Your Local News Fix in Prince William, Manassas, and Stafford, Va.




Wire falls onto Hope Road, sheriff’s deputies called for traffic control

A contractor working in the area of Hope Road and Summerwood Drive struck a TV cable causing to fall onto the street. 

Stafford sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene for traffic control about 3:15 p.m. 

Emergency crews from the county’s fire and rescue service called for the owner of the line to be notified so reparis could be made.


Two women sought after man robbed with stun gun at Potomac Mills area hotel


From Prince William police: 

Armed Robbery – On October 22 at 6:19PM, officers were advised of a robbery which was reported to have occurred in a room at the Best Western located at 14619 Potomac Mills Rd in Woodbridge (22192) on October 21 around 8:30PM. The victim, a 33-year-old man of Woodbridge, reported to police that he made arrangements to meet an unknown woman at the above hotel. When the woman arrived, she was accompanied by a female acquaintance. Once inside the room, the female acquaintance pulled out a “stun gun” type weapon and demanded the victim’s property. The suspects took the victim’s wallet, computer and money before fleeing. No injuries were reported.

Suspect Descriptions:

White female, between 20 & 25 years of age, 5’7”, 150lbs with a medium build, light complexion and brown hair

Last seen wearing long, tan coat similar to a trench coat


Black female, unknown age, 5’10”, 130lbs with a thin build and hazel eyes

No clothing description reported

Prince William County Library chief to retire October 31

Connie Gilman said the Prince William County Public Library System is in better shape today than when she inherited it nearly 30 years ago.

Since 1990, the library system has opened four new branches, added programs for children and seniors, and has worked hard, so residents never ask the question: “do we need a library?”

Gilman spent the last month touring some of the county’s 11 libraries to say goodbye to the people who she says she’ll miss the most — library staff. Gilman will retire at the end of the month. Her last day is Monday, October 31.

Board of Supervisors Chairman At-large Corey Stewart recognized Gilman for her service to the county at a public meeting on Oct. 18.

“She’s done a phenomenal job,” said Stewart. 

Delegate Rich Anderson, his wife Occoquan District Supervisor Ruth Anderson, county executives, and staff attended a brunch in Gilman’s honor earlier that morning,

Gilman leaves the library system on the heels of unprecedented expansion. Two new branch libraries — the Haymarket-Gainesville Community Library, and the Montclair Community Library — opened just weeks apart from each other last year.

The opening of the new centers came at a time when many jurisdictions across the U.S. are choosing not to open new libraries due to the proliferation of access to information on the web.

“I’ve heard ‘lucky you’ a lot from people across the state. [The opening of the new libraries] makes our library system look great across the Commonwealth of Virginia because we are growing, and the citizenry supports us, and that is something that other jurisdictions are envious of,” explained Gilman.

The goal of the new libraries and all libraries in the county is to bridge gaps between the affluent and poor, to provide everyone access to the same information. Access to trusted sources of information — both in hardcover books and online — will continue to make libraries valuable no matter how many new websites are created, said Gilman.

She took the job as she was finishing her Ph.D. at UVA. Upon arriving at the library, Gilman said she made it her goal to develop employees and promote from within.

“I hired a part-time Sunday librarian, and then developed her into a branch administrator,” explained Gilman. She went through the ranks and paid dues, while I mentored her, and I am very proud of her success.”

She also developed the worked with the Virginia Library Association and developed a leadership program that held its first conference in 2010, and subsequent conferences in 2014, and again this year.

Gilman lives in Manassas and has been asked to serve on the city’s Historic Resources Board after she retires. “That would be a good way to give back to my city,” she said.

First, Gilman plans to travel to Topsail Island in North Carolina to spend time with family, and to spend time with her grandsons, ages four and six.

“I want to spend more time with them and be involved in their lives,” she said.

Gas leak found at Youth for Tomorrow complex

Fire and rescue crews found a small gas leak inside a building at the Youth for Tomorrow complex.

Fire crews were called to Hazel Circle just off Bristow Road in Bristow about noon on Monday. Crews reported smelling a slight odor of gas. They later found a small leak at a gas meter, according to initial reports.

Crews called Washington Gas to dispatch a work crew to fix the problem. Afterward, a majority of the firefighters called to the scene were released.

Prince William Police Chief Barnard to start community conversation series

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. — Prince William County Police Chief Barry Barnard will host the first in a series of community conversations in the county.

The first event to be held at Westgate Elementary School near Manassas will be an open forum where Barnard will answer question on any topic, according to the police department:

Chief Barry Barnard of the Prince William County Police Department will be hosting a “Conversation with the Chief” on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at Westgate Elementary School located at 8031 Urbanna Road in Manassas starting at 7:00PM. We would like to extend an invitation to those who live in the community to come out and meet the new chief and engage in conversation. Chief Barnard will personally answer questions and discuss any topics of concern from community members and residents. The Police Department plans to hold additional community conversations at other locations across Prince William County in the future.

We asked 1st Sgt. Jonathan Perok about the upcoming series of community talks:

PL: Is this the first such event like this?

Perok: This is the first meeting the department is hosting; however, the Chief has attended and spoken with numerous other groups by invitation over the last year.

PL: Can you tell us what prompted the department to begin a series of these events? The Chief remains committed to community engagement and wants to continue having and building upon meetings with the community to discuss issues.

Perok: The Chief remains committed to community engagement and wants to continue having and building upon meetings with the community to discuss issues.

PL: Any specific dates / times / locations on any future events in the series?

Perok: Not at this time. The plan is to host them at varying locations across the county so that it’s geographically convenient for community members to attend.

PL: It is envisioned that each event will be an open forum, or will each event focus on a specific topic relative to the area in which the event is held? It will depend on the location and audience participation. The Chief may open with a topic and defer to the audience for further conversation. These events are going to be somewhat informal.

Perok: It will depend on the location and audience participation. The Chief may open with a topic and defer to the audience for further conversation. These events are going to be somewhat informal.

Jones running for Mayor on record of rebuilding Manassas Park schools, facilities

Frank Jones  is seeking another term as Mayor of Manassas Park. It’s a seat he’s held for the past 12 years. 
He’s running against Jeanette Rishell, who has served on the Manassas Park Governing Body.
We sent a questionnaire to Jones and Rishell. Jones’ responses are below: 

Find your polling place 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing Manassas residents?

Jones: The city must diversify its tax base. This is the single biggest issue facing our city, as all we do is based upon available tax revenue. Our schools, police, fire, and public works department depend on city resources to accomplish their respective missions.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Jones: Smart development. The city should engage the business community to develop available real estate in the city in such a way that increases and diversifies our tax base, while not increasing demand for city services. This is action the city is already undertaking. The city has a great opportunity to work with private industry to develop the land into both commercial property and age-restricted housing, neither of which increase demand on our school system, our single biggest city expense, while both increase tax revenue.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Jones: The Mayor is first and foremost the city and all its departments’ leadership in and out of Manassas Park. In addition to that, the Mayor is to be an advocate and ambassador for the city when working with other locales, state and federal officials.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

I have over 25 years experience serving Manassas Park residents. In addition to my service in the U.S. Navy and as the current Mayor I have served in a variety of positions: Member and former Chairman of Manassas Park School Board Vice-Chairman of the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Committee Member of Flory Center Small Business Council Commissioner on Northern Virginia Regional Commission Human Resources and Facilities Director for a Defense Agency with offices across the nation.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well informed and understands the workings of city government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 
Jones: I think most citizens Local government affects our daily lives more than any other level of government. I think it crucial citizens take an active interest in what local government is doing. We have made the business of the Governing Body, as well as our school system, public works, and public safety as accessible as possible via the internet, cable TV, and social media. In addition to this, I have recently tried several telephone town halls, where citizens can get a brief city update from me, as well as ask questions and voice concerns. As we have seen a good response to these, I plan to hold more of these in the future.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Jones: Yes, I have made mistakes. Each created a learning opportunity and an experience to improve personally moving forward.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Jones: I have three things to offer Manassas Park: a record, a plan, and a vision for the city. During my tenure as Mayor, I led the city through the toughest economic period in the city’s history. On my watch, the city’s credit rating was upgraded from “BBB” to “A+” and city valuation has increased over $330 million in the last four years.
I led the efforts to rebuild our crumbling schools, community center, police and fire stations. Through our work, our city’s first responders have some of the best facilities, vehicles, equipment, and training of any other jurisdiction in Northern Virginia; our state of the art police station is the envy of other departments in Virginia. Through all of this, we have made our city the 7th safest in the Commonwealth. We not only have a safe city to raise our children, but we have great schools to educate them. 
Now, I will tell you I didn’t do any of this by myself, but rather by bringing people together to achieve a common goal. Leadership is the ability to work across political divides, personalities, and differing viewpoints to get the job done–this is the kind of leadership I offer Manassas Park.

Read more Project: Election 2016 candidate profiles.

Patient finds relief, mobility, and more with knee replacement


Dr. Daniel Hampton at Sentara OrthoJoint Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge reserves surgery as a last resort for patients with chronic knee pain.

But when Karen Cribb, the Patient Advocate at Sentara Medical Center, became Dr. Hampton’s patient, he told her that eventually, she would need to have knee replacement surgery. After weighing the benefits and risks of surgery, they decided to try alternative therapies such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and injections first to see if they could manage her osteoarthritis, pain, and limited mobility issues without surgery.

Injections of corticosteroids provided temporary relief for Karen. However, when the medication wore off, the pain grew unbearable. They then tried a series of four shots designed to build cushioning around the knee, but that did not prove effective for her either.

“Those treatments work for different people to varying degrees,” said Dr. Hampton. “When it’s time for surgery, your body will tell you.”

Limitations as the Deciding Factor for Knee Surgery

Karen grew up playing sports like basketball and softball during a time when there were no professional coaches ensuring the safety of younger athletes. As she got older, her knees began to bother her.

“I truly didn’t pay attention to the pain until I couldnt participate in family activities the way I used to,” said Karen.

She finally realized her mobility restrictions as she listened to her husband and daughters plan a big family vacation to New England for her upcoming birthday. Well-intentioned, her husband and daughters repeatedly said, “Mom can’t do that so we won’t do it.

Karen acknowledged that they were restructuring the fun activities around her pain. During her vacation, she was disappointed when she could not get to the top of a lighthouse in Maine or climb the steps at Bunker Hill in Boston. Karen wanted to be active and pain-free so she could enjoy time with her family, and she resolved to do something about it.

Karen knew the time had come for surgery when she began to fall and make trips to the emergency room that caused her to miss family activities. The rest of Karen’s body was now compensating for her injured knee, and she eventually threw out her back. Her daughter was getting married soon, and she did not want her knee problems to interfere with the wedding. It was time to consider knee replacement surgery.

Throwing out my back because of my knee pain was an eye opener,” Karen said. That was the decisionmaking moment for me.

Karen and Dr. Hampton set her surgery date for April 4, 2016.

Knee Replacement Success

There is a very high success rate with knee replacement surgery, Dr. Hampton said. “About 95 percent of patients do well with replacements.

Patients who opt for knee replacement have an intense recovery period with several months of extensive physical therapy. “Additionally,” Dr. Hampton said, “there is a six-month check-up and another follow-up appointment at one year with periodic x-rays. Patients are then typically seen annually.

Surgery requires a close partnership between the patient, surgeon, and rehabilitation therapists. The patient must be motivated to adhere to the therapy regimen and stay active, even when there are some stiffness and pain. Walking, hiking, swimming, and other low impact exercises are excellent ways to stay active for those recovering from knee replacement surgery, and they carry the added benefit of potential weight loss, which further reduces pressure and strain on the knee.

Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery

The surgery itself was not painful for Karen. Her family was incredibly supportive, encouraging her to stay active, helping her recuperate, and driving her to her medical appointments during her recovery. When Karen returned to work, the staff at Sentara was also very supportive.

“This is what we do, for our patients and each other, said Karen.

She and her coworkers even shared a good laugh about her bedazzled cane that she used during her recovery. “Go gaudy or go home,” Karen joked.

Karen completed her physical therapy in August 2016, four months after her surgery. Overall, she describes the surgical experience as positive. Karen is grateful for her improved quality of life.

“I really appreciate Dr. Hampton and the therapists saying that I can’t hurt the knee, but I will hurt myself if I don’t stay active,” Karen said. It feels great to feel good.

For more information, visit Sentara OrthoJoint Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

Wolfe: Manassas needs a comprehensive plan for next 30 years


Mark Wolfe is running to keep his seat on the Manassas City Council. Spending eight years on the council as Republican. this is the first time he seeks office as a Democrat.

We sent a questionnaire to Wolfe and his responses are below: 

Find your polling place 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing Manassas residents?

Wolfe: Improving our schools, enhanced economic development and involving our citizens in planning for the future of Manassas.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Wolfe: First, we need to engage our citizens in a comprehensive, public, strategic planning exercise. We need to fully understand the goals, desires and vision of the citizens of Manassas as we plan for the next 30 years.

After gaining citizen input, we can begin implementing programs and budgetary choices consistent with the vision expressed by the citizens.

One idea that has been suggested in the education community is adding having universal Pre-K to our schools. Educators have told me that this is the most effective means of improving results/test scores in the schools.

Another idea is to expand our Economic Development efforts. That we need to expand the staffing and resources dedicated by the City to recruit new businesses to Manassas and to help the existing businesses to grow.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Wolfe: The job of the City Council is to be responsive to the citizens. Taking input from our the citizens the Council sets the priorities and vision for the City staff to implement. The City Council does not manage the City workforce; that is the job of the City Manager. Nor does the Council administer the Schools.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

The expertise I bring in eight years of experience in doing the job coupled with over 35 years of business experience. This experience involves success in both the profit and non-profit sectors.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well informed and understands the workings of city government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 
Wolfe: Our citizens are not as fully informed or engaged about their local government as the could/should be. Many of our citizens have recently moved to Manassas and are not familiar with their government and the plans for the future of Manassas. The most impactful step that the City can take to improve the level of understanding and engagement is to involve the citizens in a broad-based input process for the Manassas strategic plan. This was last done in 2003. Think of how Manassas has changed since 2003. To have a positive future for Manassas it is imperative that all parts of the community are afforded the opportunity to be a part of this process.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Wolfe: That we (and I) have at times been too slow to address important needs and opportunities confronting our community. A good example is a need for a Southside fire station. The City has known for years that the fire/rescue response times to much of our community to significantly above the recommended times and national standard. Yet it has taken the City years to begin to rectify the problem. I should have been more forceful in bringing this issue to head.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Wolfe: Because I have been a leader in helping to make Manassas a better place to live. With Andy Harrover I helped champion the Battle Street redevelopment. I then led the way to the improvements on Main Street. Together these projects have added to the vitality of Manassas and have provided added City revenue without raising taxes. I have also led the way on the Gateway project which will add significantly to our commercial tax base. I have championed the revitalization of the South Grant Avenue area, the Prince William Street improvements and the location of a new library into Manassas. And I have also fought for a South Side fire station. It is easy to be comfortable. To say that things are good enough. And not to push for change and continued growth. But Manassas competes in a global marketplace for businesses and residents.

Read more Project: Election 2016 candidate profiles.

Decatur wants cash capital fund for Stafford schools, more resource officers

Jamie Decatur is running to for a seat on the Stafford County School Board.

She and her opponent Dana Rienboldt aim to replace Emily Fallon who is sentenced to serve one year in prison after she stole more than $23,000 from the Anne E. Moncure Elementary School PTO, while she was the president of the organization. 

The Stafford County School Board appointed Melissa Ayres to fill the seat in June on a temporary basis. Ayres chose not to seek election to the seat on a permanent basis, said Stafford County General Registrar Greg Riddlemoser.
We sent a questionnaire to Decatur and her responses are below: 

Find your polling place 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing parents and students in the Griffis-Widewater District?

Decatur: Responsible Fiscal Management, School Safety, Competitive Pay Scale for all employees

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Decatur: We will reevaluate the budget development practices and ensure that the process for budget creation is realistic and efficient. I will ensure that the school board puts in place a system of checks and balances to eliminate wasteful and inappropriate spending of the school’s budget.
I’d like to discuss the possibility of a cash capital fund for our schools, which will help eliminate overestimating of budgetary needs, and greedy spending practices. We will develop a hierarchy of needs and direct funds toward the most necessary and appropriate matters annually.

First and foremost, ensuring that Stafford County is compensating our teachers and staff members appropriately as planned for in the market-based compensation plan. We need to develop replacement cycles for updating equipment including school buses and technology.

And finally, we need to continue and further develop sharing resources within the county which will improve our spending practices and reduce waste countywide. I’d like to add a resource officer in each middle and high school to improve relations and increase security as well as add a resource officer in each elementary school, as our county does not currently have one at any elementary school.

PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

Decatur: The role of a school board member is to be the voice for the residents in their community. When brought together as a unified whole, the school board cohesively serves the county, helping the school system to operate efficiently and provide students with the best education possible for the taxpayers’ dollar. I believe each member should each bring unique experience and expertise along with a creative approach, and the wishes of the members of the community we represent to create and uphold a school system that stands out in the Commonwealth.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

I have 10 years of experience in managing schools, creating and balancing the schools’ budget, working with the accreditation process, school meals programs, hiring and training teachers and ancillary staff members, and building successful relationships with parents, students, and school systems throughout Virginia.

I also have the interpersonal skills necessary to facilitate an open dialogue that will begin to repair the relationship between the school board, board of supervisors and residents of our county. We simply must work together cohesively and responsibly to ensure that we make decisions for our county that will benefit all of us for many generations to come.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well informed and understands the workings of the School Board If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 
Decatur: As an average citizen, I believe that local government could do more to inform citizens of decisions that will impact their lives, including infrastructure, fiscal management, policies, etc. I believe that many decisions are not made easily accessible to the general public because doing so would cause “unnecessary” challenges in the process. However, I also believe that elected officials must understand that the process of creating a community in which everyone can prosper and thrive will not be easy and that making our community aware, despite the challenges that could arise, is an important and necessary part of the process. Communication cannot be limited to those who have the time to come to board meetings or watch them on TV. Many people do not make the time in their day to day schedules and it does not mean that they care any less about the happenings in our community. Whether we like it or not, social media is the one place that most people dedicate time to daily because it is quick and easily accessible by hand-held devices and I think we could start there as a means of improving communications with our community.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Decatur: No one is perfect, however, I believe that any choices I’ve made have been vital in preparing me for each new phase of my life. I believe that my choices have made me the person I am, capable of understanding and empathizing with people from many walks of life, and I try to teach all of my students that each day is a new beginning for them to create a life that they are proud of. When a person is capable of analyzing their decisions and learning from them, I believe that is key to setting them on the path to success.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Decatur: I want the absolute best for our community. I want our taxpayers to feel that their interest is being managed responsibly and respectfully and I want our children to receive an education that will set them on their individual pathways to success in their lives.

If I felt that those interests were being handled properly within our district, I wouldn’t be here asking for your vote. When irresponsible decisions are made in local government, they will directly affect our lives and when we’re talking about the school board, those decisions will directly affect my child’s education.

The mismanagement of millions of our tax dollars may not have affected the student’s in our county during the years in which it happened, however when we failed to give raises because that money was missing from the county’s budget, many wonderful teachers began leaving Stafford County and taking jobs elsewhere.

You will hear that the School Board was not given accurate information, however, I believe that it was the job of the School Board to cross check any reports they received to ensure all information was accurate and valid. When that failed to happen, repercussions became imminent for future students in our county, including my son and his peers.

I will not focus on the problems but rather the solutions that will set our school system back on the right path. I have the experience necessary to do so as well as an open mind and a fresh approach that will not only set us on the right path but will move our district ahead of all others in our educational practices.

Read more Project: Election 2016 candidate profiles.

Kiefer: Student achievement is about rigor, innovation, not just tests

Kristen Michelle Kiefer has spent a year and a half on the Manassas City School Board. 
The Board appointed her in February 2015 after Ilka Chavez stepped down. She is runing to keep her seat on the Board, and city voters will head to the polls on November 8.
We sent a questionnaire to Keifer and call candidates seeking a seat on the Manassas City School Board. Her responses are below: 

Find your polling place 

PL: What are the top three major issues facing Manassas residents?

Kiefer: Envisioning and shaping the future for student achievement, ensuring safe, nurturing learning environments and workplace, and communicating with key stakeholders.

PL: What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?
Kiefer: Envision & Shape the Future for Student Achievement
• Make every school a strong center of learning for students to reach their full potential
• Fight to make sure achievement is about rigor, innovation & hands-on experiences, not just tests
• Equip students with real world skills and critical thinking needed to thrive ensure safe, nurturing learning

Environment & Workplace
• Continue positive changes in class structure to provide more supervision during class transitions

• Promote Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) to ‘course correct’ early on
• Ensure re-entry plans are constructive for the student but also demands accountability on their part
Communicate with Key Stakeholders
• Connect with parents, teachers & community members through open, courageous conversations
• Increase awareness of the multiple mechanisms to stay informed and become involved in the division
PL: From your perspective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking?

: “At the center of the universe is a loving heart that continues to beat and that wants the best for every person. Anything we can do to help foster the intellect and spirit and emotional growth of our fellow human beings…that is our job. Those of us who have this particular vision must continue against all odds. Life is for service.” – Fred Rogers

For me, this quotation resonates as I think about the attributes I feel a School Board member needs to possess: selflessness in thinking about all students, passion for the mission of the improvement of our children holistically, and commitment to be in the service of others. For me, the job description is NOT a politician (even though it’s an elected office). Instead, I view it as being a public servant committed to the mission of preparing our children for their futures through good governance, sound stewardship of resources and strong, cascading leadership at all levels of the division.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Being raised by a mother who was both an educator and an administrator, I have an appreciation for the value of a good education and its importance to being the foundation for children as they look to build their futures. I watched how much time and energy my mother poured into each and every child, day in and day out. I saw her struggle for and with them…..they were all her children. She is an inspiration to me, and has instilled in me that education is a gift and that everyone deserves to have an equal opportunity to have that gift in their own lives. And she is the one who encouraged me to go for the school board appointment last it helped me determine the course I would take in my own educational journey.
Through dedication, loans and working while in school, I went on to earn my Bachelor in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Science in Health and a Master of Public Policy. Additionally, my husband and I are now helping our own children on their own MCPS educational journey and trying to make them the best students and citizens they can be and instilling the importance of being committed to, and personal responsibility to their own educational and life’s journey.
With the solid basis provided through this education, I have developed a knowledge base that enhances what I am able to do in my professional life. As Chief of Staff at a national organization, I am a change agent both internally and externally, am in charge of ensuring strategic alignment across all aspects of the organization as we try to achieve lofty 2020 goals, and oversee our external affairs, community network development, Board governance and customer relationship management functions.
I have to be a good listener, a strong executive manager, an example to staff members and a representative of the organization and its mission – all skills that I believe, parallel those needed to be a School Board member. As I think about my childhood roots, my educational background and my professional life, I understand how fortunate I am for the opportunities I have been afforded and believe that I have an even bigger societal contribution to make.
My involvement in the Manassas City community has included a PTO Presidency at Baldwin Elementary School, Committee Chair for the Mayfield Intermediate and Metz Middle Schools’ PTA, membership on the Superintendent’s Parent & Community Leadership Academy and Key Communicators Group, representative on the Gifted & Talented Program Advisory Committee, and leadership roles in the Greater Manassas Baseball League (GMBL), Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts. I am ready, able and willing to serve the City of Manassas if re-elected to the School Board.
PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well informed and understands the workings of city government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency? 
Kiefer: Now that I have been in public office for about a year and a half, I can say that I don’t believe that many citizens understand the “ins” and “outs” of local government. In terms of the school division, I think that understanding the distinction between what the School Board is and is not responsible for is something that is difficult to understand. Similarly, I think we have work to do to talk about how the School Board and City Council are or are not interrelated. I am proud of the efforts that the Manassas City Public Schools division has put into place to increase communication and it is something that the School Board, superintendent and staff talk about a lot. And, we know there is room for improvement and will continue to strive to better tell the “story of our schools”, communicate even more effectively with parents, teachers and the community by listening to how they best receive information and with other local community leaders and citizens.
PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they affected you?
Kiefer: Everyone has things in their lives which they wish they had done differently, and I am no exception. The one thing that I will always be cognizant of is whether I am following my gut and my heart in the questions I ask and the decisions I make when we talk about our children. Many tough decisions come before the School Board and it is my duty to be fully informed, process all information and make the decision that I believe is best. I have had my first year and a half to observe how things work and am now more comfortable with the work at hand.
PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you?
Kiefer: If you speak with anyone who knows me or works with me, they will tell you that I am a very mission-oriented and focused person. I am behind-the-scenes in the impact I make and do not look to be in the limelight. Being a public servant is not about ME, it’s how we find ways to collectively co-create the community we ALL want to live in. I am sincere and believe in our children as the future of our community and of our country. Relationships are everything and, if we can’t collaborate and work together for the greater good, then we are nothing.

Read more Project: Election 2016 candidate profiles.