County issues aren’t about Republicans or Democrats. It’s about our neighbors and doing what is right, and throughout the past three years of the current chair’s leadership, Prince William County has been more polarized than ever. Together we can change the course of our county and implement new, fresh ideas that bring its people together instead of causing more division.
When I was first elected to represent Brentsville residents, I made a commitment to uphold Smart Growth Principles, protect the County’s rural area from development threats, and hold home builders accountable. Growth must be managed, or the residents’ quality of life suffers. My constituents count on me to advocate for their interests and developers know that’s exactly what I do. As for our rural area, I am proud of my 8-year voting record protecting this natural resource from the incursion of high-density housing and industrial development.
Unfortunately, so much changed over the last three years. Our current Chair and her allies on the Board are implementing their senseless Pathway to 2040 Comprehensive Plan. This development plan will advance unchecked sprawl, gut the Rural Crescent, and forever change the landscape of Prince William County. It’s a plan that will quickly return us to schools busting at the seams, traffic congestion and a shortage of parks. It’s a plan to industrialize farmland that will have long lasting effects on our local environment and devastating effects on Manassas National Battlefield Park as well as Prince William Forest Park. It’s a developer’s dream and citizen’s nightmare!
As a conservationist, lover of history, and resident of the Brentsville District since 1995, I will always fight to maintain responsible growth and development – not acquiesce to developers and big business. As your County Chair, I will continue the work I began years ago to protect our quality of life!
Despite being in Northern Virginia, Prince William County has always managed to remain more affordable than neighboring northern localities. However, under our current Chair’s direction for the last three years your Real Estate tax bills have risen dramatically. Since 2020, you’re now paying an average of $1,400 per year, a NEW 4% Meals Tax, among other taxes. I voted against every one of these new taxes.
Meanwhile, these taxes were rammed through by our Chair during a time of record inflation, a struggling economy, Covid-19 pandemic, a labor shortage, and major supply chain challenges. With policies like these during tough times, families and small businesses are only going to continue to struggle. We need tax relief and policies supporting economic prosperity for our local businesses and Prince William families.
I’m proud of my strong record of support for all the agencies in Prince William County that work around the clock to keep us safe and secure. The last few years we’ve seen crime rates skyrocket, including a 150% increase in homicides since 2020, and our officers continue to demonstrate bravery and professionalism through new challenges during the pandemic, civil unrest, an opioid epidemic, and a growing mental health crisis in our community. Meanwhile staffing vacancies are up leaving them stretched thin. Through all these difficulties, they continue to deliver high quality services to the people of Prince William County.
However, in 2022, the number of homicides was up dramatically, and reports of bank robberies & shootings are becoming more frequent. This trend in PWC must end, and end abruptly. Public safety is paramount to ensure a safe community for everyone. One of the most important ways to achieve and maintain safe, secure neighborhoods is prioritizing these agencies every budget cycle. I boldly reject the “Defund the Police” nonsense. In the wake of nationwide riots and civil unrest in 2020, I proudly voted for a resolution endorsing my support for PWCPD and a pledge to continue their funding. Competitive compensation, robust staffing plans (to include hiring incentives) and top-notch training will remain a top priority for me.
As the Brentsville District Supervisor the last 8 years, I’ve worked hard to support PWCS through various measures such as managing residential growth and prioritizing school construction to alleviate overcrowded schools. In addition to the long-standing Revenue Sharing Agreement, the Board of County Supervisors funds additional PWCS needs like the SROs (school resource officers), $1M annual class-size reduction grants, and the $800K annual debt service for Gainesville High School’s 500 seat addition.
Every year the PWCS budget swells by millions yet the achievement gaps widen, and teachers are burnt out by the growing pressures of the job. Although I am not elected to govern over the school system, the Board of County Supervisors funds nearly half of their annual budget. I will continue to scrutinize their budgets, ask questions, and raise objections to certain programs and spending items that categorize students based on race and/or sexuality. These programs are divisive in nature and harmful to the overall learning environment of PWCS.
Parents matter! I will always support policies that empower parents to protect their children. Students and their parents are the primary stakeholders in public education therefore parents’ voices are essential to the success of Prince William County Schools. Too often parents are shut out, stiff armed or blocked from participating in crucial decisions made on behalf of their own children. In February 2022, I attended a PWC School Board meeting to support parents who desperately wanted their children unmasked while at school. They were exercising their First Amendment “right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I was appalled to witness dozens of PWC parents literally locked out of the spacious Kelly Leadership Building under the excuse the building had reached Covid capacity. These days in Prince William County and across America should never happen again.