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.