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Politics

Foust Opens Manassas Office, Seeks to Replace Frank Wolf in Congress

072214-foust

MANASSAS, Va. – In a little corner of Downtown Manassas new campaign headquarters opened Monday night.

It’s a joint election office for Senator Mark Warner who is seeking reelection, and for John Foust, a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors member hoping to replace outgoing Congressman Frank Wolf (R, Va.-10). Both Foust and Warner are Democrats and at their Manassas election headquarters supporters wore t-shirts, stickers, and hats as if the two men were unto themselves a professional football team.

“Oh, this is very nice, very nice,” said Marilyn Foust, the candidate’s wife as she took a first look at the office at 941 Main Street, next to Philadelphia Tavern. It’s one of several new Foust campaign offices that have opened across the 10th Congressional District, which spans from McLean – where Foust calls home – to Manassas, Manassas Park, west to Frederick County.

Supporters greet Foust at the door with applause, and he shakes each ones hand as he walks in. When he makes his way to back of the room to stand in front of a giant sign with his name on it, he’s surrounded by Manassas Park City Councilwoman Jeannet Rishell, as well as other Democrats who hope to make a name for themselves as they seek offices on the Manassas City Council.

In this campaign’s cross hairs is Barbara Comstock, who also lives in McLean and is a Republican delegate in Virginia’s House of Representatives.

“Comstock has put on a mask of moderation for this race,” said Rishell. “…we can see from her voting record she sides with the GOP agenda.”

Wasting no time throwing punches, Democrats labeled their opponent as someone who would take away a woman’s right to choose, someone who voted against landmark transportation reform in Virginia, and someone carries an “extremely partisan” record in Richmond.

“We have Republicans on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors but we know how to work together and compromise to get things done,” said Foust.

Comstock was attending a fair in Loudoun County today and was not immediately available for comment, a campaign spokeswoman said. The Republican has been endorsed by several in the GOP including Republican Delegates Richard Anderson, Tim Hugo who represent Prince William County, Jackson Miller, of Manassas, as well as members of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and School Board.

The Democrat also brought up guns and said he owns them, but supports limiting gun purchases to one a month.

“Sensible gun safety measures are something we should all support, especially with all of the school massacres as of late,” said Foust.

So far, Foust has outraised his Republican opponent Barbara Comstock by about $100,000, with a full campaign war chest of $1.1 million, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Those at the office opening on Monday said this open seat election is a way for the party to gain control of a district that has been a Republican stronghold.

William “Bill” Redpath, a Libertarian, and Dianne Blais, of the Green Party, and independent Brad Eickholt are also running to replace Wolf.

Gibson Short 43 Names, Calls It Quits

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Candidate Mark Gibson came up short  just 43 names.

News of Gibson being kicked out of a farmer’s market in Dale City while attempting to collect signatures appear on the November ballot made waves earlier this year. He was eventually back to the market with the proper permits, but in the end we learned he didn’t have enough valid signatures to get his name on the ballot, and now he is calling it quits.

The Independent sought to unseat Democrat Gerry Connolly (D-Fairfax, Prince William) who has been in he House of Representatives in 2009. This was the Fairfax businessman’s second run at the federal seat.

Gibson, like all candidates, must get enough qualified signatures and present them to the office of elections to be able to have their names listed on ballots in polling booths during the General Election.

Gibson told Potomac Local he also collected signatures at various other events, including a festival in Vienna where he was able to pick up quite a few. Gibson today issued a press release that contained this statement:

Of the 302 disqualified signatures, about half were from outside the District – primarily from areas that were formerly in the District prior to the 2012 Congressional redistricting. Other voters were disqualified because the general registrars in the counties of Fairfax and Prince William as well as the City of Fairfax could not identify a signature as a registered voter from the 11th District.

And, with that Gibson has decided to bow out of the race, telling Potomac Local in an email “I would have to be a write-in and I just don’t see that as effective.”

He also included this quote in his press release:

“We had a small dedicated group of community volunteers collecting ballot petition signatures, but it just wasn’t enough,” Gibson said. “And the demands of my day job this year meant that I couldn’t devote the time necessary to make this bid a success.”

Gibson is a U.S. Government contractor and the chief operating officer for a Fairfax-based small business.

Candidates need 1,000 qualified signatures to appear on the ballot and most of them, like Gibson, submitted more than necessary in case some names don’t check out. He was just 43 qualified names short of meeting the requirement.

Gerry Connolly will seek reelection, but Republican challenger Suzanne Scholte, Green Party candidate Joe Galdo, and Libertarian Marc Harrold are all running against him.

Healthcare Expansion Focus of Anderson – Barker Bi-Partisan Town Hall

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – A bi-partisan town hall meeting quickly turned to debate over Medicaid expansion in Virginia.

State Senator George Barker (D-Fairfax, Prince William) and Delegate Richard Anderson (R-Prince William) on Wednesday night got an earful of opinions from Prince William County residents who support or oppose growing the federal healthcare mandate, known as Obamacare.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2013 campaigned for office on a plan to vigorously expand Medicare in the state only to come up short after the General Assembly session that concluded earlier this year. The move would have put Virginia on a list of states like Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. that are already expanding their Medicare programs.

Under the law, the U.S. Government will cover 90% of the costs in the early years and then phase down the number of dollars they provide in later years. Some have likened Medicare expansion to Social Security funds which some fear may dry up.

“I’m worried that in 10 years from how the burden to pay for all of this will fall on the State of Virginia, and I don’t like the idea of borrowing money from the Federal Government to pay for this,” a man said.

Others challenged Anderson and Barker to expand Obamacare in the state and provide insurance for some 350,000 or more that otherwise do not have access to it.

“Governor McAuliffe campaigned on the issue and it’s not like he changed his mind,” said Barbara Paceiejewski, of Lake Ridge.

The Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission (MIRC) was established last year to find a way to move forward on healthcare expansion in the state, but Barker said the commission is now dormant and has not held a meeting since April.

“The commission is no longer functioning. They’ve had lots of meetings, and a lot of information has been passed around, but there’s been no solid discussion on the matter,” said Barker.

Barker supports the expansion and says Virginia is already paying into the federal healthcare system but, since the state will not expand the program, does not recoup the tax monies given to the feds. Anderson does not support the current plan to expand healthcare in the state and cited worries about the national debt.

“I’m concerned about one number: $17 trillion – our national debt. I know work as been done to improve the deficit but I’m worried about the overall budget and how we’re going to pay for this program,” said Anderson.

With Democrats still pushing for expansion, Republican House of Delegates William J. Howell said late Wednesday the General Assembly will return to Richmond for a special session in late September to once again take up the issue. That session will come after McAuliffe is expected to announce his plan to expand the program in the state.

Other bills

Both elected officials also talked about their legislative successes during the annual General Assembly session that wrapped up earlier this year.

A bill from Barker allows U.S. servicemen and women just back from deployment more time to have their car inspected in the event their inspection expired while deployed. Another allows employers hit by current hard economic times to reduce the number of hours worked by employees to two to three days a week, allowing them to collect state unemployment benefits for days not worked. By reducing hours worked, it prevents a company from having to fire trained employees only to have to hire and train new employees when business picks back up, said Barker.

Anderson was able to pass a bill that requires background checks for small in-home daycare providers in an effort to make daycare providers safer.

“Had background checks been done on some previous in-home daycare providers, certain daycares wouldn’t be allowed to operate, and parents wouldn’t have entrusted their child to a problematic daycare,” said Anderson.

Anderson, Barker, Wittman Hosting Town Hall Meetings

Virginia State Senator George Barker and Delegate Rich Anderson meet in Lake Ridge to discuss legislative priorities for 2013. [Uriah Kiser/Potomac Local News]

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – Local legislators will hold a series of town hall meetings beginning tonight.

The meetings will both be held in Woodbridge, tonight at the Prince William County Government Center’s McCoart Building at tomorrow night at the Dr. A.J. Ferlazzo Building.

Here’s more in a press release from Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson:

JOINT HOUSE-SENATE LEGISLATIVE TOWN HALL:  This Wednesday, July 9, 7-9pm, Del. Rich Anderson (R-51st) and Sen. George Barker (D-39) will host their annual post-legislative session town hall in the chambers of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors at the James J. McCoart Government Complex, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA. This is an official, bipartisan event that Del. Anderson and Sen. Barker traditionally host each year after the annual legislative session. They will discuss the session, look ahead to future sessions, and answer questions from attendees.

1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT TOWN HALL:  This Thursday, July 10, 7-9pm, Congressman Robert J. Wittman will host a “Congressional District Town Hall on Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases” at the Dr. A. J. Ferlazzo Government Complex, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA. The meeting will be in the Locust Shade Room and will address the warm-weather dangers of tick-borne diseases.

Photo IDs Required to Vote

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – For those who don’t have a valid photo ID: you’re going to need one to cast your ballots at polling places in Prince William County in coming elections.

The Prince William County Office of Elections says several types of photo ID will be accepted:

For future Virginia Elections, voters must present one of the following acceptable forms of photo identification when voting:

  • Virginia Driver’s License
  • DMV-issued photo identification card
  • United States Passport
  • Employee photo identification card
  • Other government-issued photo identification card
  • College or university student photo identification card (issuer must be an institution of higher education located in Virginia)

Registered voters who do not have an acceptable form of photo identification may visit any local voter registration office for a free ID beginning July 1, 2014.  Prince William County locations include:

  • Office of Elections, 9250 Lee Avenue, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Woodbridge DMV, 2731 Caton Hill Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192 

 

Transportation Funding Uncertian with Colgan’s Departure

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – The balance of power and influence in Richmond’s General Assembly could shift away from Prince William County.

President pro-tempore of the Virginia Senate Charles Colgan, D-Va. 29, Manassas, Prince William, will told the Gainesville Times he’ll retire at the end of next year, what will be his 40th year in the senate. The 87-year-old said he won’t run for office again.

“The challenge for the rest of us is to fill some very big shoes for a man who is not very tall,” said Sen. George Barker, D-39th – Fairfax, Prince William.

During his “highly effective” career, Barker says Colgan made strides in Prince William by winning transportation funding for major congestion-relief projects. Colgan continually points to the interchange at Prince William Parkway (Va. 234) and Va. 28 in Manassas as a big transportation funding win for the county.

Serving on the appropriations committee, Colgan has also been credited with bringing funding for Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) which has two campuses in the county (one of the buildings at NOVA’s Manassas Campus is named after him) and funding the Prince William Campus of George Mason University.

Corey Stewart, the Chairman of Prince William County’s Board of Supervisors, lives in the 29th District and has long been rumored to run to replace Colgan. He told PotomacLocal.com he won’t seek the Senate seat when Colgan leaves, opting instead to remain in Northern Virginia to run his law practice.

Stewart does take issue with the way State Senate districts are currently drawn, as Prince William has five different State Senators who represent the county.

“We were carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey with the redistricting of 2o10, and as a result Prince William County, together with the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, is approaching a half-million people and we should have two-and-half senate seats, said Stewart.

The redistricting process occurs every 10 years with new political districts slated to be drawn in 2020, the political districts changing with the growth of population in the state.

Virginia House Majority Whip Delegate Jackson Miller, R-50th, Manassas, disagrees, and said five State Senators can be a good thing. “It work both ways. Instead of having two senators in Prince William we have more, and all want to represent their districts the best they can,” said Miller.

Wittman Wins Big in 1st District in Primary

UPDATE June 12, 2014

Rob Wittman (R, Va.-1) issued this statement to supporters upon his primary win in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.

“It is a privilege to serve the people of Virginia’s 1st District, and I am honored that voters across the district selected me as their nominee today in the Republican primary. I look forward to continuing to serve the great citizens of the 1st District and advocating for common-sense, conservative solutions to the challenges we face.

“This is a critical year for America’s future and for our party. The upcoming elections provide a significant opportunity for the American people to fill the House of Representatives and the Senate with leaders who can get this nation back on track. I will be working hard to ensure that the voices of Virginians are heard in Washington.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers who have supported me by knocking on doors, talking to friends and family about the campaign, hosting and attending events, and calling fellow residents of the 1st District to remind them to vote. I am grateful for your support and look forward to working with you in the weeks and months ahead.”

STAFFORD COUNTY, Va. – Rob Wittman (R-Va. 1) has handily defeated his opponent in today’s Republican Primary Election.

Republican Anthony T. Reidel lost to the incumbent Congressman by at least 52 points. Wittman has held the 1st District seat for the past eight years, which spans from Williamsburg to Stafford, and also includes portions of Prince William and Fauquier counties.

Reidel issued the following statement on his website:

“I would like to congratulate Congressman Rob Wittman on a well-run, clean campaign focused on the issues facing America’s First District and the country. And I look forward to helping our entire Virginia Republican Party ticket achieve victory in November.

“I would like to thank my family, friends, volunteers, donors, and the voters of the First District for their support and prayers. We have come a long way since January 7.

“While we came up short tonight, the cause of liberty will march on. For if we rely on ourselves, on each other, and on God, liberty will prevail.”

Riedel is a public relations specialist at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in Springfield. Anthony graduated from Gloucester High School and holds a BA in Communications from James Madison University. Prior to joining the National Right to Work Foundation in 2008, Anthony worked on Ron Paul’s presidential primary campaign.

Incumbent Wittman did not issue a statement on his website, and he used his social media channels to encourage residents to get out and vote before polls closed at 7 p.m. He will now face Democrat Norm Mosher, of Irvington, Va. in the General Election in November.

The biggest upset of the night came when Republican Eric Cantor (R, Va.-7) was ousted from his seat by Republican challenger David A. Brat, who beat Cantor by just nine points. Cantor has served as the House Majority Leader since 2011 and was the Minority Whip for the thee years prior to that. He represented the 7th District, which is comprised of Richmond suburbs and portions of the Shenandoah Valley, since 2001.

Closer to home in the 8th District in Arlington and Alexandria, 10 Democrats through their name into the ring to replace the long-severing Jim Moran who will retire at the end of the year. Automobile salesman Don Beyer won the majority of the vote with about 46%, with Patrick Hope coming in second with 18% of the vote.

The General Election will be held Nov. 4.

Democrats Choose Mosher to Run in Virginia’s 1st District Now Held by Wittman

Whoever wins tomorrow’s Republican Primary will face Democrat Norm Mosher in Virginia’s 1st Congressional District.

Incumbent Rob Wittman, R, is facing fellow Republican Anthony Riedel in primary tomorrow. Wittman has held the postion for about 8 years, but Ridel says he can do a better job in Washington representing a sprawling district that spans from Prince William County in its northernmost reaches to Williamsburg to the east.

Over the weekend, the 1st District Democratic Committee announced Norm Masher, of Irvington, Va. near Kilmarnock – a retired Navy captain with 26 years of service. He also previously served on Irvington’s Town Council.

Here’s more in a press release from Democrats:

“I’m running because I’m seeing how Congress is dysfunctional — it’s not working at all. Our families, our communities and our Commonwealth are paying the price. People need to be able to look forward to the future. This means economic security for all — good jobs, good roads and good schools,” said Mosher.

“When folks look up at Congress and see all the partisan wrangling and dirt throwing they lose faith. Why should people have any trust in our government if it’s not accountable? I want to restore people’s faith in America and the American Dream. Our challenges can be our opportunities to do things in new ways, in better ways — but first we have to learn to work together again — and that’s why I am standing here today. Through my life I’ve gained experience, knowledge and know-how on leading teams to meet overwhelming challenges. I’ve answered my country’s call for service before, and I’m answering it now.”

Norm retired from the Navy with the rank of Captain, after a 26 year career. During his career, he commanded ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific, and a squadron of destroyers in the Pacific. Mosher was an early volunteer to serve in Vietnam. Even before the arrival of American combat troops, he was sailing the Vietnam coasts and mouth of the Mekong River in wooden junks as an advisor to a paramilitary group. Later, the first ship he commanded was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for its performance in the coastal waters of Vietnam. For his service in this period, he was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat Distinguishing Device, the Bronze Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, and the Air Medal.

Following retirement from the Navy, he became a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee chaired by the highly respected Senator Sam Nunn.  Norm was responsible for analytical oversight of $25 billion of the Department of Defense budget for Research and Development, and Procurement for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Operations forces.

Polls for the Republican Primary in the 1st District open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Click here to find out where you vote.

Whomever wins will face Mosher in the General Election on Nov. 4.

 

Warner Campaigning in North Stafford Today

Virginia Senator Mark Warner introduces President Barack Obama at a campaign rally on Friday in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

Virginia Senator Mark Warner introduces President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/PotomacLocal.com)

NORTH STAFFORD, Va. – Virginia Senator Mark Warner will come to North Stafford today to talk about his reelection bid.

The incumbent one-term Senator who previously served four years as Virginia’s Governor starting in 2002 announced he’s seeking relection in the U.S. Sentate on May 28.

After several stops around the state, Warner will stump at the Courtyard by Marriot at the Quanitco Corporate Center, at 375 Corporate Center Drive in North Stafford. It will be the last stop on a tour Warner dubbed the “Working Together Tour.”

“As Governor, Mark Warner helped bring nearly 130,000 jobs and helped Virginia earn the designation as the nation’s best state for business and the best-managed state. Elected to the U.S. Senate during the 2008 recession, Sen. Warner had a key role in successfully enacting bipartisan Wall Street reforms,” a press release stated. “Widely viewed as a consensus-builder in Congress, Sen. Warner has worked for greater fiscal accountability, and he is a bipartisan leader in promoting innovation and greater economic opportunity. Sen. Warner is a champion for Virginia’s small businesses, and a strong advocate for Virginia’s military men and women, our veterans and their families.

While Warner, a Democrat, is campaigning, state Republicans will hold a convention in Roanoke on Saturday to determine who will challenge Warner. Some of the known candidates include, Tony DeTora, congressional policy adviser, Ed Gillespie, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Shak Hill, a decorated combat pilot and owner of a financial services practice, and Chuck Moss, a businessman.

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

June 10 Republican Primary: Has Your Polling Place Changed?

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Voters in Virginia’s  1st Congressional District will head to the polls Tuesday, June 10, as incumbent Republican Rob Wittman faces challenger Republican Anthony Riedel in a Primary Election.

The June vote will mark the first time voters in Prince William County have been to the polls since some major changes were made to voting precincts.

Some of the voting precincts in Prince William County’s portion of the 1st Congressional District, a large political district that also includes portions of Fredericksburg, King George and Stafford counties, and stretches southeast to Williamsburg, have been split up, rearranged, and renamed.

The Prince William County Office of Elections last week sent out voter cards to those in precincts that have been affected detailing the changes, as well as stating where affected voters should now go to cast their vote.

“We’ve been getting calls. I just everyone opened the envelope to know that their voting place may have changed,” said office of elections spokeswoman Dianna Dutton.

The new precincts took effect back in March, and county officials have provided a list of the changes on their website. We’ll also detail them for you here:

Dumfries area / Montclair

There have been major changes to voting precincts along the Va. 234 corridor.

For starters, voters in the Pattie Precinct will no longer vote at Pattie Elementary School and will instead vote at Forest Park High School at 15721 Forest Park Road, just off Va. 234.

“The parking at Pattie Elementary is lacking and it’s an older building, and we’re trying to get voters into better facilities, so voters who voted there in the past will no longer vote there,” said Dutton.

It’s much of the same story at Washington-Reid Elementary School across the street. Those voters will now cast their ballots at nearby First Mount Zion Baptist Church at 16622 Dumfries Road.

Oddly enough, those who live in the Forest Park Precinct will no longer vote at Forest Park High School. They, too, will vote at First Mount Zion Baptist Church.

In the Montclair neighborhood, the Montclair Precinct was split in two. Those remaining in the Montclair Precinct will continue to vote at Henderson Elementary School at 3799 Waterway Drive. Those in the newly split precinct called Cabin Branch will also vote at Forest Park High School.

Those who live in another newly created precinct that was born out of the Montclair Precinct, the Cardinal Precinct, will cast their votes at Potomac Crest Baptist Church at 15418 Cardinal Drive.

Dale City

Residents on Saratoga Lane and surrounding streets now have a voting precinct of the same name. Those living within the new Saratoga Precinct will now vote at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at 5920 Saratoga Lane.

Lake Ridge

While no new voting precincts were created in Lake Ridge, the existing Mohican, Springwoods, and Westridge voting districts had their lines redrawn to event out the number of votes per district, said Dutton.

McCoart

The old Stadium Precinct, to denote the Potomac Nationals baseball stadium, was merged with the McCoart Precinct, named at the Prince William County McCoart Government Center. Voters who currently vote at the McCoart center will continue to do so, and now those who live in neighborhoods along Davis Ford Road south of the Occoquan River will, too.

Mid-county

Voters who were in the Park Precinct and were used to voting at the headquarters of the Prince William County Department of Parks and Recreation are now in the Independent Hill Precinct. Those voters will now vote at the headquarters of Prince William County Public Schools, the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center at 14715 Bristow Road.

Dutton also said the Spriggs Precinct also had some changes made to its boundaries, so some who were used to voting at Heritage Baptist Church on Spriggs Road may have a new polling place.

In the Bennett Precinct just outside Manassas, it too has been split. People on eastern side of Va. 234 will continue to vote at Bennett Elementary School at 8800 Old Dominion Drive. But, those who live on the west side of Va. 234 in the newly created Lucasville Precinct will now vote at Lake Jackson Volunteer Fire Station at 11310 Coles Drive.

Manassas area

A new precinct was created after portions of the old Mullin Precinct merged with portions of the Stonewall Precinct, creating the new Ashton Precinct. Voters who live in this precinct will vote at Bull Run Regional Library.

The old Jackson Precinct is now known as the West Gate Precinct. Now, some people who were voting at Stonewall Jackson High School will vote at West Gate Elementary School at 8031 Urbanna Road.

Those who east of Va. 234 and were in the Sinclair Precinct are now in the Stonewall Precinct and will vote at Stonewall Middle School at 10100 Lomond Drive.

Nokesville

And finally, voters who used to cast their ballots at Nokesville Elementary School will now vote at Patriot High School at 10504 Kettle Run Road.

To find out exactly where you vote, you can visit Virginia’s voter website, type in your address, and it will return your polling place. You can also call the Prince William County Office of Elections at 703-792-6470.

Indie Candidate Gibson Asked to Leave Farmers Market

DALE CITY, Va. – It’s not easy being a third party candidate running for Congress  in Northern Virginia. Just ask Mark Gibson.

This year, in Virginia’s 11th Congressional District, the only way for an independent third-party candidate like Gibson to be listed on the ballot is to have 1,000 signatures on a ballot petition, which then must be submitted to the state’s office of elections. Gibson has about 500 signatures so far and he’s going for a total of 1,500 to ensure he has more  than enough.

On Sunday, he went to the Dale City Farmer’s Market to collect even more signatures. He managed to get five before he was asked to leave.

“I was out collecting signatures, like I had done at other farmers markets like the one at the Burke VRE and in Reston, and there was never a question of where I was supposed to be,” said Gibson.

The Dale City market is held in a commuter lot maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to next Center Plaza, and a Comcast cable office. It’s a popular Sunday morning destination for those looking for locally grown, fresh produce and other goods.

So, it’s a no brainer Gibson would go and shake hands with voters, and ask them to sign his ballot petition.  Gibson didn’t have a table or chairs with him, just a clipboard and a warm greeting, he said.

“It is my understanding the manager on duty spoke with Mr. Gibson and advised him of the necessity to obtain a VDOT permit to solicit campaign signatures at the Commuter Lot.  The manager made note of how ‘nice’ Mr. Gibson was,” said Diane Cabot, with Prince William parks and recreation.

Gibson turned to Twitter to share his experience:

As it turns out, there is a rule that requires any group or organization that wants to set up shop in a VDOT parking lot, to include the farmers market, to first get permission. But the one-man band Gibson doesn’t really have an organization, and he’s not a business.

“My biggest concern is that he was in public place,” said Bill Golden, a Prince William County resident who produces several websites and the community interview show, Nights at the Roundtable. “It seems here we have a restrictive policy that needs explaining by the government.”

Golden met Gibson at a recent taping of “Roundtable,” and suggests more signs be placed at this and all other commuter lots informing people that the proper permits are needed before they can hock their wares or collect signatures.

Also a photographer, Golden says there is also a policy at the Dale City market that prohibits photography. “How can you stop people from taking photos at an outdoor market?” asked Golden.

There is a media policy in place at the market, too, where anyone who wishes of photograph or produce video of the market is asked to call ahead and seek permission first.

Gibson says he’s been to other farmers markets in Fairfax County where he’s been able to collect signatures with no problems, and without obtaining a permit. However, Gibson ran into similar problems at a farmers market in the City of Fairfax where, there too, he was asked for a permit and was asked to leave.

Prince William County has since spoken to Gibson and provided all of the documents he’ll need to fill out to participate in the market, said Cabot.

The permit process hasn’t soured Gibson. He says he’ll complete the permit application with the state, and will seek permission from the county’s parks and recreation department before returning to the Dale City Farmers Market on June 1.

This is the second time Gibson has ran to unseat Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William. He also faces Republican Suzanne Scholte who is president of a non-profit organization that focuses on human rights issues.

Voters will head to the polls Nov. 4.

 

What Jackson Miller Voted for to get this Legislative Score

MANASSAS, Va. – The report cards are in and every single state legislator received an grade of “incomplete.”

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce released its annual legislator report card where this year 13 legislators in Virginia’s State Senate and House of Delegates were scored on how they voted on issues either supported or opposed by the Chamber.

As both bodies and Gov. Terry McAuliffe have failed to pass a state budget following the latest General Assembly session this past winter, all representatives got the “incomplete” score, said Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Nancy Hiteshue.

As far as numerical scores go, which are not percentages but rather a score derived by adding points if legislators’ votes aligned with the Chamber’s political agenda. Points were taken away if they voted against the agenda. Votes taken in committees were also tallied.

Scoring highest was Delegate Jackson Miller, R-Manassas whose perfect voting scorecard included supporting the creation of public charter schools for children, as well as supporting the adoption of a statewide A-F academic grading scale.

Senator George Barker, D-Fairfax, Prince William, also with a perfect scorecard netted a 101 score.

The Chamber opposed a bill introduced by Delegate Robert “Bob” Marshall, R-Manassas Park, that would ban the Virginia Department of Transportation from buying ads on TV, radio, and in publications urging support of public road projects – as the agency did to rally support for a proposed Bi-County Parkway between Dumfries and Dulles Airport.

Marshall received an overall score of 82, and Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, R-Fauquier, Prince William scored lowest with a 76 score.

Freshman Delegate Michael Futrell, D-Woodbridge, Stafford, scored 94 and supported all of the Chamber’s initiates.

The entire report card can be viewed here.

Residents of Prince William’s Towns Head to Polls Tomorrow

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Tuesday will mark Election Day in the towns of Prince William County.

Residents in Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls to elect new mayors and members of their respective Town Councils.

Polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7 p.m. Sample ballots for the elections have been posted by officials at the Prince William County Office of Elections.

Those who do not know where to vote can click here to find out where your polling place is. The election is for residents who live inside the towns.

Some of the candidates seeking office submitted responses to a survey distributed to them by Potomac Local News.

Here’s a list of candidates seeking office:

Dumfries Haymarket  Occoquan Quantico
MAYOR MAYOR  MAYOR MAYOR
Gerald M. Foreman II (Incumbent) David M. Leake (Incumbent) Elizabeth A. C. Quist Kevin P. Brown (Incumbent)
Willie J. Toney Josh M. Mattox Iris Ross Tharp
TOWN COUNCIL  TOWN COUNCIL TOWN COUNCIL TOWN COUNCIL (5 to be elected to Town Council)
Gwen P. Washington (Incumbent) Steven C. Aitken (Incumbent) Tyler C. Brown Peggy L. Alexander (Incumbent)
Derrick R. Wood (Incumbent) Matthew E. Caudle J. Matthew Dawson Earlene D. Clinton (Incumbent)
Kristin Forrester (Incumbent) Milton J. Kenworthy (Incumbent) Joseph E. McGuire, Jr. (Incumbent) Sammoto Yomosa Dabney
Cydny Neville (write in) Christopher S. Morris James A. Drakes Tom E. Davis
 Christy L. Hart (write in) Joseph R. Pasanello Patrick A. Sivigny (Incumbent) Mary Lou DiMarzio
Pamela L. Swinford  Steven V.  Vonderheide John L. Hallman
Kurtis W. Woods Albert R. Gasser, Jr.
Nicole V. Zimnoch Russell V. “Rusty” Kuhns (Incumbent)
Virginia Macfarlan (Incumbent)
Florence “FoFo” Petkoson

 

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Virginia Macfarlan for Quantico Town Council

Name: Virginia Macfarlan

Age: Declined

Hometown: Declined

Office seeking: Ouantico Town Council

Occupation: Declined

Education: Declined

Community involvement: Declined

Campaign website: 

Virginia Macfarlan declined to respond to our candidate questionnaire.

“I am not going to complete the questionnaire. “Most of it really does not apply to a town with only 500 residents and approximately 150 registered voters,” Macfarlan stated in an email to Potomac Local News.

Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Tyler Brown for Occoquan Town Council

Name: Tyler C. Brown

Age: 28

Hometown: Alexandria, Va.

Office seeking: Occoquan Town Council

Occupation: Infiniti Master Technician

Education: Studied International Marketing at Northern Virginia Community College

Community involvement: Attending Town Hall meetings, advocating on behalf of neighbors.

Campaign website:  facebook.com/tylerbrownforthetown

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

I am going to bring fresh ideas to the town of Occoquan while still preserving small town charm. I will bring creative solutions to the table to solve problems. Also I would like to see the completion of the new park, as well as a boardwalk to reinvigorate our down town area. Also as a councilman I will advocate for more events in the town which can bring extra revenue to the town. Also I’m 28 years old so I’m one of them.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Occoquan is at a crossroad we need to revitalize the commercial district in our town, or else in the near future we will live in a town home community. As councilman I will support legislature which will help the small businesses in town, as well as see the completion of the new park to the high Occoquan standards. Also I will purpose building a boardwalk along the Occoquan river which I believe will help the business in Occoquan as well as giving us all a nice place to enjoy.

The cut-through traffic has become a real nuisance for local residents. Commuters attempting to save a couple of minutes on their way to points west from Route. 123 come through our town causing excessive traffic in the morning and evening. While this can be beneficial for the business, it is also a safety hazard. Crazed drivers on their way home from work run stop signs, speed, and have no regard for pedestrian safety. I will work to make sure the traffic around Occoquan flows faster so people who drive through town can enjoy it.

Unfinished construction. As councilman I will work diligently to make sure that Occoquan is free from blight. I feel like this is one of the biggest detriments to Occoquan’s success.

What are the biggest issues and needs facing the youth of your district? What will you do to address those needs?

We need to bring fresh ideas to bring small businesses and restaurants to town. This will bring more foot traffic, which will mean longer hours for shops and restaurants, which means more jobs for young people. Also these shops and restaurants will attract a younger crowd which typically spends more money. I will work with local business and future businesses as well as the rest of the council to make this happen.

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

A town councilman helps lead the town in the right direction, makes decisions which they believe will take the town in a direction which their constituents desire. I will bring fresh ideas to the council, and can bring a new perspective from a younger person who is knowledgeable about business and technology. I have a goal oriented personality when I decide I am going to pursue something I get it accomplished.

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

Earnie Porta has done a great job with his e-mail list at keeping people informed with events in the town. In my talks with town residents most of them do not understand the workings of town government, it can all be very secretive at times. People often feel alienated during town hall meetings as though their say means nothing to the council. As councilman, I would push for more community input during council meeting, and not pretend to know everything.

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

Yes, answering questions about mistakes. Every failure is a learning

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

I am actually in the very beginnings of starting my first business. I am working with people in a few different countries so working on communication is key.

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Christy Hart for Dumfries Town Council

Name: Christy Hart

Age: 39

Town of residence: Dumfries, Va.

Office seeking: Town Council (write-in candidate)

Occupation: Independent Contractor

Education: College

Community involvement: President of Williamstown HOA, volunteer at St Francis House, volunteer at Dumfries Elementary, Manage Williamstown Pool, Manage Williamstown National Night Out, Manage Community Yard Sale, Write Community Newsletter to keep residents informed.

Campaign website:

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

Because I bring fresh ideas to the council from a younger prospective.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

A. Creating a budget that is conducive to the town size. Currently we are spending money on programs that are mirroring the county instead of having programs that will help our citizens.

B. Lack of proper infrastructure conducive to our business community. We must create a pedestrian friendly community. This will put the consumer at the businesses front door.

C. Create most of the under developed areas of the town into a mixed use zone. Most young individuals are looking for areas where they can work, live and shop in the same area instead of getting in their vehicles and drive in traffic and take most of their day.

What are the biggest issues and needs facing the youth of your district? What will you do to address those needs?

Increased drug and gang activity. We need to bring in resources that specialize in dealing with these two problems and give them the ability to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law.

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

As an HOA President, I bring the expertise of being connected to the community, local businesses and local government. We meet with the Town Council and discuss our concerns. By being on the council, I can address these concerns first hand.

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

Yes I do feel the citizens are well informed. There is social media, Town website, Town Charter (like a newsletter) and open council meetings. But there are more ways to improve this too. There is an important aspect that is missing, a local newspaper (not everyone has cable or internet). A lot of citizens used to depend on the newspaper but that has gone by the wayside.

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

Well, I have never held a public office therefore no mistakes have been made. No one is perfect and I’m sure that I as well as other council members will make mistakes.Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

Currently I am not working on any personal improvements. However, I consider myself a lifelong learner, so if something comes up that I need to improve or develop within myself, I will not hesitate to seek resources.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

Yes I am currently working to improve my communications skills. I think everyone has something to work on because no one is flawless.

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Gwen Washington for Dumfries Town Council

Name: Gwen P. Washington

Campaign website:

Age: 71

Town of residence: Dumfries, Va.

Office seeking: Town Council

Occupation: Behavior Specialist, Dumfries Elementary School

Education: BS-VA State Univ & MEd-George Mason University

Community involvement: Little Union Baptist Church (Deaconess, VBS Director, Asst. Church Clerk, Drama President/Director), Lifetime member National Education Association, Lifetime Member VA Education Association, NAACP, VA Municipal League, VML Human Resources & Education Committee, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Women In Community Action, AARP.

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

Young people should be excited to vote for me because I remain open to listen to them and discuss their concerns so that I can better represent them in the Council’s Decision Making Process. As a lifetime Dumfries resident, educator and community volunteer, I have worked with young people on many levels. I am very open, honest and most of all very approachable. I have spent my adult life advocating for young people. I look forward to continuing to work with all of our citizens, as we shape our future together.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

Top three issues facing our town: Economic Development, Traffic Issues, and Infrastructure Issues. I believe that collaboration is one of the keys to our economic development and traffic issues. We need to start an ongoing dialog with our current business owners and neighboring Virginia towns as we continue to explore ways to increase our economic development.

We also need to work collaboratively with our local and state officials in the planning and funding of road projects. We need to find a way to be at the table where decisions and policies are being made, so that we can ensure that our concerns and issues are being addressed. We also need to seek more available grants that will help us revitalize and improve our town’s infrastructure. We definitely need more sidewalks and lighting to keep our citizens safe.

What are the biggest issues and needs facing the youth of your district? What will you do to address those needs?

Biggest issues facing the youth of our town: Lack of transportation and lack of family oriented activities. The town has made great strides this year in the area of family activities. With the onset of the new Parks and Recreation Commission, family activities have doubled. I will continue to vote to provide the necessary resources to fund quality family activities. In order to improve our transportation issues, we need to form partnerships with community stakeholders. We, also, need to seek grants for programs that include transportation funding..

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

My job as a councilwoman is to represent the best interests of the citizens of Dumfries. I believe that the direction of our town must be established by it’s people and carried out by it’s leaders. It is their right to question our actions; to offer us advice; and to hold us accountable. I am a lifelong resident who has spent three years on the council representing the people of Dumfries.

My family has a history of community service here in Dumfries and I am aware of the responsibility that the people have charged me with—I do not take it lightly. I have always made my decisions based on “what’s best for Dumfries.” I’m not just a Town Councilwoman, I’m a lifelong concerned citizen. As a citizen, I want the same things, I believe most of our voters want.

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

I do not believe all of our citizens understand the workings of our town government. I believe, well informed and more involved citizens are the answer to a better Dumfries. For that reason, over the past two years, I have voted with the council to invest in new technology designed to enhance our citizens involvement in the workings of our town government.

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

No.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

Currently I am not working on any personal improvements. However, I consider myself a lifelong learner, so if something comes up that I need to improve or develop within myself, I will not hesitate to seek resources.

 

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Derrick Wood for Dumfries Town Council

Name: Derrick Wood

Campaign website:  derrickwood.com

Age: 36

Town of residence: Dumfries, Va.

Office seeking: Town Council

Occupation: Chef

Community involvement: Derrick serves as chapter leader of the DC Metro Chapter of the Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, contributing writer to Thy Kingdom Carriers an International publication, the Chairman and Founding member of the Dumfries Parks and Recreation Commission, and an advisory board for Stratford University’s School of Hospitality Management. He also holds an honorary doctorate degree in Philosophy.

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

Young people can see that I care about the things that matter most to them, like getting an education, recreational programs, and creating a family friendly cultural in the Town. Young people of all ages vote for people that they can relate to and value the same things that they value. Like me, I know young people value a pride of belonging to a community focused on growth and development.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Create a concrete plan that will develop the people that make up our community. When you invest in people and believe in their value. Then the whole community wins!

INFRASTRUCTURE – The roads are going to get widen, so I would begin to focus on building a good relationship between council and the major land owners in town.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS – As a council it is important that I focus on building relationships with county, federal, and state officials to help advance the vision of the Town.

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

To provide input on creating a clear vision of what the Town of Dumfries will look like in the future. I will bring my personal experiences as father, husband, business owner and school ambassador.

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

Many citizens are not well-informed of the difference between the local government vs. the federal and state governments. The key to improving communication is by providing opportunities for them to get involved and every opportunity to plant seeds that will grow.

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

As a man with a son, I understand that my public life and my private life have to be the same, they have to be one. Yes I have made mistakes, yet it gave me an opportunity to learn what to do and what not to do. Every mistake is not a loss but a lesson learned.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

Yes. I am working on learning how to say no to things that don’t line up with the vision that the creator has instilled in my and to trust in dark what was shown to me in the light.

Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Kurtis Woods for Haymarket Town Council

Name: Kurtis Woods

Age: 26

Town of residence: Haymarket, Va.

Office seeking: Town Council

Campaign website: votehaymarket.com

Occupation: Systems Administrator

Education: Bachelor’s of Science in Information Systems from Cedarville University

Community involvement: Involved in service with McLean Bible Church including community programs, serving on Sunday mornings and as a member of a search committee for a new worship pastor.

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

I bring a youthful perspective to the town council. I plan on living here for a long time and will endeavor to work for the good of the town’s future. I will respect the voice of every citizen, especially those with more experience and investment in the town.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

The town needs to take a look at it’s organization and find areas of duplication that can be removed. I support an organizational assessment to discover and tackle those issues.

There are several vacant properties in town, some of which are eyesores. Providing businesses with incentives and a friendly atmosphere could transform those vacant properties to be thriving and revenue creating locations.

The police department needs a serious look as well. We need to include it in the above mentioned organizational assessment to determined how it can be managed to serve the best interests of our town.

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

A town council member’s job description is, in my opinion, to listen to the citizens of the town and make informed decisions based on their desires and needs. It is to manage the town’s affairs in the best interest of the people. I would be able to contribute a young family’s perspective, my expertise as an IT professional, and a listening ear.

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

I do not feel that the town is currently well informed. They need to make efforts to take advantage of more available avenues of communication to get the issues in front of the public. One proposed means of doing so is to personally visit the homes of the town residents during my term to talk with them about their needs and desires.

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

This is my first try at politics, and I have not yet had much chance to make public mistakes or be affected by them. However, in my personal life I always strive to own up to my mistakes and accept the consequences with grace.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

There is nothing like experience. I believe that simply by serving on the town council will make me into a better leader. I am surrounding myself with other leaders that I look up to, and I continually seek their advice.

Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

2014 Town Elections Profiles: Jerry Foreman for Dumfries Mayor

Name: Gerald “Jerry” Foreman

Age: 52

Town of residence: Dumfries, Va.

Office seeking: Mayor

Campaign website: gmforeman.com

Occupation: Aviation Consultant, United States Marine Corps (25 years – – Retired), Current Town of Dumfries Mayor

Education: B.S. Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) and a M.S. Aviation Science from Everglades University in Florida.

Community involvement

American Legion; Dumfries Business Association; Ellis Airport Board Jacksonville, NC (2005-2006); President Hampstead Landing Homeowners Association (2007-2010); Historic Dumfries Virginia Inc. (2009-Present); Image Church (Dumfries); Kiwanis International; Marine Corps Aviation Association; Marine Corps Association; Military Officers Association of America (MOAA); National Rifle Association (NRA), Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC), Prince William County Republican Committee; Southern Illinois University Alumni Association; U.S. Air Force Association; Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW); Virginia Municipal League (VML).

Why should young people be excited to vote for you?

The Town of Dumfries is 265 years young. This Town was founded by young Virginians, who had ideas and were motivated by making their vision a reality. Today, young voters live in a democracy where they were born with the right to have a voice in government. Dumfries is “local government” and this is where young voters can make the biggest impact. A government by the people, for the people just can’t work without people participating.

Since elected Mayor, there has been a changing of the Guard; Council, County and State officials have been challenged with a fresh perspective and new energy from the Town of Dumfries. Dumfries needs a new prospective, those who think outside the box. We have a lot happening in our Town right now. Our young people can have a voice in how things get done….status quo is not always a good thing. Changing direction means fresh voices, fresh ideas and the ability to effectively work with fellow Councilmembers and staff. Our young voters can bring all that to our Town.

I welcome new and exciting growth and challenges in our Town. I have met our young voters and they are active in business, volunteer organizations and churches. They should be encouraged and applauded when they step forward with governmental ideas and a willingness to make a difference. Your elected officials should not fear change or discussion for change, this is where ideas are nourished and compromise is facilitated. Politicians get elected because of the ideological beliefs and the effectiveness with which they articulate positions.

Young people ages 18 to 29 make up 21 percent of the eligible voting population, and when younger people participate in elections, it makes it more likely that others in their households will vote. So this year, make an effort to do your research. Find out which Town Official is leading by example and is taking care of your interests and providing you a quality of life you deserve. Remember how important it is to vote, and commit to being a part of creating change.

In your opinion, what are the top three major issues facing the district you wish to represent? What concrete solutions do you propose to address these issues?

1. Transportation:
– Route 1 Widening Efforts (to commence in CY 2025): This requires continuous dialogue with Richmond (VDOT & Elected Officials), Fairfax (VDOT), Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, and Prince William County Elected Officials and Staff.
– Rte-234 Extension to Potomac Shores intersection w/Rte-1: This is and remains a joint effort between VDOT, PWC and the Town of Dumfries. No one entity has a lead. It will only be through a combined effort that there will be shared success.

2. Continued repeals FY10 Equalization Initiatives:
While the economy / housing rates have not fully recovered since the recession and housing market collapse of 2009 / 2010; the Town Council should take every opportunity to address these initiatives. The Town’s budget is solid (and each year has more revenue than projected); this should not happen year after year without repealing these unfair taxations. While a full return to pre-Initiatives levels cannot happen, each item should be addressed individually.

3. Protection of our Natural Resources:
– Quantico Creek & Quantico Bay Protection & Restoration: PWC, the National Park Service, the Chesapeake Bay Authority, Northern Virginia Regional Commission and the Town of Dumfries are addressing this concern. Stormwater Management Programs and conservation efforts must complement each other as Dumfries is where all efforts converge.
– Park Maintenance & Beautification (all Parks within Town limits): Our Parks were created for relaxation and enjoyment. There should be an effort by Councilmembers and Staff to identify and work with organizations in Northern Virginia that will donate funding to beautify, maintain and promote our parks. Too often Council wants to create activities that require staff man-hours and taxpayers monies to promote and execute, when there are organizations that want to partner and share the cost with the Town.

What are the biggest issues and needs facing the youth of your district? What will you do to address those needs?

This boils down to family and community values and having pride in your hometown. We are fortunate to have non-profit organizations and Churches in the Town that offer programs that compliment parenting. The Town of Dumfries partnering with local organizations offer a lot for everyone, we have:

– The General Heiser Boys & Girls Club that offers programs after school, on weekends and also offers an organized sports program.

– Historic Dumfries of Virginia (HDV)/Weems-Botts Museum offers Town of Dumfries and Prince William County (PWC) history, demonstrating colonial life and sponsoring living history events such as “Living History Programs” and “Children’s Day at the Museum”; thus, helping to bring to life our communities rich contributions of historical importance. With PWC and Manassas Schools, HDV offers a “Virtual Classroom” on the internet (and programs on PWC television); an interactive talk about the History of PWC and the Port of Dumfries from pre-colonial time through the 1800s. Lastly,monthly HDV hosts a “Home Schooling Day” with SOL approved programs.

– Programs sponsored by the Town of Dumfries Staff such as “Dumfries Cares”, “Elementary Emerging Leader’s Program”, “Middle School Monday Program” and lastly our “Internship Program”

From your prospective, what is the job description of the office you’re seeking? What expertise will you bring to the position?

I believe that the spirit of Dumfries starts and ends from the Mayor’s seat, for my full job description refer to gmforeman.org (click “Promise” tab).

I would like to say that it is not “one” experience but rather a lifetime of experiences that have prepared me to serve as Mayor. I have learned as a Marine, as a business owner, as an Aviation Consultant, a logistics contractor supporting the Federal government, as a College Professor, as Councilman and as your Mayor with two years under my belt.

In each occupation or profession, I have had experiences that have taught me how to bring together and lead a group of people from diverse backgrounds and, while utilizing resources in a strategic way, strive to accomplish common goals and shared objectives. Throughout my personal and professional life, I have learned how to conduct research, listen to concerns, prepare plans, work with other people, endure hardships, and I have demonstrated all of these skills as mayor.

I have ensured that challenges are approached in a solution minded attitude and continually bring a sense of optimism. This optimism conveys a sense of a “Can-Do” attitude that is desperately needed in today’s political arena. I have and will continue to cross party lines in order to achieve singular and common goals.

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

I am speaking from knowledge as Mayor, the citizens and business owners of the Town of Dumfries are well in tune with the concerns, issues and future for the Town of Dumfries. In two years as Mayor, I have met with citizens and business owners 3-4 four days a week.

Let me bring to light my recent campaign experience; it was the citizens, organizations and business owners of Dumfries who wrote me, called and stopped by my office at Town Hall, as well as my home, to discuss Town concerns. During each conversation, it was made clear to me the accomplishments that had been achieved over the past two years and the shared vision and strong support of what has yet to be achieved. Lastly it was made clear to me that the voters of Dumfries are very much aware of the political climate in Dumfries, the voters want a choice.

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

Have I made mistakes? Absolutely, who hasn’t? I accept responsibility for my actions, both failures and successes. However as Mayor, it’s different, I also accept the responsibility for Council decisions as a whole. Mayor’s need to be dreamers in one sense but realistic enough to take affordable steps to move things to reality. Elected officials solve problems through facilitation and action, not petty bickering on the Council dais.

I have ensured that challenges are approached in a solution minded attitude and continually bring a sense of optimism. This optimism conveys a sense of a “Can-Do” attitude that is desperately needed in today’s political arena. I have and will continue to cross party lines in order to achieve singular and common goals.

I have had the courage to face adversarial challenges daily; with six other Councilmembers there is surely someone who always disagrees with what I am doing. No elected official should take “no” for an answer. I am not going to be embarrassed, intimidated or dissuaded in promoting the Town’s interests. My focus has matched my ambitions. I don’t have any regrets in my actions as Mayor. This is a job where you learn by talking to other Mayors, past and present. I have been very fortunate to have the counsel of former Dumfries Mayors Butch Brawner, Chris Brown and Mel Bray. They have been a wealth of information. I deeply believe in the principle that elections come with a solemn obligation to act in the best interest of the Town.

Is there something that you are currently working to improve and develop within yourself to become a better leader?

When dealing with people, I’ve learned that no matter where you go, faces change, names change, but personalities remain the same. There will always be that one person that is divisive, wants the limelight, challenges authority, comes unprepared, uses big words and doesn’t know what they mean or berates others. How to deal with an individual is always a learning experience. Behavioral concerns are in every work environment, it’s more challenging when you are a Christian and an elected official.

Editor’s note: Residents of Prince William County’s towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will head to the polls May 6. PotomacLocal.com emailed a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year’s elections in . The responses we received will be posted to this website.

See more Project:Election 2014 Town Elections profiles

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