Meet the Republican nominee for Woodbridge Dist. Supervisor, Steve Chapman, who was endorsed by Board Chairman Corey Stewart in today’s GOP firehouse primary.
As we previously posted the PWC Republican Fire House primary is now just two days away. In our previous post we provided our readers an opportunity to vote for their favorites in the races that will be on the ballot on Saturday in Prince William County.
Surprise, surprise our readers followed our endorsements, well except for the race for BOCS Chairman. Does this mean the campaigns are over? VV endorsed candidates are sure to win on Saturday? NO! Our polls don’t mean a hill of beans for what may transpire on Saturday. We have no way to accurately measure how many voters that participated in our polls can actually vote in any of the elections on Saturday in PWC. While fun to get a sense of what our readers think, and to kill time until election day, polls on blogs don’t mean squat.
The good news . . .it doesn’t appear any candidates or campaigns spent much time or effort trying to win our polls. Hopefully all of the campaigns are doing what they need to be doing right now – contacting voters! People who can actually vote for their candidates and decide PWC’s fate for the next four years. Candidates that spend time worrying about what blog is endorsing them need to reexamine their priorities.
Good luck to all of the candidates on the ballot on Saturday in PWC. Except for a select few, all of the candidates on the ballot on Saturday are worthy of carrying the Republican banner into the November general election.
48 hours candidates – STOP Reading BLOGS and get on the doors and get on the phones!
On Saturday April 25th voters from across the county in Prince William County will be going to the polls to set nominees for the Republican ticket for the fall elections. In what is called a Fire House Primary voters will have from 10am to 3pm to go to designated polling locations to vote for their choice to represent the Republican Party in the November election.
This year’s election in Prince William County is shaping up to be the most exciting election in Prince William County since 2003. With an anti-incumbent sentiment growing in the county otherwise expected shoe-in incumbents are facing strong challenges for their party’s nomination. For Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors Corey Stewart is facing a challenge from newcomer Chris Crawford and in the Coles District Marty Nohe is facing a challenge from Paul O’Meara.
Virginia Virtucon has been watching the races that are on the ballot Saturday and have made our endorsements. Below find all of the candidates on the ballot and our label next to those we find to be the best choice for the future of Prince William County.
|Clerk of Court||
Tell Us what you think about the races in PWC – who would you vote for?
Air Force Veteran (20 years), Community Activist, Dedicated Wife and Mother; Republicans rejoiced when Ruth Anderson decided to jump into the race for Occoquan Supervisor. Ruth faces Don Scoggins for the Republican nomination on April 25th.
Ruth has been someone I have known since I began my sentence in the political arena many years ago, and she is one of the most dedicated of all the people that I know. She will make an awesome Supervisor not only in representing her district but Prince William County as a whole.
The quote on her website represents not only the Republican Party, but what the folks of Prince William County need,” As County Supervisor, my priority will be to protect taxpayers. I believe the people make better choices with their hard-earned money than the government does.”
I encourage my friends and all Republicans to vote for Ruth on April 25th
This post reflects only the view of the blogger
This just in, the Prince William County Board of Elections has denied a request from a handful of Republican candidates to be included on the June 9 state primary ballot after the PWC GOP missed the Feb. 24 filing deadline with the State Board of Elections to request primaries in those races. Some of those candidates are now considering suing to be placed on the ballot in lieu of having to battle it out in so-called firehouse primaries run by the Republican Party.
The candidates impacted by this decision are Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart and Supervisors Maureen Caddigan (Potomac), Peter Candland (Gainesville), Marty Nohe (Coles) and Sheriff Glen Hill. While Candland would probably do even better in a firehouse primary than in a state-run primary if he were challenged, Caddigan and Nohe would be in great danger of losing in such an atmosphere (Nohe faces Paul O’Meara and Caddigan is currently unopposed, but this may draw out a challenger).
Even Stewart faces a greater threat in a party-run nominating contest as he has angered many party regulars with his non-election year antics of tax increases, cronyism and unrestrained residential growth — issues that Chris Crawford is using to go against him for the nomination. Hill’s GOP primary opponent, however, is a perennial candidate who was the right-hand man of the previous Democratic county sheriff.
For a county that likes to talk about “The Rule of Law” quite a bit, these folks make it appear that such a phrase is “for thee, but not for me.” The deadline was missed. There are consequences to that, even if they were not the cause. Furthermore, if one is truly a small government Republican, they he or she should welcome the party running its own nomination process and paying for it rather than saddling the taxpayers with the cost of a state-run primary.
You may recall former candidate for Virginia Delegate Steve Chapman’s disastrous 2006 campaign. We certainly do. In fact, going back through Virtucon’s archives, we’ve found some photos from his kick-off event:
And more here:
Well, Steve Chapman rides again and is now running for Woodbridge Supervisor and wouldn’t you know it, his old nemesis Black Velvet Bruce Li is back as well. Last go round, Chapman sued one of the bloggers behind that site and that case was ultimately dismissed. It appears that didn’t make him any friends with BVBL as it is roaring back with a vengeance with a series of posts about Chapman that starts off with “In today’s installment of Are you smarter than a bag of hammers?”
Go make some popcorn. This is going to be a long show…
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 :
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..
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Prince William Planning Commission
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
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.
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…
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.
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth
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.
John S. Gray CPA PC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.