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Candland Fails to Change Board Rules

By Potomac Local January 14, 2014 7:54 pm

11 Comments

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland talks school funding at a recent town hall event in Haymarket. [Leigh Giza / For Potomac Local News]

Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland talks school funding at a recent town hall event in Haymarket. [Leigh Giza / For Potomac Local News]

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Board of Supervisors six, Peter Candland zero.

Prince William County officials today voted down six attempts by Supervisor Candland, who represents the Gainesville District in the western portion of the county, to change some policies and procedures upheld by the governing body of more than 400,000 county residents.

The largest of the six, Candland proposed a measure that would require all of the board’s votes be taken during an evening session to start at 7:30 p.m. This would allow time for commuters to travel back from their jobs in Washington and the surrounding area’s to attend public board meetings, he said.

Currently, the board takes up issues and holds votes during both its 2 p.m. sessions regularly scheduled on Tuesdays, and during a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday session, if one is scheduled. Officials said land-use issues – which tend to be the most controversial – are normally taken up at night.

“When I see there are only two people here [during Tuesday’s afternoon session] to me, the big reason, it screams people are at work,” said Candland. “People are taking care of their kids and people are busy.”

The supervisor himself said he regularly takes vacation time from his day job to attend regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meetings.

The current board meeting schedule differs from years past when, prior to 1992, the Board of Supervisors used to conduct business at 10 a.m., said Neabsco District Supervisor John Jenkins. A growing population and changing constituents’ needs prompted leaders to change the meeting times.

Potomac District Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, who supported Candland, urged county officials to ensure all of the more controversial issues be taken up at night.

Others argued that holding only the votes at night, but discussing an agenda item during the afternoon session, would mean residents would miss out on the context of the discussion had by board members.

“Most of the stuff we do with regard to the business of the county during the day is, frankly, not all that titillating,” said Chairman Corey Stewart. “All that stuff, if we move it to the evening session, all that does is push land-use cases and the other stuff where there is a lot of public interest…back to 10 or 11 o’clock at night.”

Another measure to extend citizens’ time from 30 to 45 minutes each meeting – the period during each board meeting where residents can speak their mind – also failed. Stewart admitted he sees no reason to limit citizens’ time and has never done so.

Other measures regarding when official information is made available to board members and the public, and a motion to create a section on the county’s website to allow residents to comment on current agenda items also failed.

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  • Reality Check

    So much for the commitment of the Board of County Supervisors to transparency and open government. I took the time to review every one of Supervisor Candland’s motions, and I can tell you that each one of them was designed to improve access by citizens to actually participate in the decisions that are made to govern us.

    Just like the fight to stop the Board of County Supervisors from using taxpayer money in their discretionary funds, this battle will have to continue. Supervisor Candland is absolutely doing the right thing and every citizen in the county should support him.

  • Potomac Clubber

    What is Chairman Corey Stewart’s deal anyway? That guy has become the county’s number one enemy it seems.

  • Coco

    Peter Candland – One
    Maureen Caddigan – One
    Rest of the Board – ZERO
    That’s the way I see it from the peoples’ perspective. Keep trying Pete. The tide is changing.

    • Won’t Get Fooled Again

      Caddigan can spend the next year voting as a clone of Candland, but that can’t change her previous 20 year record of voting that created these and other problems in the first place – misuse of taxpayer and campaign money, votes to raise taxes, votes to spend recklessly and the list goes on and on. The woman has never had an original thought in her life. Candland is only the latest fellow Board member she has followed blindly out of political convenience. Before him it was Stewart, Barg, Connaughton and what’s her face (Connaughton’s predecessor.) I’m so done with her. Good riddance once she’s gone.

  • Petty

    Once again Candland showed that he doesn’t have the experienced to lead.He is not smart enough to understand that he has to build consensus among board members rather his continued attempt at showmanship. his constituents realize he is not what he appears to be. They are waking up to his agenda. Staff can keep commenting on social media sites under different names to make it appear that he has supporters.

    • Matt

      Petty,

      I hope you don’t speak as poorly as you write.

    • John B

      I thought your post was a solid critique until you decided to attack the bloggers at the end. Nice way to expose yourself as being one of Stewart’s and/or Peacor’s shills.

      Still, your initial criticism might have some merit. Politics, unfortunately, is about building coalitions, not just going up against (the corrupt, arrogant self-serving) members of the BOCS who are draining the taxpayers dry.

  • Garth Porter

    Peter Candland is trying to do what he thinks is the right thing. I don’t agree with some of the things that he attempts, but I must give him credit gor for trying to make our county governance more transparent and citizen friendly. Corey Stewart has proven, once again, that he fears transparency and thinks that citizens are dolts. He is in for a surprise.

  • PWC Citizen

    This goes to show all of us what the moral character of those who opposed these measures. I’d like to say I am surprised. The fact is, most of this board is a complete embarrassment. Was Jenkins even awake to vote?

  • M Johnson

    I would have liked to see the Board agree to hold voting sessions at an hour when the average citizen can be present and speak up if so desired. To have budged in some way on behalf of the working masses.

    On a separate note, I believe that the Potomac Local news could have come up with an unbiased intro for this article . Looking at the headline “Candland Fails to Change Board Rules” “WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Board of Supervisors six, Peter Candland zero “, I wondered what uncouth act this “Candland” fellow had attempted to pull off. So I read on and was more than a little disappointed in our Board. Titling this “Board of Supervisors Doesn’t Want Citizens At Key Meetings. ” would have been equally slanted but more accurate.

  • Gone-Fish’n

    What is it that elected officials refuse to address their own policies and conduct unless there is a public outcry either in the press or at the polls? Elected officials ignore citizens’ comments, call bloggers conspirator theorists’ and if you disagree with an elected official you are suddenly uninformed.

    I am convinced that Supervisor Candland and Mayor Foreman are reading from the same playbook. Supervisor Candland is another casualty of focusing on making positive changes in the way elected officials operate. Mayor Foreman attempted to address Council policy and Council conduct and the Dumfries Town Council voted no (5-2)! These two are young politicians and they are exciting to watch. They need to weather the rough seas, use their sextant and stay the course.

    Transparency appears to be murky water in County politics. I have attended a few meetings. County meetings are too long and the majority of the time there is a faction of Supervisors that have spoken to each other prior and scripted their actions. From last Tuesday’s meeting, Ms. Peacor doesn’t have to raise taxes to add revenue to County coffers, Mr. Kaczmarek should install a concessions counter (aka. movie theater) in the lobby and sell popcorn and canned caffeine laced drinks to take into the chamber because the Supervisors’ conduct is pure Bollywood. To the point, County takes the Razzie from the towns of Haymarket, Quantico, Dumfries and Occoquan hands down!