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Open Thread

By Greg L | 9 November 2010 | Uncategorized | 60 Comments

Here’s a chance for all those OFF TOPIC comments to come to life.  Have at it, folks.

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. LJM said on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:11 am:
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    Way off topic.
    FLOTUS is a big fan of child labor — ordering 10, yes, “10″ dolls from..
    Can you IMAGINE the outcry if Laura Bush had placed an order for dolls from a FOUR YEAR OLD?
    What’s next? Card check for pre-schoolers?

  2. Anonymous said on 10 Nov 2010 at 5:54 am:
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    PWC (your boy Stewart) pretty much bragged about no raises for the County employees for the last coupleof years. It turns out that didn’t include the Supes or their assistants, some of who got over 20%.

  3. Anonymous said on 10 Nov 2010 at 6:18 am:
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    Is the Republican Party still the party of law and order fiscal conservatives?
    Not if you look at Glendell Hill’s record.

    Sheriff Wilson C. Garrison, Jr. (D) (1984 – 1995) Modernized the sheriff’s office, started a fugitive squad, started the child I.D. program, computerized the sheriff’s office, started escorting funerals, started a rank structure, updated equipment, gave free gun locks for gun safety, never had a budget close to 5 million dollars.

    Sheriff E. Lee Stoffregen, III (D) (1996 – 2003) Achieved Virginia Law Enforcement Accreditation, started child mentoring, established senior citizen programs, tried to make the streets safe by running radar to slow down speeders and aggressive drivers, had deputies respond to major crimes to get a quicker response to these crimes, never had a budget close to 6 million dollars.

    Sheriff Glendell Hill (R) (2004 – 2011) Reduced his workload by cutting services to the people, collected some cell phones, collected some money for the Red Cross to buy a trailer, started project lifesaver, bought some tasers, bought a golf cart so deputies could ride around the court complex, has a budget over 8 million dollars and wants a budget over 9 million dollars.

  4. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 8:31 am:
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    Little noticed and little mentioned was Obama’s pledge during his trip to support permanent membership for India on the UN Security Council. What did he ask in return for his own citizens? I’m sure BVBL readers don’t need to be told that the answer is zip.

    The Security Council is the only part of the UN with any real power. The five permanent members since the end of World War II have been the US, France, Russia (formerly Soviet Union) Great Britain and China (changed from Taiwan to PRC). Other nations rotate on and off, but only the five permanent members are always there, and only they have a veto.

    Adding new Security Council members would diminish the power of the current members but has been discussed over time. India, Germany and others have been suggested as candidates. However, the US should not give away gratuitously our support for another nation joining. We should demand understandings of how various policy issues (for example, concerning Israel) will be dealt with, and clarify bi-lateral issues such as trade and immigration.

    Our President has again sold us out in furtherance of his globalist agenda. Americans, the people who elected him, have no greater priority for him than anyone else in the world. Other nations have leaders who try to advance the interests of their citizens. We need the same.

    On a related matter, I have a wild prognostication to throw out. If the Republicans play their cards right and nominate the right candidate for president in 2012, Obama has no chance of winning a second term. I can easily see an announcement coming in a year or so that Obama has accepted an invitation from the United Nations to serve as their new Secretary General and is not running for a second term as US President. The Nobel Committee gave him the Peace Prize for doing nothing. The slobbering leftists and socialists around the world would give him the UN Secretary General job just for the asking. I think this would be a great idea because Obama would be able to babble on about globalism and socialism to his heart’s content, and no longer be in a position to cause harm to us.

  5. tax and spend said on 10 Nov 2010 at 10:23 am:
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    Anyone watch the City of Manassas Council meeting Monday night? Seems like 4 out of the 6 Council Members (3 Rs and one I) voted on a $1.49 tax rate “assumption” ie, tax increase, for next years City budget, Tea Party take note please! Way and Aveni voted no.

  6. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 11:07 am:
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    tax and spend - keep an eye on Wolfe in particular. Again this year he got the PWC arts slush fund to pony up another 50k+ of taxpayers’ money to subsidize his dance school. This year it came with Corey Stewart’s blessing. I guess Stewart is buying support for upcoming elections anyway he can using our money. Manassas taxpayers also beware. Wolfe bilks you for his dance school also.


    Say the money is for the Ballet, a public service? Not true. Prince William County concocted a formula for its arts slush fund basing funding on total revenue. Wolfe combines the revenue from his dance school (a private venture that competes with other dance schools that pay their own way and their taxes) with revenue from the Ballet in his funding request. Guess which is larger and bulks up his take of your taxpayer money?

    Got a problem with paying taxes to subsidize Wolfe’s dance school when we need teachers, police officers, fireman and tax cuts? Fire Wolfe and Stewart next chance you get. Voters fired Pelosi and we can vote out fiscal abusers here too.

  7. tired and broke said on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:13 pm:
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    The real estate tax in Manassas city is ridiculous 125% ($1600 in 01 to $3600 in10 for me)over the last 9 yrs.
    When asking the question of where did all this money go?
    I never get an answer. Now $ 3600 isn’t enough. Its enough for me.
    The citizens demand more services is B.S.
    This citizen wants to keep some of his $$$
    I also would like to see some cuts,employee costs more in line with their private sector counterparts,and don’t purposely cut something “dramatic” to sensationalise your desire for more of my money
    Stick to the basics.

  8. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 12:55 pm:
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    Try on these fiscal facts:

    Corey Stewart’s Senior Assistant’s salary goes from $55,665.22 in 2009 to $67,912.00 in 2010 for a 22% raise, while a salary and hiring freeze is in place for most County employees.

    Corey Stewart’s Assistant’s salary goes from $52,469.82 in 2009 to $64,805.00 in 2010 for a 24% raise, while a salary and hiring freeze is in place for most County employees.

    Melissa Peacor’s salary goes from $144,776.84 in 2009 to $209,000 in 2010 for a 44% raise, while a salary and hiring freeze is in place for most County employees. Stewart bullied her promotion through over the objections of true conservatives who wanted a house-cleaning in the senior ranks of the County government. Gerhart made only $210,000 in 2008, his last full year as County Executive. Stewart bumps Peacor up to virtually the same pay level Gerhart made to ensure her compliance in rubber stamping whatever his contributors in the development community want railroaded through the BOCS for approval against the interests of County taxpayers.

    Three-quarters of million County taxpayer dollars go to the still non-existent Wartime Museum, whose CEO pays himself a quarter of a million dollars annually and has failed dismally in raising private donations.

    The annual arts grants fleecing of County taxpayers was described above. And don’t forget that the “Hylton” (I thought that was supposed to be “Community” when they were selling this to us) Performing Arts Center came back last year for another bundle of taxpayer money even though we were promised that they would be self-sufficient after opening. Watch for their shadow darkening the doorway again this year.

    More details to come. Just like we voted to end the Pelosi/Reid/Obama spending spree on November 2, we need to fire Stewart next year and bring fiscal sanity to Prince William County to replace the back-scratching and graft we have now. There’s got to be a solid, conservative, fiscally-responsible Republican in Prince William County we can run for BOCS Chair next year.

  9. Step up to the plate said on 10 Nov 2010 at 1:54 pm:
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    Obviously we need some good candidates for office in 2011 in the County and 2012 in the City - perhaps the 2 tea parties in the City and County can have a meeting on this? I am ready to donate time and money!

  10. Anonymous said on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:00 pm:
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    IF this is true, it is time for Stew to go.

  11. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:20 pm:
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    I’ve not joined the local Tea Party yet because I see too many members as allowing themselves to be hoodwinked by people like Corey Stewart who provide the right spin, but in reality act contrary to the interests of conservatives. I hope I’m wrong. If the Tea Parties would help defeat people like Corey Stewart, Marty Nohe, Wally Covington and Mark Wolfe in favor of true, solid conservatives like John Stirrup they would have my full support.

    I want a Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County, as I’m sure Manassas taxpayers want for a City Council, composed of conservatives rather than opportunistic, self-serving politicians. By that I mean fiscal conservatives who put our interests ahead of special interests and political cronies, and who are willing to deal effectively with illegal immigration. By that I mean cracking down on illegal employers who are the root cause of the problem as Arizona did. I don’t want any more nonsense like Stewart’s Virginia Rule of Law that makes life more uncomfortable for illegals but keeps them here working cheaply for big corporate campaign contributors, living in overcrowded boarding houses in our neighborhoods, and costing us millions in public services.

    Will the local Tea Parties be on board for this?

  12. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 2:31 pm:
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    I want to see the upper ranks of the County Government cleaned out and replaced with honest public servants also, as Corey Stewart promised he would do when we elected him. I was a Corey supporter until I felt his knife slide into my back.

    Gerhart’s departure was an opportunity to begin this process but Stewart instead railroaded Peacor through to satisfy his developer supporters. I heard a wonderful rumor last week that Planning Director Griffin was leaving. Please let this be true, only watch out for Stewart supporting someone like Ray Utz, Griffin’s “mini-me” to take over.

  13. Casanova Frankenstein said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:00 pm:
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    JTF — You left Caddigan off your list. She needs to go, too. Twenty years is too many!!!

  14. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:22 pm:
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    CF - you are correct. She was one of the Gang of Five who voted for Avendale, which was a Stewart payback to Mike Lubely and developer campaign contributors. Taxpayers will be paying dearly for that project in coming years because it is 100% residential, the units are at or below average assessed value for new units (this means they will be profoundly tax revenue negative), and it will add to the congestion on the roads and in the schools. The developer promise to realign Vint Hill Road serves no purpose other than to allow more units to be built. This was also the project that Stewart and Covington went behind John Stirrup’s back into his own district and promised the Gainesville Grizzlies new football fields for their support. To me lying to kids and exploiting their families in that way amounted to child abuse. John Stirrup opposed Avendale and did not even know about these antics on the part of Stewart and Covington until one of his staffers read about it on Moonhowlings a day or two before the vote.

    Caddigan had been the fourth vote killing Avendale when it first came up in January, but between then and last summer when Stewart slipped it back on the agenda, she sold out. Stewart and Covington threw John Stirrup under the bus, and Avendale passed with Stirrup, May and Principi voting no.

    Stewart, Covington, Nohe, and Caddigan MUST GO! Wolfe MUST GO! Any others in Manassas to add?

    Is the Tea Party on board to getting them out and electing true conservatives? Let’s send John Stirrup some help next year!

  15. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:29 pm:
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    Don’t forget the hundreds of new jobs Avendale will create for illegals. Corey’s promises to crack down on illegals reminds me of the old Monty Python wink-wink, nod-nod skit. Don’t worry about what Corey says to those rubes who think he’s a conservative; just keep the campaign contributions coming and Corey, Mike Lubely, Melissa Peacor, Brookfield Homes and the rest will create plenty of jobs for illegals.

  16. Mary said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:32 pm:
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    Who are the Chairs of the 2 tea parties you mention and how can we get in touch wiht them?

  17. Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:46 pm:
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    Keep in mind also that most of Prince William County is still solidly Republican. We can nominate true conservatives and they will win!

    I supported Pat Herrity over Keith Fimian in the primary because much of the 11th District is in Fairfax County and I wanted a candidate whom I thought had the best chance of ousting Connelly. We don’t have that concern in Prince William County or Manassas. We can give the boot to these pro-developer, political opportunists who give us rhetoric about illegal immigration but at the end of the day vote with their corporate paymasters, nominate real conservatives for the BOCS like John Stirrup, and WIN!

    One or two more Boards of County Supervisors approving whatever developers want, like the BOCS we have now, will Fairfax-ize Prince William County and conservatives will stand no more chance of winning here than they do now in Fairfax. NOW is the time to draw the line in the sand and throw the bums out!

  18. Dittyman8 said on 10 Nov 2010 at 8:53 pm:
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    OK, folks, here’s a question. Why are the haters from the Westboro Baptist Church protesting at Woodbridge High School on Monday? I’m no fan of gay rights but these guys crossed way over the line when they protest at military funerals. What’s their beef with our high school?

  19. ergo said on 10 Nov 2010 at 10:33 pm:
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    It’s a waste of time trying to figure out why hatefilled misguided idiots do what they do. They do what they do because they are hateful misguided idiots. Res ipsa loquitor (essentially, the thing speaks for itself).

  20. Get Bullwinkle! said on 10 Nov 2010 at 11:21 pm:
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    Simple. You take one fire extinguisher, fill it with about three kilos of human waste, fill halfway with water and then pump air into it. You drive by Westboro idiots with window rolled down and put out fire. Soon idiots discover smelling like toilet not so much fun and start doing something else instead.

    When idiots become problem, you cannot allow that to continue.

  21. All Your Base Belong To Us said on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:11 am:
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    Facts, who do you suggest we get to take out those four? Obviously, a lot of us here think that Stirrup would make a fine Board Chairman (not sure if he’d primary Corey, though, but maybe Corey will decide to concentrate full-time on running for Senate or LG instead of seeking reelection next year.)

    Who is out there that would make for credible conservative candidates against Covington, Nohe and Covington? Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are people who fit the bill, but if we’re serious about implementing this kind of change, we need to i.d. these people and get them running NOW.

  22. All Your Base Belong To Us said on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:12 am:
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    That should be Covington, Nohe and Caddigan.

  23. DRAFT STIRRUP FOR CHAIRMAN said on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:24 am:
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    Let’s not forget, Stirrup was the one who originated the anti-illegal alien measure in PWC, not Corey.

  24. Greg L said on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:26 am:
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    As far as Nohe goes, that’s going to depend on redistricting. He could easily end up in the same district as Mike May or John Jenkins, even if an eighth district is created. In that general area, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there’s a very credible primary challenger. There’s a lot of frustration with him out there right now.

    For Caddigan, there’s a bit of a groundswell going on behind the scenes and depending on how the redistricting lines are drawn she could end up with a strong challenger or a newbie that would need a lot of help. We’re going to have to see on that one. Again, it’s all about redistricting.

    But for Wally, I just don’t see anyone challenging him at this point. Not that there’s any shortage of good conservatives in that district, but I don’t see much interest in taking him on right now. The Dems aren’t going to take him out in that district, so if there’s going to be a change there someone I haven’t heard of is going to have to step up.

    Don’t take this to mean I think any of these folks should get primaried or might lose a primary, I’m just filling in some blanks here.

  25. Grayson said on 11 Nov 2010 at 6:14 am:
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    Just the Facts said on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:22 pm: Flag comment

    “Stewart, Covington, Nohe, and Caddigan MUST GO! Wolfe MUST GO! Any others in Manassas to add?”

    Looking at his record, Glendell Hill needs to be added to the must go list.

  26. Just the Facts said on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:11 am:
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    There is a very credible conservative who is very likely to challenge Covington. I’ve already told this person that they would have my full support, including fleshing out the details of the information I’ve been posting here and helping with the campaign. Covington has built up a long record of kow-towing to developers and giving Brentsville residents and PWC taxpayers the middle-finger ever since he joined the BOCS. I think this person would likely win in a primary or convention. The Republican wins in Brentsville.

    Of the four, Caddigan is the least of my worries. I’m still angry with her about Avendale, but she tends to follow the leadership and succumb to pressure, such as that from Stewart. Get rid of Stewart and I don’t think Caddigan will be too much of a problem. However, I would support a true conservative if she is challenged.

    Nohe right now is like playing “whack-a-mole.” No one knows in which district he will pop up after redistricting, as Greg wrote. If we land in the same district, which is very possible, I would consider challenging him myself.

    The biggest problem is Stewart. I would love to see John Stirrup primary him and win the BOCS Chair. We could not possibly find a better person for that job. John originated the effort to crack down on illegal immigration. However, Corey stole the issue when he saw it had legs, and turned it into a national spectacle to advance his own interests. Had John remained in charge, we would gotten somewhere with it. John is also a true fiscal conservative. Moreover, if John became BOCS Chair, we could easily elect another conservative in Gainesville.

    Corey has so many Republicans duped at this point and has so much developer money that defeating him for the nomination would be difficult. Republicans need to start learning more about him and his record NOW so someone else can be nominated. The Democrats are going to run Gary Freidman, who is more conservative on fiscal and land use issues than Corey. Gary even worked for Corey until he found out what a fraud Corey is. The Democrats will publicize Corey’s record in the general election if Republicans don’t do it in the nominating process.

  27. Marley said on 11 Nov 2010 at 4:13 pm:
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    In the County for 2011 we better find a good replacement for Corey for chairman because I am not so sure he will win again. The street says there is a Dem who will challenge Friedman for the D slot who is impressive; military retired, from Dumfries, Catholic - watch out. Caddigan and Wally don’t bother me so much, they go along with the other Rs (Stirrup and May) when they lead. Nohe is a problem and embarrassment to Rs everywhere but I do not see any good candidates to take him on from Coles.

    In the City for 2012 we need a fiscal and pro-life conservative (or 2) to replace Wolfe for sure and possibly Bass, I can handle Way again as he is voting more and more with Aveni who is the only one I would call a real conservative. I assume Hal would run for Mayor again, he is mostly harmless in that role as he has no vote other than break a tie and it seems like the others have figured out to work around him to get stuff done.

    For Colgan’s seat, I like Miller although I could roll with another credible conservative candidate, if one can be found. Fitzsimmonds has too much baggage like his dis of Bob Marshall for Senate which we pro-lifers remember all too well and his association with his buddy Fasil Gill with all his terrorist ties.

    For Sherriff there seems to be this dis-like of Glenn Hill but really I don’t know what he has done that is so bad? He supported Bob Marshall after all. I give him another term.

    That’s what I think about all this.


  28. Anonymous said on 11 Nov 2010 at 7:24 pm:
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    Marley said on 11 Nov 2010 at 4:13 pm: Flag comment

    For Sherriff there seems to be this dis-like of Glenn Hill but really I don’t know what he has done that is so bad? He supported Bob Marshall after all. I give him another term.

    Have you seen his record? If you like big spending and low service he’s your man!

  29. Greg L said on 11 Nov 2010 at 7:41 pm:
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    I find it amusing that Hill’s few detractors (which seem uncannily linked with the Stoffregan regime of corruption and graft) seem so determined to perpetuate this myth that the Department’s budget has exploded. Last election cycle they trotted this out, and lo and behold, the actual budget numbers told an entirely different story than what these detractors peddled and they were exposed as liars.

    I challenge those attacking Hill to cite actual spending numbers from the county budget and cite their sources. If what they say is true, it should be incredibly easy to back up their allegations with actual facts.

    I dare ‘em. Tell the truth this time. I’ll accept it whatever it happens to be, but I’m tired of outright fabrications. They’ve blown any chance with me to have anything they say accepted at face value.

  30. Fish Eye said on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:25 pm:
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    I’ll vote for any politican who opens up Lake Manassas for fishing again.

  31. Anonymous said on 11 Nov 2010 at 8:40 pm:
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    All you have to do is go down to the budget office and ask for the 2004-2011 budget for the sheriff’s office and you can see it for yourself. Know who you are voting for.

    Regime of corruption? Are you talking about the regime where deputies made illegal land deals, illegally ran checks on citizens through the state VCIN system, drove drunk and almost killed his wife, left the back window down so a prisoner could reach out the back window and let himself out causing schools to be on lockdown for hours while they conducted a manhunt or had 900 pictures of child porn on their computer and was trafficing them on the internet? Oh, wait, that’s Glendell Hill’s regime.

    Why can’t we be concerned conservatives that care about our tax dollars. Know who you are voting for.

  32. Greg L said on 11 Nov 2010 at 10:49 pm:
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    Having proven such claims dishonest in the past, I’m going to ask you to prove what you’re saying is true. If you don’t want to (and the information is online, by the way) I’ll just take that as an affirmation that things haven’t changed at all.

  33. Grayson said on 12 Nov 2010 at 4:20 am:
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    People can get information and lay it in your lap but that doesn’t mean you are going to believe it. You have to care enough about your community and your government to find out who you are voting for and their record on your own. That is the only way you know you are getting the real truth. Go to the budget office and get the sheriff’s office 2004-2011 budgets. If you read the News & Messenger for the past few years you already know the other is true.

  34. Greg L said on 12 Nov 2010 at 8:37 am:
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    Nice tactic. Make wild accusations. When asked to prove the allegations refuse to provide any documentation. Say that the people asking for documentation wouldn’t trust the documentation anyways.

    Really confidence-inspiring, I tell ‘ya.

    I’m kind of from the school of thought that if you want me to believe your statistics, you’re going to have to cite your sources.

  35. Just the Facts said on 12 Nov 2010 at 9:16 am:
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    Marley - I hadn’t heard about the potential challenger to Freidman but it looks like the dems are getting their ducks in a row to win this. A solid, fiscally-conservative, overall moderate Democrat would most likley take out Corey Stewart.

    Stewart betrayed his original supporters on land use when he saw he could get hundreds of thousands of developer dollars. They oppose him now. He broke his promise to citizens who wanted the top ranks of the County Government cleaned out and replaced with competent, honest public servants. They oppose him now. He has shown his total lack of concern for fiscal responsibility and has alienated fiscal conservatives. They oppose him now. He let down people who want illegal immigration addressed by turning John Stirrup’s initial efforts into a self-aggrandizing national circus that left us in Prince William County no better off than before. Those supporters are increasingly opposing him now.

    With the Democrats seemingly taking seriously finding an electable candidate for BOCS Chair in 2011, and so many people walking around Prince William County with Corey’s knives sticking out of their backs, the Republicans better get their act together.

  36. Anonymous said on 12 Nov 2010 at 9:20 am:
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    You sound like your afraid to go get the budgets for yourself. Don’t be afraid of the truth.

  37. Greg L said on 12 Nov 2010 at 11:27 am:
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    No, I don’t have time to do your homework for you. Why is it that you demand I do the research you should have been doing if you ever expected anyone to believe you?

  38. Realist said on 12 Nov 2010 at 11:53 am:
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    Those in Manassas freaking out about the advertised tax rate, take a deep breath, and understand how this works. Council publishes an advertised rate, prior to begining the budget development cycle. The final rate can be the same or less, but cannot be more. The rate this year may be more than last year, but that doesn’t mean the tax you actually pay will be more. It could actually drop, as assessed values on real property may have dropped. “Tired and Broke”, are you factoring in the real estate bubble in your 125% you cited? Of course everyone’s actual tax paid went up during the period. Real Estate values exploded during the period 01-06. This was a function of the free market, and little else.

    If you want to have a discussion about spending, then let’s have one. 56% or so of every dollar collected by the City goes to the schools. Let’s have a discussion about ESOL, graduation rates, teacher salary, class sizes etc. Let’s see if we are getting our money’s worth out of the biggest consumer of our tax dollars. I am all for that. If we want to beat up on council, then really we can only do so on $0.46 on the dollar, because that’s what they have direct budget responsibility for.

    While we are on the subject, let’s look at what the impact of the state getting rid of the BPOL and M&T tax. Looks great for them, as they look like they are cutting taxes. But those items don’t fund anything at the state level, really. That is local money. So that gap has to be made up somewhere at the local level. I am all for cutting any fat in the City budget, but this gap would be so big council would have to go right through the muscle, and into the bone.

  39. Uncle Caveman said on 12 Nov 2010 at 12:00 pm:
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    Make no mistake, the Dems have multiple potential candidates not named Gary Friedman who could definitely take Corey out head-to-head. An even bigger concern for him is, assuming he gets renominated, is the prospect that a Tea Party candidate runs as well. That’d make things very interesting.

  40. Just the Facts said on 12 Nov 2010 at 3:16 pm:
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    Uncle Caveman - how about the prospect of the Tea Party working with people like me and those similary minded who might join if they don’t back Corey Stewart to rally behind a single Republican?

  41. Just Observin' said on 12 Nov 2010 at 3:26 pm:
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    @Realist, you are dead on with folks taking a deep breath.

    The approval of the 5-Year Plan at the rate annouced is simply, simply, simply the baseline to start preparing the various divisions/departments budgets. I ran budgets in the military for years, and we also had some baseline to start figuring our floor and ceiling with….and list out anything needed which ends up unfunded.

    Pure budget scenario work.

    Having gone through the City’s real estate taxing bubble of the last 16 years, I for one was glad when now 30 year old house came down to what would actually be a fair assessment. A 1400sq ft older home with four bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath and 1/3 acre as it aged being valued at almost half a million was just ridiculous. Ok, “fair market” was the rule, but ridiculous. Thank goodness I hit over the 30-year level so depreciation under the MARC model can actually apply.

    Realist, one other thing they should be looking at that is a real impact too is that 2cent added to the Fire Levy. As shown by the City, One Cent = $356,000 so a total of $712,000 collected for a Fire & Rescue Capital Equipment Fund. This type of reserve has long been ignored, and now that we are standing up a F&R System, an esstential element.

    But it is also a bone of contention - the Mayor said he was more in favor of only a one-cent increase until the F&R Committee delivers the Equipment List. That was the first and primary goal for the FRC to produce, and has been resisted by volunteers since March this year.

    The resistance? Want proof? Go out and read the Minutes…

  42. Pat said on 12 Nov 2010 at 7:42 pm:
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    is there voter fraud going on in Alaska??? Sounds like another hanging chad moment. Too bad it is an R and R battling it out.

  43. tired and broke said on 13 Nov 2010 at 7:10 am:
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    Regarding Manassas
    My tax assesment was approx. $160,000 in 01 and the rate was about $1.00 ($1600)

    In 06 assessment $450,000 Rate approx $.80 ($3600)

    Current assessment $230,000 Rate aprox $1.47 ($3380)

    Now I’m going off memory so these #’s are approximate.

    The actual amount of $$$$ collected has doubled in less than 10 yrs.
    I realise that costs go up and wouldn’t have a problem if the taxes went up with the rate of inflation,
    But after the big runup a whole lot more money was collected and they grew the goverment expecting it to last forever?
    Now they don’t have any money.
    Its time to stick to the basics.
    I have as many had to deal with no raises, rising health insurance costs.401k dropping like a lead balloon.
    I don’t think its unreasonable for me to expect the local goverment to live within its means, and not treat me as a bottomless “Piggy bank”.

    Also the Fire Levy is nothing but an extension of the RE tax moved to a different column so the RE tax rate doesn’t look so bad.
    And IMHO I don’t see where there is an improvement over what we had for the last 100 yrs to justify the enormous amount of money spent, but thats another subject.

    Thats my opinion and if i offended anyone I apologize.

  44. Overworkedandunderpaid said on 13 Nov 2010 at 9:18 am:
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    Pwc teachers need to work to the rule in the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. Benefits have been taken away, pay has been frozen, but hours have been increased with several new ‘incentives’ that supposedly help the students but in reality only serve the administrators. The more time that is spent on clerical work, the less time there is to properly teach students. Something has to give.

  45. Anonymous said on 13 Nov 2010 at 9:41 am:
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    Take a look at what just happened in PG County if you want a taste of what may be to come in PWC.

  46. Freedom said on 13 Nov 2010 at 10:57 am:
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    “Just the Facts,” have you ever met a guy (Democrat, Republican and Independent…take your pick) by the name of John Gray?

  47. Just the Facts said on 13 Nov 2010 at 12:06 pm:
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    Freedom - I’ve met John but don’t know him well. According to the Board of Elections, he’s registered to run as an independent for BOCS Chair. As you wrote, however, he vacillates among all three identities and don’t think he has any chance of winning. I don’t think I could support someone with such an identity crisis anyway.

    My criteria for a candidate is a solid conservative who puts the interests of PWC above personal fame and political ambitions. John may not have lofty ambitions like Corey but I don’t see him as the sort of conservative I could support.

  48. Freedom said on 13 Nov 2010 at 12:07 pm:
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    “Overworkedandunderpaid,” sorry, but I’m not sympathetic — if you want more pay, and I believe you deserve the opportunity for that, support a compensation plan which rewards hard work and success.

    The PWC school system needs administrators (School Board, Superintendant, Principals, and Department Heads) and teachers who will “buy into” the concept of establishing realistic, but demanding standards of performance which are tailored to fit the teacher and his/her specific teaching assignment. Then, with understood performance standards in place, teachers should be regularly evaluated against those standards. Annual salary increases should be provided based upon those performance evaluations and the sum of all salary increases should fit within the established “salary increase budget,” established at the beginning of the school year.

    Outstanding teachers should be given a substantial salary increase; teachers performing at an acceptable, but lower standard should receive a modest increase; and substandard teachers should receive ZERO increase. “Buy in” of administrators is essential to ensure that outstanding teachers and substandard teachers do not receive the same evaluation rating thereby being eligible for the same increase. This is not to be confused with “merit pay.”

    “Pay for Performance” assists in recruiting teachers who are committed toward professional excellence and have an appetite a higher salary; it assists in retaining teachers who are performing well but would otherwise be motivated toward moving to a higher paying school district; and it simultaneously encourages “hangers on” … and believe me, we have ‘em … to find a different career, one more suited to their skills and/or energy level.

    “Pay for Performance” has proven to work quite successfully in private schools, in many governmental departments and in competitive/free-market business.

  49. Overworkedandunderpaid said on 13 Nov 2010 at 5:54 pm:
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    I would love to support a compensation plan which rewards hard work and success, but it will never, ever happen because there isn’t a soul in this county that wants to see teachers receive additional pay. As to your second paragraph, I checked that off a long time ago. Standards are in place, I am regularly evaluated, and all are happy with my performance. I have actually had administrators tell me that although they see nothing that I need to improve upon they need to ‘come up’ with something because they can’t leave the “area that needs improvement” section blank. But, I do not receive a dime more for my efforts, and my efforts are literally killing me, so it does make me wonder (other than the fact that I truly believe I am reaching my students) why do I continue to do this and who is going to fight to keep teachers like me who carry the same high standards of job performance?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  50. Freedom said on 14 Nov 2010 at 3:45 am:
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    Overworkedandunderpaid, the missing link is “buy in.” Oh, there are people, plenty of people who want to see outstanding teachers receive more pay…and the money is there. The problem is that school administrators (and the teachers’ union) haven’t the courage to be honest in their evaluations, and based upon those evaluations, divert potential salary increases from the non-performers to those who truly deserve it. Sad, but it’s a problem that can be solved only by those within the system.

  51. Disgusted said on 14 Nov 2010 at 8:07 am:
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    Overworrkedandunderpaid: Two things you could do right now to better your life. 1) Quit. If this is truly killing you, you are of diminished value to my student and to your family. Be a corporate trainer. Be a tutor. Quit playing the martyr. 2) If you choose to stay, quit the teachers union. Keeping that fee is a salary increase. Besides, what have they done to help YOU? They help their organization, but you, as an individual member, are left twisting in the wind. You assume all the risks (lawsuits, maybe even violence) for nothing. You choose to stay a teacher. I’m tired of hearing all the whining.

  52. BristowBristling said on 14 Nov 2010 at 7:51 pm:
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    Overworrkedandunderpaid: I am an ardent supporter of our teachers!
    Here is the but…
    County employees across the board have had their pay frozen now for several years while school employees continued (until this past year) to receive theirs. The school system must re-evaluate its priorities across the fiscal spectrum (as is County government) to more equitably spend taxpayer money. Its time to start looking at treating all employees who receive salaries and benefits from County tax revenues in a similar manner. I am an ardent supporter of our teachers YES and I am also an ardent supporter for those who work in Public Works, Fleet Maintenance, Police, Fire, etc.

  53. Freedom said on 15 Nov 2010 at 9:09 am:
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    …and regardless of our position/salary, we all have to sometimes just say “no” and cut back on what we spend — even when it comes to some government services, computers and other luxuries, all of which are nice to have. I know a teacher who works for an insurance company during the three months of summer. As a teacher, he makes enough money to support his family, but without the extra income, he and his family would probably have to move out of his $450K house.

  54. Former Volunteer said on 15 Nov 2010 at 10:09 am:
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    Career Fire and Rescue staff and equipment are the new public school teachers it seems, more more more . . . never enough. See for yourself by taking a look at the fire station off route 1 at river oaks, a bit excessive you think? When did this become a gimmie grab for career staff that sits in the office all day coordinating “training”and never runs calls and equipment that sits in parking lots waiting for that once in a lifetime event where it can be used - please say no and keep my taxes reasonable. Insist on a coordinated plan for equipment and new buildings and how staff and volunteers will work together. Anything less is a waste of money, inventory what they have laying around and see for yourself.

  55. Casanova Frankenstein said on 15 Nov 2010 at 4:35 pm:
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    The Washington Post
    Caddigan’s Loyalty To GOP at Issue; Her Support of Seefeldt Causes Rift
    December 1, 1999
    By Lisa Rein

    During the fall campaign, Caddigan, a former School Board chairman, openly endorsed Seefeldt with a mailing to voters in the Montclair development where Caddigan lives. The flier pictured both women fighting for a new high school scheduled to open in the district next fall.

    Would it have killed her to do that for Keith Fimian? Flipping 450 votes would have swung the election from Connolly to Fimian — that is only 150 votes in the three Dumfries precincts located in the 11th Dist.

  56. Pat said on 15 Nov 2010 at 6:08 pm:
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    speaking of Fimian, can someone tell him that the campaign is over, and it is time to start picking up the signs - or is he depending on the cash strapped VDOT to do that. It is one way to make government smaller -

  57. Overworkedandunderpaid said on 19 Nov 2010 at 7:15 am:
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    I can guarantee that all good teachers in the county are also working themselves past the point that is considered humane, so if your child has good teachers they are all of ‘diminished value’ as you state. There is no way around working late in the evenings and on the weekends. It is the nature of the business if you want to do it the right way. Very sad that you think quality equates with martyrdom. Basically, just put out and shut up, right disgusted? Would you have the same viewpoint if the majority of teachers were men?

    Secondly, I am not a union member.

    What was your point again?

  58. Freedom said on 22 Nov 2010 at 6:34 am:
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    Overworkedandunderpaid, you’re one person, of course….and if you truly ARE “overworked,” recommend you either change professions or, if you truly enjoy teaching, apply for a position in a private school. There are plenty within the public school system who are “overpaidandunderworked,” simply because aside from personal pride, there is very little incentive to strive for improvement. Just imagine what would happen to public school enrollment if competition were injected into our educational system and taxpayers who send their children to private schools were to receive a tax credit. Competition engenders innovation in quality and efficiency…bringing out the best in all of us.

    …but if that were to happen, the PWC school system just might have to sell the “Kelly Leadership Center” and if you haven’t seen it, what an extravagence THAT is!!?? Additionally, the Superintendent’s salary just might have to be reduced, some of the Associate Superintendents’ duties might have to be assumed by school principals so they could go back to the schools become productive contributors. …and to provide quality education within budget, the school system just might have to find a way to eliminate non-performing teachers while rewarding those who serve the students and taxpayers well.

    Hmmmm, if we did all that, kinda sounds like we’d be eliminating a bureaucratic government institution, doesn’t it?

  59. Overworkedandunderpaid said on 22 Nov 2010 at 7:37 pm:
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    And I agree to all of the above Freedom. I have seen the center and it makes me sick. This is something that Ed Kelly would have refused. That money would have gone back to the schools and to the children. Same thing with the salaries.

    I do intend on keeping my profession, however, there are many changes coming our way not to mention the reduction in teachers next year due to all middle schools going to block at the 6th, 7th and 8th grade levels. Class sizes will still remain high.

    I would love to go back to schools being productive contributors. We have unfortunately bought into a system that is data driven and is very wasteful of the time and talent that should be spent on the students.

  60. Freedom said on 24 Nov 2010 at 1:34 pm:
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    Overworkedandunderpaid, issues within the school system CAN be improved, but to do so requires a major overhaul of the school board. Whether it’s right or whether it’s wrong, the taxpayers are getting more than a bit weary of the continual cry for “more money” and the threats that come along with NOT getting more money — the real issue is how the School Board uses the money it receives.

    With the exception of Lisa Bell (she hasn’t really had a chance to prove herself yet) come November, the entire School Board should be replaced. I’ve pledged a major portion of my time and effort toward making that happen.

    Since most voters don’t really pay a lot of attention to the School Board — they’re focused on the BOCS instead — it’s largely the teachers who elect School Board members. …and we all know who controls the vote of the teachers. :(

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