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.
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.
Sharing information if you’re interested — The business community, as well as residents, are invited to provide input on the future of land use and transportation in the County at George Mason University’s Prince William Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 21:
4:00 p.m. – Hard Hat Tour of the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Spaces are limited. Last tour at 5:00 pm. Sign up by contacting Kristina Dugan at 703-993-6092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
6:00 p.m. – Business Community Comprehensive Plan Town Hall Meeting, Verizon Auditorium
PW BOCS is hosting the meeting to provide info about the comprehensive plan. Martin Briley, Director of Econ Dev, Ray Utz, PWC Long-Range Planning Director & Rick Canizales, PWC Transportation Dept Manager will speak, followed by an open Q & A period.
8:00 p.m. – Business Community Presentation and Reception
NAIOP (trade assn for developers) and the two Chambers (PWC-Greater Manassas and PW Regional) will sponsor a brief presentation by Paul Weinschenk, The Peterson Companies. A reception will immediately follow.
This the final in a series of town hall meetings that were held thru out the county. For more info on the proposed changes, visit www.pwcgov.org/PlanUpdate. You can offer your comments, ideas & concerns by e-mailing email@example.com (Put “2008 Comp Plan Update” in the subject line) or call the Planning Office at 703-792-6830.
In a rather anticlimactic move yesterday, PWC supervisors locked in a $1.21 tax rate per hundred. The tax rate can always be lowered but cannot be raised. The vote was predictable. According to the Washington Post:
The spending plan County Executive Craig S. Gerhart proposed last month would reduce services, suspend road construction, freeze salaries and tap reserves to close a $190 million shortfall projected for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The $1.21 rate is the second highest in the metro area. However, looking at the bottom line, it certainly is not the most expensive real estate taxation. Plummeting property values have caused an overall reduction in property taxes. Most homes will find the real estate taxes cut by about $400.
Chairman Stewart, who opened the meeting by commenting on the federal stimulus package money, had this predictably partisan remark to say about the new tax rate:
“I believe the way to spur the economy is by cutting taxes, not raising them. It comes down to a philosophical divide,” board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said. “Prince William is the only Republican-led jurisdiction in the D.C.-metro area. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise we’re cutting taxes.”
According to this chart from the George Mason Regional Analysis Center, Prince William County Foreclosure Rates are OFF THE CHART in comparison to surrounding jurisdictions. WTOP news is reporting Prince William property values have dropped more than double of Fairfax County and slightly more than double of Loudoun County.
Police officers converged at the state Capitol last Thursday to urge lawmakers not to cut any more money from law enforcement funding. Many of those who went to Richmond, according to the DC Examiner were area Chiefs of Police like Chief Charlie Deane of Prince William Country, Chief Tom Longo of Charlottesville, Chief Doug Davis of Waynesboro, and Chief Rick Clark of Galax.
The News and Messenger is reporting tough times in PWC this morning as County Executive Craig Gerhart tries to figure out ways to preserve jobs and meet county budget all at the same time. Some of the options county employees face are working a day without pay, cutting back on holidays or facing a general salary cut or being sent home and taking a day off without pay. None of the options are pleasant to face.
In his presentation to the BOCS yesterday, Gerhart outlined ways to retain current county personnel and meet the budget constraints. Even with an increased tax rate of $1.13, up from $.98 homeowners are expected to pay less in taxes because of decreased home values. Less in taxes translates into more budget shortfall. PWC has been the hardest hit jurisdiction in the area with foreclosures.
Neabsco Supervisor John Jenkins asked about the feasibility of freezing salaries of the higher paid county employees. That too will be examined. It appears that public safety departments are the only places there will not be drastic budget reductions.
Things certainly have a different look than say a year ago, when we had citizens directing the county to raise their taxes to enforce the Immigration Resolution. But, in the words of that immortal wise sage Bob Dylan, we were so much older then…….
According to the County’s Agenda item 9-J-1, which mysteriously has disappeared from the latest version, the County will not be able to add the 4 new Officers nor the support staff that was to accompany them for ’09 Budget. My question is why the description of the cuts removed? Was it a simple oversight, or was done intentionally by the person who determines the agenda?
Just finished watching the board meeting and there was some confusion about whether the ICE reimbursement budget item required a public hearing or not. Caddigan didn’t believe this was a hearing item but according to Craig Gerhart it exceeded a budgetary threshold and therefore it was required. Then on the tail of this confusion, Supervisor Jenkins commented about the lack of public participation in the process which he believes demonstrates a general lack of interest.
This money is a reimbursement from the federal government that goes back into the jail fund to support any additional expenses that they might have. This is not the total cost of the program 287(g). My question is what additional costs have we outlayed that are non-refundable? My presumption is that this would be better use of our tax money than restricting services.
Secondly, according to Pete there have been 860 detainers issued by ICE and 747 transfers with 154 currently doing time. Anybody else have questions about the math?
Additionally, it sounds as if they are still not at 100% for checking the status of foreign born inmates dispite being mandated to do so? Or is the proclaimation that they are checking 99% of the time just a CYA in case something goes wrong later on?
Also, Maureen asked long ago what this was going to cost and Corey bashed her over the head for asking. Is that on video somewhere? Today she commented that ‘we’ knew this was going to be expensive. I distinctly recall some Supervisors suggesting it would not be costly.
Lastly, what has been the true cost of this initiative, not the reimbursed portion but what is the County taxpayer responsible for?
According to the Manassas Journal Messenger,
The big difference seems to be price. At the same time Prince William’s sales statistics were soaring 72 percent, median and average sales prices for homes were falling by 34 percent and 31 percent, respectively. In the second quarter of 2008, the county’s median price for a home was $242,232; in the same quarter for 2007, that number stood at $366,845. For the average, the second quarter numbers in Prince William stood at $275,311 in 2008 and $398,775 in 2007.
In this same time period, meanwhile, Northern Virginia’s home prices only dropped on average 12 percent …
Selling everything at bargain blowout prices can’t be good; especially come next year when the County has to assess residential real estate and set the tax rate again.
It’s been a year since the County first adopted the ‘Immigration Resolution’ and because of continual participation from more moderate voices, it is now, but a shadow of its original proposed self. The Resolution is, at its core, faulted because of its assertion that illegal immigration has been determined to cause ‘lawlessness and economic hardship’. This declaration has never been substantiated and continues to remain an unfounded claim upon which this resolution was founded.
If you recall, the original version suggested checking immigration status at all public facilities even schools and parks. Thankfully, staff recognized that implementation of such a far reaching and radical policy was unwise. And, with the guidance and suggestion of more reasonable perspectives, began the process of affecting changes to mitigate not only the potential of costly lawsuits but to reign in the more radical elements that initially suggested the plan.
By October, we were left with a short list of 8 identified services that could be ‘reasonably’ restricted combined with a policy that mandated officers to inquire into immigration status with anyone they came into contact with that they believed had ‘probable cause’ to be undocumented. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that 2 of the previously identified services should also not be restricted and the list shrank to 6.
In April, with the start of the planning for the ‘09 Fiscal Plan’ another opportunity presented itself for another scale back when cameras became too costly of an investment. We then lobbied and succeeded in having the Resolution modified so that Officer’s could fallback to the previous policy of ‘reasonable articulable suspicion’ combined with a mandated post-arrest procedure for status checks, Now, the “Immigration Resolution” consists of the restrictions to the 6 services, mandated status checks after arrest and the general resolution. All of this, has born a price tag of $4 million dollars, and for all practical purposes has brought us full circle, back to the place, in essence where we started.
The Board will have both a 2:oopm session today; and comments concerning the funding of the ‘Immigration Resolution’ should be addressed then as there is no evening session. Everyone should be prepared for the ‘foot soldiers’ to once again descend on the McCoart building. Hopefully, the Supervisors won’t retreat and will have the courage to face this head-on. It’s gone on long enough and there’s simply no money to fund this whole thing.
Here’s the agenda for the meeting.
See you there.
According to the DC Examiner, Supervisors are reconsidering funding the part of the resolution due to its ever increasing costs. In the article, Principi states -
The illegal-immigration policy is an 800-pound gorilla that is following us around in everything we do. It’s time to put the gorilla back in the cage.
Meanwhile Corey believes its a ‘good gorilla’. Unbelievable. Since the Tuesday evening vote on Silver Lake, it’s becoming apparent the only true conservatives on the board are Nohe & May. Simply, there’s no money for this and the money that is being spent is a waste. We have heard Chief Deane say the majority of those arrested would have been arrested anyways. The costs are growing at every turn. We are now incurring an extra cost of $220,000 per month, per month (I reapeated that puposely for emphasis) on top of the ever skyrocketing costs. We simply can’t afford it. It is time – Put the gorilla back in the cage.
Please plan on attending this Public Hearing for the proposed FY09 Budget, Monday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
The following dates represent the remainder of the County’s FY09 Fiscal Plan meeting/work session calendar. All meetings and hearings will take place in the Board Chambers of the James J. McCoart Administration Building, 1 County Complex Court.
- County Executive’s Budget Recap, Tuesday, April 15 at 2 p.m.
- Board of County Supervisors Budget Markup, Tuesday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
- Board of County Supervisors adopts FY09 Fiscal Plan, Tuesday, April 29 at 2 p.m.
For more information about these meetings, contact the Budget Office at 703-792-6720.
From today’s Opinion Section of the Washington Post, – ‘Twisted Priorities‘
That means the owner of a $340,000 house (the county’s average assessment) will be ponying up $103 more next year so that illegal immigrants — many of them employed, paying taxes and supporting families — can be targeted. Budgets are a reflection of priorities, and Prince William’s are badly out of whack, particularly as the county struggles with plunging revenue and an anemic housing market. The crackdown’s $6.4 million price in the next fiscal year is more than the county has budgeted from its general fund for transportation improvements ($4.2 million), public health ($5.2 million) or its office on aging ($3.7 million).
That they are going to spend more on the ‘Immigration Resolution’ than transportation improvements is absurd. People sit in traffic for hours on 66, that in my opinion has more of an impact than ‘illegal immigration.’ Also, not mentioned specifically in the article but one of the major areas where residents had complaints was in residential complaints which has no additional monies set aside to address those concerns. It’s almost as if they believe all other problems would simply go away if they handle this one area. People are going to be disappointed when that doesn’t happen. Hopefully, the County has set aside some cash for the multi-million dollar lawsuit that most likely will end up on their doorstep.
‘Help Save Manassas’ has destroyed the real estate market causing many homes to go into foreclosure. This has caused the whole market to go into a ‘free fall’. According to the County’s budget report homes have lost on average 16% of their market value. Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t appear to be rectifying itself anytime soon. And if that wasn’t enough to cause a budget crunch the County now wants to spend double what they anticipated the cost to be. All of this when they have only identified an ‘insignificant’ cost attributable to the undocumented population. They identified approximately 3 million per year but to ‘fix’ the problem will end up costing more than 5 million a year. And even at that price they haven’t allotted any funds for defending against lawsuits that are sure to arise from the Immigration Resolution. Ironically it took the board years to research and investigate Parks and Open Spaces but yet only 3 months to enact legislation that appears to be very costly. More information on the County’s 2009 Budget Proposal can be viewed at http://www.pwcgov.org/docLibrary/PDF/007738.pdf