Tuesday the Prince William Board of Supervisors are scheduled to resolve the long-standing, and rather slow-moving status of Silver Lake Park in the Gainesville District. The resolution to be considered is rather straightforward, and by all appearances would have no problem being passed to finally put an end to the never-ending analyses and battling over counter-proposals about who would own and operate the park. Of course few things are ever supposed to be easy in local government, so Marty Nohe and Mike May decided to derail the decision late last week. Yeah, that’s right, we’re talking about Marty Nohe of the Coles District and Mike May of the Occoquan District.
Last Friday Nohe and May sent out a press release that was picked up by the News & Messenger offering what appears to be yet another alternative plan for this property. Although it would still covey the deed for the property to the Park Authority, it would include unprecedented deed restrictions that have never before been required when the county transferred land to the Park Authority. Maybe it’s a good idea to have these, maybe not, but to spring this new proposal on the Board immediately before the vote on a final resolution for the property, which has been in government-sponsored limbo for almost a year now is beyond bizarre. As of Monday, the day before the vote, other board members still haven’t seen the proposed language of this new alternative, leaving no time whatsoever for them to get advice on what these changes would mean and whether it makes sense to implement them.
That leaves the Board of Supervisors with the option of disregarding this proposal and perhaps putting some of these changes in place later if they’re proven to make sense, or adopting these changes without any opportunity to evaluate them. The Conservation Alliance, which has Mike May as one of their directors, is telling local citizens to jam tomorrow’s board meeting with supporters of these changes, but that certainly won’t ensure that the board gets the full range of legal advice and land use expertise needed in order to make a fully informed decision. The other alternative is to punt this one to a future meeting, allowing more time to evaluate these changes and figure out what impacts they may have. That seems like the most likely outcome.
Wonderful. Another delay.
As a resident of the Gainesville District who probably would be very interested in taking my family to this park once it’s open, I’d like to thank Nohe and May for delaying it once again. We need more Supervisors from outside of the district mucking up the process for getting this park up and running. Perhaps Nohe can figure out a way to get the opening to happen sometime in 2015 with more last-minute proposals that he’s not sharing with other board members until the day of a vote, and get May to provide the political pressure from local activists to force another round of analysis, debate and counter-proposals. I’m sure Nohe’s constituents in the Coles District won’t mind that much, as long as it’s not screwing up recreational opportunities there.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
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