This morning when I check in to Facebook.com, I saw some very sad news from Prince William County School Board Chairman Milt Johns. Let me first off say that Mr. Johns is a Republican. He and I have very different political views. In fact, on some of them, we would probably stand toe to toe and scream at each other. Mr. Johns, however, was the school board chair. Those issues that we vehemently disagree on would have rarely come up. I also don’t know Mr. Johns personally. We have met professionally, before I retired. Milt Johns’ press release:
For Immediate Release
After months of prayer, reflection, and discussions with my family, I have decided that I will not seek re-election as Chairman at Large of the Prince William County School Board in 2015. When my term ends at midnight on December 31, 2015, I will have spent nearly a quarter of my life serving on the Prince William County School Board. It is time for me to focus on other matters, including my family and my law practice. I do expect to continue to have …a role supporting Prince William County Schools and in local political activities.
Saying Prince William County residents are more concerned about overcrowded classrooms than their annual real-estate taxes, Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart proposed a change in local tax policy Tuesday that would focus more on raising needed revenue for schools and county services and less on capping tax hikes.
Stewart, R-At Large, floated the idea during a joint meeting of the county Board of Supervisors and School Board held at the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center.
Pointing to the recent two-year county survey, as well as a separate survey his office conducted for political purposes, Stewart said increasing traffic congestion and school overcrowding are more immediate concerns for many residents than taxes.
“Regardless of your political stripes, people are more concerned about their quality of life at home than they are about keeping tax bills so low, I mean 30 percent lower than in Fairfax and Loudoun counties,” Stewart said. “There’s a price we are paying for that.”
Thanks goodness Corey Stewart sees that going on the cheap just isn’t a winning ticket for Prince William County. He is correct. Quality of life issues and education are important to the people of Prince William County. People want more parks and open space, smaller classrooms, better roads, and responsive public safety.
For those of us who heard the stories, who knew of the myriad of complaints that had been filed against Ray Utz, the common mantra today has been this…..”Wow, I am shocked but not surprised”
There use to be several women in the Planning dept several years ago, but. one by one they left until there were none. I believe there is now one woman, and she is a secretary. Too many people in leadership positions were aware of these complaints, and yet, nothing was done. All were deemed “unfounded” and so the women left and Ray Utz stayed.
Raymond Utz, the second-in-command of the Prince William County Planning Department, has been arrested after police say he exposed himself to women while driving.
Utz, 49, was the county’s assistant planning director since January. Before that, he served 11 years as the county’s chief of long range planning. County spokesman Jason Grant said Utz is no longer employed by Prince William County, but would not comment on whether he was fired or resigned.
Utz was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 19, after two reported incidents of indecent exposure, one in Woodbridge and the other in Lake Ridge.
Just before noon, police were called after a 38-year-old woman reported that a man in a black Honda CRV lowered his passenger side window while both drivers were stopped on Gideon Drive and Smoketown Road.
“At that point, the victim noticed that the driver was exposing himself and making an obscene sexual display,” Prince William police spokesman Jonathan Perok said.
The victim was able to provide officers with the Honda’s license plate number, which was registered to Utz.
When:: Nov. 15, 7 to 11 p.m. Where: C.M. Crockett Park, 10066 Rogues Road, outside Nokesville Fee: $6 per car What to bring: Warm clothes
Grab a warm coat and get ready to enjoy the excellent horizons from C.M. Crockett Park outside Nokesville, the perfect stage for the 2014 Leonid Meteor Shower.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast expects 10 comets per hour this year, and a new moon allows for the best visibility of the annual shower, which has been a true crowd-pleaser since 1833.
The park, set away from bright lights, competes only with the lights of Manassas, and a little disruption from the Warrenton-Fauquier Airport.
The park is just across the Fauquier border, about 10 minutes from Nokesville.
The moon factors into a viewer’s ability to glimpse the meteors, and last year the full moon ruined the visibility. This November, however, the new moon provides ultimate viewing conditions. However, the forecast remains the wild card.
The Leonids show up annually and seem to emanate from the constellation Leo. No howling over the cost even from these quarters. At least Fauquier is doing SOMETHING. I had asked for years to have an event like this in Prince William County, specifically at Silver Lake. I was told that I would have to pay for security. That cost is a deal breaker. $6 looks like a real bargain.
A freaking skunk must live under my front porch. I can always smell it. When it snowed all last winter, something would dig out no matter how much we blocked the entrance. We could see the track leading to under the porch.
My neighbor told me he saw a skunk go under there. I thought he was daft. Now my nose confirms that my neighbor must have been right.
We used to have pest control here in Prince William County. I have had them pull sick raccoons out of my shed, and investigate invading pests of other kinds. Now I am told they will not come and remove the skunk.
Private pest control wants a fortune to even come out. I am not even sure my unwanted guest is there during the day. I suspect he sleeps during the day and prowls at night.
Eric Young has announced his candidacy for the BOCS seat vacated by former supervisor Wally Covington. Young is a life-long resident of Prince William County and grew up in Nokesville where he currently makes his home . He will be running as a Democrat.
I am glad to see Mr. Young throw his hat in the ring for this race. Even though I cannot vote for him, all supervisors influence the county. There was just something about that other race that wasn’t quite meeting all requirements of my sniff test.
Mr. Young has taken the pledge to take no developer money. Now there’s a switch. It isn’t that Young is anti growth or even anti development. He seems to want decisions based on what is best for the county, rather than who can throw the most money at each supervisor. Novel concept, eh?
The past few weeks one of the local blogs has been waging war on behalf of Jeanine Lawson who is running for Brentsville District supervisor. She wants to take Wally Covington’s place. That’s fair. Ms. Lawson has been active in the community and supports many things this very blog holds dear.
Bloggers often have their favorite candidates. What isn’t fair is the usual half-truths, lies, and derisive pictures being posted against her opponent, Scott Jacobs. I am reminded of some of the nasty tricks that have been done to local candidates in the past.
For starters, a picture of Canadian Mayor Rob Ford, a large buffoon known for excesses and drug use, is being posted along side, or in place of Scott Jacobs. This derisiveness and mockery is unacceptable. Ford isn’t even an American and has nothing to do with Brentsville. The use of his picture is an immature propaganda attempt to smear Jacobs and to ridicule him. Absolutely the facts should be debated, sans lies and mimicry.
I call on both Jeanine Lawson and Pete Candland to contact the blog owner(s) and demand decency during this campaign. Pete gets named as culpable because of his close connection with the blog in question. He is its favorite son. If they do not insist on ethical behavior, then count on me to call them out–all candidates. We need to stick to the issues of Prince William County. Let’s not vilify other candidates or those who support them. Yes, I recall what was done to Jeanette Rishell and her campaign manager. I recall what was done to Sharon Pandak when she ran for chairman, I remember what was done to Elena as she supported the Rural Crescent and a candidate who did not win. If the politician stands to profit from unethical, derogatory blog behavior, then they will quickly own the problem and must step up to the plate to demand decency.
The Virginia General Assembly on Thursday appointed Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington a district judge, paving the way for a special election for his seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Covington has served three terms on the board and is currently vice chairman. He was chosen Friday to fill a vacancy in Prince William General District Court, a position that requires him to resign from his elected office. Two Republicans, Jeanine Lawson and Scott Jacobs, plan to run for the vacant seat in a special election that will be sometime this winter. There won’t be a Democratic contender for the seat. On Oct. 1, the Prince William Republican Committee will hold a mass meeting to nominate one of the two candidates to run in the special election. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Patriot High School.
Congratulations to Supervisor Covington. Most of us knew that he wanted this position for a long time. Hopefully he will find the job very rewarding. Now the fun will begin as the two Republican candidates jockey for the vacated supervisors position. The decision to chose the candidate at a mass meeting pretty much decided the outcome of this election. Plan for the deck to be stacked. Brentsville District will certainly be rocking this fall. I am not a Republican and I don’t live in Brentsville District. We will be watching from a distance. The civility of this race will be remembered.
Mike Hethmon, for those of you who do not remember, was one of the outside sources giving Prince William County legal advice on how to write their “Rule of Law Resolution.” There are just some things that come back and bite you in the ass. This is one of them. Surely Prince William County could seek advice from someone who didn’t have this alleged dirty little secret.
Don’t expect other blogs to be covering this tawdry story. I am sure it will be brushed under the rug. The anti-immigration blog might be crawling back under its rock with this news.
Mike Hethmon tried to protect us from anchor babies. If this charge is true, who is going to protect the anchor babies and all the rest of the children from Mike Hethmon?
I am going to advance a hypothesis. Local people who feel threatened by the refugee children from Central America are the same people who were anti-immigration to start with, you know, back in the day. Yes, the people who smugly went around touting “Illegal is illegal” and feeling like they had just made some sort of deep observation or said something profound. What does surprise me is the fact that these same people are now attacking children. How stupid on my part. Why am I surprised!? Read more…