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PWCSB: WTF?

By Greg L | 17 April 2010 | Prince William County | 23 Comments

The Prince William County School Board is appealing the recent decision by the planning commission regarding shoehorning a new elementary school on the grounds of Stonewall Middle School with an appeal that reads like a bad joke.  The entire thing reads like “yes, our idea isn’t optimal, but you should give us waivers anyways”and “the citizens fail to grasp our magnificence.”  Signed by Chairman Milt Johns, but not pursuant to a decision of the school board made at a public meeting, the process of deciding to appeal and the appeal itself continues the School Board’s recent tradition of getting horrible legal advice and writing ridiculous briefs, such as we saw when the School Board lost a recent case involving open records and the “raptor” visitor identification system.

I’ll have more on this soon, but this is just so over-the-top-stupid it deserves a quick note.



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23 Comments

  1. Kevin C said on 17 Apr 2010 at 8:24 am:
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    This is the THIRD thread related to this subject.

    I was going to say, after the FIRST one, don’t be surprised when the GROUND BREAKING takes place for the “new school!!”

    Time and time and time again, the politicians (if you don’t believe the School Board is political, then trust me,there’s NO HOPE for you) PROVE that they don’t give a RAT’S ASS about what we, the people, think !!!

    THEY do whatever THEY want !!!

    Politicians - 1 / People - 0 (if you’re keeping score)

    Again, after the commotion dies down, don’t be surprised to read, somewhere on the back pages of the local rag, about the groundbreaking for a new elementary school ON the grounds of Stonewall Middle !!!

    THAT’S where they WANT it, THAT’S where they’re going to BUILD
    it !!!!!

  2. Fire Giff Hampshire said on 17 Apr 2010 at 9:26 am:
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    I love the part in the letter of appeal the want to “futher educate the citizens”. What a pathetic joke that is.
    They weren’t to concerned about “educating the citizens” when they came up with this hair-brain idea of a site. They inlcude the new schools in the CIP. It takes a lot of reading to see the new schools listed there. Furthermore, they do NOT always say where the new school will be. There should be a change in their policy with regards to new schools. An actual public notice would be nice. However, the schools failed to reach out to the very communities that would be burdened by this new school. Even the greedy developers do some research and public outreach to the communities they want to build in/near. This is smart on the developers part, because if they know the community is opposed to their plan, they won’t waste money on plans. The schools have spent a nice chunk of change on the plans to date with proposed fiasco. Then there’s the wasted taxdollars on Mr. Hampshire. The School Board needs to quit the waste of money of this site, and put that money to better use and find a suitable site where the need is.

    The schools do want this site at Stonewall and have really limited the scope of where schools are truly needed and the development will continue.

  3. Tom Andrews said on 17 Apr 2010 at 9:28 am:
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    As I remember it the planning commission rejected the original proposal unanimously.(?) The process provides for an appeal procedure but most appelate type actions require some kind of solid basis for an appeal other than “we don’t like the original finding”. Unless something really shady goes on the second time around I don’t see a scenario where they have much to make a majority of the commissions members do a 180 on their original decision.

  4. Monster_Mom said on 17 Apr 2010 at 11:13 am:
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    Avendale’s back as well. The rocket scientists at the PWCSB will be discussing the proposed school sites in Avendale at the board meeting on the 21st.

    If you’ve had enough - go to the board meeting on the 21st and let them have it. Blogging and chatting aren’t going to compel the SB to modify it’s behavior.

  5. Just the Facts said on 17 Apr 2010 at 1:15 pm:
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    Monster Mom - The only question about Avendale is when it comes back. When Corey and Wally did not have the votes to approve Avendale earlier this year, they deferred it and concocted their Linton Hall resolution saying that no new occupancy permits would be issued until three new schools are opened and sites are acquired for two more. Both a new high school and elementary school will open in 2011 on Kettle Run Road, and another elementary school will open in 2012, all in the Linton Hall area. All of these schools will already be at overcapacity when they open their doors.

    Brookfield Homes, the developer proposing to build Avendale, is proffering some of the land that is not conducive to building houses as a school site. The Planning Office, fitting their pattern of corruption and incompetence of recent years, is accepting the developer’s valuation of the land (top dollar as if the land were already zoned for high density development rather than its actual AE designation) with no independent appraisal. Some members of our BOCS are willing to consume this bovine scatology as if it were haute cuisine.

    Here’s what’s coming soon to a congested road and overcrowded school near you. Avendale comes back before the BOCS with enough supervisors lined up to approve it because of the proffered school site (which not even the school system wants). Most likely, this occurs on a Tuesday when John Stirrup or Mike May is away because they won’t vote for this sort of thing. That way, Corey, Wally, Marty and John Jenkins know they can win with only four votes and don’t have to worry about Frank or Maureen. The BOCS approves Avendale because of what they will say is the needed school site, which, by the way, puts them closer to meeting the criteria in the Linton Hall resolution to issue permits again.

    My guess is that another developer is waiting in the wings with another rezoning request in the Rural Crescent (as is Avendale) and ready to proffer up some swamp land as a school site. Or, maybe they just carve out a second school site on the Avendale property in exchange for even higher density development. Now we have all three schools, two new sites identified, as well as encroachment into the Rural Crescent and compounding of the road congestion and school overcrowding in the Linton Hall area from the new development.

    As Greg pointed out in an earlier thread also, we shouldn’t forget all of the employment opportunities Avendale will create for illegal aliens. Our nation is suffering from nearly 20 percent unemployment (including underemployed and discouraged American citizens and legal residents). Nonetheless, we’ll have no supervision of these worksites or use of eVerify.

    How ‘bout that bailout! Brookfield Homes, whom Corey has described as “one of the good guys,” bought the Avendale land speculating that they would get the rezoning and be able to make a financial killing. Several members of our BOCS don’t want to disappoint them. PWC taxpayers – dig into your wallets a little deeper because government-sponsored corporate bailouts are not just for Wall Street banks.

    Doesn’t this all sound like a great package for the citizens and taxpayers of Prince William County!

  6. anon said on 17 Apr 2010 at 9:24 pm:
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    Where on this piece of land adjacent to Stonewall Middle does the school board plan on putting the school? Near Sinclair? Why don’t they just expand Sinclair?

    One of the arguments against this proposal is that it’s bad to put a middle school and elem school together. Vaughn is across the street from Woodbridge Middle. Coles Elem. is adjacent to Benton MS. So this is certainly not unusual.

    I keep reading that they are “shoehorning” this school. I’ve just looked it up on the mapper and it is a really large piece of unused land. Do they plan to enter from Brandon Way? About the powerlines - they can’t be major lines because those are detailed on the county mapper and there are none shown here. There is, however, a major line adjacent to Minnieville ES.

    Am definitely still trying to figure out why they need 2 elem schools with 1/4 mile of each other. Even if there is the population need, they should just add on to the existing school

  7. Allison said on 18 Apr 2010 at 4:42 am:
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    anon,

    They plan on putting the elementary school where the track and bus lot are today - which means the bus lot will be removed and the track will be moved to the back field.

    In the School Board budget they have allocated $1,000,900 for a new bus lot.

    The power lines run from the NOVEC substation directly adjacent to the School property and along the area where the back parcel (fields and hills) and the front parcel (Stonewall Middle School) meet - to the end of the property near Sinclair.

    The back property is used now by the Park Authority as three soccer/football fields. If you check out the topographical lines on the county mapper you will see that due to the grades/slopes, this area will only accomodate 3 fields.

  8. Fire Giff Hampshire said on 18 Apr 2010 at 5:07 pm:
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    @Monster_Mom
    The agenda for this week’s meeting is only allowing 20 minutes for citizens time. It’s a good thing those in Westgate and Sudley have signed up already.

  9. ON THE GO said on 18 Apr 2010 at 6:23 pm:
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    Anon: One needs to go look at the site as you can see why this is not the greatest place to put a new school.

    They, the SB, are making dumb decisions that was made years ago on the Eastern end.
    Woodbridge Middle was the old Woodbridge High School, across the street ,was Elizabeth Vaughan. Then down the street back on to another Elementary,Marumso Hills and then down the street,was Fred Lynn Middle. At the time the schools were packed. It wasn’t long before,Vaughan was 3/4 bussed in.Woodbridge Middle was almost all bused in and Fred Lynn served most of Marumsco but had alot bused in while Mar. Hills has busing but it was mainly local.
    All of these buses went in and out of the narrow,sharp curve at York Dr. to Horner Rd.
    It was a night mare and it still is as the road and curve has not been changed in 40ty years.
    The folks that bought their new homes along York Dr .,Mathews and Culpepper have had 40ty years of this traffic. They have finally added on to Vaughan, but that is to house those bused in from areas out side of the immediate area. Why??
    POOR PLANNING BY THE SCHOOL DEPT.
    This school on the Western end needs to be in a closer proximity to where the school is needed to house the growing areas. THAT IS GOOD PLANNING.
    I understood that the Supervisors were ameanible to checking some land they own to house a school. What happened to that?
    Is this a case of the School Board stopping their feet and crying because they can’t get what they want?

    Keep the pressure on,as it’s our Tax Money,not theirs.
    All that money to renovate the grounds, it could be used to buy land. Land is not as expensive as the SB claims and we need the soccor fields.
    Load the chamber up with the Citizens on D Day. Good Luck

  10. Ray Williams said on 18 Apr 2010 at 7:12 pm:
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    Leave it to the supporters of this Republican website to deny children the facilities for an adequate public education. All you want to do is crowd out our schools to the point where more parents are forced to homeschool children where they are taught to deny gays their proper rights and to love war for the sake of liberty.

    I say build the school and as a progessive I dare all you Republicans to tread on us. We are rebuilding America and bringing social justice and proper public education to the forefront. Times are a changing, and we will endure along with President Obama!

  11. Kevin C said on 18 Apr 2010 at 10:31 pm:
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    Ray Williams said on 18 Apr 2010 at 7:12 pm: “Times are a changing, and we will endure along with President Obama!”

    There’s HOPE for you, and liberals LIKE you, Ray !!!

    Doctors in Sweden are working on a procedure to CURE Liberalism !!!

    It hasn’t been perfected yet but here’s, pretty much, how it’ll go:
    The doctor makes an incision, top and bottom of the RECTUM, GRABS the Liberal by the shoulders and YANKS his HEAD out of his ASS !!!

  12. Dave in PWC said on 19 Apr 2010 at 5:46 am:
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    Ahhh Mr. Williams… finally joining the blog are we? Bit of a change from the local paper’s comments where people can actually respond to your comments and not get dropped if we don’t agree with the paper’s opinion like I’ve been dropped each time I’ve commented and seen my comments deleted or they just won’t show up for the past several years. Don’t think Greg will drop me here depending on my language of course.

    In regards to your post, I believe that the people who live near the school should be heard and listened to by the school board. Those who are close to the school have an idea of what would work and what wouldn’t. The school board members are our elected officials and should do the will of the people not go off on their own like our federally elected officials. The school board would do well to remember that we put them there and can take them out of office the next election, same as what will happen this November to Dems all across the country.

  13. Monster_Mom said on 19 Apr 2010 at 4:48 pm:
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    @Fire Giff Hampshire:

    Re: citizen comment time at SB meetings. The SB allocates 20 mins to citizen comment time in the agenda, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule. Sometimes the Chairman will allow more speakers than can fit into the allotted 20 mins and sometimes he’ll only allow 7 speakers and push the others to speak at the end of the meeting. My experience has been that if you sing up in advance you’ll get to speak before the meeting begins but if you sign up at the door and there are lots of speakers, you’ll be pushed to later in the evening.

    I have to say that the way the SB organizes its meetings is in need of improvement. The BOCS organizes its meetings in a much more coherent manner. At BOCS meetings staff present their “opinions” on a specific issue before the BOCS. Then citizens are allowed to speak on that issue. Then staff gets to respond. Then the BOCS votes or does whatever. It allows citizens to hear what staff think before they speak and keeps citizens comments in the Board members minds before they act.

    At SB meetings citizens speak all at one time. The staff given their presentations on a myriad of issues. A citizen could comment on an issue before the SB and the staff’s presentation on that issue won’t be given for another hour!

  14. anon said on 20 Apr 2010 at 6:18 am:
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    Monster Mom
    BOCS meetings are different by Virginia law. The only time citizens are permitted to speak on a particular “issue” at a BOCS meeting is when it is a legally defined public hearing on a rezoning, SUP, the budget or the Comprehensive Plan which is dictated by Virginia state code. They will open the public hearing for a particular rezoning case, have the staff present, then the citizens are allowed to comment, then they close the public hearing before taking action. Any comments on other issues or resolutions that are not legal public hearings are at citizen’s time. Remember the immigration resolution? The comments from the citizens were at citizen’s time. If you look at the BOCS agenda you will see specific items defined as “public hearings” and those are the only events that will officially invite comments attached to that specific issue. The BOCS also meets at 2 and 7:30 which gives them the earlier meeting to handle routine business and reserves the evening for public hearings.

    The school board has no legal right to hold “public hearings” except for maybe the budget. They are not rezoning or granting special use permits, so the only time to speak on almost everything except the budget is at citizen’s comment time.

    I do agree that they need to reorganize their meeting to allow for more citizen’s comment time especially during times like this when many people have important comments to make.

  15. Alyson Satterwhite said on 20 Apr 2010 at 8:52 am:
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    From everything I have read the Sudley site does not even meet the PWCS requirements for a school site. It has obviously been chosen because it is available and the easy way to go. Easy doesn’t mean that it is right.

    The next battle up for busy street and school location will probably be Silver Lake Middle School, scheduled for completion in 2012. The maps available for this school have not shown clearly where the access for entrance will be. I have just found out that the entrance for Silver Lake Middle, a proffered location, will be between Gravely Elementary and Alvey Elementary on Waverly Farm Road. Those of you in the area know that Dominion Valley/ Toll Brothers are eventually to cut Waverly Farm through to Hwy. 15. At this time there is no indication that the road will be finished before the opening of the middle school. My understanding is that Toll Brothers plans on selling all lots in the back of Dominion Valley before honoring the deal in the proffer. So, we will have two elementary schools and one middle school all eventually emptying out at the same intersection as Battlefield High School on Hwy 15. Does anyone besides me have a major problem with this plan? Why wasn’t the proffer written contingent on Waverly Farm Drive’s completion before construction of Gravely Elementary and the Silver Lake Middle School?

    Silver Lake Middle will be built on this site. Attention needs to be brought to finishing Waverly Farm Drive before the school is completed.

    Proffers are great from a financial perspective, but we also need to consider traffic patterns, safety, and the reality of where the needs are.

  16. ... said on 20 Apr 2010 at 9:20 am:
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    Dumping your agitprop here, are we Ray?

  17. Ray Williams said on 20 Apr 2010 at 2:57 pm:
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    I simply believe that America is at a crossroads and the vision of progressives like me will prevail. The time has come for a new template, and President Obama is at the forefront. This country will evolve into a more understanding place under President Obama’s leadership. Next on his docket is immigration reform. Stewards of my progressive view on immigration reform like Supervisors Jenkins and Principi will do all that they can to dismantle the racist policies put in place by intolerant Republicans and return Prince William to a place that welcomes diversity and compassion.

  18. Anonymous said on 20 Apr 2010 at 3:59 pm:
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    Ray Williams on 18 Apr 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Is this guy for real???? April fool’s day was on April 1st.

  19. different anon said on 20 Apr 2010 at 7:51 pm:
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    IF, and I say IF a school is NEEDED here, why on earth don’t they just add on to Sinclair which is just around the corner???

    Does anybody know a logical answer to this question?

  20. Kevin C said on 20 Apr 2010 at 8:37 pm:
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    Anonymous said (in reference to Ray Williams) on 20 Apr 2010 at 3:59 pm: “Is this guy for real????”

    It’s OBVIOUS now ???

    His ONLY purpose on this blog, like all the other HALF WITTED liberals, is to DISRUPT it !!!

    He, and THEY, should be IGNORED !!!!

  21. ... said on 21 Apr 2010 at 1:41 am:
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    Has Ray provided us with sufficient evidence as to why crack is illegal?

  22. Chris said on 21 Apr 2010 at 8:19 pm:
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    The school board has withdrawn their appeal to the BoS for the proposed site at SMS. I’m glad they did the right thing. I hope they consider our concerns with regards to public notice/input regarding future school sites.

  23. Tom Andrews said on 21 Apr 2010 at 8:45 pm:
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    Very shrewd move on their part. They knew they had no grounds to appeal, so to appear magnanimous and concerned about citizen opinion they withdraw. Now the real work begins….to find a suitable location

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