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The Three Horsemen of Manassas Park

By Greg L | 3 November 2010 | Manassas Park | 16 Comments

Perhaps no greater and more desperately needed change happened in Tuesday’s elections than in Manassas Park.  The election of Preston Banks and Brian Leeper, along with the re-election of Suhas Naddoni could potentially herald the long-awaited recovery of this troubled locality — if they can find a fourth horseman to join the three.  The apocalypse for the kleptocracy may be at hand, but it’s going to take a lot of citizen engagement to help make this happen, as elected officials don’t fix things on their own.  They need citizen support.  They need your support.

Banks, Leeper and Naddoni are well aware of the troubling issues that put the very existence of Manassas Park at tremendous risk.  Finances are a disaster.  Taxes are among the highest in the Commonwealth.  Civic engagement is pathetic.  Illegal aliens and residential overcrowding remains a persistent problem.  City services have been slashed and the effects are becoming evident.  Commercial development, which the city bears financial exposure for, is financially shaky at best.  Lavish infrastructure investments have left the city with debt that has at times exceeded the state’s mandated limit.  On top of that, the stink of corruption reeks out of every nook and cranny beneath the surface.  The place is a mess.

At the same time, the potential here is tremendous.  The locality is blessed with some great people, many who are long-established residents, a terrific location, a pretty durable identity, and a potentially vibrant business community.  Although some severe structural issues in regards to the commercial vs. residential tax base need to be resolved in order to make this a financially self-sustaining locality, as a community Manassas Park has a whole lot going for it.  That potential has been wasted for the last decade, and it could be restored, if only there were a few dedicated people who cared enough to do that.

So finally, after years of watching a persistently opaque Governing Board run roughshod over the interests of the community, there are three votes on the seven member Governing Board who really seem to care and are willing to fight to make things better.  I’m desperately hoping they do that, and as they do inspire one other member of the board to throw away their allegiance to Frank “Dear Leader” Jones and join them.  I’m also hoping that the three seize the lesson delivered by some the local organizations that have actually accomplished something in the area, like the Tea Party movement and Help Save Manassas, and start reaching out to the community to not only inform them about important initiatives but plead for their attendance and support at Governing Board meetings to help them push for the reforms that Manassas Park so badly needs.

Reform such as getting rid of that sign on the door people have to enter in order to attend Governing Board meetings that says “employees only.”  Seriously, I’ve never seen a more deliberate effort to discourage citizen participation in government than communicating to them that government meetings are held in restricted areas not open to the public, even if they actually are open to the public.  It might be a little thing, but for goodness sake, why would anyone ever want to communicate such a message?

Reformers in Manassas Park have occasionally popped up, and they’ve gotten harassed and abused with bogus criminal charges into leaving, as was the case with Peter Farrell. The reformers of the past showed up pretty much alone, and a corrupt local government can dispatch the single nuisance pretty easily.  They can’t dispatch three troublemakers, especially if they’ve got a bunch of constituents following in their wake, ready to raise hell if and when the dirty tricks come out.  It’s too dangerous.

If you’re a resident of Manassas Park and you give a crap about what happens in your community, you need to reach out to Preston Banks, Brian Leeper and Suhas Naddoni and ask them what you can do to help them succeed.  When they need you to be at a Governing Board meeting, you have to bite the bullet and show up.  When they ask you to talk to your neighbors and let them know what’s going on, you need to do that.  Whatever they ask you to do to help this community rescue itself, you have to be ready to answer the call.  As elected officials they can do a lot, but they can’t fix all this without every one of you.  Throw away the party labels, forget which political banner they ran under, none of that matters now.  Their banner is now Manassas park.  Your banner.  They’re doing this for you, and they need you and everyone they know to make things better.

Three local residents stepped up to take responsibility to fix things.  One Republican, one Democrat and one Independent.  The three horsemen.  Now they need the rest of you to help create a majority of four on the Governing Board, and they can’t do that without you.

Now it’s time for you to show up.  It’s your city.

The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

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  1. David Ruttenberg said on 3 Nov 2010 at 10:18 pm:
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    May the force be with you.

  2. mpcinsider said on 4 Nov 2010 at 6:14 am:
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    3 out of 7. Next time it will be at least 5 out 7. I have met each of these fine individuals, and have talked to them about what needs to be done.

  3. park'd said on 4 Nov 2010 at 7:50 am:
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    First order of business: Do something about the overcrowding on the west side and take a SERIOUS look at who runs and works for the city zoning department. The homes in my neighborhood are FILLED with people and trash is constantly overflowing from the dumpsters because of it. The Condo assn. will do nothing about either of the problems as they see it as strictly a city matter. This issue NEEDS to be NUMBER 1 on the to-do list of this new council blood.

  4. Mike L. said on 4 Nov 2010 at 5:18 pm:
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    I suggest you find a democratic socialist as the 4th horseman. no party lines.

  5. CastroMP said on 4 Nov 2010 at 7:38 pm:
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    Seems like all the comments have died down about Manassas Park with a light at the end of the tunnel. sadly all smoke and mirrors with the same old blood no new plan of action has really been presented by any of these horsemen. What you see is what you get and with Republicans that we know do not drop taxes you can expect the same old same old from the Jones-Treuting Cabal. All an illusion my friends, citizen support or not. Mark my words, best to get out of this town before it is too late.

  6. sahdman said on 4 Nov 2010 at 9:59 pm:
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    Heres an idea for the rec center. Why not allow the high school kids use the basket ball court for $1 or 2 each after school hours. It would get some revenue and the court would get some use. In the none government world the cheaper something is the more you sell of it. If this place is losing money why don’t we at least find what the price needs to be set at to get people in there. (e.g. Have a seperate rate for the gym swimming, playing basketball or working out in the gym. $8 per adult is high if you just want to run on the tread mill for a few minutes on a snowy or rainy day.) I don’t know just a thought.

  7. park'd said on 5 Nov 2010 at 7:03 am:
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    Castro: There is no getting out of this town if you are an owner here unless you go in a pine box or are willing to ditch your house and trash your credit and roll the BK dice. My guess is that most owners here that have purchased in the last 10 years are underwater now and can NOT sell their homes for what they owe. I would have already been LONG gone by now if I could sell. Prices in my hood and on the west side in general are already at 1999 levels and have been for the past 2 years. The east side has fared much better but still they are probably down to 2003 levels. The trash and overcrowding here on the west side is just so far out of control now that it will never attract anyone with means who is willing to live here except for speculators renting to illegal aliens and section 8 losers. You might get the occasional poor sap that buys a house here who actually plans to LIVE in it but even those are few and far between on this side of town. I have some hope with these three new guys on the board now but the past has shown us that the existing cabal is not kind to newcomers who try to rock the corruption boat. Either way, I am at the point now where I either get some relief from the BS that goes on over here on the west side or I walk from the house and flip the bird to the bank and the city and they lose yet another productive citizen from their rolls.

  8. Doug Brown said on 5 Nov 2010 at 7:19 am:
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    If Wolf is your Congressman, then maybe you can induce Cynic to buy your house? Your problem solved and then the comment section would be home to the ‘Happy Cynic from Manassas Park.’

    BTW, I’m curious why don’t you take Wolf’s lack of action in the areas you have outlined in other posts personally?

  9. Anonymous said on 5 Nov 2010 at 7:26 am:
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    Manassas Park ought to be incorporated by the city of manassas. This grand incorporation would include the north end of the 234 corridor. We have no voice in affairs in north Manassas with pwc “Gainesville” Supervisor who is concerned about whose wine and cheese kids don’t have to attend Stonewall Jackson. We could annex the signal hill subdivision and get the tax base of the Liberia strip that most city residents use.

    The city long ago should have used the powers of eminant domain to have redevoled the Manassas shopping center and all those busy stores on Liberia would have been on Mathis.

    Maybe it would have dilluted the power ellite in the city who reside on Peobody to be more focused on what has gone on around them in the last thirty years instead of thinking every thing is the same with no cars parked on the road and one acren lots forever.

    Cost would be cheaper and we would have a louder political voice. Our technocrates would be more competant than allowing townhouses to be built five feet from the curb on a Virginia state highway. Fairfax City seems to have it right with 236 going to old town!

    Final case in point, why cant we bike ride safely from 234 north past godwin drive into the city? Do we have to wait 40 years whenever the VDOT people ever make the 28 Bypass a reality?

    We could be a unified voice in wanting it. We would have enough tax based to fund a toll road. PWC doesnt care about north manassas and that is why the city came to be. They paid for the heathcoath extension with our tax dollars that we paid for in speculator high assesments and we still do not have a pedestrian crossing light to get across Lomand drive with all the kids who walk from after school activities in the after noon. We got one out in the f***** middle of no where at 28 and bethleham road near the new target with hadicap ramps to the grass????????

    Just think pure Republican leader ship has brought us all of these things,.

    Ha ha.

    I have a bridge for sale in Brooklyn.

  10. park'd said on 5 Nov 2010 at 7:31 am:
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    I don’t blame Wolf at all for any of this nor hold any ‘personal grudges’ against him. I blame everyone that continually keeps voting for him even though they know he is a do-nothing representative who is nothing more than a placeholder for the Va. 10th. The people get EXACTLY the government that they deserve. Harry Reid being reelected is proof of that. Las Vegas and Nevada in general deserve every single bit of financial misery that has hit them and is still coming their way. Same goes for all of us. Our continual apathy and unwillingness to get involved and learn the real reasons for this crisis, who caused it and how it started are the real problems. The simple fact is that Americans don’t care, don’t WANT to know and really just are interested in DWTS, AI and Sunday football. I used to be that way too until about 6 years ago when I put 2 and 2 together. I also have no idea who ‘Cynic’ is and I don’t follow any of his comments.

  11. Doug Brown said on 5 Nov 2010 at 8:55 am:
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    Good answer, thanks.

    As far as taking it ‘personal,’ you’re absolutely right in not holding ‘personal grudges’ that would be a waste of time and effort, that’s wise counsel, but, and this is an important ‘but’, Wolf’s ‘do nothingness’ is neither ‘nothing’ nor simply a reflection of an apathetic public.

    As far as people getting ‘exactly’ what they deserve, don’t underestimate the lengths of what Reid or Wolf supporters will go to, to hold on to the power that has made them and their patrons wealthy. People have stood up to the corrupt powers within our current poltical system, you just don’t hear about them too often after they have stood up and been left standing alone.

  12. mpcinsider said on 23 Nov 2010 at 6:33 am:
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    Ok three horsemen. I hope you all will keep they upcoming fiscal year in check and not raise our taxes. I will be looking over your shoulders and you better not make a mistake. It took a lot to get your here, and now do mess it up.

  13. mpcinsider said on 10 Dec 2010 at 6:21 am:
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    I see that MP will be facing another short fall of money in the up coming year. This is no way that the city can still pay it’s bills with the little amount of money that is coming in.

  14. sahdman said on 17 Dec 2010 at 7:44 pm:
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    no wonder we can’t afford anything we are cutting deals with developers that owe the city taxes. http://manassaspark.patch.com/articles/82-new-town-homes-to-be-built-in-manassas-park

  15. JN said on 7 Jan 2011 at 6:11 pm:
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    As a completely frustrated citizen I plan to do everything I can to rally behind the “Three Horsemen”. I never wanted to be involved in politics but I can’t stand by and continue to watch Manassas Park go downhill.

    We obviously have governing members that do not care in the slightest what the wishes of the community members are. I was at the “Glory Hill” hearing. I spoke and gave point after point as to why putting in more townhomes just does not work. It made no difference. The members who passed it through must be getting a kick back. I had the distinct feeling that they could not wait for the public to leave so they could do what they had planned to all along. It made no sense to vote on that rezoning that particular night. I cannot stand lame duck voters and I say good riddance to them. The fact is, they knew for a fact that it would not pass once the new council members stepped up to the plate so they got it through as fast as they could.

    I hope that you remember to curse our dear Mayor and his pocket pets when you are sitting in more traffic and witnessing more accidents that will be the result of adding these townhomes to an inappropriate area.

    As for me, I support Leeper, Banks and Naddoni and will step up to the plate for them.

  16. FrauD said on 13 Jan 2011 at 11:18 am:
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    Rumor has it that Councilman Leeper is ready to re-visit local housing laws with Richmond. Hoping for a better outcome, this time around.

    Be sure to let him and the rest of our governing body know how much this would mean to the residents of Manassas Park.

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