Once again, it’s increasingly difficult to get out of my driveway. All day long I have charter buses, school buses, trucks and regular automobiles full of people going up and down my street. The daily rescue squad also screams down the street–at least once a day. Why am I so blessed? I live near a county water park. I also live near soccer fields and baseball fields. The athletic fields are what really bring the traffic in, car after car after car.
When I first read about Old Pace West athletic fields staying on the county books, even though the facility was being sold to private industry, I breathed a sigh of relief. At least they weren’t being moved to MY neighborhood, with all the little baseball players and their family cars. That’s really what NIMBY is. Selfishness. I was really glad that locally owned QBE, the company that bought Old Pace West, worked out a deal with the county.
Actually, this deal works really well for all concerned. The PWC School Board sold its old school that it no longer has use for. The school had athletic fields which the county gets to continue to use in exchange for QBE’s land tax on those fields. Great business partnership on display here. QBE doesn’t need athletic fields. QBE pays taxes each month. The county then reimburses QBE for the taxes on the athletic fields. What a great partnership. More businesses should take advantage of public/private partnerships that benefit the public like this one does.
There might be just one little catch though, that can easily be rectified. A year or two ago a huge stink was made because some of our supervisors were involved with organizations in one capacity or another. For instance, Marty Nohe sat on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club. I believe Maureen Caddigan did also. Both supervisors were publically criticized for not disclosing their relationship with these organizations that received county funds. In fact, there was a resolution passed that required supervisors to disclose their affiliation with organizations that received county benefits. The supposed concern revolved around conflict of interest and public funds being funneled to non profit organizations.
When I recently learned that Pete Candland had changed jobs and now works for QBE, I wondered, had he had publically notified the BOCS that he works for QBE, a company who is reimbursed monthly for their taxes because of the agreement to lease athletic fields in exchange for a tax break ? I can’t find anyone who has heard him do so.
I would have thought this disclosure would have been one of the first things out of Pete Candland’s mouth after he changed jobs since it was he who raised hell over his colleagues, the other supervisors, sitting on various boards without making a public disclosure as to their affiliation with county partners and organizations. Just checking the list of board members of the Boys and Girls Club, I see the names Caddigan, Nohe, May, Jenkins, and school board member Betty Covington. The Boys and Girls Club is an excellent organization that provides many services for thousands of Prince William County youth. The regional organization does get money from the BOCS. It’s a partnership with the county that really transcends anything monetary when thinking about tutoring help, after school activities, and just keeping kids off the street.
The QBE athletic fields are a valuable asset also. The benefits of those fields reach a whole lot of kids out in the Haymarket/Gainesville area. Hopefully, Pete and his ever-vocal supporters will apply the same standards to himself that he expected others to do.