Our resident ‘Conscience of the Board,’ Bob Wills, strikes again. On November 25 at the BOCS meeting, he admonished Mr. Stirrup for the appointment of Robert Duecaster. (Despite the fact he called him Dukakis). After listening to Mr. Wills for years, I don’t doubt for a moment that he knew exactly what he was doing. The Dukakis was the insult. He told Mr. Stirrup, he just didn’t care.

He moved on to chastise about the BOCS cutting back on meals. He’s right. Those meals are paid for out of discretionary funds. It won’t cost us a penny more if they have Carrabas cater, Ruth Chris cater or go to McDonalds. The money is already there. Who cares what they eat for dinner?

He accused the BOCS of putting themselves in a box because they haven’t reconciled the assessments and the tax rates to match what they need. He gave a subtle reminder about how many supervisors use private schools for their children rather than our public schools. Hark! Is he suggesting again that they simply do not care?

It pays to listen to Mr. Wills very carefully. He isn’t just your average gadfly who shows up at every meeting to poke someone with a stick. He is sometimes subtle and symbolic. I have started listening a great deal closer. He manages to get in a lot of dig  for his 3 minute buck. While I don’t always agree with him, from now on I will always listen.

Some folks go to those meetings to praise Caesar. We saw that also. Is Mr. Wills but another Mark Anthony? He seems to suggest that “The evil that men do lives after them…”

53 Thoughts to “Do Board Actions Speak Louder than Words?”

  1. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Maybe the worst example of “making a point” there ever could be. Starts off with Duecaster, immediately rambles off into several other directions. Grade: F.

  2. Rebecca

    Since you gave Mr. Wills an “F”.
    What grade would you give those that go down to the podium to kiss everyone’s a$$ and pass along holiday wishes to those of watching at home? Go take a look at citizens time, that very thing happened the same day.
    I personally find the a$$ ki$$ers to be deserving of an F and expulsion.

  3. Rat's Ass Ralph

    No one can accuse Wills of being an ass kisser.
    What was that other display? Was that woman in the blue drape on the payroll?

  4. Bring it On

    What possesses people to go down there week in and week out to speak at Citizens’ Time?

  5. Alanna

    Has he ever posted on Anti? I have seen him post occasionally on bvbl.

  6. Information Only..

    I think he posted one time in the spring/summer on anti. We need him to join us on anti. He can “give ’em hell” on bvbl too. 🙂

  7. Slowpoke Rodriguez


    If they can effectively make a point, they get a higher grade. You seem to be confusing the content of the message and the skill with which it is made. What a surprise!

    Hey moon-howler, someone is cursing. Time to puff up and give the “I order this to cease immediately!” blurb. I can’t resist that speech (would love to hear it in person). It sounds so “I, Ceasar, command in the name of the Senate and people of Rome.”

  8. Rebecca

    No confusion here. Mr. Wills made excellent points regarding the fact that a majority of supervisors with school-aged children don’t even attend our public schools. So why would they give two cents about the schools. It does NOT effect their children. So, it’s no BFD to the supervisors. Also, his point regarding their use of discretionary funds for food, and making it sound like it’s some savings to the residents of the county on the budget.

    I’ve only posted on this blog a handful of times so I really don’t get why you would be surprised. I’m never surprised by what I see you write. 😉

  9. Moon-howler

    Slow, Why do you think I mind someone cursing? They aren’t doing it to me.

    Feel free to find the Caesar quote and use it here.

  10. I.C.E. Illegal Canadian Enforcement “Episode 1”

  11. madmomof5

    “Mr. Wills made excellent points regarding the fact that a majority of supervisors with school-aged children don’t even attend our public schools.”

    Yes but it was an odd point. Does Mr. Will think Principi, Nohe and Stirrup don’t care about school funding (because their children are homeschooled or attend private schools) and that Covington and Stewart do care about school funding (because their children attend public schools). What about Jenkins whose grandkids attend public schools?

    Their choices about their children’s schooling doesn’t necessarily align with their views on school funding so that is why it was an odd point.

  12. Rebecca

    Covington and Stewart’s children attend private schools. Also, I’m not so sure all the supervisors kids educated in private school even attend a private school in Pr. Wm. Co., and that says something too.I think the Jenkins’ grandkids might be home schooled. Public school funding does NOT effect the all the supervisors children directly. I’m not saying they don’t care a lick, but somethings to think about.

    Odd point maybe so, but it’s worthy of pointing it out. Quite frankly, I think it’s great when he calls the “carpet baggers” to the carpet.

  13. NotGregLeteicq

    What an insult to Mike Dukakis! If Dukakis had been an openly racist screamer like Duecaster, maybe he’d have given old Bush the First a run for his money.

    Which is it? Covington and Stewart’s kids attend public schools or private?

  14. Rebecca

    Covington, Stewart, and Stirrup all three have their children in private school.

  15. NotGregLeteicq

    So Jenkins is the only one with progeny in public schools? Not that it’s such a big deal, but we should at least know what is true before we make any judgments or arguments supposedly based on truth.

    Would it be wrong to say that all of the Supervisors, even the radical right wing extremists, want our schools to be well-funded and serve our children well? It’s just that the radical right wing extremists, Stewart and Stirrup, had other priorities that took precedence, and the short-circuiting of our public schools is just another in a long list of unforeseen and unintended consequences.

  16. Rebecca

    Mr. Jenkins, Mr. May and Mrs. Caddigan do not have school aged children. Therefore they are off the hook. It is a fact the three aforementioned have their children in private school. Mr. Nohe and Mr. Principi are unknown to me. Perhaps one or both of them will come on and clarify the fact for us.

    Honestly, what do you really think that says about our public schools and our supervisors if in fact none of their school aged children attend our public schools. Please, think about it.

  17. Unintended Consequences

    It looks bad if none of the supervisors with school age children send their kids to county schools. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to force anyone to send kids to public schools if they had another school in mind. But damn! It looks bad if no one goes to public school. It sends a strong message of no confidence.

  18. NotGregLeteicq

    I don’t know. I went to public school. But my impression of people who send their kids to private school is that they want what is best for their children as anyone would, and they have enough money to give their children a leg up in a competitive society that rewards good grades, diplomas from top schools, etc.

    Most people who get to be politicians have those qualities. People were saying Obama should put his kids in DC public schools. I’m sure he never considered it. You don’t play politics with your child’s future.

    There are few places were the public schools are better than the private schools. In PWC, it seems like the public schools are beholden to the health and solvency of our local government, perhaps even more so than other places since the school budget and the county budget are linked in that roughly 50/50 split we have by law. So, knowing that our Chairman is likely to play politics with our county’s finances and spending priorities, I would put my kids in private school too if I had kids and could afford it.

  19. Moon-howler


    I don’t necessarily think it was an odd statement for Mr. W to make. Any revenue lost to the county is also lost to the schools, on a proportional basis. Perhaps he is implying that their incentive for the county to do well isn’t as strong since they do not have children in public schools.

    Go back to his original premise which was….they just don’t care.

    Fits in when you look at it that way. Now, do I think none of our supervisors care? Of course not. But we aren’t doing a topic on what *I* think.

    I also do not give him an F. Had he gotten an F, I would not have posted his comments. Obvious slowpoke doesn’t think it was an F either or he wouldn’t have commented at all. We all know how our eyes glaze over with the F material here.

  20. You Wish

    Rebecca –

    Would it shock you to find out that the teachers, administrators and supervisors of PWCS don’t send their children to PWCS? It’s a personal choice – period. If I choose to send my child to a private school, that’s my decision – not a political one. Did you ever stop to think that maybe they want their children to get a religious education (which isn’t provided in public schools)? What does it matter?

    I (for once – GASP!) agree with NGL – you don’t play politics with your child’s future. Most parents want what is the best for their child, not what looks good to their constituents.

  21. Rebecca

    I certainly think all want the very best opportunities for their children, and our supervisors are no exception. I fully understanding having the desire and the means to send a child to private school, but don’t spit on our public schools in the process. I don’t begrudge the fact that they send their kids to private school.

    I had the benefit of attending both public and private school. I would’ve preferred to have been educated solely in private school, but it didn’t work out that way. School is school, and I think students in Northern Virginia get some of the best public education in the nation.

  22. Rebecca

    You wish,
    I hadn’t seen your post until after I’d posted. Our supervisors are politicians albeit small time, but they are still politicians and they do/have played politics with the schools, and everything else under the sun. I’m not putting them down because their children attend private schools, but their children are not directly effected by the public schools, and therefore I don’t think they have the same concern for it that they should have. Sure, they can all talk a big game.

  23. Moon-howler

    I think the point is that when none of our elected officials send their children to publics schools, it is an alarming statement and it appears to be a vote of no confidence. APPEARS being the operative word.

    We are not talking about DC public schools here. Unfortunately DC schools are notorious for being not so good.

    Remember, in 2000 (I might be off a year) we had the number one high school in the nation right here in Prince William County. Stonewall Jackson High School was designated #1 by Newsweek Magazine. Not too shabby.

    I am not saying, nor do I think Rebecca was saying that elected officials should not send their children to private school. I think it speaks volumes when none do.

    I expect more teachers and administrators send their kids to public schools than not.

  24. madmomof5

    “Covington and Stewart’s children attend private schools. ”
    Rebecca I don’t know where you got your information but you are absolutely incorrect.

    Both Covington and Stewart send their children to public schools in Prince William County. Stirrup and Principi’s children attended private school last year and I am assuming they are still enrolled privately. Nohe’s wife was homeschooling their young children. May has a baby not yet school age. Caddigan’s grandchildren are not in the area. Jenkin’s grandchildren attend Fauquier and Prince William County public schools.

    I said it was an odd statement because the supervisors he would accuse of not funding public schools are the supervisors, with perhaps the exception of Stirrup, whose children do attend public schools, so they do care.

  25. Rebecca

    I got my information from bvbl. So, stay mad.
    I said Caddigan, Jenkins, and May did NOT have school aged children. Go tend to your 5.

    Well, there sure was a big stink when the Chairman’s children’s private school was named on this blog by some troll last spring. Naturally, the admin. of this blog took it down immediately. So, did they transfer to public schools for the new school year of 2008-2009?

  26. Moon-howler

    Perhaps everyone is dealing with a different set of information.

    On the other hand, I am not sure they owe us details on where their children go to school. I have mixed feelings about this. I was forced to change schools for political reasons as a child. I wouldn’t wish that on any family.

    It has always been my understanding that Mr. Stewart’s children attend private schools, which of course, is his right. I also thought Mr. Covington had a child in private school.

    Again, I think the focus is on who has a vested personal interest in our schools.

  27. Moon-howler

    I am still reading lies about the big stink. Yes, the name of Mr. Stewart’s children’s school was posted on this blog and Alanna saw it, and took it down immediately. She did the responsible thing, yet people keep lying about it and criticizing this blog over it. Yes, it disappeared. Yes, she was public about the school name disappearing and why. She felt it was an invasion of Corey Stewart’s family’s privacy. For the record, it happened when this blog was an infant.

  28. NotGregLeteicq

    It’s so funny that the 3 remaining Gospel Greg clones still try to make a stink about things that have been posted here. They do this because they feel wronged by the fact that Gospel Greg’s blog was widely discredited and dismissed over some things that were posted on the Gospel Greg blog, presumably by some of his faithful followers.

    But let’s remember the two posts that caused Gospel Greg’s stock to sink to the bottom of the sea were posted by Gospel Greg himself: the large dogs should eat undocumented immigrants post, and the one that earned Gospel Greg the name Gospel Greg. Personally, I was not that offended by the dog post even though so many others were. The “racism and slavery are part of God’s plan” post was the one that offended me.

    But the bottom line about the Gospel Greg blog is that it censored people who had opposing views, especially those who differed with the Gospel Sayer himself. This is not against the law, but it offends a deeply held American value of freedom of speech. And, once exposed, it created the need for a non-censored blog were people could openly exchange ideas, and concerned citizens could get an accurate and non-manipulated gauge of public opinion.

    Thus this blog came along and stole the public opinion portion of Gospel Greg’s audience. But he still has the circus audience: people who stop in to see what the freak show offers up next.

    And his 3 remaining followers continue to blame this blog for Greg’s great fall, often post here under various names, and even post outrageous comments hoping their own words will discredit the blog they so bitterly resent.

    They just don’t understand that Greg was toast before this blog ever started.

  29. Slither Hither

    What part of toast don’t they understand?
    I’ve not heard the term toast in ions. I needed a good laugh, and that did the trick.

  30. Moon-howler

    NGL, was that Gospel sAyer or Gospel sLAyer?

  31. Princess Billy-Bob

    VA faces a 3 BILLION dollar budget shortfall. This deficit will severely impact education. VA ranks 33 in the nation in education. Governor Kaine appears to be considering making education cuts permanent rather than temporary.

    If you would like to respond to this:


  32. You Wish


    You’d be surprised at the number of teachers and admins that send their children to private schools. Most that send them do so for religious reasons. Honestly, I’m a public school teacher and will send my kids to public schools, mainly because the cost is prohibitive to send them to private schools. If I could, I would just homeschool them 🙂

    Education cuts are coming – big time. I work for Fairfax co. schools and our budget is a disaster – we’re looking at no summer school, increased class sizes and major cuts in expenses. The cuts are going to hurt statewide. Sadly, education is usually the first thing cut (because don’t have very many people lobbying for us in Richmond, just VEA and VFT) in any budget crisis.

  33. madmomof5

    “I got my information from bvbl.”
    Bvbl was wrong (which I’m sure comes as no surprise to people) about the schools.

    Stewart’s children go to a PWC public school. I have no idea what was posted that Alanna pulled, but it was very commendable for her to do so if the posting listed the actual school. They both still attend the same public elementary school that they have always attended since kindergarten. They went to private preschool before they were 5 so perhaps that is where there was confusion.

    “I also thought Mr. Covington had a child in private school.” All 3 children are in PWC public schools.

    And I’m usually not ‘mad’ as in ‘furious or angry’ but with 5 kids, I’m ‘mad’ as in ‘crazy mad’, which hopefully is just a fun screen name and not an accurate picture of my daily life.
    I love having 5 kids and most of the time I love Prince William County Schools.

  34. YOO HOO


    This one is for you! LOL

    “And I’m usually not ‘mad’ as in ‘furious or angry’ but with 5 kids, I’m ‘mad’ as in ‘crazy mad’, which hopefully is just a fun screen name and not an accurate picture of my daily life.”


    Red Dawn 🙂

  35. Moon-howler

    With 5 kids, anyone who can even keep a sense of humor is a better person than I am 😉

    Thanks for your clarification, Madmomof5.

  36. YOO HOO


    No kidding!!! Anyone that becomes a parent AUTOMATICALLY falls into this category ( stir crazy) that’s right we bad…LOL

  37. What happened to Bob’s Magic Green BOCS Beater?

    Was he in disguise?


  38. Rebecca

    I’m glad you clarified the meaning of your name. I’ve seen madmom used before and it was meant to mean mad as is “pissed off”. I can’t begin to fathom having 5 children.

    Oh, I’d never claim anything from bvbl was accurate. I know, just consider the source.

    I will no longer debate the supervisors’ children schools. I take it your 5 attend public schools. I thought maybe you could’ve use the screen name “HMSCLN5” 😉

    Anyways, I think their choice of schools is a personal/private matter, but I do think it’s concerning if NONE of them have/had children in public schools.

    Sorry, for the snide comment earlier.

  39. YOO HOO


    LOL! NO, He’s keeping it real 🙂 re: 20:08


    TEAM BOB! 🙂

    By the way, it is good to see him back in the saddle……

    Red Dawn

  40. Moon-howler

    Yes, there was someone out there with a similar name who was discourteous many. I cannot remember now where I saw them.

    Sorry Madmomof5. And I should have said welcome.

    I agree with Rebecca. They certainly are entitled to send their children where they so choose. But if none are in the public school system, then I would be asking why.

  41. Juturna

    Worst decision we made was to send our child to PWC public schools after 9 years in parochial schools. Totally different philosophies in administration and mission. We’ve met some excellant teachers but the Administrators are somewhat lacking. I’ve been told by them they simply can’t effectively administer the size of the schools so they don’t. They control them. I think they’re all crazy.

  42. Moon-howler

    Tell us how you really feel, Juturna. Do you feel your situation is unique or standard?

  43. Lafayette

    So, how’s that broad brush working for ya tonight? 🙂
    I’m sorry you feel that way about our public schools, but do you really ALL are crazy? I sure hope not.

  44. Lafayette

    corr: but do you really *THINK* ALL are crazy? I sure hope not.

  45. Moon-howler

    Strange that this thread ended up moving into the schools issue.

    How about other things Mr. W said. Did John Stirrup really say he didn’t want to know what ‘Dukakis’ said?

    How about the meals issue? That is a direct comment on the discretionary funds.

    Where does dry cleaning fit into this conversation? That one always loses me. I know it costs more for women’s shirts than mens.

    How about the tax rates? Why don’t the BOCS raise the tax rate so the county isn’t so strapped? Why are we lowering taxes now? I realize that they cannot know the assessments right now but hell, take a guess. The tax rate is nothing without knowing what the assessment is. Are they thinking ahead to reelection?

  46. Juturna

    Sometimes the broadbrush is the right brush. Any issue I’ve had is an outward sign of internal systemic failure.
    Nuna and teachers are clearly there for the children. All others are there for the next promotion.

  47. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    The evil that men do lives after them….does that apply also to the three proud future citizens who burned the little old lady alive in Wheaton?

  48. madmomof5

    The county will be raising the rate about 16 cents/per $100 of value. But the value of homes has decreased in most areas but not equally in all areas, so they are “guessing” that the average home value might drop about 30% which means the average taxpayer might see a slight drop in what they pay even though our tax rate went up from .97 to 1.13. Other taxpayers might see a bigger drop in areas with higher rates of foreclosures and some taxpayers who live in areas that didn’t have as many foreclosures will see their tax bill go up.

    They don’t value by zip codes but that is that is available from the newspaper real estate section this weekend so for example:
    Last year in zip code 20109 someone might have paid .97 tax rate on a home valued at $350,000 and their bill for the year was $3,395. Perhaps in 2009 that same home is now only worth $245,000 (30% drop in value) so the 2009 bill would be $2,768 (figured at a 1.13 rate) which is about $600 less in taxes than last year. But if they lived in zip 20143 and last year’s value was $700,000 for which they paid $6790, then in 2009, if their value dropped only 10% to $630,000 (because there were very few foreclosures), they’ll pay $7,119 at the 1.13 rate which is an increase of $329. That is where they come up with the “average taxpayer” seeing a cut since the average taxpayer might lose 30% value in their home over the past year. And right now they can’t guess how much assessments will actually drop in the next 4-5 months when the rate is really set so it becomes a game of guessing.

    By Virginia law, they have to tax business land at the same rate, so with a 1.13 rate businesses will all have about a 5% gain in their bill (since their commercial property values went up while ours went down). If they set the tax rate any higher than the 1.13 it puts an even bigger tax bill on businesses which means no businesses would come to Prince William County and some might leave. That puts us in even a worse situation because then we are even further dependent on residential taxes to fund our services and residential is a lot more volatile than business when it comes to values. The reason they are so fair ahead of the game in talking about the rate is that they don’t want to catch county departments off guard with what will happen next year in the budget. By talking about it now, they can save money from this year and plan for cuts for next year.

    I feel for the county and the board for making some really tough decisions and they seem to be in harmonious agreement about the rate which is unusual. I’ve never seen them so together before a budget cycle.

  49. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Rebecca, 1. December 2008, 11:17,

    I thought for a minute you were talking about Obama’s children and their educational experience, and therefore the Obama’s attitude toward public education. A second read-through alerted me to the fact that it wasn’t about Obama’s kids, it was about our BOCS’s children. Glad I caught that!

  50. Rebecca

    The word supervisor was all through that post. Where did you get Obama from?
    Why are you glad you caught that? What’s your point?

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