Politics

Former First Lady McDonnell sentenced to 1 year, 1 day in prison

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Maureen McDonnell has been painted in two different lights: as a selfless, hardworking, dedicated mother, wife and community leader, and as a hostile and greedy woman responsible for ruining the career of her husband, former Gov. Bob McDonnell, and sending him to jail.

Virginia’s former first lady has been under the media’s scrutiny for two years, since the bribery scheme involving the McDonnells came to light. Last fall, both Bob and Maureen McDonnell were convicted of multiple counts of public corruption. On Friday, Maureen McDonnell was sentenced to a year in prison by U.S. District Court Judge James Spencer.

“The true person she is should not be brushed aside,” Spencer told the courtroom. “This is never a place where she wanted to be.”

Maureen McDonnell’s lawyers asked that she be given probation with 4,000 hours of community service. The prosecution sought a prison term of 18 months.

In handing down a sentence closer to what prosecutors wanted, Spencer apparently rejected the view of Maureen McDonnell portrayed in court papers filed by her defense lawyers on Feb. 6.

The defense team’s sentencing memorandum detailed Maureen McDonnell’s life, including her struggle in the spotlight as first lady, and argued that imprisonment would be inappropriate.

The document said Maureen McDonnell was born into a family dedicated to faith, service and hard work. Both of her parents worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She was the third of nine children.

“Maureen’s devotion to her family extended beyond caring for her siblings and helping her mother take care of the house – Maureen also went to great lengths to make her father happy,” defense lawyers said. They said Maureen McDonnell became a Washington Redskins cheerleader to please her father in the early 1970s.

The former governor and his wife met in 1973 while he was a student at Notre Dame.

“She found in Bob a man committed to the same values her parents had engrained in her: faith, service, discipline, and hard work,” the memorandum continued. The couple was married in 1976. Following their wedding, Maureen McDonnell devoted herself to a life of serving others, her lawyers wrote.

In 1991, Bob McDonnell ran in his first campaign, for a Virginia Beach seat in the House of Delegates. Defense lawyers described this time in Maureen’s life as stressful as she cared for five children and supported her husband’s career.

“Maureen continued to shore up the family finances by waiting tables, installing water filters, and continuing home-based businesses that would allow her to earn an income and look after the children at the same time.”

In 2009, Bob McDonnell resigned as attorney general to run for governor. During his campaign, family friends stated that Maureen McDonnell felt the pressure to hold the family together as her husband was busy with politics. Around the same time, both of Maureen McDonnell’s parents died, and her sister became very ill.

“As the wife of a gubernatorial candidate, the campaign leaned heavily on Maureen, asking her to hit the campaign trail with Bob and on her own, make public speeches at rallies, and represent her husband in his most important campaign yet,” the memorandum said.

“Maureen struggled to cope with the demands of the campaign, and at times, the pressure overwhelmed her. … But the campaign was merely the frying. The fire of the Executive Mansion was next.

“Maureen’s uneasiness with public attention, separation from Bob, and financial insecurity, long simmering over the course of Bob’s political career, boiled over when she moved into the Executive Mansion.” Keep Reading…

Kiefer appointed to Manassas City School Board

072914-First-on-plKristen Kiefer was appointed as the newest member of the Manassas City School Board last Wednesday night.

Kiefer, who is the Chief of Staff at The National Council on Aging, was selected from a list of nine qualified candidates.

The Board needed to appoint a new member when incumbent Ilka Chavez decided to step down for personal reasons back in January.

According to Tim Demeria, Chairman of the Manassas City School Board, the board was primarily looking for a competent and passionate individual to fill Chavez’s seat.

“Of the nine candidates we had, we were looking for someone who was passionate about our schools, who was involved in our schools,” Demeria said, continuing, “My concern when we first discussing [appointing a new member] we were worried we weren’t going to have candidates worthy of the position, but that surely didn’t become a problem for us.”

The board interviewed each of the nine candidates, and after several hours of deliberation, there was a unanimous vote to select Kiefer, said Demeria.

A graduate of Ohio University and Georgetown University, Kiefer is known in the community for her extensive involvement in the school system. She has two children in Manassas City schools, and her husband was also a graduate of the school system.

For Kiefer, her commitment to education started at the very beginning of her life, with her mother’s influence as an educator.

“My mother was an educator and an administrator in schools her entire life…My parents taught me the value of education, and that it was a gift – but that it was also something you were accountable for, in terms of how much you put into it,” Kiefer said.

Kiefer started her involvement with the school community by reinstating the Baldwin Elementary PTO, and later working on the PTA at Mayfield Intermediate School. She also serves as a member of the ‘Gifted and Talented’ advisory group.

She became well known in the community for her tireless efforts working with the schools after organizing the first Movie Night on the Manassas Museum lawn. It is now an annual community event.

Her interest in applying for the vacant board seat came when she was encouraged to apply during her time at the Manassas City Public Schools Community and Parent Leadership Academy.

Kiefer admitted to being nervous and needing some reassurance about applying.

“I was nervous…the thing about it was that I had no idea what I was walking into. And I went through a lot of soul searching. I spoke with teachers, principals, colleagues, parents, to hear them saying, ‘You need to do this.’ I think for me, in terms of the decision process, my mother…said ‘You have got to do this’ [and it helped push me],” Kiefer stated.

Despite being new to the board, Kiefer will be involved in this year’s budgeting process for the schools – not an easy task. But Kiefer feels confident in her ability to transition to the board and assist in the budgeting process.

“My job is one where I’m thrown into something new each and every day, and I’ve got to adjust, and I’ve got to study and I’ve got to prepare – and it doesn’t matter what the topic is – you’ve got to go in there, and you’ve got to roll up your sleeves, and that’s just who I am as a person,” Kiefer stated.

The appointment will run out in November 2015. Kiefer intends to run in the upcoming special election to keep her seat after the appointment period ends.

Kiefer will be sworn into the board at the next Manassas City School Board meeting.

More to the Story: See all of the resumes submitted for the open School Board position below: 

Richard Bookewalter

Roy Caracciolo, Jr. 

Theresa Coates Ellis

Norman Hertz

Kristen Kiefer

D. William Sandstrom

Suzanne Seaberg

Elizabeth Skaggs

Lawrence Warkentien

Former Attorney General candidate backs Dobbyn for Fairfax County Supervisor

Jack Dobbyn, a small business owner, has announced his candidacy for Mount Vernon Supervisor and has received the endorsement of former Attorney General candidate Justin Fairfax.

Dobbyn is currently a member of the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Council and is a co-chair of the Board of Supervisors’ and School Board’s joint working committee, the Successful Children and Youth Policy Team. He is also a former chair of the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee.

Fairfax, a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Easter District of Virginia was a candidate for the Attorney General seat back in 2013.

According to Fairfax, Dobbyn is a candidate that his demonstrated his commitment to the community in the Mount Vernon District.

“I have witnessed Jack’s commitment to ensuring that all in our community have their votes heard and counted, as well as his programmatic and grass-roots efforts to strengthen families and enrich the lives of children,” Fairfax said in a press release.

Both Dobbyn and Fairfax will be in attendance at the Mount Vernon Democrats’ Seventh Annual Mardi Gras fundraiser, where the first district straw poll will be held.

The Mount Vernon Magisterial District includes Lorton.

Delegate Surovell seeks Puller’s seat in State Senate

Delegate Scott Surovell announced that he would be running for Linda “Toddy” Puller’s State Senate seat in the 36th district.

Puller has served in the State Senate since 1992 and announced her decision to retire from her seat this year.

Surovell grew up in Northern Virginia, graduating from James Madison University and the University of Virginia’s law school.

He has served as the delegate in the 44th district since 2010.

Puller and Surovell have worked together in the past, attempting to improve the Route 1 corridor in their respective districts.

“One of the main things I’ve done with Toddy [Puller] is focused on the improvement, redevelopment, widening and reinvesting in Route 1…Senator Puller and I secured $2 million dollars for what is called the ‘Route 1 Multimodel Alternatives Analysis’ study,” said Surovell.

The study was used to understand ways to improve the land use and road configuration for Route 1, and has led to plans to extend the Metro’s Yellow line and bus service in the corridor.

Surovell commented his motivation to move to State Senate is his desire to do more for his constituents.

“The State Senate is a smaller body, and it’s easier to achieve things for your constituents when you’re one of forty, instead of one of a hundred,” said Surovell.

During the campaign, Surovell intends to address education funding, an expansion of Medicaid coverage and ensuring that all school-age children have access to a computer.

“I strongly believe that every child ought to be given a computer…The digital divide is a real problem – and not just in rural areas, where they have a problem getting the wire to their house – it’s a problem in Northern Virginia, where a lot of people can’t afford high-quality broadband,” Surovell stated.

According to Surovell, he feels the work he’s been doing is consistent with what Puller has accomplished in her political legacy.

“Toddy [Puller] has been fighting to get Route 1 fixed for thirty years…and the improvements that are happening on Route 1 today are in large part because of the study that she pioneered back in 1994. I think it’s important to continue that work, to make sure that Route 1 gets the same attention other roads in Northern Virginia [receive],” said Surovell, continuing, “I don’t think there’s anybody that is a stronger advocate for veterans in the legislature.”

Dumfries Mayor Jerry Foreman has already announced his candidacy as the Republican candidate for the Senate seat.

Caddigan’s reelection message: Bring economic development to Route 1 in Triangle

072914-First-on-plIn the next four years, Maureen Caddigan says she will finish what she started in Triangle.

The $65 million effort to widen Route 1 in Triangle to six lanes was completed in 2012, and it took with it many of the roadside businesses that once lined the busy thoroughfare – fast food joints, used car dealerships, and a Greyhound Bus station. Bringing new economic development to the area to coincide with the National Museum of the Marine Corps will be her full-time focus.

After the businesses were gone, it brought disapproval from some of her toughest critics. 

“Things are happening in this neighborhood, but not everything happens overnight,” said Caddigan. “We thought that when we widened the road everyone was going to want to be here, and things would develop more quickly, and then we had the economic downturn.”

The Republican is currently running unopposed to keep her seat on the Prince William Count Board of Supervisors.

Caddigan sits at the Potomac District Supervisor and serves Montclair, Triangle, and the towns of Dumfries and Quantico. She’s campaigning on three top priorities: transportation, education, and public safety.

Caddigan was a catalyst for the addition of a $15 million public library in Montclair. She has also fought for the construction of Fuller Heights Park on Old Triangle Road outside Quantico. She’s also been the catalyst for bringing new ball fields for children in the Triangle area. A ribbon cutting for the new fields will take place in April, she said.

Caddigan has also worked to enlarge a commuter parking lot at Routes 1 and 234 in Dumfries, and she credits herself, in part, to helping to bring John Paul the Great Catholic High School to Prince William County.

Some of the items she’s still working on is the development of a town center adjacent to where Route 1 was widened, along Old Triangle Road. Caddigan had once envisioned an Occoquan-like setting to be built along the road linking Graham Park and Fuller Heights roads. She pushed developers to get on board with the project, but the effort stalled when county officials learned they would have to purchase multiple private properties to make the vision of the town center a reality.

“We took out voter-approved bond monies to widen Route 1 and that isn’t something we were able to do again,” said Caddigan.

Caddigan has served on the Board of Supervisors, formerly as the Dumfries District Supervisor before the district’s name was changed to Potomac, since 1991. Prior to that, she served on the Prince William County School Board for seven years. She left that role after her daughter got a job at a gym teacher at Hylton High School in Woodbridge, to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The two Democrats who both have their eye on the seat will face off in a Primary Election later this year – one-term Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood and newcomer Andrea Bailey. The winner of the primary will face Caddigan in the fall.

Pelt seeks nomination for Stafford Commonwealth Attorney for second time

Jason Pelt, a partner with the Law Firm of Goodall, Pelt & Carper, P.C., is seeking to run for the Stafford Commonwealth Attorney seat for the second time.

Pelt first ran back in 2011 against Eric Olsen, who currently holds the position, after Daniel Chichester, the preceding Commonwealth Attorney, decided to retire.

Olsen intends to run for his second term, and will face Pelt in the Republican primary on June 9.

Pelt pointed to two cases in Olsen’s record as Commonwealth Attorney that he feels show Olsen is not representing the citizens in the community well.

“… I continue to see injustice at the hands of our elected officials. Cases like Edgar Coker, a young black man that was wrongfully convicted of a sex offense at the hands of Eric Olsen. Thankfully, it took the work of the Innocent Project of the University of Virginia to finally clear his name. Or the case of Reginald Latson, a young black man with Autism. In this case the current Commonwealth’s Attorney decided mental illness should be handled with a long jail sentences. Governor Terry McAuliffe, with the encouragement of House Speaker William Howell, recently pardoned the young man so that he can seek professional mental health treatment instead of a jail, overturning Eric Olsen’s position,” said Pelt.

In addition to his concern about the way some of Olsen’s handled some of his cases, Pelt pointed out the acts of unethical conduct within Olsen’s staff.

“Under the current leadership of the Stafford Commonwealth’s Attorney, a member of the staff was reprimanded for unethical conduct while prosecuting cases. Stafford County deserves better from its elected leaders,” Pelt commented.

As Commonwealth Attorney, the elected individual is expected to prosecute crimes in Stafford County. The office has a staff of 25 and a budget of almost $2.5 million dollars.

During his campaign for the Republican nomination, Pelt plans to show how we would work with the Stafford Sheriff’s Department and community residents to make sure that the laws are fairly upheld, and freedoms protected.

“Stafford County needs a prosecuting attorney that enforces our laws, but also protects the freedoms that we hold sacred. I want to work effectively with our Sheriff’s Department to combat crime and keeps our communities safe, but not at the expense of your liberty. The two ideas can live together, but only under new leadership. The Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney needs to ensure that the wrongfully accused are not the wrongfully convicted,” said Pelt.

Pelt lives with his wife and four children in Stafford County.

Haynes to challenge McQuigg for Clerk of the Court

Austin Haynes, a commercial developer, has announced that he will be running against Michelle McQuigg, the incumbent, for the Clerk of the Court seat.

Haynes and McQuigg will be up against one another for the Republican primary for Clerk, which is on June 9.

According to Haynes, the Clerk position needs to be less about politics and more about solid management.

“The Clerk of the Court’s Office should not be about public policy…It is the administrative function for the Circuit Court. The job is to be the administrator of everything you do with your land records, gun records, marriage licenses – all of the official documents of the court,” said Haynes, continuing, “It is a management position. It needs professional management.”

Haynes said that his opponent had done an ‘OK’ job as the Clerk, but he doesn’t feel that it’s good enough.

“I think that our current Clerk has done an ‘OK’ job. But I would tell you this – you are electing the third highest paying position you can vote for in Prince William County – is ‘OK’ good enough,” asked Haynes.

During his campaign for Clerk, Haynes intends to address the need for better customer service, technological updates to office processes and more security.

“One of the first things I would do is have a full technology audit – both of hardware and software,” said Haynes.

To demonstrate his technological acumen, when Haynes hosted his first campaign event, only using social media to spread the word.

Haynes previously served on the Soil and Water Board for Prince William County for six years, prior to leaving to take a job in Richmond. Haynes also ran for City Council several years ago and lost by a slim margin.

Additionally, Haynes was the President of the Boy’s and Girls Club in the area for two years, doing extensive charity work to fundraise for the community.

Haynes has lived in the area for 27 years with his wife. They have two children.

Del. Torian passes retirement savings bill

Delegate Luke Torian’s bill to create a “Work and Save” group passed on the floor at the General Assembly today.

The delegate from House District 52 drafted the legislation as a way to boost the amount of citizens saving for retirement.

The bill – HB 1998 – will authorize the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) to create the group that will promote retirement saving.

“I would like to thank the Virginia Retirement System for their willingness to convene this Work and Save work group. This bill will allow us to begin to bring stakeholders together so that we can create a better retirement for all Virginians,” said Torian in a press release.

According to a press release, there are 1.3 million Virginians that do not have a retirement savings plan, and almost one-third of elderly Virginias, 65 and older, have Social Security as their only source of income.

One of the initiatives of the “Work and Save Group” would be finding new retirement options. These options will be geared to helping small businesses to fund retirement savings.

The bill will now be sent to Senate for a second floor vote.

Chapman to primary Price for Woodbridge Supervisor seat

072914-First-on-plSteve Chapman, a small business owner, announced his campaign for the Woodbridge District Supervisor seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Chapman, a graduate of Prince William County Public Schools, and graduate of George Mason University has been running his own business for 20 years.

In the community, Chapman has worked as an ESL teacher, and has served as Chairman of the Prince William County Family Alliance, Vice Chairman of the Prince William County Schools Career and Technical Education Committee, and the Vice Chairman of the Prince William Tax Payers Alliance.

Currently, Chapman serves as the President-elect for the Bull Run Rotary Club, as well as Treasurer of Discover Prince William and Manassas.

According to Chapman, he has four major platforms he looks to address during his campaign: public safety, education, revitalizing Route 1 and expanding transportation.

“I moved to here nearly 25 years ago, time has not been kind to our town: abandoned buildings are rampant, crime is up, our commute is longer, were spending more time in gridlock and less with our families, our children’s esteem has declined as schools test scores are lower, and dropout rate is higher. Our people are working harder for less, and our quality of life has diminished,” said Chapman in a press release.

Chapman will be running against Lee Price, another declared candidate for the Republican nomination. The Republican Party has decided that the nomination process will take place on April 25, and will be a “firehouse primary”, according to a member of Chapman’s staff.

Manassas Mayor running for State Senate

Manassas Mayor Hal Parrish has announced his campaign for State Senate in Virginia’s 29th District.

Democratic Senator Chuck Colgan, who has served as Senator in the District since 1976, currently holds the seat.

Parrish, a lifetime resident of Manassas and owner of his family business, Manassas Ice and Fuel Co., has been the Mayor of Manassas since 2008.

Several elected officials that have come out to endorse his candidacy, including Representative Barbara Comstock and Prince William County Chairman At-Large Corey Stewart.

“Working with Hal over the years, I know that he will serve the people of the 29th District with the same passion he’s served the Manassas community,” said Prince William County Chairman At-Large Corey Stewart in a press release.

In his campaign, Parrish is looking to address issues including easing taxes on small businesses, job creation and investments in transportation and infrastructure.

“If we are going to make Prince William County competitive, we need to ease the tax burdens on our citizens and small business owners. We need to create new jobs and should be providing incentives for emerging industries to do business in Prince William. And we need to build a foundation for future success by investing in our transportation systems, schools, and infrastructure,” said Parrish in a press release.

Parrish will be running for the seat against Atif Qarni, Michael Futrell and Jeremy McPike, three other candidates for the Senate race.

Mike May kicks off run for Prince William Commonwealth Attorney

Mike May officially kicked off his run for the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

May, an attorney at Albo & Oblon, L.L.P. and currently Prince William’s Occoquan District Supervisor, looks to unseat the long-serving Paul Ebert, who’s been in office since the late 1960s.

May gave an exclusive interview with Potomac Local late last year on his intentions to become the county’s top prosecutor.

Greeted by friends and supporters on Saturday, May outlined his vision for the office.

“It’s time to modernize the office, and I look forward to laying out our vision for improving accountability, oversight and transparency,” May stated in a press release. “We will face many challenges in this effort, but with the community’s support I know that we can make a positive difference for our citizens.”

A lifelong Northern Virginian, May grew up in Springfield, Virginia and has resided in Lake Ridge since 2001.  He lives with his wife Amelia, and their three children, Leo, Natalia and Marina. 

May has been an attorney at Albo & Oblon, LLP for the past nine years.

Wilk to run for Potomac School Board seat, recommends School Board forgo salaries to provide more school support

Justin Wilk, an education consultant, and former Prince William County teacher, is running for the Potomac District seat on the Prince William County School Board.

The incumbent, Betty Covington, has not declared her candidacy to run for re-election, but Wilk feels that there needs to be a change on the School Board.

“The current incumbent [Covington] has been involved with Prince William County Schools for over 50 years, and that is a true testament to her dedication to this school district. But as I’m going door-to-door and talking with voters – people want change. They want to see new faces on the Board,” said Wilk.

A graduate of the University of Virginia in education administration, Wilk worked for six years in Prince William County Public Schools. His wife is also a public school teacher at Forest Park High School.

For Wilk, there needs to be more transparency and accountability in the decisions made by the School Board.

“The School Board has not been fully transparent with the community…in order to restore that trust deficit, we need people that are on the Board that are going to work in a collaborative process and prove that money is being spent in the best interest of the students in Prince William County. This means making sure that the money is going back into the classrooms,” said Wilk.

According to Wilk, for the School Board to become more fiscally sound, they need to make choices, including consolidation of departments and employee decisions and take a look at the budget to see where changes could be made.

One way that Wilk proposed to address spending and the needs of the school system was for members to forgo their School Board salaries for a year – using that money to hire more guidance counselors in high schools in the County.

“In order to increase educational spending, the school board must lead by example, and prove to the citizens or Prince William County that our focus is reducing class sizes and hiring more school-based positions,” Wilk said.

In his campaign, Wilk intends to speak about expanding offerings for special needs programs, establishing vocational and college readiness programs and competitively paying teachers and school staff.

“Why aren’t we providing the support, and why aren’t providing the competitive salaries to keep teachers in Prince William County schools,” asked Wilk. Teacher pay is currently a topic being discussed as an issue in Prince William County.

If elected, Wilk would like to establish a vocational program for students in the County that may not want to attend college.

“It’s wrong that we want to portray vocational skills as something that is not desirable. We should have a full vocational program in Prince William County,” Wilk commented.

Wilk lives in the Potomac District with his wife and son. They are expecting another child in July.

Hilarious, heartfelt: ‘Laughs and Love’ — A night you will remember!

capitol steps, hylton, rotary

The Capitol Step will perform at the Hylton Performing Arts Center thanks to Bull Run Rotary.

Updated 

On Saturday, May 23, don’t miss Bull Run Rotary’s Laughs and Love benefit, at the beautiful Hylton Center featuring the Capitol Steps.

Why laughs and love? Here’s the love:

One of the greatest benefits of business ownership is being able to be part of give back to our community. Those who have faced hardship are struggling and in need.

Washmydeck.com is a seasonal business. We have a small fleet of vehicles that get lots of use eight months of the year. This leaves four months that where we can use our vehicles to help families in need have reliable transportation in order to help them work and get on their feet. We just look at it as doing a small part, with the resources we have.

Bull Run Rotary is doing it BIG by celebrating five hero organizations whose hard work day in and day out enriches the lives of those around us.

On one night, we set an ambitious goal to raise $50,000 to help abused children find security, battered women feel safe, families who have had hardship achieve the American dream of home ownership, and help feed our neighbors who live in tents in the woods.

Please help Bull Run Rotary in supporting CASA, Calling All Souls, Habitat for Humanity of Prince William County, Transitional Housing BARN, and Therapeutic Riding Rainbow Center, it promises to be a night to remember.

Oh yeah, there will be laughs!

Have you seen the hilarious Capitol Steps? They put the MOCK in Democracy with their song parody of political current events. The night will also have some surprise big VIPs. Regardless of your political leanings this is sure to be a night you will be talking about for some time.

Purchase tickets online at the Hylton Performing Arts Center box office.

See you there,

Steve Chapman, Founder, and President Washmydeck.com

Bailey to run in primary against Councilman Wood for Potomac Supervisor in June

bailey-1

Andrea Bailey, a military wife and corporate business development professional, plans to run for the Board of Supervisors in the Potomac District. Maureen Caddigan (R-Potomac) currently holds the seat.

But before she can run against Caddigan, Bailey must first win the primary against Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood. The Democratic primary will take place on June 13.

Bailey is not concerned about running against Wood.

“I’ve had the opportunity of work with all types of diverse populations and schools of thought, and I think that my experience in corporate America, my experience in the church, and my experience in community organizations speaks a lot of my relationship within the community to get the job done,” said Bailey.

Bailey, who has been living in and out of the Potomac community since 1976, is a graduate of National-Louis University. She has been working in sales and business development for companies like Xerox and USA Today.

There are three major issues that Bailey plans to campaign on for the Board seat — education, economic development and transportation.

For Bailey, she feels that the 57 percent revenue sharing amount that the Prince William County Public School System receives is not enough. She thinks that if the Board of Supervisors and the School Board were to meet, that they could look at options for expanding funding.

“I believe that the relationship between the county board of supervisors and the school board needs to be enhanced. And I think if that relationship is enhanced and nurtured a little bit more, then the concerns that the educational system has – the overcrowding in schools and providing even more [of a] world-class educational program for students – I think that [would help],” said Bailey.

According to Bailey, there has not been enough commercial business welcomed into the Potomac District.

“I think there’s a grand opportunity in the Eastern corridor, where I reside – the Potomac District – to bring in much more substantial commercial businesses. To create jobs in that environment,” commented Bailey.

In terms of transportation, Bailey stated she is in support of expanding light rail into Prince William County, as well as expanding the Tri-County Parkway.

“I think the transportation issue [in the district] has been a lifelong issue. And we really need to look at that and make sure that people have easy access in and out of the community they live in. A majority of time, people are on the roads, trying to get out the community to go to work, and to get back in once they’ve worked all day,” Bailey said.

While she spoke highly of Caddigan’s work as Potomac supervisor, Bailey feels that it is time for a change.

“I think Maureen [Caddigan] has done a very good job, since she’s been in office. But I think that the way that our world is progressing…I think that we need a change. I think that I could be the one to work with the board to initiate that change,” said Bailey continuing, “When you look at the progression and the population growth in this area, we are behind. And we need to step it up a notch.”

If Bailey wins the primary election against Wood, she will be the Democratic candidate against Caddigan this November.

Dumfries Councilman Wood to run for Potomac Supervisor

Dumfries Councilman Derrick Wood, a small business owner and Marine Corps veteran, has announced his plans to run for Potomac Supervisor on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors this year.

A graduate of Stratford University, Wood works as a Community and Military Outreach Manager while running his own mobile catering business, BBQ in Motion.

During his time as Councilman, Wood has worked on education and workforce development with Prince William County Schools and Stratford University. He is also a Chairman of the Dumfries Parks and Recreation Commission.

In his campaign, he hopes to address the work he would do to improve conditions in the county, focusing on commuting, taxes and overcrowded classrooms.

“We have one of the worst commute times in the nation, real estate taxes account for over 80% of our counties revenue, and the school system is overcrowded. Prince William County’s population is estimated to increase of 1.1% year-over-year and we need the infrastructure to support these growing numbers. I am running for Supervisor because I have a vision on how to address the day-to-day needs of our community.” said Councilman Wood in a press release.

He lives in Prince William County with his wife and three children.

Wood will face off in a Primary Election later this year against fellow Democrat Andrea Bailey who is also seeking the Potomac District seat currently held by Maureen Caddigan

Kaine speaks to Woodbridge students about career education

Senator Tim Kaine met with students from Woodbridge Senior High School on February 3 at a reception for the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student Fair.

Held at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. the fair was part of a celebration for CTE month, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education’s website.

The Woodbridge Senior High School students were in attendance to present their projects based on career and technical education, and how it is impacting the workforce.

Kaine is a co-chair for the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, and this gave students the opportunity to show the lawmaker their work on their technical education projects.

Participants from the Association for Career and Technical Education, and Project Lead the Way were also in attendance for the reception.

Price to run for Woodbridge Supervisor

Lee Price, a retired Department of Defense (DoD) employee, has announced his campaign to run for the Woodbridge District Supervisor seat for the Prince William Board of Supervisors.

A graduate of the University of Texas, San Antonio, Price worked as a DoD employee for more than thirty-three years in the IT field. During his career, he worked with several branches of the military, including the Air Force, Navy and Army in IT management.

In his career for the DoD, he was awarded the Commanders Award for Exemplary Service.

Among Price’s platforms, addressing county spending and stopping tax increases in the county are his top priorities as a candidate.

“Woodbridge needs a leader who will focus on working to grow jobs and economic opportunities, while reducing the tax burden on residents,” Price said.

He stated his other priorities as Supervisor would include ensuring public safety in county schools, adequate funding to reduce class size and transportation.

“We need to concentrate our efforts on protecting our homes and communities with adequate public safety resources, reducing classroom overcrowding in our schools and reducing gridlock on our roads,” Price commented.

Price lives with his family in Woodbridge, and currently serves on the Potomac Club’s Master HOA Board of Directors. He was President of the HOA for two years and is serving his fifth year on the Board.

In addition to being an Eagle Scout, he serves as a Deacon at his church. Though retired from government work, Price currently works as a realtor and manager for a Northern Virginia IT management-consulting firm.

Popular ‘Attack the Fat Challenge’ starts Monday at Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center

freedom, fitness, aquatic, manassas

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Do you know about the Attack the Fat Challenge? It’s one of the most popular, effective, and fun weight-loss programs at the Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center
 
It’s open to anyone, at any fitness level.
 
Robin Frey is a fitness program coordinator, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor and the director of Freedom Attack the Fat Challenge at Freedom Aquatics and Fitness Center in Manassas. We spoke with her to get the 
 
Frey

Frey

What is the Attack The Fat Challenge?

 
“It’s more of a full spectrum weight loss program and it runs for eight weeks…it’s based on focusing on weight loss but the overall effort that we do is that we want to promote and create lifestyle changes, not just during the eight weeks. For most people it’s just the starting point. A lot of people do it repeatedly because it works for them…and depending on the amount of weight they wish to lose, it may not happen in eight weeks.”   
 
What do participants do while in Attack The Fat Challenge? 
 
“Well actually the whole concept is they do train…and it’s based on percentage of weight loss…we make it a challenge so that it has some competitive edge to it but the overall focus is just to create a balance of accountability…to continue with fitness efforts for health, not necessarily for fitness. In other words, this is based on health and wellness, getting people appropriate nutrition and just trying to create a consistent effort with lifestyle change, it’s long term.”
 
 How much does the program cost?
 
“It [the program] breaks down to 20 dollars a session and the total cost is $480 but you’re getting 24 sessions, 24 full one-hour sessions…then in addition to that they get the support through nutrition tips and guidance…and body composition testing as well.” Frey also mentioned that there is an additional cost to non-members of the Freedom Center. 
 
 Attack-the-Fat-2015-flyer-791x1024How long does the challenge last? 
 
“Participants train three days a week with a trainer so it’s three one-hour sessions so they’re basically getting 24 training sessions as a group within that eight weeks, three times a week. In addition to that support that we offer is through our smart lab for evidence based testing for body composition or those types of things and also we do weekly weigh-ins”.
 
Is the Attack The Fat Challenge a seasonal program? 
 
“It’s twice a year, typically we do it  in February, March and then again in September.”
 
Is it too late to sign up? 
 
“The Attack The Fat Challenge  starts on Monday, Feb. 2. Registration does require you to be registered prior to the program but we work with people as well.”
 
Why did Frey get involved with the Attack The Fat Challenge?
 
“Well I started it, actually it’s been six years running now. I just felt that there was a need here at the Freedom Center to create programming in small groups that could be something that could bring more of an effort of accountability to each other, that tends to help. People can do training all the time but when they have other people depending on them to be part of their team, their group, it’s very successful. The success rate is much higher as far as them making the sessions, having to be responsible for that weekly weigh-in and then they bond and create groups that continue to train after that. We just didn’t have anything happening here in that capacity in programming.”
 
How does the Attack The Fat Challenge stand apart from similar programs?
 
“We were probably the original in this area. I know other facilities have programs similar to what we do, it’s a basic concept of accountability, through training, weigh-ins, and nutrition information…it’s just been very, very successful for us here. This our sixth year I believe, might even be longer. It tends to work. We provide a variety of workouts through different types of training. We may have them in the pool, TRX suspension training, circuit training, functional core…in other words we do a little bit of everything that we offer here…within those 24 sessions they’re getting a very large variety of different modalities of training.”
 
Why do people sign up?
 
Participants will] form groups and become friends and bond in that respect and want to continue to do it again, that kind of thing….plus we’ve had people that have lost over 100 pounds…it’s been very effective overall.” 

Keep Reading…

Come see the Capitol Steps at Hylton Arts Center & help Cecily replace the asbestos-laden siding on her home

When Cecily was in her 20’s she immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua.

capitol stepsTaking a job at Home Depot in Springfield, Cecily met her future husband, Eddy, who had emigrated from Palau. Cecily and Eddy married in 2008 and now share their Woodbridge home with their two children, Cecily’s mother, and grandmother.

A tight-knit family, everyone pitches in to help. Cecily operates a daycare from her home while also attending school at Northern Virginia Community College.

Cecily’s mom is a certified nursing assistant with a job in Washington, D.C. Eddy continues to work at Home Depot and he and Cecily’s mom and grandmother all help care for the children, too.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County is looking forward to giving this hard working family a hand up with much-needed critical home repairs that will make their home safer, more comfortable and affordable.

Habitat for Humanity will replace the boiler that is original to the home, replace asbestos siding from three sides of the exterior and replace non-functional windows throughout the home. The deck must be rebuilt for safety. And the home will be weatherized for energy efficiency.

Habitat for Humanity thanks you for your support of the Capitol Steps event and welcomes you to join them on their work sites as a volunteer!

To learn more, visit Habitat for Humanity’s website at habitatpwc.org.

Mark your calendars for Laughs & Love benefit February 21 at 7 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Not only are we having the hilarious Capitol Steps come to the beautiful Hylton Center, but our Rotary Club has proudly partnered with Casa, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center Therapeutic Riding, Calling All Souls and Transitional Housing Barn as the beneficiaries this year.

The goal?

By selling out the 1,200 seats at the Hylton, we will raise $50,000. All proceeds raised will go directly to organizations that are on the front lines helping care for, encourage, lift spirits, give hope and opportunity to our struggling neighbors. These organizations are the unsung heroes in our community whose compassion makes our community a place we can be proud of.

They cannot do it alone!

To order tickets go to Hyltoncenter.org or call 1-888-945-2468. If you or your business would like to sponsor the event, please contact Steve Chapman, steve@washmydeck.com by Feb 10.

The preceding post was sponsored by Rotary Club of Bull Run.

1.3 million pages later, Michele McQuigg seeks 2nd term as Prince William Clerk of the Circuit Court

Michele McQuigg calls herself an activist turned politician.

In addition to spending more than 20 years in public life serving the residents of Prince William County, she’s also belonged to just about any civic or community organization that had an open membership policy.

McQuigg is running for another eight-year term as Prince William County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court. It’s a lesser-known position, one that doesn’t usually attract headlines – unless your Michelle McQuigg.

Last year, McQuigg placed her name on a lawsuit against Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring who wanted to bypass a state referendum on gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. One of McQuigg’s jobs as Clerk of the Circuit Court is to issue those licenses.

McQuigg doesn’t support gay marriage, but she said the overriding reason for her signing her name to that lawsuit was because she felt the state, and federal constitutions were being usurped by the Attorney General. Today, gay couples may file for marriage licenses in Virginia. Keep Reading…

Wendy Maurer running for Rock Hill Supervisor in Stafford

Wendy Maurer planned to file her paperwork on Monday to run for the office of Rock Hill District Supervisor.

A Republican small business owner and member of Stafford’s Economic Development Authority, Maurer has long been active in the Stafford community. She seeks to replace Cord Sterling, who announced he would not seek reelection in November after accepting a new job as a staffer in the U.S. Senate.

Maurer has three children in Stafford County Public Schools and she immediately identified large class sizes and overcrowding as campaign issues.

“We have significant overcrowding in our schools,” said Maurer, whose three children attend Mountain View and Colonial Forge high schools, and Rodney Thompson Middle School. “I believe the schools have been focusing more on administration and less on teacher pay.”

Rock Hill School Board representative Patricia Healy agrees that schools are overcrowded, and said a move by the School Board to eliminate more than 50 teachers was a difficult budget decision to make.

While the Board of Supervisors is the taxing authority providing a large chunk of the county budget to the school system, it’s the School Board who decides how to spend the cash. Maurer said a full review of the budget, as well as categorical funding practices by the Board of Supervisors is what’s needed place priorities on education in the county.

“Categorical funding can make it more difficult to make changes in a timely fashion,” said Healy. “If we need to move money from one category to another, we’ll need to go back to the Board and its processes before that can be done.”

Maurer said she’ll have strong opinions about what the School Board should do, but said she’ll respect boundaries.

“…I’m not going to be in there to run the school board – that is their job – but I will work closely with my school board representatives…” said Maurer.

Maurer also said improving the quality of roads in the district is another priority. Nearly all of the roads in the Rock Hill District are antiquated 2-lane thoroughfares with no shoulders, providing access to housing developments, schools, and businesses.

Maurer owns LRH Group, LLC in  Quantico, a defense contracting company supporting the Army. Her husband is also employed by the company.

Voters will head to the polls Nov. 3 to select a new Rock Hill District Supervisor.

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