moneytreeMuch of politics revolves around budget wars. How much money? Provided by who? Spent on what? By whom?

So it is that tomorrow (May 6, 2016) the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will have a meeting (at the Prince William County McCoart Administration Building, Board Chambers, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA), and the budget is on the agenda.

Here is Supervisor Pete Candland (R-Gainesville) take on it.

Friday night, May 6, the [Prince William] Board of County Supervisors will set the tax rate for the FY17 budget, and the choices are very clear.

The county executive has proposed a 3.88 percent tax increase that will increase county spending and expand county government by $90 million in the next year alone.

That tax hike was based on a five-year plan that assumed a robust economy that would skyrocket out of the effects of the Great Recession. Unfortunately, our economy continues to be sluggish, hitting mid to low income earners the hardest. (continued here)

Of course, there is considerable controversy. The Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers, a Democrat, is uttering the usual class warfare rhetoric. Why?

To explain his point, Sawyers noted that homeowners in Gainesville, where properties are worth an average of $495,000, will save more from the flat-tax rate than homeowners in Woodbridge, where the average home value is about $295,000. (from here)

So if you live in the east end of the county, you should advocate a tax increase so you can screw the west end? If you live in a small house or apartment, you should advocate a tax increase so you can screw the folks who live in big houses. Why?

Of course, since he is the chair, Sawyers has a ready made propaganda machine => Click for the facts. The Financial Services services department of PWCS is, of course, a wholly unbiased source.

Anyway, read up on the matter.

Note that those who support Candland’s call for flat tax rate will be gathering at the Prince William County McCoart Administration Building at 6 PM on May 6, 2016 to speak to the board of supervisors and to stand with those board members who stand in opposition to a tax increase. The people who live off the government can always be counted upon to have representation at these meetings. Perhaps it is about time the people who pay the bill showed up too.

Can’t show up? Then please contact your supervisor and let them know how you feel about paying more taxes. Do you really want to pay more taxes just because some elected official wants to spend more of your money? No? Then complain.


voteWe have an election coming up on November 03, 2015. In Prince William County, we will have ten offices we have to fill. Depending upon your voting precinct your ballot will look different, but I will have the choices shown below. Other counties will look even more different.

How do you find out what is on your ballot? Visit the Virginia Dept. of Elections. Then click on the center of the web page => Check your Voter Information. Then fill out the form.

Filling out the form will get you to a page where you can verify and update your Voter Information. You can also check the ID requirement. These days we have to have a photo ID.

To see what is on your ballot, click on the SHOW link across from “My Ballot.” That will bring up something like what I have on my sample ballot (see below).

Note that some of the elections on your sample ballot may be uncontested. In that case, on one candidate will be listed as running for that office.

As it is, we in Prince William County will be busy. We have lots of candidate to research. Since these are the people who choose our judges, manage our police forces, run and set the standards for our public schools, build our roads, zone our counties,…..

Upcoming Election: Your Sample Ballot

You can see your sample ballot below, for the upcoming election

Sample Ballot:
November 03, 2015
2015 November General Election
Prince William County Precinct 105 – LIMESTONE

Member Senate of Virginia

B. Jill McCabe
Richard H. “Dick” Black
Member House of Delegates

Robert G. “Bob” Marshall
Clerk of Court

Jacqueline C. Smith
Michele B. McQuigg
Commonwealth’s Attorney


Glendell “Glen” Hill
Soil and Water Conservation Director Prince William District

Sandra D. “Queenie” McLean
Zoe E. Vitter
James R. “Jim” Gehlsen
Kiah D. Spinks
John B. Price
Elizabeth H. Ward
Chairman – Board of Supervisors

Rick H. Smith III
Corey A. Stewart
Member Board of Supervisors

Jeanine M. Lawson
Chairman – School Board

Timothy M. Singstock
Tracy A. Conroy
Member School Board

Gilbert A. “Gil” Trenum, Jr.


What is the update? Here is the video of the debate.

This evening I attended the debate between our current Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, Corey Stewart, and his challenger for the Republican nomination, Chris Crawford. Both gentlemen did a credible job.  So the debate proved to be quite interesting.

Potomac Local and the Coles District Civic Association sponsored the debate, and the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge hosted it. Since I had not been in a mosque before, I was curious to see what would be different.


The first thing I noticed was the building itself. I had driven by it, and it is different enough Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Centerthat it stands out.  However, since it is a mosque, it had not occurred to me that I would have any reason to enter it.  So I was a bit surprised to find myself going in.

As I expected, everyone is required to take off their shoes first. Actually, we do that in my house too. So I have no trouble with someone who thinks that is appropriate for God’s house.


I went up to the second floor, where they have what most Christians would call a fellowship hall.  That is the room that was used for the debate. Children from the mosque initiated the program of events.

  • First we had a reading from the Koran, at least I think that is what it was, apparently both in Arab and English.
  • Next we had the presentation of the American flag.
  • Finally, all recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

With the boys dressed as cub scouts and boy scouts, the only thing that seemed unusual was that girls dressed more conservatively (wearing Muslim garb) than would brownies or girl scouts.

The Debate

The Coles District Civic Association is suppose to post a video of the debate, and I recommend viewing it. My guess is that anyone who takes the time to vote in the Firehouse Primary to select the Republican Party’s nominee for the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors (scheduled April 25 from 10 AM to 3 PM) will also take the time to watch the video. So what follows are some highlights and observations.

Corey Stewart

What was Corey Stewart’s message?  He wants to sell us on the idea that the county is in good shape and getting better. He says he has focused on three things:

  • Education: With respect to this subject, Stewart said almost nothing. As a practical matter, all the BOCS does is hand over half of its budget to the School Board, and the School Board spends it. So the best he can do is hand over lots of money.
  • Transportation: Stewart repeated much of what he states here on his transportation issue page. All I can say is that I am happy the state, not the county, is paying for most of this road construction.
  • Public Safety: Here Stewart focused primarily on the issue of illegal immigration, and it is hard to fault what Stewart attempted to do. What is wrong with requiring law enforcement to verify the citizenship status of anyone the arrest? What is wrong with turning illegal immigrants to the federal government for deportation? Nothing. Unfortunately, President Barack Obama now has other ideas.

Stewart also discussed two other issues.

  • Attracting commercial businesses to the county: On his issues page, Stewart refers to this subject as Jobs.  Stewart’s problem here is that too many have observed that we have gotten lots new businesses in retail and service sector, but not much else.  To what extent is that Stewart’s fault? Given the Great Recession occurred on his watch, that’s difficult to say.
  • Prosperity: At the same time we had the Great Recession, increased Federal spending led to increased numbers of well paid government workers and contractors in the county. Stewart takes credit for this increase. Is that fair? Has this increase helped our schools? That’s something to think about. Who did Stewart help most? Developers or county residents?

Chris Crawford

Without seeming to be arrogant, Crawford’s problem is to point out Stewart’s legitimate shortcomings and how he can do better. To this end, Crawford focused on:

  • The county’s disappointment with its schools:  Like Stewart, what Crawford said can often be found on his website. With his own children going to schools in Prince William County, Crawford is disappointed with the county’s low SOL scores, the lowest in northern Virginia. Crawford promises to focus funding on schools to reduce class size.
  • Long commutes: Crawford has observed from personal experience (he commutes) that there are relatively few jobs in Prince William County. He referred to an: “Innovation Park that looks like a wheat field.” He promised to attract business by keeping taxes low and striving for good schools. That involves establishing and adhering to budget priorities.

Naturally, Crawford also dealt with other topics.

  • When questioned about his immigration policy, Crawford observed that we need a Republican president. Otherwise, we must deal with the fact that the illegal aliens are now here “legally.” We must help the new arrivals to learn English and to assimilate into our communities.
  • Crawford said that the roads the county is building are being built for development, not for commuters to get to jobs. That is a polite way of saying that Prince William residents are funding development.
  • When Stewart said that Prince William County residents pay the lowest taxes in northern Virginia, Crawford countered that we pay the highest rates, but our homes are worth the least. Property values have not recovered from the Great Recession.
  • When Stewart argued that he is the stronger candidate to help the Republican Party win county-wide, Crawford pointed to our losses during presidential elections.

The Bob FitzSimmonds Controversy

When I saw the venue for the debate, I must admit I raised an eyebrow. Huh? However, the location is in the middle of the county, Muslims have conservative social values, and the candidates had agreed to it. Shrug. Still, I don’t trust the news media. So when the debate moderators (news media) brought up a question about Bob FitzSimmonds’ last controversy, I can’t say I was too surprised. Just disgusted.

On July 29, 2014, Bob FitzSimmonds posted this on his facebook account.

To mark the end of Ramadan, on Sunday, Obama released a statement thanking Muslim Americans “for their many achievements and contributions….to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

It is one thing to be gracious on religous holidays, but this is pure nonsense. Exactly what part of our nation’s fabric was woven by Muslims? What about Sikhs, Animists, and Jainists? Should we be thanking them too?

That was in response to this statement from the White House.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary



Four candidates for elected office in Prince William County will meet for two separate debates Saturday, April 11.

First at 5:30 p.m., incumbent Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart will meet his Republican challenger Chris Crawford to debate local issues concerning governance of Prince William County and the task of leading its Board of Supervisors. Both men are candidates in an April 25 party canvass, also known as a “firehouse” primary where Republican voters will decide who will go on to face Democrat challenger Rick Smith in November. (continued here)


The debates will be held at the Dar AlNoor Islamic Community Center on Hoadly Road in Woodbridge. The event is co-sponsored by the Coles District Civic Association and Potomac Local. (from here)

Who is Chris Crawford?

Opinion Piece: written by Chris Crawford, Republican Primary Candidate for Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors.  

Another Outrageous Display of Poor Leadership by Mr. Stewart

Last night I was reminded why I am running to replace Corey as Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors. At their weekly BOCS meeting Tuesday night, a hot topic during Citizen’s Time was the decision by the school board to designate the Ferlazzo Elementary school as a new building for the Porter School and not a “community school” as originally planned. (continued here)

Come to the debate. Listen to the candidates. Support your candidate. Hear their positions. Find out what they want to do. Let them defend what they have said and done. Take the time to participate of the local governance of the place where you live.