I-66 tolls, Haymarket power line at center of Bob Marshall reelection campaign

Robert G. “Bob” Marshall is running to keep his seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

The Republican has held the seat since 1992, and has a reputation for being one of the most outspoken members of the Virginia General Assembly.

Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to Marshall and he sent us the responses below: 

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PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?


Marshall: 1. Exorbitant Tolls proposed for I-66.

2. 110 foot high electric power towers proposed for residential areas never slated to have electric lines on their property.

3. Addressing traffic on Route 28 through Manassas Park and Yorkshire, from Manassas to Fairfax County line.

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


Marshall:  1. I will introduce a budget amendment to prevent Governor McAuliffe from imposing $17/day ($4,000 a year) hot lane tolls inside beltway

2. I will join a lawsuit to prevent construction of an overhead only power line and remove tax incentives for data centers which seek to locate outside of industrial areas that already have required infrastructure.

3. Continue to appeal to the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, to the Prince William County Supervisors, and the General Assembly money committees to allocate funds to improve Route 28 by reversing the middle lane during rush hours to provide an extra lane for traffic.

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

Marshall: My job entails going to bat for constituents, representing them before state agencies as I have done for the past 24 years, soliciting their input for legislative proposals, etc. I keep in mind the people I represent in every vote I cast in the General Assembly, asking myself, “How will this affect my constituents?” I see my role as advocating for tax payers, not cozying up to special interests.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Marshall: My expertise consists of 24 years of experience serving as 13th District Delegate in the Virginia General Assembly. My background researching major public policy and legal issues has given me the ability to quickly understand legislation.

My past experience as a teacher helped me with public speaking skills, listening, answering questions, and relaying information to citizens. I have a record for promoting transparency and accountability in government.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

Marshall: I send out newsletters and other letters to inform the people who live in the 13th District of important issues. For example, I have been trying to let the people know about the proposed hot lane tolls on I-66.

I have actively worked against the proposed electric power towers in western Prince William. I publicize my cell phone (703-853-4213) so that citizens can reach me readily. I walk door-to-door as much as possible to meet voters and answer questions they may have.


PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?


Marshall: Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes help you learn valuable life lessons.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 


Marshall: I say what I mean, I do what I say, and even people who may disagree with some of my positions know they can trust me. 

Jessie: More rigorous courses, access to advance courses needed for all students

Lilly Jessie is running to keep her seat on the Prince William County School Board. She’s represented the Occoquan District on the School Board since 2012.

Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to Jessie and he sent us the responses below: 


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PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

Jessie: 1. College-Career readiness for all students including students in specialty programs and from low-income, diverse neighborhoods

2. Overcrowding/class size by finding the needed space to build schools; especially on the eastern end of the county where schools have as many as twelve trailers in one school

3. Treating teachers as “professional experts” by providing competitive salaries, more career level opportunities and providing teacher coaches whose primary responsibility is to support them rather than participate in the dismissal process

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

Jessie: 1. Career/College Readiness: Provide more rigorous courses and access to advance courses for all students. Reduce the achievement gap. Create a Pre-school College Career mission of “Beginning with the end in mind” (Covey).

2. Hold the Board of Supervisor’s to it’s word of providing land for building new schools on the eastern end of the county, relooking at proffers and considering school space availability in its rezoning.

3. Follow what research says about high performing schools which includes being paid as a professional which may require us to relook at that shared revenue plan, Secondly providing coaches or master teachers to assist teachers instead of using central office supervisors who are limited in number and participate in the dismissal process at times.

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

Jessie: Our number one responsibility is to ensure that all students learn at a high level. Provide oversight of the school system and its budget and personnel. Write, amend or create policy and the ensuing regulations that support the forementioned. Work with the superintendent and his staff to ensure that we provide a safe, orderly and high student learning environment.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

Jessie: High performing Title I (low income schools) Supervisor (Supervisor of the year) for ten years. Principal of a Title I school for twenty years. National Professional Learning Model School Nationally recognized for closing the achievement gap. Internationally recognized High Flying School for Youth at Risk Appointed by the Governor to the Standards of Learning (SOL). Innovation Committee Nationally published education author.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

Jessie: No I do not. In fact I am not sure they are aware of this election. I plan to continue my work with local community organizations, and invest more time with parents. I write a column for the the Old Bridge Observer. Those articles have been well-received by the community. I would like to conduct more informational meetings, especially when it comes to understanding the need to balance the use of assessments in the school.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?

Jessie: My biggest mistake was under estimating the ability of a young patient early in my career. I did not believe that he could learn to read and when I look back, I watered down his curriculum. Another teacher came to this then institution for children with severe and profound handicaps and taught him reading skills I did not think was possible. That was forty years ago. It changed my expectations for learning. I am not just an advocate of high expectations for all students, I have been given an opportunity to redeem myself by seeing students not expected to learn, not only learn but learn at high levels.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

Jessie: 1. I did not run for this position because of my interest in a higher office. I have and can have an positive affect on student learning.

2. I have had a plethora of experience that makes me more than qualified for the position (Educational leadership, budget, policy development, etc.)

3. Character traits I possess include being persistent, insistent and consistent when it comes to high levels of achievement and/or overcoming barriers.

4. I am a student of the research. I know that we are not competitive with other countries and that the rubric should not be how we compare to the State but how we compare to the “World.”

McCullough: Expanding Medicaid would provide health insurance to thousands of Virginians who need it

Kyle McCullough is running to unseat Jackson Miller in the Virginia House of Delegates 50th District. 

The District encompasses the City of Manassas, and a portion of Prince William County.

Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to McCullough and he sent us the responses below: 


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PL: What are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent?

McCullough: Health care, income inequality and school funding.

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

McCullough: Implement the Medicaid expansion. Raise the minimum wage. (I advocate a graduated increase, so an employer can pay a trainee the Federal minimum for a few months before the higher State minimum kicks in.) Restore school funding to at least pre-recession levels — adjusted for inflation and student-population growth.

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

McCullough: To represent the people of the 50th district – to promote their values and best interests in the governance of the state.

PL: What expertise will you bring to the office?

McCullough: I think that my main expertise is my life experience. As a father and middle-class resident, I have some idea what it takes to raise a family in this area. And, while this is very hard to document, I think I have above-average empathy for people who are in different situations than my own — which I think is the most important qualification for a would be Representative, Delegate or Senator.

I think a lot of that comes from my upbringing. My mother was a speech therapist who worked with children with very diverse backgrounds. My father was the County Manager of our county who worked to serve the interests of people with a huge range of backgrounds.

And I grew up in a neighborhood and school district where most people did not have the economic or social advantages that I did. I spent a year in China, where I learned the value of good government by witnessing the lack of it. Less important, but still worth mentioning, as a computer programmer with a background in engineering, I have pretty good problem-solving abilities.

PL: Do you feel that the average citizen is well-informed and understands the workings of local government? If not, how do you intend on improving communication with your constituency?

McCullough: No, I don’t think that most people are. I have made two-way communications a priority in my campaign; anyone can easily reach me either at or at 703-686-4804, and I reply to all polite inquiries. And I try to keep people posted on the issues through my web page and social media. I’ll certainly continue and expand on that if elected.

PL: Have you ever made any mistakes in your public life? How have they effected you?

McCullough: Well, I didn’t take fundraising seriously enough, early enough.

PL: Our readers want leaders in local government. Why should they vote for you? 

McCullough: They should vote for me because I take their needs and concerns seriously. When I am campaigning, I tell people what I think are the biggest issues facing the General Assembly, but then I ask what are their issues, what do they believe should be our biggest concerns.

I have made the Medicaid expansion the central issue of my campaign because it is the issue that compelled me to run. Providing health insurance to thousands of Virginians who need it, adding tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic stimulus are all important; but equally important is why we are turning it down, when doing so gives no benefit whatsoever to the state.

The inescapable conclusion is that the legislators who are refusing to let Virginia have those benefits believe that doing so benefits their party. I would never do that. I would never place narrow partisan advantage ahead of the needs of my constituents.

Reprinting Prince William election ballots could cost thousands

It could cost tens of thousands of dollars to fix misprinted election ballots in Prince William County.

Five candidates on the ballot for the November 3 General Election will not see their listed as they requested them. Many of the candidates use and requested shorter versions of their name to be listed on the ballot. They’re getting their full names instead.

Here’s what was requested and what voters might see instead:

Mike May


Mike May (Commonwealth Attorney candidate) will be listed as Micheal May

rick smith


Richard “Rick” Smith (Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman candidate) will be listed as Richard Smith

Steven “Steve” Chapman (Prince William County Board of Supervisors Woodbridge District candidate) will be listed as Steven Chapman

Earnie W. Porta, Jr. (Prince William County Board of Supervisors Occoquan District candidate) will be listed as Ernest Porta, Jr.



Gerald “Jerry” Foreman (36th District Virginia Senate candidate) will be listed as Gerald Foreman

Prince William County Electoral Board Secretary Keith Scarborough said each of the affected candidates submitted the proper form to indicate how they wanted their names listed on the ballot, but the mistake happened anyway.



“It wasn’t a space issue, it was our office when filling out the paperwork, messed up those forms,” said Scarborough. “…we made a mistake, obviously.”

The form included 28 spaces for candidates to fill in their names. It’s not uncommon for candidates to want their full names listed on the ballots, along with more common nicknames placed in quotation marks.



The upcoming General Election will be the first in Prince William County where paper ballots will once again be used at all voting precincts. New laws forced the county to get rid of electronic touchscreen machines and convert back to using machine scanners that tally votes when a paper ballot is inserted into them.

Prince William County struck a deal with Hart Invercivic, an Austin, Texas-based company that makes the voting machines. It also agreed to print all the ballots needed for the first five elections, starting with the upcoming November 3 vote, as part of the purchase agreement.

Scarborough said the ballots must be printed by that company and cannot be printed locally. The cost to reprint the ballots could range between $80 and $100,000, he added.

The Prince William County Electoral Board will meet Wednesday night to discuss their options, which include reprinting ballots, or placing signs at polling stations noting the names of the five affected candidates and displaying them as intended.

Candidates we talked to say the situation is unfortunate, but they don’t plan on asking for a reprint.

“The truth of the matter is, I don’t want to cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars to reprint ballots. I wish it would have been done right but I understand these types of things happen,” said Earnie Porta.

“There’s overcrowding in classrooms, and traffic issues, so there are other things the taxpayers money would be better spent on.” said Steve Chapman.

Pot deal goes bad, shots fired in Bristow

A teen used counterfeit cash to purchase marijuana, police said. That angered the alleged seller, and he went to the Bristow home of the teen and fired shots, police added. 

Here’s more in a police report: 

Attempted Aggravated Malicious Wounding – On October 3rd at 2:18PM, officers responded to a residence located in the 9800 block of Dochart Sound Ln in Bristow (20136) to investigate a shooting call. The investigation revealed that the accused shot into a residence in the above area as a result of a previous encounter earlier in the evening involving a 16 year old male juvenile, who resides at the home, and another male acquaintance. The two reportedly went to an area church parking lot to purchase marijuana from the accused and other known acquaintances. During the transaction, the 16 year old allegedly paid for the marijuana with counterfeit money. In retaliation, the accused and three other suspects went to the 16 year old’s residence on Dochart Sound Ln to confront him over the money. At one point, the accused fired into the home, striking an interior wall. No injuries were reported. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested. Additional charges are forthcoming.

Arrested on October 3rd: [No Photo Available] 

Dominic Arthur GORRIARAN, 18, of 9370 Falling Water Dr in Bristow

Charged with attempted aggravated malicious wounding, shooting into an occupied dwelling, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and possession with intent to distribute marijuana

Court Date: November 24, 2015 | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

VCU threat traced to Woodbridge home

Prince William police officer were called after someone made a threat to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Police said the threat was sent from a phone used in a Woodbridge home. 

Here’s more from Prince William police: 

Phone Threats – On October 4th at 4:12PM, officers were contacted by investigators from the Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department in regard to a threat to their school. The investigation revealed that a student attending Virginia State University (VSU) received a phone message on October 3rd from a known acquaintance which alluded to committing a shooting at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). That student immediately alerted security at VSU who then contacted the VCU Police Department. During the investigation, it was determined that the accused had sent the message from a home on Torrence Pl in Woodbridge resulting in Prince William County police being contacted for assistance. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on October 4th:

Nathaniel Antonio BRACHE, 22, of no fixed address

Charged with phone threats

Court Date: Pending | Bond: Held WITHOUT Bond

No one was injured. 

Manassas poised to have first waterfront development with land deal


Manassas is in talks with a developer to create the city’s first waterfront destination.

The focus is 40 acres of land that sits along Gateway Boulevard, between Godwin Drive and Prince William Parkway. A Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office sits on the land.

Manassas City Economic Development Director Patrick Small said a large “destination” tenant would anchor the new development. It won’t be a grocery store, and retail would be only a part of the tenant’s focus. Small could not provide a potential name of a business that might fill the space negotiations are ongoing.

Offices, and a mixture of up to 500 apartments and townhomes would also be built on the property that is now owned by the city. The City Council last month voted to hold another in a series of closed sessions meetings to work out the details of a required rezoning. The city is in talks to sell the land to Buchanan Partners for it to be developed, but not before the developer agrees to meet demands placed on it by residents and city government.

Buchanan has developed other buildings around the city, including building at the Manassas Regional Airport and a business center on Euclid Avenue.

“In many ways, this project represents the future of the City of Manassas, at least economically,” said Small, whose office has spent the past 18 months working on a new development on this site.

A similar deal between the city and Lerner Enterprises in 2012. City officials blamed it on the economy.

A series of restaurants would line the waterfront, which is the Cannon Branch lake that can be seen from the interchange at Prince William Parkway and Route 28. The development could also house two extended stay hotels to serve area businesses and patrons of the Manassas Regional Airport.


The project would sit less than a mile from Innovation Park in Prince William County, an area that is home to the George Mason University Science and Technology Campus, and home to several biotech research groups. The new retail development in Manassas could serve those who work at Innovation.

“Our competition at innovation is succeeding because the county had a vision and made the public investments necessary to attract development,” said Small, of the potential development on Gateway Drive. “Performance has lagged because the property is not shovel ready and lacks a sense of place.”

The property will require site work to get it ready for development, including grading. The Manassas City Council voted to defer the vote to move forward on the project because Vice-Mayor Jonathan way and others said they wanted to fully understand the scope of work required at the site.

Members of the City Council wanted ensure the sale of the city-owned property is handled in a transparent manner, and business is done in front of the public.

“You’ve been working on this for 18 months, the council was made aware of it six months ago, and residents were made aware of it four days ago, said Manassas Councilman Ian Lovejoy at the September 28 meeting.

Other councilmembers who wanted to move ahead on the deal didn’t understand the need for another closed door session in the name of transparency.

“It’s been a pretty transparent process,” said Councilwoman Sheryl Bass. “I feel it’s ironic to have to have anther closed session to support more transparency is a little bit of a disconnect there.”

Once ready, the Council must endorse the contracts between the city’s Economic Development Authority and Buchanan Partners. The EDA will then move ahead and negotiate the sale of the land.

Small said the city is unable to develop the land on its own.

“We cannot develop this property ourselves. In addition to needing upfront capital of $3 million for grading, clearing and utility work there will be costs to develop each site plus ongoing operation and maintenance expenses. We need a development partner with capital, construction experience and client relationships to bring additional private businesses and investments,” said Small.

The new development is expected to generate at least $3.5 million in annual tax revenues to city coffers when completed, added Small.

Stafford County wants to invest $385,000 into a business incubator at Quantico Corporate Center

Stafford County wants to give entrepreneurs a place to work, and to hire a new director to oversee an new business incubator.

County officials want to invest $385,000 in a new coworking space at Quantico Corporate Center, dubbed “Tech Park,” to house start-up businesses. It’s part of an ongoing effort dating back to 2010 where George Mason and Mary Washington universities, and Germanna Community College signed an MOU to explore the possibilities of classes, services, research, and economic development to what is today known as the Stafford Technology and Research Park located in the corporate center.

Based on findings included in the Tech Park Strategic Plan, staff determined that the next logical step includes the creation of a coworking space to accommodate the space needs of new small business entrepreneurs, to hire a part-time executive director to advance the Tech Park’s initiatives, and to locate today’s Center with the coworking space under one roof.

-Stafford County documents

The incubator space will be 5,500 square feet of space inside Building 1000 at Quantico Corporate Center. A new part-time director will be hired and paid an annual $90,000 salary, and will oversee and recruit new talent to the center.

County officials state the new center would break even in the fourth year of operation, and should be profitable by the fifth year. The county will dole out two payments of $192,500 over the next two years to fund he center.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors will take up the matter at its 3 p.m. Tuesday meeting at the county government center, located at 1300 Courthouse Road in Stafford.

Hylton beats Freedom in rescheduled Thursday game



Stormy weather last week prompted the C.D. Hylton Bulldogs to move up their match with the Freedom Eagles. 

The game was rescheduled from Friday, October 2 to Thursday, October, 1.

Hylton beat Freedom 34-33.

Mark Lomax was on hand to take photos of the game for Tacketts Mill Football Friday.

Prince William Board must approve jail repair contract overrun

modular jail

Special approval from the Board of Supervisors is needed to continue repair work at the county’s jail.

A contract between the county and Mosely Architects exceeds a 25% overrun threshold that now totals $901,372 for three phases of repairs to a modular jail in Manassas. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors must approve the total modifications to an original $694,755 contract that has crept up in cost over years.

A 2009 report showed the modular jail, a temporary facility built in 1990, had exceeded it’s intended life. Improvements to the building out of concern for the health of 33 inmates housed there, upgrades to security systems, and fixing water drainage issues in a crawlspace at the jail were all needed, according to the report in county documents.

Phase I and II repairs, having to do with health and water drainage are complete. Repairs for Phase III entail replacing the roof, subfloor, electronic security and CCTV systems and are slated to be completed this month.

This latest contract modification will cost $35,920. The Board of Supervisors must approve this measure because $2,991 of that money puts the contract over the 25% overrun threshold, according to county documents.

The Board is expected to take up the matter on its consent agenda on October 6.

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