, and said that funding could be better spent on adding additional classrooms to crowded schools, purchasing new buses for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission, expand the county’s jail, or build six new miles of sidewalks in neighborhoods known for their incomplete pedestrian pathways, or “sidewalks to nowhere.”

“When you come up here and this Board says ‘we just don’t’ have the money,’ weight that on the burial of the power lines,” said Candland.

In the end, only Candland and newly-elected Brentsville Dist. Supervisor Jeanine Lawson voted to rescind the money so it could be put to a higher priority use. Both of the board’s Democrats and the other four Republicans – Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisors Marty Nohe (Coles), Mike May (Occoquan) and Maureen Caddigan (Potomac) – voted to keep this spending project in place. Never mind that this is something VDOT and not the county should be paying for or the fact that the county has much greater unmet needs that they are always talking about how we do not have enough money to cover and therefore we must endure tax hike after tax hike. (At last count, the county’s 5-year plan envisioned a 25% property tax hike over that period of time.)

Now, by way of my reference of the Cold War I’m NOT calling Caddigan a communist (as that would imply that she actually held some ideological core beliefs and subscribed to a set political philosophy, things no one would ever accuse her of) or any of her colleagues on the Board. But it is interesting that for the past six months or so the Potomac Dist. Supervisor had seemed to have found the conservative religion when Virtucon’s founder and local community leader Jim Riley had been gearing up to challenge her in the 2015 Republican primary. Unfortunately, last week Riley had to take himself out of contention due to work considerations. It only took until the next Board meeting for her to revert to form.

Likewise, last week Candland decided against a run for county chairman and it is all but certain now that former Del. Jeff Frederick will also pass on a 2015 primary challenge to Stewart. Nohe dodged a bullet when D.J. Jordan decided the time was not right for him to enter the political fray (although Nohe may still be in for the fight of his political life against Paul O’Meara whose background makes him a sort of conservative doppelgänger to Nohe.) May has announced he will not seek reelection and instead will run for Commonwealth’s Attorney.

So, with Candland, Frederick, Jordan and Riley all dropping their expected primary challenges to incumbents on the Board, the deterrent factor keeping them in line has just evaporated. Prince William’s Board has returned to its free-spending ways. While no one should be shocked by this, we should all feel embarrassed that these charlatans are the best that we can do here.

It’s Time to Focus Virginia (Part II) From PWC GOP Chairman Bill Card

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Part I drew criticism for my tone and style as well as the assault on talk radio.  However I feel compelled after Tuesday’s vote for Speaker of the House of Representatives to once again try and focus friends, conservatives (actual and not-so-much), Republicans, and sometime friends of Republicans.

 

Let me be clear.  I am not about to defend Congressman John Boehner (R) of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District.  He just got 216 of 408 votes cast.  He won.  It wasn’t even close.  Incidentally Ohio’s 8th District put him on the ballot with 71.5% of the vote in the primary and in his Congressional seat with 67.2% of the vote in the general election.  He doesn’t need my help.

 

But my point isn’t that he is or is not a great guy, it’s that he is irrelevant to me as a Virginian.  Once again we allowed ourselves to boil the proverbial ocean and now I see angst at the result.  We lost ourselves to Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS).  More dangerously, we in Northern Virginia were foolishly out of focus with a real election going on.

 

One of our local House of Delegates members was trying to inspire folks to call their Congressmen to demand that they vote against John Boehner.  It’s ironic to note that the morning of this vote you wouldn’t have caught Congresswoman Barbara Comstock in her new office yet.  She was shivering in the cold at the polls trying to help elect Republican Craig Parisot to retain the seat she had vacated in Virginia’s House of Delegates.  So our ardent Republican Delegate will sit down in this session with a democrat holding the seat previously held by Barbara Comstock.  Would that he could have focused on what was important in those closing hours.

 

How much better would it have been for Virginians to have focused their effort on getting out the vote for Craig Parisot who lost by just over 300 votes?  This is what I mean by focus, focus, focus.  Instead of sitting on hold on the Congressional switchboard, people could have been influencing their friends and neighbors to go out and vote to keep the 34th District seat in Republican control.

 

I’m sorry but it comes down to what is or isn’t political activism.  What is or isn’t an effective use of our individual time.  In truth the ideological difference between Congressmen Boehner and Gomert is not significant though I would grant you that the tactics they may (or may not) employ might be different.    However let me tell you that the ideological difference between Craig Parisot and his opponent is manifestly different and we are about to find that out.  So what is an effective use of our time?  And what would provide the biggest bang for our buck?  I hope the answer is obvious.

 

As for talk radio, I wasn’t listening on Monday night; I was in a public meeting that included two candidates for office in 2015.  However I would surmise that the air was being whipped up to drive people to the phones to call their respective Congressman to oppose John Boehner.  Again – I don’t care what your view on the Boehner issue is – we had an election on Tuesday.  You, me, and all of Virginia would have been better served to call folks in Virginia’s 34th District to get them out on Tuesday and vote.  I’ve listened to a lot of talk radio – believe me – but I’ve never heard any of these hosts say “Okay, now you know why we need conservatives in office, now turn off your radio and get to work.”  I don’t know where the “bunker” is – but wouldn’t it be the ultimate in irony to find out is was in Virginia’s 34th House of Delegates District?

 

Perhaps I’ve said it crudely, or assaulted favored icons – but we are taking our collective eyes off the ball.  The democrats aren’t beating us, we’re beating ourselves.  It might be more fun to give a Hill staffer an earful than it would be banging on your neighbor’s door to ask for their vote – but I can tell you which one is ultimately more effective.

 

BREAKING: Candland Announces He Will Seek Re-election As Gainesville Supervisor, Passes on PWC Chairman Challenge

Gainesville Dist. Supervisor Pete Candland announced tonight that he will run for reelection rather than seek the county chairmanship in a GOP primary against incumbent Corey Stewart. Candland stated that he will seek to build a 5-vote coalition on the Board to change the course of government in Prince William County and will endorse in other races, including challengers to incumbents.

More to come…

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School Board Member Betty Covington has an opponent !! PWC 2015

Potomac District School board member, and 50 year veteran of PWCS faces a challenge after two terms of being unopposed.

Here is the full story at http://www.northernvatimes.com/news/wilk-challenges-covington-for-school-board-seat

 

Betty Covington has dedicated her life to the school system, and should have no issues being re-elected.

 

 

 

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The Need to Build a Bench an OP-ED by Austin Haynes

I had the opportunity to have breakfast a couple of days ago with the leaders of the Prince William Republican Committee Bill Card and DJ Jordan.  They have been terrific stewards, leading to strong Republican victories and a very stable committee.  Part of the conversation, as would be expected turned to who was running for what and who was thinking of running.  Very typical for a couple of folks associated through politics.  This led me to mention the constant need for building a bench.

We as Republicans have to look to the future as we build our local committees and advise on possible appointments.  We have to give our next generation of leaders an opportunity to learn and experience local government.  There needs to be a strategic plan to encourage young Republicans to get involved and to give them opportunities to grow.  We need to encourage them to seek appointments to various committees and commissions on the local level.  We need to mentor them in how to raise funding, how to build a grassroots organization, and how to present a professional image both in public and online.

This is important as one generation begins to step aside and the next begins to serve.  We are starting to see this already in Prince William County as Jeanine Lawson takes reins as the new Brentsville Supervisor, and Tim Singstock seeks to replace Milt Johns as Chairman of the School Board.  We have Jim Riley, Terrence Boulden, DJ Jordan, and Willie Deutsch preparing for future possible political runs.  As I write this, I am seeking election as Clerk of the Circuit Court and these guys make me feel old, but excited for our party at the same time.  As Supervisors, Delegates, Senators, and other elected officials step up to the next level or decide to leave office, it is important that we have someone qualified ready to take over.  One way to get these folks ready is to encourage our elected officials to appoint these future leaders to committees and commissions.

We know we have elected officials with a desire to move up to state and national political opportunities, now would be a good time to start getting our bench ready.

Austin Haynes

Chairman

Prince William Planning Commission

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It’s time to Focus Virginia. Op-Ed from Bill Card

I was at a Christmas Party recently that included a fairly diverse group of revelers.  It usually doesn’t take long for me to get identified as the local top Republican.  I don’t mind, I’m proud of the role and I like having the opportunity to chat about us even in social situations.  I relish breaking the social taboo in that regard.

A fellow partier discovered what I do and said “you guys have to do something about those RINOs (Republicans In Name Only).”  I get that a lot.  “Who in particular might you be speaking of?”  I asked that question though 98% of the time I get the same response – “John Boehner!”  Yep – this time too.

I’m sorry sir; you are suffering from acute Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS) – an obsessive disorder caused by too much Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin.  Turn off your radio and you will be on your way to recovery.

I suppose that’s the problem when your home town newspaper is The Washington Post.  Everyone is boiling the ocean all of the time.  A statement attributed to our Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors about how lifting any limit on tax increases might effect this guy’s life soon – but he was focused on poor, beleaguered John Boehner.  I told him what I tell every Virginian – “If Boehner is your problem, sell your house, move to Ohio and work to get rid of him.”  (Quizzical look follows)  That’s right – you can’t do anything about John freaking Boehner from Woodbridge, Virginia and you need to stop obsessing about him.  Virginia voters need to surround Boehner with conservative Virginians – that’s how we effect the situation.

There are people out there that are stunned and think I’ve lost my mind.  But try this.  Send a letter to John Boehner’s office.  You will get a response from your Congressman.  That’s right – John Boehner’s not terribly concerned with what you think – he will assume that you’re stupid and pass the letter to your Congressman.

We are in for a helluva year in 2015 and we better all put our Boehner blinders on and focus on what’s important.  Every office from Soil and Water Commission, School Board, County Supervisor, House of Delegate Members, State Senators, Sheriff, County Clerk and Commonwealth Attorney.  This election better command every one’s attention.

Rather than feed our Boehner Derangement Syndrome (BDS), we had better be tuned into our local news and the blogosphere.  Check out some old supervisor’s meetings (http://www.pwcgov.org/government/bocs/Pages/Meeting-Room.aspx) or better yet, get down there and take in some meetings.  We had better pay attention to what our school board member is (or isn’t) saying.  After being held for nearly 40 years by democrat Chuck Colgan – we have a legitimate shot at the 29th Virginia Senate seat.  That’s huge.  The current Commonwealth Attorney has been in office for a staggering 45+ years and we have a legitimate shot at recovering that office for “we the people.”  Your Delegate and Senator is running in 2015, do you know what they have been up to?

Time to engage – right here in Prince William County.  The battle is in your backyard, you don’t have to cross the Occoquan or Rappahannock River to be part of next year’s victories.

 

Bill Card is the fantastic Chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee

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It’s official Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman is running for State Senate

After much Speculation over the last month the popular Mayor today made it official :

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday, December 29, 2014

 Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman Announces Run for 36th State Senate Seat

Says Richmond needs fresh voices & strong leadership to move the state forward

 

DUMFRIES, VA – Dumfries, December 29, 2014 – Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman announced his intention to run for State Senate in the 36th District today, saying fresh voices and strong leadership is needed to move the state forward.

 

“We need politicians who will roll up their sleeves and work collaboratively to find creative solutions to problems facing the state,” said Mayor Foreman.  “Being an effective elected official is about knowing when to stand your ground and when to find common ground. We must never forget that we represent our districts and the people who call them home.”

 

“Elected officials representing Northern Virginia must maximize resources, deliver effective services and ensure that their priorities are aligned,” continued Mayor Foreman.  “I pledge to be a powerful advocate for the common interests of Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties. We need officials in Richmond who will pass legislation based on merit not on partisan politics. Regardless of party affiliation, the men and women representing this region must discuss and support each other’s goals for the betterment of their shared constituents.  That kind of coordination doesn’t happen on accident; it requires strong leadership.”

 

Foreman said he looked forward to outlining his plans to address the issues facing Northern Virginia in the coming weeks and months, and urged voters to visit his campaign website (www.gmforemansenate36va.com) often to learn more about his views and ideas.  Likewise, he plans an aggressive social media presence that provides voters a platform to share their ideas with him.

 

“I am a pretty simple and straightforward person.  I will do my best to avoid one-way political speeches and instead seek two-way conversations where there is a free exchange of ideas and solutions” said Mayor Foreman, “Anyone who has followed my time in Dumfries knows that I don’t pretend to be perfect, but they will also tell you that I always tell the complete truth and you will know where I stand.  As a Marine, I was taught that doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and that solving difficult problems requires leading from the front and taking responsibility.”

 

Mayor Foreman is a United States Marine Corps veteran with twenty-five years of service.  Foreman is currently an Aviation Consultant with the Department of Homeland Security.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University and his Master’s Degree in Aviation Science from Everglades University in Florida.  Foreman was first elected to Dumfries Town Council in 2010 and elected and re-elected Mayor in 2012 and 2014, respectively.  He and his wife Carmella have one daughter and a son-in-law.

 

GM Foreman Senate

 

Another Day, Another Thrashing for Corey Stewart

Since Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart floated the idea of eliminating the cap on real estate tax increases, not a day has gone by without a well-deserved thrashing from his one-time supporters. Here is today’s…

Chairman Stewart: 

In 2006 you strongly opposed Brentswood (the predecessor of the pending Stone Haven and Prince William Station residential developments.)  You pointed out then and for a year or so afterward that “when we approve large developments, we are essentially approving a tax increase” and that the county’s housing boom has “hurt the average person”.  (See: attachment and  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f8XDSKrNzs).  BUT NOT LONG THEREAFTER YOU REVERSED COURSE 180 DEGREES AND BEGAN RELENTLESSLY CHAMPIONING RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPER CAUSES, including Avendale and Stone Haven, as well as a major change in direction beginning 2009-10 by the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on land use that seemed to allow development virtually “anywhere, anytime” and allowed fast-tracked approval of developer land use requests.  (See: http://pwcbg.org/SupervisorPositions.html#FastTracking)

You also talked in 2007 about how you’d been “socking it to the development community.”  BUT NOT LONG THEREAFTER YOU BEGAN AGGRESSIVELY SEEKING DEVELOPER MONEY.  (See:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f8XDSKrNzs).  At last count you’d received $759,841 from them.  (See: http://vpap.org).

AND NOW, per the 11 December 2014 InsideNova report below, YOU NOT ONLY HAVE APPARENTLY LOST INTEREST IN RESTRAINING TAX RATES, BUT ARE BLAMING COUNTY BUDGET SHORTFALLS, PARTICULARLY SCHOOL SHORTFALLS, ON PW COUNTY TAXPAYERS’ RELUCTANCE (AND INABILITY IN MANY CASES) TO PAY HIGHER TAXES.  In so doing, you have truly retreated to one of the last refuges of political scoundrels:  If only the taxpayers were more generous and the government had more and more money, everything would be so much better — and we wouldn’t have overcrowded schools, etc.  Apparently, taxpayers paying 30-40% of their income in federal, state, and local taxes and fees is not enough for you.  I’m sure it’s very frustrating to you that taxpayers are hesitant to give you more money so you can:  cover up your own policy mistakes of the last 5-6 years, keep giving indirect subsidies to residential developers, and in turn receive more and more campaign funding from developers to further your faltering statewide political ambitions.

It’s interesting that in recent years you have not publicly made mention, in fact have assiduously avoided any mention of the main reason for overcrowded public schools (and roads, for that matter):  consistently tax-negative residential development, caused by you and your predecessors’ pro-residential developer policies that simultaneously overcrowd and underfund both schools and roads and neglect tax-positive commercial development.  (For more info, see:  http://pwcbg.org/SupervisorPositions.html#Proffers and http://pwcbg.org/MediaReportsOnBalancedGrowth.html#Reports .)  

Note that early next year Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) plans to release updated 2015 budget figures on tax-negative residential development.  While a few numbers will change, we expect that the basic story will remain more or less unchanged:  The breakeven value of new houses (where taxes received from the house equal the cost of government services incurred by the house) has been about $450,000, while the average new house sells for about $330,000.  That leaves a tax gap of $120,000 multiplied by the current tax rate of 1.25%, meaning that on average each new house built has been $1,400-$1,500 tax negative per year.  While tax rates change and it looks like the average house is selling for a bit more now (though that trend could reverse if the percentage of townhouses in new housing rises), the breakeven value has also risen.  So we expect that the tax gap will remain similar, likely resulting in at least a $1,200 tax deficit per house per year. 

Highly overvalued developer proffers of empty and often worthless land do not help much in reversing the tax-negative trend.  (See Word attachment above.)

In other words, OVERALL, RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IS OVERWHELMINGLY TAX-NEGATIVE, AND THAT REALITY DOES GREAT HARM TO TAXPAYERS, SCHOOLS, ROADS, QUALITY OF LIFE, AND THE VALUE OF EXISTING HOMES.  Let me remind you that this is the very point that PWCBG has been making to you and the rest of the Board of County Supervisors for almost nine years now.   Surely you could not have failed to hear us all those countless times during that period when we’ve spoken to you directly in person at BOCS meetings or, along with hundreds of citizens, sent e-mails to you reminding you over and over again of all this.  Or perhaps, more to the point, YOUR DESPERATE PLEA BELOW FOR HIGHER TAXES CONCEDES PWCBG’S POINT, IN A BACKHANDED, PERVERSE WAY.

Compounding folly on top of folly, county officials such as you continue to advocate more and more of this tax-negative, taxpayer-subsidized housing — even though there are still ~30,000 approved-but-not-yet-built houses and no housing shortages in the county.

Nor have you or the School Board mentioned the $37-38 million dollars diverted to the school board’s Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center and other frills that were funded even before the basic needs of schools were met.

Your political “principles” change so quickly and so radically that you’re giving me political whiplash.  Let’s hope that your next change is either in the right political direction once and for all or to the political exits.

Ralph Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

John Gray Calls Out Corey Stewart’s “Survey His Office Conducted For Political Purposes”

John Gray, a past candidate for Prince Willaim County Occoquan Dist. Supervisor and County Chairman, has taken note of some interesting language used by PWC Chairman Corey Stewart in a recent article and is now filing a FOIA request for additional details…

Ms. Horan: In an article published in yesterday’s (Thursday December 11, 2014) edition of Inside Nova titled “Prince William leader floats idea of eliminating real-estate tax cap”, in the third paragraph of the article, Chairman Corey Stewart is reported to have told the reporter Jill Palermo “….as well as a separate survey his office conducted for political purposes….”

Under the authority of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700) I am requesting the following:

1. A complete, unabridged and un-redacted copy of that “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes” to which the Chairman refers in the article.

2. Copies, if available, of any time records indicating time spent by Office of the Chairman County employee staff in conducting that “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes”.

3. Copies, if available, of any reimbursement requested by the Chairman in his capacity as Chairman, on behalf of The Chairman’s campaign or by the Chairman himself individually and personally from the County for this “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes”.

4. Copies of any invoices submitted by and paid, accrued or encumbered to any commercial, non-profit or political organization to the County for the services rendered by any organization (commercial, non-profit or political) in conducting this survey.

5. Quotation as to competent legal authority that allows the Chairman’s office to conduct and expend county taxpayer funds for the “separate survey his office conducted for political purposes” AND competent legal authority for the Chairman’s office for directing his staff to conduct this separate survey for political purposes without the consent or knowledge of the entire PWC Board of County Supervisors.

Respectfully Submitted,

John S. Gray CPA PC

Scott Jacobs Campaign Still Claiming GOP Label; PWC GOP Notifies Him of His Ouster

In a comment to a post on The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County, a voter in PWC’s Brentsville District states that he/she received

a call from [Brentsville Dist. supervisor candidate Scott] Jacob’s campaign a couple of days ago and they said he was the Republican candidate [in the Dec. 23 special election]. I told the caller I thought Jeanine Lawson was the Republican nominee. The caller said Lawson was “another” Republican.

To which another commenter replied:

Lawson might be THE Republican nominee but Jacobs is still a Republican and therefore a Republican candidate.

That is incorrect. In Virginia, since voters do not register by party, one can only be a member of a party by joining your local party committee. Jacobs, by running as an independent against a Republican nominee, automatically ousted himself from membership in the local county party when he “violated the letter and spirit of the agreement” he made when he joined the party. Therefore, he is not “still” a Republican.

To that end, the Prince William County Republican Committee took action on Nov. 24 and the meeting attendees unanimously voted that he be dropped from the committee. An official letter from county Republican chairman Bill Card detailing the circumstances and proceedings was emailed to Mr. Jacobs on Dec. 8 and a hard copy is being mailed to him today. You may view the letter here.

Mr. Jacobs is obliged to inform his campaign staff that they need to cease and desist any claims that he is a Republican candidate in their communications with voters. To continue to do so would perpetuate an image of dishonesty.

Agenda 2015: A Plan to Reform Prince William County Government

Two weeks from tomorrow, Dec. 23, voters in Prince William County’s Brentsville District head to the polls in a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Supervisor Wally Covington (R) who has been confirmed by the Virginia General Assembly for a judgeship in the county. Virginia Virtucon’s endorsed candidate, Jeanine Lawson, is looking very strong in the run-up to election day and we have high hopes that she will join Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland and Occoquan Supervisor Mike May as another voice for the county’s taxpayers on the Board.

Candland and May were the only two supervisors to vote against the 5-year, 22.5%+ tax increase that passed the Board earlier this year. In a good news / bad news item, May has decided to run for Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2015. While we will finally be gaining someone in that office far superior to the current occupant whose abilities we have long questioned, we will be losing May from the Board of Supervisors where he has served with distinction. The addition of Lawson will at the very least help maintain the status quo for advocates of good government.

In deference to Mrs. Lawson’s campaign, I am holding off on making any announcements about my political future until after the first of the year so as to not detract any attention from where it should be these next two weeks. We need to do all that we can over the next 15 days to ensure that Jeanine Lawson is the next supervisor from the Brentsville District.

Why is it so important that we elect Lawson and others who share this basic good government philosophy? Because good governance ultimately benefits all citizens regardless of party, race, gender or current economic situation and that is the primary function of local government. We need people willing to commit to reforming our county government because we cannot keep going in the same direction that we have been for the past two decades in Prince William County — taxes are up, schools are more crowded, traffic is worse and businesses are bypassing us for Loudoun and Stafford counties. That is not good for anyone (unless you live in Loudoun or Stafford.)

This is why I have drafted “Agenda 2015: A Plan to Reform Prince William County Government.” Agenda 2015 is a series of common sense proposals aimed at solving our county’s current tax, spending, budget, education, economic, transportation, governance and ethics problems. By no means is this a panacea for these issues, but the start of what I hope is a long conversation that must be held in order to move forward on developing and implementing workable solutions. We cannot wait until after next year’s elections to start this discussion with new people, but must begin it now.

 

AGENDA 2015:

A PLAN TO REFORM PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY GOVERNMENT

 

INSTITUTE “ACCOUNTABILITY BUDGETING”

This twist on zero-based budgeting sets clear measurable goals, verifies progress, and makes adjustments as necessary.  Not only would agencies and departments have to justify every dollar they request each year rather than start from the previous year’s baseline and grow from there, but requests for funds must be accompanied by specific measurable goals against which progress can be ascertained.  This will allow for future budgets to make adjustments based upon what works and what doesn’t work. Perhaps if the county budgeted according to such straightforward principles, residents would not be facing a 4.5% tax hike for FY ’15 and a massive 22.5%+ tax increase over the coming 5 years.

 

MAKE REDUCING CLASS SIZES AND INCREASING TEACHER PAY A PRIORITY

The Board of Supervisors currently hands over nearly 60% of all tax revenues to the school system via a revenue sharing agreement, yet our classrooms remain the most crowded in the Commonwealth and our teachers are among the lowest paid in the region. The revenue sharing agreement must be scrapped and the supervisors should ask the school board members to put together a budget that sets as its priorities: 1.) reducing class sizes, and 2.) increasing teacher pay. The school board can then do this as they see fit, present their plan to the county supervisors who then have the option to approve the budget or ask the School Board to make additional changes before approval. That would ensure the school board’s legal autonomy while also maintaining the board’s oversight for nearly 60% of our tax dollars. That certainly makes much more sense than what we have now – a backwards process where the supervisors hand the money over first and then relinquish all oversight responsibility.

 

REFORM THE COUNTY’S TAX STRUCTURE

Fundamental reform of our tax structure in Prince William County is needed in order to protect taxpayers as well as to ensure the county’s future economic development and prosperity. We should be upfront about what taxes the county collects. County taxes on electricity, telephone service (both landline and cell), and cable as well as the personal property tax decal fee should be abolished and be made transparent by utilizing real estate taxes to raise the same revenue instead. Likewise, special assessments for fire, gypsy moth eradication and other services should be included in the real estate tax, not separated out. By doing these two things, taxpayers would know precisely how much they truly are paying in taxes and would also be able to deduct the full amount from their federal taxes.

 

REFORM THE COUNTY’S CAR TAX

We need to reform the county’s personal property tax, which is one of the most onerous taxes that we have to pay. Every October residents get hit with a bill that they must pay in a lump sum unlike the real estate tax that most people pay each month via payments to an escrow account as part of their mortgage. This is unconscionable and the portion that taxpayers must pay should be eliminated. Since the state reimburses the county for a portion of the car tax and we should not forgo that, the county should credit taxpayers with the amount they would owe on the tax with money paid by them in real estate taxes. Even renters indirectly pay real estate tax by way of the rent they pay to the property owner, so everyone would be paying their share in one way or another. Simply put, just as the phone or cable company has been able to bundle your phone, TV and internet into one package for a single price, the county should bundle all the revenue that it needs to raise into one tax and eliminate the rest. It will be simple, fair and easy to understand as well as beneficial to taxpayers.

 

IMPROVE THE COMMERCIAL-TO-RESIDENTIAL TAX RATIO

Our county’s tax base remains disproportionately residential resulting in a heavier than necessary tax burden on homeowners.  The county has not even been able to meet the all-too-modest goal of a 75% / 25% residential to commercial split – and that includes counting apartment complexes as commercial property rather than residential. The continuous rezoning of commercial property to residential, which is the heart of the tax ratio problem, can no longer go on unabated. The Board of Supervisors should adopt a rezoning “swap” policy where commercial property may only be rezoned for residential if an equal amount of unused residentially-zoned property is converted to commercial use. At the same time, policies must be put in place to attract businesses to the county that will offer high quality jobs rather than simply more hospitality and retail sector positions.

 

ELIMINATE BPOL

The Business, Professional, and Occupational License or BPOL tax (which is a relic of the War of 1812) is on gross receipts, not actual income. Stafford County’s elimination of their BPOL tax is something that their economic development department has used to great effect in luring high-end businesses that might otherwise have located in Prince William County. As a result, Prince William County attracts low-wage retail and hospitality industries as its primary employers while Stafford and Loudoun counties struggle to keep up with the demand for office space from high-end, good paying private sector employers.

 

STREAMLINE THE COUNTY’S PERMITTING AND INSPECTION BUREAUCRACY

The county bureaucracy responsible for issuing building permits and conducting inspections is riddled with problems ranging from lost site plans for parcels of land to ridiculously high fees for permits to do something as minor as moving a fire sprinkler head a few feet to accommodate the reconfiguration of commercial office space. When it is easier to obtain a building permit for a house in the county than it is for a simple outdoor covered structure that has no walls, doors, windows, power or plumbing, there is something drastically wrong. When new businesses have their openings delayed by several months because of this bureaucracy, resulting in lost wages for employees and lost tax revenue for the county, it should be a priority for the Board of Supervisors to fix the process.

 

SHINE MOONLIGHT ON BOARD PROCEEDINGS

Our Board of County Supervisors is supposed to be a part-time position and represent the typical county citizen. Due to the county’s lack of quality employment, many residents must travel to other parts of Northern Virginia or into Washington, DC for their jobs. Most people have 9-to-5 types of jobs, yet too often our county supervisors hide in broad daylight by way of afternoon meetings that citizens cannot attend without taking time off from work. As a result, a majority of current supervisors are either self-employed or retired because they are the only ones who can participate. In order to encourage better civic involvement, both in terms of residents attending meetings to have their voices heard as well as encouraging them to serve on the board themselves, all meetings should be held during the evening.

 

INCREASE EFFICIENCY OF BOARD MEETINGS

Establish four board committees: Finance, Government Services and Operations; Transportation and Land Use; Economic Development; and Joint Schools/BOCS. Items would be introduced before the full Board and then the Board would have the option of sending them to committee for a more in depth discussion and study. The committees would have 3-5 members, meet monthly, and make recommendations to the full Board. During the budget process, Finance would hold additional meetings and work out a Capital Improvement Plan for adoption by the full Board using different metrics on things such as debt capacity, load, ratios, etc. This will serve to make BOCS Business Meetings more efficient and more focused on making decisions as opposed to exploration and/or oversight.

 

ADOPT STRONGER CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND ETHICS RULES

Our current Board has been plagued by numerous scandals with one of the most egregious being the use of taxpayers’ money in the form of office discretionary funds that were used instead for personal and political purposes. While this has been reined in somewhat, other avenues for abuse of our tax dollars still exist including the budget carryover process. The ethics and conflict of interest statutes that currently only apply to Loudoun and Fairfax counties must be extended by the General Assembly to cover Prince William County as well. Our county should be at the forefront of lobbying for this change and until it is instituted should put in place rules that mirror it.

 

IMPLEMENT COST-EFFECTIVE MASS TRANSIT

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can be implemented at a fraction of the cost of extending Metro, providing more immediate service and getting customers where they need to go much faster than Metro ever could.

The county needs to better publicize the OmniRide Metro Direct service (prominent Metro Direct signs at pick-up locations and recognizable signs on the buses like the DC Circulator would help).  BRT can serve the needs of people to connect with Metro now at a fraction of the cost.  The service should be tweaked – the buses could go directly to Metro stations in Fairfax from their origination point in Prince William and the departure/arrival stations could be prominently located close to entrances for the EZPass Express lanes on I-95 or the I-66 HOV lanes. This would also enable the county to avoid becoming a member of the Metro system and paying millions of dollars each year for system-wide maintenance of Metro that would gut the county’s transportation budget.

 

 

Corey Stewart Versus………????

Chairman Stewart has all but announced his intentions to run for reelection, holding his annual Fall fundraiser last month. Chairman Stewart who is a powerhouse at fundraising has the advantage of name recognition, and the power of incumbency.

However Corey has caught some slack lately, and has been painted as a tax raiser. In fact, in one Board meeting fellow Supervisor Democrat Frank Principi proclaimed:

Corey you’re looking more and more like a democrat everyday

No doubt if there is a challenge mounted against Corey, he will be painted as going too far left, and abandoning his Conservative base.

Enter Supervisor Pete Candland, who according to sources met on Saturday morning with several well-known political players who approached him about running against PWC board Chairman Corey Stewart. They represented several conservative groups who were upset over Corey Stewarts running of the board, and more specifically his financial policies.

Furthermore they have committed to financially backing Supervisor Candland if he decides to challenge Chairman Stewart.

Supervisor Candland is said to be discussing this possible venture with several other local activists and most importantly analyzing the impact of a county wide campaign on his family.

Whoever the nominee on the GOP side will be, they will likely face liberal activist Rick Smith. Grab your Popcorn folks this is getting interesting.

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Scott Jacobs’ Statement of Economic Interests Makes for Interesting Reading

Scott Jacobs, the Republican-turned-Independent candidate for Brentsville Dist. supervisor in Prince William County, has filed his Statement of Economic Interests as a candidate (see here and here). It appears that once again, just as his sloppy handling of a simple filing fee cost him the chance to compete for the GOP nomination, Mr. Jacobs put his incompetence on display once again with this filing (and perhaps revealed an intriguing issue with the county’s assessment system.)

While The Derecho has already delved into these statements and discovered some interesting things of his own (with one correction – it is the 12923 Fitzwater parcel that is not listed on the statements submitted by Jacobs), there are other things to pick apart here as well.

Let’s take a closer look —

13460 Nokesville Rd. LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
.89 acres of Vacant land
Zoned agricultural
Assessed for $3500 in 2014
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 3/5/2014 for $50,000

12814/16 Fitzwater Dr. Zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
1 home and 1 commercial building (formerly Nokesville Flowers) on .8679 acres
Purchased 10/14/2010 for $330,000 (I think it was a short sale)
Property was purchased and still is held under Scott and Kim Jacobs
Assessed in 2014 for $390,100

This property fronts the large undeveloped tract known as Hale Farm (owned by real estate investors since late 90’s, including Bob Sowder). The Hale property is a huge property along the railroad tracks that the owners want to develop with high density housing and a VRE station

Then things really become interesting in January 2012 when Scott was appointed by Wally Covington to the Prince William County Strategic Plan Committee. As a member of the committee, Jacobs received briefings on various future county plans functions including transportation – specifically VRE and transit.

After the Prince William Strategic Plan Committee transportation briefing in November 2012, Scott Jacobs purchased the following properties along the railroad tracks in Nokesville at the location of the proposed future Nokesville VRE:

12917 Fitzwater Dr. SFH on .5583 acres, Zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased 9/27/12 for $240,000
Property was bought by Scott and Kim Jacobs but sold for $330,000 to 7/30/14 to Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC, which made Scott and his wife $90,000 for the two years they held the property.
Assessed in 2014 for $234,500
Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC. Was formed 7/2/14
The registered agent is Nicholas Jacobs (Scott’s brother) but there could be multiple others in the LLC
Because the property is listed on Scott Jacob’s Schedule H-2 of his Statement of Economic Interests as one of his properties, that means Scott and/or his wife Kimberly are also partners in Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC.

12523 Marsteller Dr. Vacant lot 1.0 acres, zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 11/1/2012 for $30,000
Assessed in 2014 for $22,200

12615 Marsteller Dr. Vacant lot 1.0 acres, zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 11/1/2012 for $30,000
Assessed in 2014 for $22,200

12923 Fitzwater SFH on .4851 acres, Zoned General Business NOT LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased 8/1/2014 by Scott and Kim Jacobs for $270,000
Assessed in 2014 for $207,700
Scott has told people he is going to relocate his growing real estate business to this house.

All the Fitzwater lots would be in the section of Nokesville that Scott wants to develop and make walkable with shops and restaurants.
The Marsteller lots are alongside the railroad tracks where the Nokesville VRE would be built if it was put into the transportation plan.

Properties outside PWC:
120/230 Executive Center Parkway Fredericksburg, VA LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2

With the exception of 12814/16 Fitzwater Dr. parcel, each of the properties Jacobs owns in Prince William county are assessed for lower than what he paid for them even though some of these parcels were purchased at times when the real estate market in the county was further depressed than it is today. Since the county assesses real estate every year and it bases values on the sale prices of nearby properties, why does Jacobs appear to be getting such a discount on his property taxes via the curiously lower assessment values?

So, in addition to “forgetting” to disclose his most recent property purchase made on Aug. 1 of this year on these filings made on Oct. 20, one has to wonder if Jacobs is getting some sort of preferential treatment (a “Friends and Family Discount”?) from the county on his property taxes thanks to their current assessment values vis-a-vis their actual purchase prices.

Police Pop PWC Planning Post Perv

InsideNOVA is reporting that Prince William County’s (apparently now former) assistant planning director Ray Utz was arrested Wed., Nov. 19 on charges of indecent exposure after police received not one, but TWO calls from women reporting that a man driving a vehicle registered to Utz was exposing himself to them at stoplights in Woodbridge and Lake Ridge. He was officially charged with “two counts of indecent exposure and two counts of obscene sexual display.”

Readers of Virginia Virtucon may recall that Virtucon has been writing about Utz’s alleged sexual harassment issues for 5 1/2 years, so the fact that he has been arrested on such charges is not the least bit surprising.

See:

     EXCLUSIVE! – PWC Planning Office Sexual Harassment Scandal EXPOSED!    – 6/4/09

     GUEST POST: Latest Ray Utz Scandal    – 3/13/11

     Culture of Corruption Continues – PWC Fills High-Level Position Without A Competitive Search    – 7/8/14

(My, how prescient that first headline “PWC Planning Office Sexual Harassment Scandal EXPOSED!” was in light of these charges…)

We have detailed sexual harassment claims against Utz dating back to as early as 2006 via a memo written to then-Planning Commissioner Kim Hosen by women who attended an April 23, 2008 Planning Commission meeting who were appalled by Utz’s treatment of her during the meeting and alluded to conditions allegedly faced by female employees in his office over the course of the previous two years. In addition, we published a January 26, 2009 letter to the Prince William County’s Human Resources Dept. detailing “the indignity, humiliation, abuse and non-professional experience [women] have suffered working at the Planning Office under Ray Utz” and that goes on to allege various abuses and unethical behavior in detail as well as corroborating statements and information for the allegations contained in the memo to Hosen.

If these past allegations and the new charges prove to be true, then this would seem to indicate an escalation in this man’s behavior to the point this week where he had become so reckless that he was daring to be caught. He was arrested after he was alleged to have done this during the middle of the day at the intersection of Gideon Drive and Smoketown Road in Woodbridge and the Old Bridge Road at Mohican Drive intersection in Lake Ridge. That would seem to be the sign of a sick, sick individual if this is accurate.

Perhaps just as disturbing as his alleged behavior over the years is the fact that Prince William County was made aware of these problems in 2008 and again in 2009. Not only did they do nothing about it (other than sweep it under the rug and cover it up), but they chose to keep him on staff and then promote him to a plum position without engaging in a competitive search for the post despite both county board Chairman Corey Stewart and County Exec. Melissa Peacor claiming that all vacancies are publicly advertised and filled competitively. Utz was already one of the county’s highest paid employees earning in excess of $100,000 in his previous position before his promotion.

In light of the lengthy public record of allegations against Utz and now his arrest, Stewart and Peacor must be made to answer for their decisions regarding Utz and be held accountable for their actions as well.

Voters should not renominate nor return Stewart to the chairmanship in 2015 (nor should they elect Democrat Rick Smith – formerly known as the blogger “Mitch Cumstein” in the early days of Virginia Virtucon and on the old Too Conservative blog – as he is chairman of the taxpayer boondoggle known as the Hylton Perfoming Arts Center that is at the center of a whole other set of county scandals, but that is another story for another day.)

An interesting aside – according to the InsideNOVA article, Prince William County’s assistant planning director chose to live not in Prince William County, but in Fredericksburg despite being one of the county’s highest paid employees and being able to afford to live in PWC. Obviously he either knows something that the rest of us don’t or else he knows what a lot of us already do and that our county property taxes are too high and our county government wastes our tax dollars with reckless abandon. My guess is that it is a little of both.

 

PWC-Loudoun Split Politically For First Time In Modern Era

I noticed something very interesting in last week’s election results. For the first time in at least 20 years, Prince William County and Loudoun County split in how they voted for the top of the ticket. While Ed Gillespie narrowly carried Loudoun County by about 0.5%, Mark Warner carried PWC by almost 3%. I have reviewed the top of the ticket for every statewide race in Virginia going all the way back to 1996 and this is the first instance of this occurring. As our friend “The Derecho” pointed out last week in his post-election summary, the approval of several high density developments in Prince William County by the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors has ironically led the county to becoming more Democratic in its leanings. As he wrote:

It would be ironic however if the greatest source of campaign funds to several of our GOP Supervisors ultimately led to the loss of their seats as their districts become more dense and more blue.

I have been sounding the warning on this for years (and most recently predicted this outcome in June of this year.) I fear that we may have reached the tipping point now with this year’s election as PWC and Loudoun split. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure this out. Cities and the inner suburbs of many cities tend to vote Democratic. Just look at any map from the past 100 years or so. Why any political body controlled by Republicans would advance land use planning and other policies that would lead to their own political defeat is simply baffling. However, that is exactly what has been taking place in PWC for the past 15 years and has accelerated over the past five or so. More apartments, more townhouses, more condos only bring more Democratic voters.

For a review of the past several statewide elections that were at the top of the ticket and how PWC and Loudoun voted, see below. Given the trendlines, I would not be surprised to find this split becoming permanent.

2014:

Locality – LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
Ed W. Gillespie Republican 45,500 49.08%
Mark R. Warner Democrat 45,042 48.59%

Locality – PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
Ed W. Gillespie Republican 45,366 47.49%
Mark R. Warner Democrat 48,140 50.39%

2013:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
DEM Party Terry R. McAuliffe 44,369 49.55%
REP Party Ken T. Cuccinelli II 40,464 45.19%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
DEM Party Terry R. McAuliffe 50,441 51.94%
REP Party Ken T. Cuccinelli II 42,431 43.69%

2012:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Mitt Romney 75,292 47.03%
Barack Obama 82,479 51.53%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Mitt Romney 74,458 41.32%
Barack Obama 103,331 57.34%

2009:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell 39,996 61.04%
R. Creigh Deeds 25,430 38.81%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell 43,993 58.70%
R. Creigh Deeds 30,847 41.16%

2008:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Barack Obama and Joe Biden 74,845 53.66%
John McCain and Sarah Palin 63,336 45.41%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Barack Obama and Joe Biden 93,435 57.51%
John McCain and Sarah Palin 67,621 41.62%

2006:
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J H Webb Jr Democratic 40,381 50.07%
G F Allen Republican 39,249 48.67%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J H Webb Jr Democratic 44,503 50.51%
G F Allen Republican 42,409 48.13%

2005:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
T M Kaine Democratic 31,074 51.64%
J W Kilgore Republican 27,539 45.76%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
T M Kaine Democratic 33,364 49.95%
J W Kilgore Republican 32,178 48.17%

2004:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 60,382 55.69%
Kerry/Edwards Democratic 47,271 43.60%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 69,776 52.84%
Kerry/Edwards Democratic 61,271 46.40%

2002:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J W Warner Republican 40,196 82.67%
N B Spannaus Independent 4,490 9.23%
J G Hornberger Independent 3,530 7.26%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J W Warner Republican 43,375 81.44%
N B Spannaus Independent 5,660 10.63%
J G Hornberger Independent 4,186 7.86%

2001:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
M L Earley (R) 53.44% 24,372
M R Warner (D) 45.84% 20,907

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
M L Earley (R) 52.35% 30,543
M R Warner (D) 46.79% 27,297

2000:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 42,453 56.12%
Gore/Lieberman Democrat 30,938 40.89%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 52,788 52.52%
Gore/Lieberman Democrat 44,745 44.52%

1997:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
D S BEYER JR (D) 13,697
J S GILMORE III (R) 20,997

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
D S BEYER JR (D) 18,110
J S GILMORE III (R) 32,049

1996:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
CLINTON/GORE (D) 19,942
DOLE/KEMP (R) 25,715

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
CLINTON/GORE (D) 33,462
DOLE/KEMP (R) 39,292

One Out, One In for Coles GOP Primary

Prince William County Republican Committee Vice Chairman D.J. Jordan issued a statement this morning stating he will not be a candidate in the 2015 Republican Primary for Coles District supervisor, a post currently held by Marty Nohe.

Jordan To Forgo A Run For Coles Supervisor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 2, 2014

WOODBRIDGE, VA — D.J. Jordan today released the following statement regarding the 2015 election for Coles Magisterial District Board of County Supervisor:

“I’m extremely honored by the many people who have encouraged me to run for Coles Supervisor, but after much prayer and consideration, I have determined that the timing is not right for me and my family for this particular race. I cannot dedicate myself as fully to a campaign like this as I would like; therefore, I will step aside for others to pursue this election.

“There will be other opportunities for me to seek public office and I look forward to doing so when the time is right. The conservative principles that I believe in will make our community a better place. As an activist, I will continue to advocate for a limited, efficient government that fosters personal freedom, improved quality of life, and opportunity for all.”

###

This news comes just one day after local businessman and lifelong county resident Paul O’Meara filed to run in next year’s GOP primary against Nohe. O’Meara owns Ballsford Kitchens & Bath and is a graduate of Hylton High School. His father founded both Paul O’Meara Construction, Corp. as well as Ballsford Kitchens & Bath. O’Meara was one of the signatories on the petition opposing the Bi-County Parkway submitted to VDOT a year ago and is a donor to Gainesville District supervisor Peter Candland, so those are two pluses in his favor in my book.

All,

This morning I filed as a Candidate for the Coles District Supervisor Office. I have also formed a Candidate Committee, Friends of Paul O’Meara. I know it will be a great deal of work, but I am looking forward to it! As a professional courtesy I have also called each member of the Virginia House and Senate which have portions of their districts lying in the Coles District. Thank you to each of you who have lent advice and support to me leading up to this point. I greatly appreciate any advice and support you may lend during this campaign!

Sincerely,
~Paul

Lawson Unleashes Shock and Awe in Claiming Brentsville GOP Nod

Jeanine Lawson proved the breadth and depth of her support last night in her quest to become the next supervisor representing the Brentsville District on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. After her opponent for the nomination imploded and then bolted to run as an independent, Lawson was left as the sole candidate for the nomination. Despite that fact, 641 registered voters from the Brentsville District turned out on a Wednesday night in early October to support Lawson in what at that point was an uncontested nominating meeting. That is simply amazing — a true show of force or as I would term it, a political shock and awe.

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Following is an excerpt from her acceptance speech:

Thank you! I enthusiastically accept the nomination for the Republican Candidate for Brentsville District Supervisor. Thank you Brentsville voters!!!

I am happy, energized and confident as we move forward to the special election set for December 23rd.

As your Brentsville Supervisor, I will provide transparent, interactive government, I will represent you!

I will make it clear with my land use vote that we need to stop using the failed formula which has resulted in the unacceptable overcrowding of our schools!

I will encourage tax positive development, promote employment friendly policies to attract jobs, use our taxpayer transportation funds on projects which will truly relieve our congested roads and I will look for opportunities to expand usable open space and recreation for our families.

I will always keep the taxpayers’ interest first. I will represent you.

I want to thank my family, my husband Dan and our children, my campaign team and all our volunteers.

I especially want to thank you for attending tonight and for your support and I ask for your vote on December 23rd. THANK YOU!!!

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(Photo courtesy NOVA Digital)

Of the five sitting GOP supervisors on the county board, Lawson has been formally endorsed by three and a fourth has indicated to Virtucon that he will support the party’s nominee. That only leaves Chairman Corey Stewart to weigh-in on this race.

Nohe to Support Lawson for Brentsville Supervisor; Will Stewart Follow?

In case there was any doubt about Coles Dist. Supervisor Marty Nohe’s allegiance to the Republican Party, let’s put that to rest right now. I had the opportunity yesterday to ask Marty about the situation that has developed in the Brentsville race with Scott Jacobs bolting the party to mount an independent campaign leaving Jeanine Lawson as the sole qualified Republican candidate for the nomination. Here is how it played out:

RILEY: Now that Jeanine is the only GOP candidate in the Brentsville race and will officially become the nominee tomorrow night, are you going to issue an endorsement, statement, etc.?

NOHE: Thanks for asking. First of all, let me say that I am not so vain as to think that there is anyone in the Brentsville District who is waiting to decide how to vote in December based on my recommendation. But as a member of the PWC Republican Committee, and a Republican elected official, I always support the Republican nominee.

There you have it. Nohe always supports the Republican nominee and tonight Jeanine Lawson will claim that title at the Brentsville mass meeting. That’s good enough for me.

Now let’s see how long it takes PWC Chairman Corey Stewart to clarify his stance on this race. You can bet that even if he does publicly commit to supporting Lawson as the party’s nominee that people will still keep a very close eye on him to make certain that he is not offering any behind the scenes support or assistance to Jacobs. Given how his 2013 Lt. Gov. campaign played out, such vigilence should not be surprising.