The content in the following thread is purely the opinion of the author..

Some of our contributors want a thread on the sins of Frank Principi, Supervisor, Woodbridge Magisterial District, regarding the homeless.  The story is in the News and Messenger.   You will have to read it there.  It is far too convoluted to summarize here.  Basically, Supervisor Principi supposedly met with community leaders when he heard that a homeless shelter was way over capacity in hopes of finding solutions.  The Chair, Corey Stewart moved into executive session at the last BOCS meeting and the problem was discussed.  What has surfaced is a newspaper article that has more holes in it than a slice of Swiss cheese, rumor and innuendo about sex offenders being placed in schools with school children and Mr. Principi’s fiefdom.

For starters, Virginia Law is rather specific about what executive session can and cannot be used for.  Mr. Principi is not an errant employee being taken to task for misdeeds.  What was the justification for going in to executive session?  (MoM might fill us in here on this one…calling on MoM!)    Secondly, if a situation is discussed in executive session, why is it now in the newspaper?  By definition, if a situation warrants executive session, isn’t there some responsibility to keep the content of the session private?

Thirdly, if the matter didn’t belong in executive session, where is the sunshine?  A full disclosure with all the facts needs to be given to the residents of Prince William County.  Right now, the issue is a whisper campaign on steroids and good people get hurt when this sort of story takes on a life of its own. 

I certainly hope the supervisors were as ‘aghast’ when the Chairman ordered the Chief of Police back to his office rather than going to a scheduled town hall meeting  to educate the immigrant  community on changes in the county law. The Chairman also demanded that a laundry list of questions be answered in an hour’s time and  acted on his own accord.  Additionally, I hope that the supervisors were equally ‘aghast’ when they saw their private email to the chairman   appear on a local blog (not this one I might add) without their permission, hours after it had been sent.  There had not been sufficient time for a FOIA request to be made.  The directive and list of questions to the chief was also on that same blog.  Did any of them question the appropriateness of that behavior?

I smell a big election rat behind this story.  Someone wants to get re-elected (best Jon Stewart voice).   Whether Mr. Principi violated protocol or not, it sounds like his heart was in the right place and that he sought solutions to a very real problem involving real human beings.  He looked outside of government fixing every problem and sought the resources of the community, the churches and the private sector.  For that, he is to be commended.  A simple discussion of protcol handles the other stuff.

51 Thoughts to “The Board was ‘Aghast’….”

  1. Gainesville Resident

    I don’t know how section 8 works either. I guess there has to be some deal to the owner or otherwise what would the incentive be?

    Indeed, I totally agree – Section 8 housing and foreclosures really devalue property around them. So do flophouses. Point of Woods housing prices really tanked in 2008 and 2009. There was no way for a long time to get more than $100K for a townhouse there if you tried to sell. In fact, I saw some going for $70K to $80K believe it or not – but they were not in great shape. For a time, foreclosures dominated the market so much they WERE the market – and they determined the sales price. It did not matter if you were not a foreclosure, you still had to sell at foreclosure prices to have any chance of selling.

    That is why I was forced to rent out my townhouse for a year. Needless to say, THAT was not a pleasant experience either. In the end, the renter (not picked by me) didn’t pay the last 2 1/2 months’ rent, and trashed the place when they left – in addition to intentionally not notifying me or the property management company they had left and having the power shut off during the dead of the winter (from January 26 – February 3 when it was discovered by the property management company they had vacated). The townhouse was a hair’s breath away from having frozen pipes and even more damage – the only thing that saved it was that it was an interior unit.

    Anyway I totally agree about Section 8 housing and foreclosures. Very bad luck if you have any of that going on near where your house is – your property value will end up in the toilet. That’s definitely why property values were in the toilet during 2008 and 2009 in Point of Woods. Now the foreclosure activity seems to have gone. I don’t know about the flophouses – but think some of them have gone – including the one next to me as it finally foreclosed and was sold, and I didn’t notice a zillion cars parked there the one evening I went back to Point of Woods recently (evening of Feb. 3 to inspect the damage to the townhouse my tenant left behind, and to see if any pipes had frozen – plus to verify power was back on and the heat was running). However, my guess is a lot of flophouses must be gone – as otherwise it doesn’t exactly explain why property values have increased more than 50% over where they bottomed out in early 2009.

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