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…
Very briefly, the BOCS went in to closed session following the invocation. They emerged about a half hour later and Chairman Stewart announced the result of their session which you can hear in the above video.
Posting this video should cut down on the myths, lies and superstitions out there in cyberland. Additionally, Chairman Stewart confirmed that no children were being housed at the Armory on Dumfries Road, outside Manassas.
The questions the Board seek answers to seem appropriate. I sincerely hope the BOCS will keep this reasonable tone and stand down during this humanitarian crisis. These kids have to be scared, alone, and insecure. They do not need to hear county vitriol carried over from 2007 hurled at them. Yes, its pretty much the same familiar tired old faces spewing hate and explaining to us why they aren’t prejudiced. (Yea, well yes you are!) Some of them just had to get out their thread-barren old shirts, some with those red circles and make sure we all knew that there was still a sputter of hate left inside.
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.
Budget time is always a contentious time of year. This year was particularly awful. It didn’t have to be that way. The county tax rate was set at $1.148. It probably should have been much higher to start bringing some of our deficiencies like class size and first responders into line. But it wasn’t. We should be glad that it is as high as it is. The schools are still short several million dollars.
I am not sure why the notion that officials need to “cut spending” is so popular amongst some people. I live in this area because I want better than average services. I hate tea party mentality. I also don’t feel that I am over taxed. “Cut spending” is a bumper sticker slogan. Prince William has been so lean for so many years, “cut spending” just sounds stupid.
What particularly peeved me this time is the number of people who live in far more expensive houses than mine who whined about taxes and then tried to do it on MY behalf. In fact, my neighborhood was cited by name. For starters, it isn’t a poor neighborhood. It is an older neighborhood. There is a huge difference. A lot of people who live near me have grown children. We aren’t utilizing the schools. We do want fast response time if we need the police, fire or rescue. We want our streets maintained, swept, and the weeds killed that are growing out of the cracks in the road and sidewalks. We want adequate lighting. There are no street lights in my community.
Several speakers at Citizen’s Time yesterday spoke to the issue of a library in Gainesville. In fact, one woman shrieked at the board for a solid three minutes. Sadly, she did not make her point. Shrieking anger seems more blog-like than tone one should use addressing the BOCS. I was extremely grateful when her three minutes were up. Other speakers spoke for the libraries at citizens time, with considerable less vitriol.
What some of the people in Gainesville must not realize is that they have a library. We call it Bull Run Regional Library up here in the original Gainesville District. It’s right over in the Sudley North Center, off of Sudley Manor Drive on Ashton Avenue. It’s very much in the Gainesville area. It’s a modern, attractive, large, well-stocked facility with several community meeting rooms.
One of the best re-caps of yesterday’s BOCS meeting can be found at the Bristow Beat. Stacy Shaw did a great job of summarizing the very long meeting as well as using citizen profiles and quotes to encapsulate the various points of view represented. In fact, the Virginia Press Association named Bristow Beat the best in Breaking News Writing in the online-only category at their annual awards banquet last Saturday night. Congratulations, Bristow Beat!
Perhaps the most refreshing part of Stacy’s write-up was the air of neutrality. I saw none of the bias one usually associates with local news, whether it is blog related or actual online or print media. Yes, we expect blogs to portray bias. That is sort of the point of a blog. But all too often the actual online news sources can’t seem to resist showing their colors. It is just darn difficult to find your news without an infusion of commentary.
One of the most touching parts of the meeting was listening to people speak to the needs of the Prince William Free Clinic. It literally is a lifesaver for people who do not have health coverage and who might not have the out of pocket funds to get medical and dental treatment. Not everyone gets Medicaid, especially men. Where would these people be without the free clinic? Hopefully, Ray B. will come along and enlighten us about who really does qualify for Medicaid in Virginia. This illumination will be helpful when we listen to our state legislators argue the need for expanding Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians.
Meanwhile, be sure to read Stacy Shaw’s article covering the most recent Board of Supervisors meeting. Keep up the good work, Stacy.
Good for Chairman Corey Stewart. He has continued to point out the need for additional law enforcement officers, despite the fact that he has been vilified and mocked on some other blogs that frankly, would brand him regardless of what he advocated in his role as county chairman. Now one of the local online news agencies wants to pile on, ignoring facts.
In recently arguing his case for more police officers (and perhaps higher taxes) in next year’s fiscal county budget, Prince William Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart also managed to perpetuate an unfortunate stereotype.
“It’s not just in Woodbridge or Dale City, it’s not just in places where people would think these things would occur,” Stewart said of what he perceives as a spike in crime. “They are happening in the western end of the county.”
Really, Mr. Stewart? We expect rape, robbery and murder on the east end but not the west end?
He might as well have called it “Hoodbridge,” that embarrassing nickname that started who knows where, but it seems to have stuck.
Stewart called a press conference earlier this month to make his case that crime is on the rise, and mentioned two recent high-profile incidents – the execution-style shooting death of 21-year-old Glenda Coca-Romero at Platanillos Grocery in Woodbridge and a gang fight at Potomac Mills mall.