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Politics

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

Hundreds of Gov’t Jobs Remain Vacant in Prince William

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – If government jobs go unfilled for more than 500 days are they really “critical” positions?

That question was raised during a marathon session of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Tuesday as they wrangled over what to fund in the next year’s budget, and how to fund it.

Supervisors agreed on a plan by Board Chairman Corey Stewart that sets the property tax rate at $1.148 per every $100 of assessed property value. It’ll make the average tax bill $3,568, a 4.5% increase over last year, and will net $27.7 million in new revenue to fund two new libraries, more public safety personnel, and improvements to parks, if approved.

Of the new revenue, $15.8 million will go to the schools and $11.8 will go to fund county government.

County jobs going unfilled 

Gainesville Supervisor Peter Candland’s failed budget plan – which was to generate $17.5 million in new revenue for the county — called for slashing 227 county government positions that have been vacant for more than 180 days for an overall budgeted savings of $3.7 million a year, according to information presented Tuesday. Jobs vacant for less than 180 days could still be filled under his plan.

Most of the positions are general or civilian government jobs, while others within the police department – like an animal shelter technician job that has been open for more than 500 days, or a sworn police sergeant position unfilled for more than 200 days, would remain unfilled. The proposal also called for cutting a vacant crossing guard position.

“Crossing guards are a chronic challenge every year,” said Prince William police Chief Stephan Hudson, who said the position’s low pay makes it difficult for his department to retain and recruit staff, and that it and other unfilled positions within the department are undergoing review.

Keep Reading…

Prince William Budget Proposals: 1 Holds the Line, Next Funds More Police

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – There are two very different budget proposals on the table for Prince William County.

The first, released last week by Gainesville District Supervisor Peter Candland, who says the county’s current tax rate of $1.126 is enough to fund the needs of county government.

The rate is 5.4% lower than the advertised tax rate officials agreed upon earlier this year at $1.158 per every $100 of assessed property value. The advertised rate would not be able to be increased in the required time it takes the county to pass a budget, but it can be lowered.

“The dramatic increase in taxes on Prince William County families that some on the Board of County Supervisors want to impose at as high a rate as 5.5%, is simply unfair and unsustainable. The recently mailed property tax assessments clearly demonstrate that low-to middle-income wage earners will be disproportionately hurt by this tax rate because the assessment increases hit them the hardest.  Homes with assessed values between $300,000 and $500,000 are seeing assessed values as high as 10% or more, and that will dramatically increase the average tax bills above even the 2.5% set in the approved budget,” said Candland.

Candland says his budget proposal also funds the construction of two libraries — in Montclair and Gainesville — which were approved by voters during a 2006 bond referendum.

But others on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors say there are other unment needs  that amount to more than just libraries. They include more police officers and fire and rescue crews.

Woodbridge District Supervisor Frank Principi says his budget proposal, released this morning, will do just that.

“Due to the budget cuts over the past few years, we have accumulated more than $40 million in critical unmet needs.  Many of our economic indicators are showing improvement; housing values are rising and new homes are being built, companies are again hiring and expanding operations, and the employment rate is trending downward.  The time is now for our elected leadership to begin adequately funding schools, public safety and programs for those suffering from mental illness,” said Principi.

Here’s some of what his budget proposal includes:

  • $3,103,140 for the Police Department to hire an additional 20 new sworn officers.

  • $2,460,000 for the Fire Department to hire an additional 20 new firefighters.

  • $500,212 for the Community Services Board for Mental Health Adult Outpatient Services.

  • $1,115,000 to match the School Board’s investment to lower class sizes.

Principi stated Prince William fire and rescue crews are not meeting the demands of responding to house fires and other emergencies within the required targeted time frame of under four minutes. More funding would help them do that, he says.

The Board will meet at 7:30 p.m. in Woodbridge for their budget markup session, the last meeting prior to the Board approving a final budget and ratifying it for adoption.

 

McAuliffe to Talk First 100 Days at Manassas Town Hall

Virginia Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe accepts the “Blueprint Virginia” economic plan presented to him by Virginia Chamber of Commerce President Barry DuVal, on the right. [Photo: Uriah Kiser / Potomac Local News]

MANASSAS, Va. – Governor Terry McAuliffe will appear Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Manassas.

The governor will speak to employees at Micron Technology’s manufacturing plant on Godwin Drive.

The Governor will highlighting the progress the administration has made during the first 100 days in office and his priorities moving forward on issues he deems central to the Northern Virginia.

The event comes as McAuliffe administration released its first 100 day report chronicling McAuliffe’s time in office since his January inaugural in Richmond. Since then, the governor has announced 2,642 new jobs created in the state, including 12 in Stafford County at Washington Square Associates, according the report.

“Since my first day in office, I, along with members of my administration, have worked hard to find mainstream, common-sense solutions to problems and create a stronger and more economically competitive Commonwealth,” stated Governor McAuliffe in a press release.  “We have already made significant progress in investing our transportation dollars wisely, creating more jobs in every region of the Commonwealth, and preparing our workforce for a 21st Century economy. I am proud of the accomplishments my administration has made, and I am confident that we will continue to put people above politics to build a stronger economic foundation for the next generation of Virginians.”

The Governor has not been able to sign a comprehensive budget that would fund the state government. Legislators in Richmond remain at an impasse on expanding Medicaid, or Obamacare, in the state. Democrats presented a budget that would accept federal monies to expand the federal healthcare program while state Republicans want to study on the issue.

Following his presentation, the governor will then take questions from the audience. The event is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

After Dropping Out, Foreman Back in Dumfries Mayoral Race

DUMFRIES, Va. – Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman says he’s running for re-election, again.

The sitting official, in a statement released Sunday, said an outpouring of support from those who live in the town encouraged him to re-enter the race prior to the upcoming Election Day on May 6.

“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 want a choice.

I have stated on numerous occasions that Dumfries has a small Town feel, there are a lot of proud citizens and business owners in this Town that are working together for a common cause. I am humbled at the outpouring of support. With much thought and consideration, I am campaigning for re-election as Mayor of Dumfries,” Foreman stated.

Foreman is a Republican, and Prince William Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card says they’ve made volunteers available to Foreman who could go door knocking, as well as assist with other campaigning, if he chooses to use them.

“The people of Dumfries already know who he is and he has a good reputation, so I think we’ll let the voters decide what they think on Election Day,” said Card.

Vice-Mayor Willie Toney, a Democrat, is running against Foreman. Democratic advisors told him to continue campaigning as if Foreman had never dropped out of the race because Foreman’s name would have still appeared on the ballot on Election Day.

Foreman announced on April 1 he would not seek reelection. Since reversing that decision, Foreman has not stated why he decided to drop out.

“I really don’t know what to make of this,” said Prince William Democratic Chairman Harry Wiggins. “Here’s a guy who can’t make up his mind if he’s running or not. His indecisiveness hurts the voters’ perception of him, especially because of this flip flop.”

Wiggins said many volunteers have fanned out across the 1.6 square mile town to help Toney get signatures so he could appear on the ballot, as well as help with other campaign functions. The Dumfries race, including races in Prince William’s others towns: Quantico, Haymarket, and Occoquan, is one of Prince William Democrats are trying to win this season.

Following this election, local politicos will turn their attention to the Prince William County Board of Supervisors races set to take place in 2015, but not before a special election to replace Brentsville District Supervisor Wally Covington who’s expected to leave the Board for a judgeship as soon as Richmond legislators agree on a state budget to fund the position.

Foreman was originally elected to the Dumfries Town Council in 2010 and later elected mayor in 2012, replacing the late Fred Yohey who died in office while serving on the Dumfries Town Council as Mayor.

Dumfries Business Association to Interview Town Council Candidates

Dumfries Town Hall

DUMFRIES, Va. – Two mayoral candidates for the Dumfries Town Council have agreed to sit in the hot seat.

Current Mayor Jerry Foreman is seeking reelection and is running against Vice-Mayor Willie Toney. Both have agreed to be interviewed by the newly elected Dumfries Businesses Association (DBA) President Chris Caldwell. This is the first event to be organized by a changing DBA that is now charging for membership and vows to become a larger voice in town business affairs.

“Before the last election the DBA did put on a debate between the council members that where running for office. The DBA feels that we need to concentrate on businesses in the Town of Dumfries and not be a political organization and in addition, the bylaws require the DBA to be nonpartisan,” Caldwell stated in an email to Town Councilman Derrick Wood, in reference to the DBA’s new interest in town politics.

Caldwell says each candidate running for office has been sent a personal invitation to meet with the DBA. Current Town Councilman Charles Brewer will also sit down with the DBA though he’s not up for reelection until 2016.

Vice-Mayor Toney is not scheduled to meet with the DBA until after the election.

Town Councilwoman Kristen Forrester has declined to meet citing scheduling conflicts. She asked to receive the questions in advance and reply to them via email, but the DBA has declined her request.

“I’m a little confused as to why I’m not able to answer the questions by email. It seems to me if the goal was to get information on our positions, it wouldn’t matter the vehicle for receiving the input,” said Forrester in an email to Potomac Local News.

Gwen Washington, Derrick Wood, and Helen Reynolds have yet to accept to the DBA’s interview request, according to Caldwell.

Potomac Local News Publisher Uriah Kiser will also set on the interview panel. The news organization, however, is not a member of the DBA.

The question and answer session is the first project under Caldwell who became the new head of the business organization earlier this year. Prior to him, the DBA sent out a regular news letter to members and held infrequent meetings.

Caldwell vows to reexamine the bylaws of the group and charge membership dues for new and current members, something the organization had not been doing recently.

Mayor Foreman is seen as an ally to the DBA.

“The Town government and the DBA in order to be successful need to have a strong partnership in advocating economic development for the Town of Dumfries,” said Foreman. “In order for the DBA to remain strong, DBA needs to police themselves as well, to ensure businesses are properly licensed and operations are in compliance.”

Candidate Neville also said the organization could be a resource to grow entrepreneurship in the town.

“I would like to commend Mr. Caldwell on all of his efforts to restructure the DBA. The DBA is a tremendous resource in the expansion of our economic development. I would like to reiterate my commitment to providing resources to grow our micro businesses and strengthening our businesses relationship with the town,” said Neville.

The interview sessions will not be open to the public.

*This story has been corrected. Cydny Neville has not agreed to be interviewed by the DBA.

GOP Leaders Request Special Session on Medicaid Expansion

The Virginia Capitol in Richmond. (Photo: KJ Mushung)

RICHMOND, Va. – Just three days before the Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn, Republican leaders in the House of Delegates have proposed a special legislative session to debate Medicaid expansion.

The House and Senate are less than one-tenth of one percent (or $26 million) apart from compromising on a two-year, $96 billion state budget agreement, but GOP leadership reinforced its position Tuesday that Medicaid Expansion does not belong in the budget bill.

Majority Leader Kirkland Cox, R-Colonial Heights, said the commonwealth’s local governing bodies need budgeting information by Saturday’s deadline, and urged the General Assembly to pass a clean budget and reconvene at a later date to discuss Medicaid Expansion as a separate issue.

“We need a solution at this point, and our solution is to call for a special session,” Cox said. “We (House Republicans) have been clear that (Medicaid Expansion) has no business being apart of this process … Let’s free the hostage (the budget) and do what’s right for our schools, teachers, college students and first responders.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has publicly refused to sign a budget bill that does not include some form of Medicaid expansion, and the Democratic Senate has yet to budge on its plan to provide up to 400,000 additional Virginians with health coverage under a private provider known as Marketplace Virginia.

On Tuesday, House Democrats fired back at the Republican proposal for a special session, insisting the idea is a delay tactic and that the GOP is at fault for the government impasse.

“It’s very clear that a number of folks on that (Republican) side of the aisle have just been saying no to basically everything,” House Minority leader David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, said. “’Just say no’ isn’t a policy, (it’s) a recipe for a government shutdown.”

Toscano refused to address Cox by name on the floor and said Democrats wouldn’t consider a special session without assurance the time would be used to work out the details of Marketplace Virginia or some other form of Medicaid expansion.

“We (House Democrats) agree with the gentleman (Cox) from Colonial Heights,” Toscano said in reference to avoiding a government shutdown. “But we can’t leave $1.7 billion on the table. We can’t discuss a budget without including this money.”

As members of both parties continue to point fingers across the aisle, one Republican legislator suggested the GOP has differences within its own caucus.

Delegate Thomas Davis Rust, R-Herndon, said Tuesday he doesn’t agree with House Republican leadership on all details of potential Medicaid expansion, but Rust did agree the legislature’s top priority should be passing a state budget on time.

“We can’t afford to go home Saturday without a budget,” Rust said. “And I think the fact that the two have been tied together is very detrimental to Virginia.”

Delegate Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas, went one step further, suggesting that Democratic President Barack Obama is “falsely taking credit” for federal deficit reductions. He said it’s the states like Virginia rejecting Medicaid expansion that are responsible for lowered national deficit projections.

A joint budget conference committee containing six delegates and seven senators has until Saturday to come up with a compromise before the session is extended. If an agreement isn’t finalized by July 1, the state government will shut down until terms can be negotiated.

 

Candidates File for Town Elections, Get Names on Ballots

Updated March 31, 2014

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. – Election season is heating up for the four towns in Prince William County.

The towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico will all vote for mayors and Town Council members. Votes in Occoquan will select a new mayor after current Mayor Earnie Porta announced his will not seek a new term.

Here is the list of candidates who will have their names on the ballot come Election Day May 5.

Names appearing on ballots in each of the Prince William County Towns’ Elections as of March, 31, 2014:

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
       
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 Christopher S. Morris James A. Drakes Tom E. Davis
       
  Joseph R. Pasanello Patrick A. Sivigny (Incumbent) Mary Lou DiMarzio
       
  Pamela L. Swinford   John L. Hallman
       
  Kurtis W. Woods   Albert R. Gasser, Jr.
       
  Nicole V. Zimnoch   Russell V. “Rusty” Kuhns (Incumbent)
       
      Virginia Macfarlan (Incumbent)

 

All interested candidates have until Monday to file their paperwork to the Prince William County Office of Elections to have their name appear on the ballot.

Here are a few other notes about the upcoming elections:

The Town Elections will be Tuesday, May 6, 2014.

The deadline for candidates to submit all the required paperwork is 7 pm on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The last day to register to vote in the Town Elections is Monday, April 14, 2014.

Absentee voting begins Friday, March 21, 2014.

The last day to request an AB by mail is Tuesday, April 29, 2014.

The last day to vote AB in person is Saturday, May 3, 2014. DMV and the Main office will be open all day (8 am – 5 pm and 9 am – 5 pm, respectively).

 * Louis Parino failed to submit the required paperwork to the Prince William County Office of Elections and did not qualify to have his name listed on the ballot. 

Sunday Hunting Bill Expected to be Signed into Law

RICHMOND — Weekend hunters in Virginia may be able to enjoy more hunting opportunities if Gov. Terry McAuliffe signs a law lifting the traditional ban on Sunday hunting within the commonwealth.

House Bill 1237, patroned by Delegate Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, passed the General Assembly and now is in the hands of the governor. A similar bill, Senate Bill 154, is expected to pass the General Assembly later this week.

Both bills would allow for Sunday hunting of deer and wild animals only on private property. Hunting would be prohibited, however, within 200 yards of a house of worship.

Although seen as a bipartisan bill, some lawmakers did not approve of lifting the ban on Sunday hunting.

Delegate Thomas Wright, R-Victoria, said the bill will act like a Christmas tree in the legislature, a bill that allows for amendments, like ornaments, to be added on to over time.

Wright predicts the General Assembly gradually will chip away at some of the restrictions in the current bill to eventually make hunting on Sundays equitable to any other day.

“This time it was just private land and still hunting, Wright said. “In the future I think there are going to be other bills amending this bill allowing eventually … the same hunting like on any other day of the week.”

Forty other states do not have prohibitions on Sunday hunting, according to the Coalition to Lift State Bans on Sunday Hunting. Only Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have kept these laws intact.

Both Wright and Gilbert are regular hunters in the commonwealth. Gilbert told Capital News Service earlier this month that the legislation is meant to counter a decline in hunting license purchases in Virginia.

“Virginia has such a strong hunting heritage that we thought this would be a great opportunity to attempt to reverse that trend,” Gilbert said. “The high-powered rifle season for deer is only two weeks long. So if you’re a hardworking person, you really only have two Saturday’s in which to engage in that activity all year. This would simply give you a couple extra days to enjoy a sport you love and be able to put food on the table.”

McAuliffe could not be reached for comment.

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