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It’s time to change the name of the Godwin voting precinct

millsgodwinmiddle

The time has come to change the name of the Godwin Middle School voting precinct in Dale City.

When elections officials strip the Godwin name from the voting precinct, it will be the last trace of Mills E. Godwin in Prince William County Public Schools, the former Virginia Governor Dale City’s first middle school was named after.

The Prince William County School Board voted unanimously on March 2 to change the name of the school to the Dr. George Hampton Middle School, in honor of a local philanthropist. Officials argued that the name of Godwin, who supported segregation of schools and later supported integration when he was governor, had no place on a school building in Prince William County.

From Prince William County documents:

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precinctnamechange2

The name change is expected to cost taxpayers $1,700 to cover the costs of new signage, maps, and mailing notices to residents about the name change.

Mailers notifying residents of the precinct change must be sent to voters 15 days before the election, according to county documents. State law requires any precinct name change be completed 60 days before the election.

The name change is expected to come before the Board of Supervisors in July.

The Prince William County Electoral Board will meet Thursday, June 23 at 2 p.m. at the Main Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Suite 1 in Manassas.

News
Reinboldt seeks to reclaim seat on Stafford School Board

Dana Reinboldt hopes to recapture her seat representing the Griffis-Widewater Distict on the Stafford County School Board. 

She announced her candidacy today in a special election to be held Nov. 8, 2016 to replace Emily Fallon who resigned earlier this year after allegations surfaced that PTA funds at Moncure Elementary School went missing while Fallon was PTA president.

Here’s Reinboldt’s press release: 

Stafford, Virginia –Wednesday, June 15, 2016—Dana Reinboldt of Stafford, has announced her candidacy for the Griffis-Widewater School Board Seat in the Special Called

election on November 8, 2016.

“I’m excited about the potential opportunity to once again represent the citizens of Griffis- Widewater. I believe it is crucial for our district to have a strong and effective voice on the School Board. The citizens of our community deserve a committed representative, with integrity, working on their behalf. My experience as an elected school board member will permit me to provide Griffis-Widewater residents immediate, effective representation.

I have lived in the Griffis-Widewater District of Stafford County for the past 28 years with my husband, John. My 3 children all attended, and graduated from Stafford County Public Schools. I have 24 years of extensive experience as a parent and a volunteer in Stafford County Public Schools.”

Reinboldt served on the School Board in the Griffis-Widewater seat from 2004 to 2015. Fallon beat Reinboldt in a November 2015 General Election with 1,235 votes to Reinboldt’s 961, according to the Stafford County Voter Registrar’ s Office.

Melissa Y. Ayres earlier this month was appointed to represent the Griffis-Widewater District as the area’s School Board member. Reinboldt sought the temporary appointment given to Ayres, she said.

News
Manassas Democrats announce ticket for 2016

Wolfe

Wolfe

Manassas Democrats have forged what they call a unified ticket of candidates running for City Council this fall.

Incumbent Manassas City Councilman Mark Wolfe was elected to the City Council in 2008 as a Republican. Wolfe opted to file for reelection for the GOP and decided to run as a Democrat.

Wolfe has $900 in the bank from Republican donors from previous campaigns.

Correction: Statement from Mark Wolfe sent via email after we published this post: 

“The section about my having $900 in campaign donations from Republican donors is inaccurate.

In fact I had closed and zeroed out my campaign account after the 2012 election.

The data shown: http://www.vpap.org/donors/193983-mark-wolfe/ reflects a person donation TO Scott Lingenfel[t]er I made in 2010.”

Sebesky

Sebesky

Also on the Democratic ticket is incumbent Manassas City School Board member Pam Sebesky. She has served on the School Board for the past six years.

Political newcomer Rex Parr rounds out the Democratic ticket. He retired last year as the CEO of Didlake, Inc.

Sebesky and Parr tell us all three candidates are running on a platform of safer and better neighborhoods, and better schools, and to add a new fire station to the city’s southside to improve fire crew response times.

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Parr

They also told us the city has not had a comprehensive strategic plan since 2003. That is something they want to change.

On the Republican side, Ian Lovejoy, Jonathan Way, and Theresa Coates Ellis round out the ticket.

Voters will head to the polls Nov. 8.

News
Prince William wants more absentee voters in November to avoid the long lines we saw in 2012

A long line of voters in Woodbridge’s River Oaks precinct waited for four hours to cast their vote during the Nov. 6 General Election. (Submitted photo)

Elections officials in Prince William County want more people to vote absentee.

The Office will hold an information session Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 9 a.m. at the Prince William County Government Center McCoart Building.

The primary goal of the session is to show why we must get a high number of voters to vote absentee to effectively reduce the number of voters in line on Election Day.

The second goal of the session is to educate everyone on the many ways voters are eligible to vote absentee by mail.

Officers of Election who serve on Election Day at your precincts will also be in attendance.

— Michele L. White, Director of Elections & General Registrar, Prince William County

Yes, audience members will be shown a power point. Here’s a sneak peak.

Voters in Prince William County during the Presidential Election four years ago were plagued by long lines. They stood in line for hours to vote.

A congressional hearing was held the following January about the debacle.

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McAuliffe headed to Micron in Manassas to sign FOIA bill

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe will be in Manassas on Friday to sign into a law a piece of legistlation dealing with the Freedom of Information Act

SB645, the exempt records concerning critical infrastructure information bill, introduced by freshman Sen. Jeremy McPike defines what exactly is “critical infrastructure” information.

The bill comes after several state agencies have asked major corporations, to include railroads, utility companies, and cyber security providers for information about how it plans to respond to national security threats or attacks.

Those organizations have been less than forthcoming when it comes to providing that information, a McPike spokeswoman said, because of fears the secure information would appear on a public website, and that information falling, ultimately, into the wrong hands.

McAuliffe is expected to sign the bill into law at 12:30 p.m. Friday during a visit to Micron Technologies, located at 9600 Godwin Drive in Manassas.

Manassas & Manassas Park Democrats announce nomination process for 2016 local elections

The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses to nominate Democratic candidates for Manassas and Manassas Park races in the November 8, 2016 General Election.

Specifically, the MMPCDC seeks to nominate Democratic candidates for mayor and city council in each city and for Manassas City treasurer (subject to a special election for that office being placed on the November 8 ballot). In each city, three city council seats and one mayoral seat are up for election this November.

Candidates who seek the Democratic Party nomination for any of those offices must submit a completed Declaration of Candidacy form and a $250 filing fee to the MMPCDC by Friday, May 27 at 5 pm. Complete details–including the Call to Caucus, the Declaration of Candidacy form, and the Caucus Rules-are posted on the MMPCDC website, manassascitydemocrats.com.

If more than one candidate for any elected office should properly file for the Democratic nomination by the May 27th deadline, an assembled caucus will be held to select the nominee. The caucuses for Manassas City nominations are scheduled for Monday, June 6, 7:00 pm, at Manassas City Hall, 9027 Center St, in the first floor Council Chambers.

The caucuses for Manassas Park nominations are scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 7:00 pm, at the Manassas Park Police Station, 329 Manassas Dr, in the 1st floor conference room. For both sets of caucuses, the doors will open at 6:30 pm for check-in and close promptly at 7:00 pm. Voting will be open to all registered voters from the respective city who sign a standard Democratic declaration form and arrive for voting before 7:00 pm.

If the number of qualified candidates who file for a race by the May 27 deadline does not exceed the number of available seats, the Chair may declare those candidates to be the Party’s nominees and cancel the respective nominating Caucus. If there are no contested races for any seat, the Chair may cancel the Caucus entirely. A notice of all such caucus cancellations will be posted on the MMPCDC website by May 27 at 7:30 pm. For more information, call 571-358-9893 or visit http://www.manassascitydemocrats.com/?p=1258.

News
Stewart running for governor, taking cues from Trump

stewart, prince william, supervisor

Corey Stewart is running for governor in 2017.

He’s positioning himself as a Donald Trump-like candidate who will say whatever he wants, who means what he says, and, if elected, does what he means. Stewart since December has led the effort in Virginia to get Trump elected, serving as his statewide campaign coordinator — crisscrossing the state campaigning for the billionaire.

Many have said Stewart aligned himself with Trump to be a better-looking candidate, as the ideal conservative for an eventual run for the state’s highest office. They were correct. (more…)

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Reynolds wants to improve Dumfries transportation

Helen Reynolds is running to keep her seat on the Dumfries Town Council. 
 
Reynolds says transportation is an important issue for the town. 

Find your polling place

 
Dumfries residents will head to the polls May 3, 2016 to elect new members to the Town Council.
 
We sent a questionnaire to Reynolds, and all other candidates seeking office in Dumfries. Her responses are below: 
 

(more…)

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Earlene Clinton on Quantico: ‘There is no effective communication system here’

Earlene Clinton seeks to keep her seat on the Quantico Town Council. 
 
She says the town needs more events, and is in need of a better communication system for the residents. 

Find your polling place

Quantico residents will head to the polls May 3, 2016 to elect new members to the Town Council, and Mayor.
 
We sent a questionnaire to Clinton, and all other candidates seeking office in Quantico. Her responses are below: 

(more…)

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The 6 things Quist reviews before making a decision for Occoquan

Elizabeth “Liz” Quist seeks to keep her seat as Mayor of Occoquan in the May 3, 2016 General Election.

Quist won the seat in 2014 running unopposed. She replaced Earnie Porta who last fall went on to mount an unsuccessful campaign for Occoquan District Supervisor on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. 

Quist served as Vice Mayor prior to serving as Mayor on the Occoquan Town Council.

Find your polling place

We sent Quist a candidate survey as part of our Project: Election series. Here are her responses: (more…)

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Drakes’ big issue in Occoquan is manageable growth

Jim Drakes, 52, is an incumbent on the Occoquan Town Council, and he’s running in the May 3, 2016 General Election to keep his seat. 

The Northeast Pennsylvania native says he’s enjoyed his time in the riverfront town, and that the Occoquan River should be utilized more so than it is already.

Find your polling place

We sent Drakes and all candidates running for office in Occoquan for the General Election a survey as part of our annual Project: Election coverage. Here are Drakes’ responses:  (more…)

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Torres: Occoquan needs more events, more traffic safety enforcement

Jonathan Torres, 32, is running to become the next Mayor of the Town of Occoquan. 

He’s running against incumbent Mayor Liz Quist.

Find your polling place

Torres said traffic is an issue in the tiny riverfront town. And so is taxes and businesses, according to the candidate. 

Potomac Local sent a questionnaire to Torres as part of our annual Project:Election series for the upcoming May 3, 2016 towns elections in Prince William County. Here are his responses: (more…)

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Chris Morris says Haymarket Town Park a priority

Chris Morris hopes to keep his seat on the Haymarket Town Council.

Voters elected him back in 2014. They will head to the polls again on May 3, 2016, for a General Election for Haymarket Town Council. Morris is one of eight candidates seeking a seat on Town Council, including incumbent Mayor David Leake.

Find your polling place

We sent a candidate questionnaire to the incumbent Morris and posted his responses below. (more…)

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Brewer: Dumfries needs to finish infrastructure projects, stimulate tax relief

Charles Brewer is running to keep his seat on the Dumfries Town Council.

He is one of five candidates seeking a seat on the Town Council. Voters will head to the polls May 3, 2016 to cast their votes.

Find your polling place

We sent a questionnaire to the incumbent and he responded with the following statements: (more…)

News
Manassas Democrats to caucus for convention delegates

The Manassas and Manassas Park Cities Democratic Committee (MMPCDC) has scheduled assembled caucuses on Monday, April 18, at 7:30 pm to elect delegates and alternates from both cities to the Virginia 10th Congressional District and State Democratic Party Conventions. Caucus participation–including eligiblity to run for election as a delegate or alternate–is open to all registered voters in the respective cities of Manassas and Manassas Park who sign a standard Democratic declaration form. (more…)

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Lovejoy reelection bid focused on Manassas City’s economy

Ian Lovejoy was born to a working class family in rural Appalachia. He became one of the first members of his family to attend college, at Concord University in southern West Virginia, where he graduated summa cum laude.  

Lovejoy spent summers working as a camp counselor and youth mentor, invaluable experiences that helped shape his life forever.  Lovejoy became Concord University’s first Rhodes Scholar Nominee.  He later graduated from Virginia Tech Graduate School,, ultimately teaching at Radford University before entering the private sector.

While possessing a background in research and data analysis, Lovejoy found his true professional calling in positions of organizational leadership–in particular serving seniors.  Lovejoy was Director of Operations of WSR Solutions, a national medical equipment company.
(more…)

Government ID’s for all Virginia residents

In August of 2014, I organized a Hispanic Town Hall Meeting in Hybla Valley.  I spent the first hour going over issues with constituents.

Then, I asked attendees for feedback – what was their #1 issue?  Lack of government identification.  Attendees said that they and their friends and family were weary of obtaining ID’s from Maryland or not having them at all.

At the beginning of last session, I was approached by Virginia New Majority and the Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACALAO) about working together to bring this issue forward.  I introduced Senate Bill 390 that would have allowed the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to issue a temporary driver’s visitor’s driver’s license to anyone who (1) resided in Virginia for one year, (2) had filed a Virginia tax return or been claimed as a dependent another Virginia tax return and (3) paid a $53 fee.  These licenses would be conspicuously marked with language stating “NOT FOR FEDERAL USE” so it is clear that they are not compliant with the Real ID Act. 

Similar legislation has now been passed in over twelve states: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Illinois, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, District of Columbia, New Mexico, and Washington.  Other states are considering it.  Why is this legislation a good idea?

Reason #1 – Reducing Accidents 
New residents do not know the rules of the road.  According to the DMV, in other states where this has been implemented, over 80% of applicants fail the driving test and need to retake the test.  Having informed driver’s is good for everyone.  Data from California showed that people without driver’s licenses were three times more likely to cause a fatal accident.  The states with the longest record of providing licenses to all residents have experienced nearly a 100% larger drop in traffic fatalities than the nationwide average.  This legislation will save lives.

Reason #2 – Reducing Hit and Runs 
States adopting these measures have seen significant reductions in hit and run accidents.  Analyses by AAA have found that 41% of hit and run drivers lack a driver’s license and that unlicensed drivers are 66.36 times more likely to be hit and run drivers.  When people do not fear prosecution they stop and collisions are dealt with appropriately through our system.  

Reason #3 – Lower Virginia Insurance Premiums
More insured drivers means risk spread among more people, fewer accidents with uninsured drivers, and lower premiums for everyone. 

Reason #4 – Increase Interaction With Law Enforcement
Residents with government ID are much more likely to interact with law enforcement whether it’s for car accidents, domestic violence or to come forward as witnesses for other crimes.  Government ID means greater civic participation. 

Reason #5 – More Tax Revenue
There are an estimated 400,000 people who would benefit from this.  If 80% of estimated eligible Virginians sign up, Virginia will collect $1.7 million in new licensing fees per year.  If each new licensed driver claims $35,000 per year in taxable Virginia income, they would pay an additional $1,755 of state income taxes per person or a total of $561 million per year of new tax revenue.  If 200,000 new auto insurance policies are purchased for $1,000 per year, it will result in $225 million per year of new auto insurance premium tax revenue. 

Reason #6 – Provide All Virginians A High Quality of Life
Licenses allow people to enjoy a healthy quality of life.  Licenses mean being able to take children to soccer games, drive to work, get a bank account, or get to the doctor.  

The Way Forward
The legislation was supported by the McAuliffe Administration and the DMV has assembled a working group including representatives from law enforcement, the immigrant community, faith groups, driving safety groups, criminal defense, courts, chambers of commerce, taxation, human trafficking, and local governments to come up with consensus legislation.  

Hopefully, next year, this legislation will pass so that everyone living in Virginia can enjoy a healthy quality of life.  If you have any feedback, please send me a note at scott@scottsurovell.org.   

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