….MORE insane land use proposals!

Landscape Buffers: Here today, gone tomorrow?

As if the major changes proposed for the Comp Plan weren’t enough, Supervisors will vote on proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance on December 16. One of these changes would weaken our buffer standards for new and existing development. Buffers are strips of land with trees and other plants that separate (buffer) two different land uses, such as roads, strip malls, stormwater facilities and neighborhoods.
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Why it matters who is appointed to Prince William County policy committees!

This recent article in the Potomac Journal, clearly demonstrates, why the qualifications of appointees matter! Robert Doucaster is a symptom of a much larger problem in Prince William County. People appointed to public policy committees are often times selected for political reasons not because they necessarily have the proper experience or judgement for the particular committee!
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Stewart, Stirrup Screw-up Schools – ESOL Numbers Released

On September 30th, the County did a final head count of their student population only to discover that any supposed ‘savings’ based on Chairman Stewart’s and Supervisor Stirrup’s ‘Immigration Resolution’ will be neglible AND now because of that miscalculation we are short millions of dollars in our school budget!

Update: According to the School system, they will be able to adjust their budget and all students will continue to receive the same level of services.

Here are the numbers from the Prince William County Schools.

Per your request, here’s the ESOL information from our Sept. 30, 2008 student enrollment count of 73,657:

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) 14.8% funded [ie receiving direct instruction]; 17.8% Total ESOL

Regarding the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) student enrollment: Total School Division enrollment increased from Sept 30, 2007 to Sept 30, 2008 by 1,003 students for a revised total of 73,657 (336 over projection). During the same period, total ESOL student enrollment decreased from 13,409 to 13,130 or 279 students. Please note that the number of ESOL students classified in a “monitor” status and whom are monitored, but otherwise do not receive direct services decreased from 2,203 to 2,201 for a reduction of 2 students. The number of ESOL students receiving direct instructional services decreased from 11,206 to 10,929 for a decrease of 277 students.

However, it is important to note that during the FY 2009 budget process, the School Division base budget was reduced to reflect the decreases in student enrollment (and associated costs), including students receiving ESOL services, that were realized during the last school year. The September 30, 2008 actual enrollment for ESOL of 13,130, is 527 students greater than the 12,603 students included in the FY 2009 Approved Budget. The number of ESOL students receiving direct instructional services increased from 10,400 to 10,929 for an increase of 529 students. The School Division must now address the additional cost of these 529 ESOL students, without a commensurate increase in County funding.

Please contact me if I can be of additional assistance.

Note: The emphasis in the last paragraph is mine and did not come from the County.

Dominion Powerline Hinges on Pennsylvania

The State Corporation Commission yesterday agreed that there was a ‘need’ for a 500Kv powerline to run through Virginia. Now the construction of the line hinges on the decision of Pennsylvania judges who have atleast temporarily put a halt its construction through their state based on the argument that the line is not needed but rather is a mechanism to increase profits for the power company.

Dominion originally proposed a path that traversed the Virginia countryside, appropriately described by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors as ‘a drunken sailor looking for port.’ That path crossed hundreds of acres of conservation easements, crossed in close proximity to school sites and ran directly through the newly constructed Toll Brothers Country Club in Dominion Valley. They have since replaced that path with a longer one that runs on existing utility easements but will ruin the viewshed of the Manassas Battlefield.

Then as a further affront to the citizenry of Virginia, Governor Kaine puts the fox in charge of the hen house with his appointment of a Dominion attorney to the State Corporation Commission, effectively handing over the keys to the electric company to proceed at will in the Commonwealth.