The following  appears on the December 15 Agenda for the BOCS Meeting:  item A is detailed.  Item B is currently unavailable.

You may access the agenda at the following CLICK.  Choose current agenda.


 Sesquicentennial Celebration

A. RES – Transfer, Budget and Appropriate $77,353 from Non-Departmental Transient Occupancy Tax Funds to the Department of Public Works to Fund Expenses for 2010 Events and Programs to Support the 150th Sesquicentennial at County Historic Sites and to Match the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership’s STEM Educational Grant Request– Thomas Bruun – Public Works Department   


 B. RES – Consider Proposed Memorandum of Understanding Between Prince William County and Virginia Civil War Events, Inc. – Angela Lemmon Horan – County Attorney  



Item A deals with the Prince William County Committee.  It provides for  TOT funds to be transferred to Public Works and itemizes what each amount is allocated for. 

Item B is the Creston Owen group, Virginia Civil War Events.  No mention was made of a presentation.  The information appeared to be incomplete.

Interested parties should make every attempt to watch this section of the BOCS meeting.


68 Thoughts to “BOCS Meeting 12/15/09”

  1. Opinion

    @Poor Richard
    Certainly agree, Poor Richard. Another word for “scaled back” is “reality”. Sometimes (to quote my favorite Rolling Stones song), “…You can’t always get what you want
    And if you try sometime you find You get what you need.”

    I’ll have that stuck in my head all day now… not the worst fate.

  2. Opinion

    @El Quapo
    So, I guess you’re saying because they mentioned “net” they are telling us that there will be “expenses and fees” (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?”

    By the way, what’s a “Quapo”?

  3. El Quapo

    To answer your questions:

    First question: Yes.

    Second question: While the actual meaning of Quapo (or El Quapo) is lost to history, two prevailing theories exist among linguists.

    The first is that El Quapo refers to a mythical gray wolf that lives in the mountains of Pico de Orizaba, Popocatepetl, Iztaccihuatl and the Nevado de Toluca volcano. He only comes out when a full moon is covered by clouds to dispense justice for the defenseless and exploited peasants with his massive claws and sharp teeth. He has the intelligence of a man, the wisdom of a woman, the strength of a lion, and is immortal.

    The second possible meaning is that it might refer to a small ugly bird that lives in cranberry bogs in upper Canada (now probably extinct due to the automation of the cranberry harvesting business).

    I don’t really care which meaning people chose, I just like the letter “Q

  4. PWC taxpayer

    I agree, I thought El Quapo did a good job laying out the concerns with funding any non-public agency/group providing public services without getting into the question of the events themselves or their value to the community. We must have a number of examples of for-profits an non-profits providing public services in the County – from taxis to what?

    Given the concern, has anyone seen something that suggests that VCWE is opposed to oversight, due diligence or transparancy? Public private partnerships like this are nothing new and do not require competitive bidding even at the Federal level. MOUs exist for this kind of thing. An audit is also appropriate, but until recently that has not been the focus of the conversation; its been about bringing in more tourists, competition with the other public agencies and frankly the value of the reenactments that are designed to bring in those tourists. My concern that the County and local business need the revenue that can be generated by these events without risking significant public funding, the development of a much more realistic stage for a long term effort to stimulate real local tourism spend and the opportunity to shift public funding of historical assets to VCWE funding has been largely dismissed as psycho talk.

    I remind you that the commemoration activiites will not be free. County agencies have already requested an initial $500,000 supplemental that deserves the same level of transparancy and oversight. The BOCS mtg of the 8th also made it clear that this is not the last request It too deserves a review to see what are the most cost effective investments the County can make – to include potential ROIs.

    I read and read, but have yet to be convinced that any real bump in tourism should be expected from the events proposed by the other interested groups. If you want a commemoration for the few local elites – that is you perogative, but I do not see any effort on the part of the competing groups to do a larger Nascar Civil War event for the rest of us and, as a taxpayer, I continue to view that as an opportunity lost – one we can ill afford.

  5. El Quapo

    @PWC taxpayer
    You know, PWC Taxpayer, “I read and read, but have yet to be convinced that any real bump in tourism should be expected from the events proposed by the other interested groups.” is a very subjective judgment call.

    I really don’t know the answer; however, I do know that I have faith in our Chairman, most of the Prince William County Supervisors, and the many volunteers who make up those other interested groups. I know a few of those volunteers. They have successful records of service to Prince William County both in community activities and appointed positions. Many of the folks who make up those groups of which you speak are appointed by their respective Supervisor. Some might say is an insult to these folks to discount their contribution or vision for this event. Others might say its presumptuous not to volunteer for these existing groups to bring the ideas you imply are missing to the table vice attempting to take their budget and start over. To imply that their vision of the celebration is any less than the VCWE’s strikes me as a bit arrogant. There are many residents who want to celebrate this event respectively on a modest scale recognizing the problems with our budget. I am one of those residents.

    Honoring our war dead doesn’t have to be about the money. In fact, some might consider this entire discussion a bit disrespectful. Does anyone know how many Veterans serve on our BOCS or on the BOD for this group we are always talking about? That’s not intended as an insult or any type of slight… I am just curious if a veterans perspective is reflected in honoring our war dead. The VFW, American Legion, Amvets, Vietnam vets, and other groups should be asked to participate in the planning (my apologies if they are already at the table). These folks show up. If you want good ideas about honoring our war dead demonstrating proper respect… I would suggest this is where you start.

    If our Chairman and Supervisors believe that they have appointed the wrong people, implemented or supported the wrong organizations, established the wrong vision for their volunteers, or have made major mistakes in their oversight to date… they should correct their mistakes, fix the existing system and if they really have performed that poorly… resign. I would rather close this event with a balanced set of County books than take a chance that could put Prince William County on the long list of cities still paying for adventures that never quite paid off as promised.

    Our Chairman and County Supervisors have the holiday to think about it. I assume at least some of them read this blog. I might suggest folks who have an opinion “cut and paste” from this blog and send information that reflects their point of view (from either perspective) to their respective Supervisor perhaps copying our Chairman as input to the decision process.

    I think I’ll take a look at these groups and sign up for one. How about you PWC Taxpayer? If you don’t like what these folks are doing, go inside the tent and change things. I wonder why more people don’t.

  6. El Quapo

    I just checked the Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee web site and the Virginia Civil War events web site. Not a single veterans group involved in a celebration for fallen soldiers. That… we need to fix.

    THEY (the Veterans groups I mentioned in my previous post) know how to commemorate our fallen… and THEY know how to do it right.

  7. Quapo, go with the wolf story. I need some help around here. 😉

    Welcome to Anti.

    Also you might find yourself having to use those fangs on the chairman. Sharpen them up.

  8. Opinion

    You know, after thinking about this, I really don’t find the idea of turning a memorial to the men who fell on the Manassas Battlefield into a circus all that appealing. All of the conversation is about money… how much… from whom… how can we get it. This isn’t about money, it’s about the men who fought on this sacred ground.

    I know this particular idea will go nowhere; however, as a veteran I would vote for a simple, dignified ceremony commemorating the fallen and the loved ones who waited in vain. As El Quapo said (l liked the bird story, personally) let the VFW and the American Legion handle it. They won’t be in it for the money. A single bugler playing taps as the sun sets flanked by the colors of the North and South and perhaps the battle flags of the units involved just might be enough. A military chaplain might say a few words. Invitations to descendents would be a nice touch. I would suggest that all active duty servicemen & women, Veterans and their families be invited and the focus of any attention paid to the living. Banning tourists completely or keeping them at a respectable distance might just be appropriate.

    It whole episode reminds me of people who went to executions for entertainment. We have a comprehensive plan that actually serves our citizens, plans for orderly growth, and is in flight. It mentions nothing about tourism. I see no reason to make a 180 degree change in course to turn this solemn occasion into entertainment for the tourists while taking our County a different direction.

    That’s just my opinion

  9. El Quapo

    The wolf it is, H-h!

  10. HOWL@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @ Quapo

    @ Opinion, maybe we could feature hangings over at the Harris Pavillian.

    All kidding aside….what a nice idea. How would the descendants ever be located? I guess a lot of them have no descendants because they were so young when killed.

  11. Opinion


    Sons of Confederate Veterans and Sons of Union Veterans would probably produce a pretty good list to start with. Also, there’s an organization that provides records of those who served on either side. I would be interested in the mailing list of who requested records. I’m sure there are more ideas.

    In addition to being a perhaps more fitting memorial, it would save the County a bundle! Spend enough to cover parking, porta-potties, etc and perhaps a fresh batch of county maps and brochures. All of our investments in “Tourism” are like investments in a slot machine. We all hope we win; however, the odds are just not there that we walk away with more than we brought.

    You know, war really isn’t a spectator sport. Just ask any vet.

  12. clueless

    The Sons of Confederate and Union Veterans are probably already engaged. I watched the December 8 presentations again (I still can’t figure out how to cut and paste although I tried Moon-howler’s instructions) and the Battlefield’s presentation stated that they would have speeches and dignitaries, a historian, and special honored guests. They also plan to have Confederate and Union reenactors for a reenactment of a meeting of the troops. They are listed as a member of the ongoing committee so it seems like this is covered. I do wonder if actual veterans are being included (except veterans who may be reenactors of course). That is not mentioned anywhere that I have seen.

    It is my opinion, a carnival with vendors in Manassas is in no way, shape, or form appropriate. It is actually embarrassing.

  13. Poor Richard

    We could celebrate Jackson’s raid on the Yankee supply depot at Manassas
    prior to First Manassas with a wild party. Oysters and fine wine all around!
    (shooting at trains passing through town might upset today’s RR folks,
    but it would be historically accurate).

  14. Lafayette

    Here’s the link to the 12/8/09 presentations by various groups.

    VCWE is NOW listed on the ongoing committee’s page. However, the real question is WHEN did they become members? The ongoing committee was uderway when VCWE was “born”.

  15. Opinion

    @Poor Richard “We could celebrate Jackson’s raid …”
    Now, that’s a party I would like to attend. My old Dress Blues might pass for a Union uniform (if they still fit).

  16. Opinion, I am still hung up on notifying the descendants of civil war dead. Are those lists just for those killed in battle?

    I’ll join the party for wine and oysters but I won’t shoot at trains. The swat team would surround me all too quickly.

  17. opinion

    M-h, anyone who can trace their ancestry to a vet, living or dead, may join. Relatives of many flavors (I believe) count. Both groups have websites with info and applications.

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