From today’s edition of the Potomac News/Manassas Journal Messenger:
Published: July 24, 2008
As noted in a recent editorial in a nearby national newspaper, it’s been a year since the Board of Supervisors in Prince William County “launched its drive to hound, harass and humiliate illegal immigrants.” The editorial cites what it calls the toxic effects of the board’s resolution against illegal immigration and claims that “across the nation,” our county has become known as an intolerant community.
We have said before that the resolution doesn’t accomplish anything valuable and the machinations necessary to pursue the policy set by that resolution — like all the hoops through which the county police must jump — have certainly put an unnecessary strain the pocketbooks of taxpayers.
But your local paper agrees with the national newspaper that the board’s action is embarrassing for most of us who live here.
It’s not necessarily this newspaper’s job to practice boosterism and, certainly, part of our job is to point out some of the blemishes we see when the community looks in the mirror, but a year after the board’s regrettable move, we thought it might be appropriate to remind ourselves of the county’s attributes of which we can be proud.
So we turned to the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce for some assessments that are far from embarrassing:
1. Our location: We are close the capital of the free world and home to many federal government employees. We have access to good housing and affordable office space.
2. Transportation: Yes, we have issues, but we also have access to three major airports and two smaller ones and a county government that, in the past, has stepped up to build needed some road improvements like the Prince William Parkway and the extended Va. 234.
3. Education: The county is home to a university research and development facility at George Mason and a huge public school system, where teachers work hard to foster success among 72,000 students. (That’s more people than a small city.)
4. Quality of life: We have a couple of symphony orchestras, several community choral groups a thriving theater community, national parks, local parks and — despite the impression left by the
resolution — a diverse population that brings much to any table. We also have a huge heart, demonstrated by ACTS and SERVE and many smaller groups that focus on taking care of those in need.
Yes, that 1-year-old resolution is an ugly zit, but the overall reflection from our mirror shows us a pretty good place to live, work and play.