School board has the duty and authority to appoint Brentsville replacement



(Jill Palermo)

The Prince William County School Board “has both the duty and the sole authority” to appoint a temporary replacement for Brentsville representative Gil Trenum, a Navy reservist preparing for a yearlong deployment to Africa, according to an “unofficial opinion” issued by the Virginia attorney general’s office this morning.

The opinion goes on to say that Trenum has already effectively given his notice to temporarily vacate his office, triggering the process to appoint his interim replacement.

“In Prince William County, the appointing authority to fill vacancies on the school board is the remaining members of the school board,” the opinion says. “Here, the school board member in question has given that notice, and thus he has now been ‘relieved from the duties of office’ commencing on the date of his deployment, and the replacement statute is in effect.”

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Joseph George: Still Learning the Prince William County Political Landscape

Guest contributor Joseph George shares his thoughts about the political landscape in Prince William County.  Joseph ran unendorsed for the school board seat in the Neabsco District in the last election.  We hope he continues his county involvement.


Still Learning the Prince William County Political Landscape


As a person who is still new to the political landscape of PWC, many of the current situations remind me of a circumstance that I became a part of during a leadership training class that I attended:

Two people were having a disagreement.  One person stated that this house had four windows and two doors, where as the other believed the house in question had five windows and one door.  Each side presented diagrams and provided downloads of city permits to validate their perspectives.  When neither side was willing to concede, insults were thrown, challenges of the other’s level of intelligence were made, and conspiracies of a bigger scheme were made.  I decided to intercede by asking what the address of the house in question was.  Upon hearing of the location, I informed them they were both correct, which caused both combatants to look confused.  One was referring to the front side of the house, while the other was referring to the backside of the house.


I feel that many of the political conversations over the past several months in PWC have been doing the same thing, defending someone’s perspective, without considering the other’s viewpoint, even becoming venomous in their justification.  The next three situations are solely from my experiences and background.


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Conservative faction on BOCS attempts to take away discussion







One of our contributors, Wombat, breaks through all the BS and tells us what  REALLY happened Friday night at the emergency BOCS meeting to set an advertised tax rate:

“News Flash! All those years – including this one – of these big showdowns and death by powerpoint arguments over what tax rate to advertise have been completely unnecessary! The staff can advertise the rate as an administrative item, just like they do in neighboring counties. So they will advertise the 3.88%. That’s what goes in the paper. Now everyone can actually look at the budget and figure out what should stay, what should go, and what the actual rate will end up at. But not before we had to go through two incredibly painful and embarrassing meetings. The county needs to add money to the budget to pay for all the PTSD counseling we need after that.”

A huge thanks to Wombat for setting the record straight.  How long were we going to be kept in the dark over this process?  How long were we going to be subjected to the antics of the BOCS–with 4 of them trying to get their conservative cred on?  (all at the expense of the county residents, I might add.)

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Guiffré saga continues–fighting the forces of voter fraud???

Old Ballot Application
Old Ballot Application


Reprinted with permission from Jill Palermo

An unauthorized investigation aimed at uncovering possible voter fraud might cost Prince William County Electoral Board Chairman Guy Anthony “Tony” Guiffré his job.

The Virginia State Board of Elections took a rare vote Friday to initiate steps to remove Guiffré from the county electoral board over allegations he compromised voter privacy and might have broken state and federal laws. The allegations stem from his efforts to determine whether absentee ballots were improperly requested for the Nov. 3 election.

The three-member state board, which includes two Democrats and one Republican, voted along party lines during a meeting in Richmond to ask Attorney General Mark Herring (D) to begin the removal proceedings.

Guiffré’s fate will ultimately be decided by the Prince William County Circuit Court.

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A shout out for Dave’s Dogs

daves dog
From Dave’s Dogs Facebook page:


Dave’s Dogs is shut down.

Dave’s Dogs opened for business in June 2014. From day 1, Dave has been committed to keeping his business in the county where he lives and loves.

In the last year, since we started donating 100% of tips to help hard to adopt cats and dogs at the Prince William County animal shelter find new homes, thanks to your generosity we have paid $600-$800 every month in adoption fees to the shelter and vet fees for spay and neuters for nearly 50 animals that are now in their forever homes.

Dave pays 6% sales tax to the state of Virginia, more than 25% of which goes to Prince William County.

Dave donated 100% of his time and all of the food to the recent Prince William County animal shelter staff and volunteer appreciation event.

Dave gives discounts to Prince William County fire/rescue/police and the military. .

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County CXO Melissa Peacor announces retirement

Moonhowlings blog wishes CXO Melissa Peacor a very heartfelt batch of good wishes for a most joyous retirement.  There is just nothing like facing the holidays knowing that very soon, you can hang  it up, get up in the morning, enjoy that cup of coffee, and it is all someone else’s problem.

Yes, I can relate, first hand. I look back fondly on my own retirement from PWC.  I took it to a  level that involved lunch a couple times a week at City Tavern in addition to that cup of coffee at the window watching the birds..   Sweet!

Back to reality…It’s also no secret that Ms. Peacor had 30 years of service and was planning on retiring around the holidays.  If one is known to keep one’s mouth shut, you find out a lot.  Ms. Peacor’s exit was planned well in advance.  Good for her and I wish her all the best.   VRS cuts a sweet pay check, especially at her level.

I also thank her for her years of service to Prince William County.   She has overseen Prince William County’s transition  from a one horse town to a large suburban county with a population of over 400,000 and a triple A bond rating.

Congratulations, Melissa Peacor.

Silver Lake–revisited

I went out to Silver Lake with a friend today.  I love Silver Lake.  I have some wonderful memories involving Silver Lake. There is always something to see.  Today the treat from nature was about 80 water turtles lined up along logs, sunning themselves.  Way cool.

However, the County just hasn’t done right by Silver Lake, even with cute little turtles.

Let’s start by driving in to the lake area.  The road going in is just dreadful.  Pot Hole City.  I thought I was going to break an axle.  I thought that Rainbow Riding was supposed to keep the road upgraded until you pass their property.  If that is the case, they have failed.  That is the worst part of the road.  The rest isn’t any great shakes.  It needs to be graded  and re-graveled.

Part of the road is closed off.  There might be a good reason but the public hasn’t been told.  The cones don’t really limit access.  Cones can be moved.  Why is that part of the road closed?

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Jeanine Lawson plays it smart on supervisor endorsements

Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson was there to lend her support to her fellow Republicans. Lawson said she had endorsed Sheriff Glen Hill as well as current County Clerk of the Court Michele McQuigg who is running against Republican challenger Austin Haynes.

“They both did an excellent job in their positions. I think they deserve to be reelected,” Lawson said.

However, when it came to the Chairman’s race, Lawson said she has decided as a supervisor to not issue an endorsement either way.

I do NOT think Michele McQuigg has done an excellent job.  However, Ms. Lawson may think what she wants.  That’s her right.  Jeanine Lawson did the mature, professional  thing, however, by not issuing an endorsement for either Republican supervisor being challenged.

Let’s face it, she has to work with both Stewart and Nohe as long as she and they are in office.  Ms. Lawson apparently is capable of looking down the road and this decision clearly indicates that she is willing to build coalitions rather than using a daisy cutter on every issue and governing with conflict.

Pete Candland needs to take a page out of Ms. Lawson’s handbook.  Open support for a candidate opposing one of his colleagues just isn’t the smart thing to do.  Four years is a long time.    Pssssst!  Pete–start thinking for yourself.  Turn off that thundering voice stage-whispering in your ear.


The very bad no-good Republican firehouse caucus

I have nothing to say.  However, I was accused of becoming a blog I distained so I think I will just go for it, rather than be hung as a wolf.  I just won’t make fun of people, tempting though it is.

I decided I was not going to subject myself to that kind of scrutiny over voting.  I am an American.  I had been warned by a couple Republican friends who were in the know that I would probably not be allowed to vote.  I had voted in the 2013 Democratic primary for Lt. Governor.  I had also voted in a Republican one but who’s counting.


I had plans to vote but after last week’s mailers, I decided that it really wasn’t worth my time.  I really want Michele McQuigg out of there.  More on that next week.  I had planned on supporting Corey.  I was pretending he wasn’t running his mouth about immigration.  Then came the pro-life letter.

That letter hit the mailbox on Thursday.  It was a deal breaker.  I don’t usually get involved in reproductive issues at the supervisor level.  There is plenty of that to go around at the state level.  Other than zoning issues, it really isn’t all that important if a supervisor is pro-choice and to date, that has only come up over some silly letter once with the BOCS.

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Water line to nowhere

A water line to nowhere.  What a great line and one which  pretty much describes the $1.5 million dollar expense to construct a water line from somewhere to Long Park.  The annual operation costs are estimated to be $166,000.

There must be something I am missing.  The county says the water to the fields tests negative for nasty microbes.  The little library is closing in the fall.  The county also reports that digging another well is a far cheaper expenditure and that it will solve the problem.  So why is a water line going in?

Where is the money coming from?  If I heard correctly, it is coming from Gainesville proffers?  What about all the other parks?  Is their fair share being siphoned off?  How about Silver Lake?  It’s still crappy.  You sure can’t get potable water there.

Ben Lomond soccer fields also do not have water.  Splash Down might, since it is an aquatic center but the soccer fields do not have fountains.  Parents and kids bring their own.  It’s been that way for years.  Apparently toting your own water to not good enough for those using Long Park athletic fields.  Big Government should be providing “the chosen” with water.  Deer Park just isn’t good enough.

Dig a new well for the sports fields.  Give the little library bottled water until the new library opens up in a different location.  Hmmmm….did I say new library?  Gainesville Magisterial District now will have 3 libraries.

So how does the proffer money work?  Do individual supervisors get to keep the money within the district and spend it on their pet projects?   Aren’t proffers legally attached to specific rezonings?   How can you take park money  specifically proffered to the Braemar development rezoning dedicating to creating Catharpin Park and give it to Long Park?   Some proffer money is general.  Isn’t the money supposed to be shared among all parks and open space?

These are some of the questions PWC residents need to be asking.  It sounds like they are being fleeced and they are getting a water line to no where.

Al Alborn hits a homerun out of the ball park

sad elephant

Today’s MUST READ is from fellow blogger, Al Alborn, entitled “Supervisor Candland, you are no Corey Stewart.”  In his opinion piece, Alborn  explains the growth of Chairman Corey Stewart as a seasoned, political conservative who, despite some ideological bumps in the road, has landed on his feet and has guided the county through rough times politically and financially.  Alborn points out that Stewart is likeable and listens to everyone regardless of district.  Al is right.  Corey has become the face of Prince William County.

So why did Alborn attempt to compare and contrast Candland, a 1 term (thus far) supervisor from the Gainesville District to a 2 term chairman?  Why not.  Candland has made saber-rattling chairman noises since he first came into office, either directly or through his anonymous support blog that mysteriously sprung to life shortly after Pete was inaugurated.

The central theme of Alborn’s piece is that Candland is only 1 of 7–he represents only one District, the elite well-heeled Gainesville District, yet he expects the rest of the county to conform to Pete’s “my way or the highway” modus operandi.

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Greg Reynolds gets it right!

Greg Reynolds called out Pete Candland and Jeanine Lawson over their budget machanations. How many more times are they going to waste valuable staff time by “tweaking” the budget?

The majority of people in PWC approve of the 3.88% budget. Pete and Jeanine, give it up. Listen to Greg. He has been around a long time and is a very wise man.

The BOCS needs to pass the 3.88% budget without further ado.

April 25: Citizens beware! Hostile take-over!


If anyone out there in Prince William County  land really believes that the fire-house primary scheduled for April 25 is an accident, I have a bridge for sale.  Life isn’t that random.  The harbingers of hostile-grab have been out there for months.  The plans have been in the process of being laid for  several years.  We have been warned time and time again.  I am just not sure who was really listening.  Some of us were.

Even if no one was listening, we should have all sat up and taken notice when a GOP candidate was eliminated from his primary because he filed his paperwork late.   Now what is the likelihood of 2 different late filings disqualifying people within the same two months in the same county?  I am just not buying it.  Essence of rat comes wafting in once again.

Look no further than the Gainesville Cartel.  Let’s face it, the contenders for supervisor wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance in a general primary.  The Gainesville Cartel has been recruiting and building its contenders over the past year or so.  It starts with tearing down others and building up little-known people into something they are not.   Recruitment has been heavy handed at times.  The tearing down and destroying has been going on for quite some time.  Just follow the internet ink.

The ultimate goal is to party-bust and rid the local party of all Republicans who might be not only too moderate but also might not be under the influence as those who would see themselves as king makers.  Yes, there is some definite royal ego involved in all this political chicanery.

It’s very safe to say that voters will not be getting an independent thinker if any of the supervisor contenders are elected on April 25.  The puppetmaster will be ever-present, not far behind the candidate contenders, speaking in their ear.  Should the contenders win the fire house primary, it will almost surely end up a sweep for Democrats.  That’s just what happens when those with tea-party mentality try to take over a county.  Prince William would become a former image of itself, with  even more drastically reduced services and a leaner educational system.

I can hear the Democrats doing the heavy breathing thing, smacking their lips and salivating over the thoughts of their win.  If the supervisor-contenders pull this off, and they very well might, because of the nature of fire house primaries, then they will face a general election where all bets are off.  The Democrats  see the shady business going on with the bat-snot crazy side of the local GOP and are sitting back chuckling, waiting for the fall-out to settle.  They won’t even have to soften the  Republicans up after the hostile take over.  The local GOP will have already handled that end of things.   This election is ripe for the picking by lucky Democrats.

Meanwhile, I understand that concerned citizens have contacted the DOJ over election ….errrr…irregularities.  They should.  Something is rotten in Prince William County.


Judge denies the incumbents a primary

A judge refused Friday to overturn the Prince William County electoral board’s decision to block Republican efforts to hold primary nominating contests for several incumbent members of the Board of Supervisors.

After a court hearing, Judge Paul Sheridan said he doesn’t believe he has the authority to tell the county electoral board to reverse its position on the matter, which began when Republican party officials missed the state deadline for requesting primary elections for Prince William County board of supervisors chair Corey Stewart and three other Republican incumbents who wanted them.

“It’s not for a judge, in light of all this, to tell a political party or state and local agencies how to proceed,” said Sheridan, a retired Arlington County judge brought in to hear the case, which has roiled political waters in Prince William County.

So the incumbents have been screwed.  Perhaps just as important is the fact that the voters have been screwed. For example, I cannot vote for anyone in the fire house primary.  I don’t pass the Republican purity test.  I voted in a Democratic primary in the past 5 years.   I also voted in a Republican primary, being an Independent.  I also cannot vote because I vote absentee.  You cannot vote absentee in a firehouse primary.

It’s a sad day for both incumbents and voters.  I have no idea why the deadline was missed but it just isn’t right.  To the general public, it looks like there is some voter fraud going on.  I am not sure how, but eventually something will leak out.  I just find it incredibly strange and non-random that the targeted people have been boxed in to this situation.  I expect there will be a lot of “pew packing” at the firehouse primaries to make sure that the incumbents are ousted.

I hope if that happens that the incumbents run as independents.  I will set aside a little money to donate to their campaigns should that happen.  Fair is fair.  And this situation wasn’t fair.  I still smell a rat…a big one.


The tax assessments are in for tax year 2015.  What on earth has all the hype been over.  I was expecting to have to take out a second mortgage just to be able to afford the increase.  I had been eyeing the cat food for months now, figuring I was going to have to substitute at least a couple meals a week with the stuff because of PWC’s oppressive tax burden, imposed by all those “tax and spend” supervisors.

Such is not the case.  Back to hamburger and chicken.  The sky is not falling.  My tax bill increase, if it stays at the advertised rate hovers in right around $300 per year.  That’s about $25 a month.  I think I can afford that.  Oddly enough,  the tax amounts have gone down.   The assessment statement was much more detailed this year.

2013    $1.2562

2014    $1.2212

2015    $1.1936 (advertised)

Its pretty obvious that our tax amounts have decreased.  The actual housing assessments have increased which shows growth in the county.  You always want your house to be appreciating.  PWC housing assessments have always been low, compared to what you can get on the real estate market so things are even better.

The bottom line is, my taxes will go up a little bit more than they did last year.  My house is worth more.  My taxes were fairly flat for several years after the great recession so I am really not going to complain.

However, the tea party mentality people of the county will have you believe that our current supervisors have been fleecing us for the past 8 years.  That is simply a lie.

I live in an older neighborhood, Sudley, to be specific.  My house is about 45 years old.  Sudley has held its value fairly well and most streets still look presentable.  It’s not grand living though.  If you want granite countertops you have to remodel your kitchen.  If you want 10 foot ceilings you are pretty much out of luck.   If you want mature trees, you are in tree heaven.   Some of the people squawking the most about taxes live in much fancier digs than I do.  Perhaps some of them need to return to normal living if their taxes are too high.

I have lived here a long time.  I expected my taxes to go up over the years.  They have not disappointed me.  They have.  This yearly occurrence is normal.  It is what happens.  If your taxes are too high, you either bought too much house for your income or you really shouldn’t be living in Northern Virginia.