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PWC Government Sinks To Political Censorship

By Greg L | 15 November 2012 | Local Media, Prince William County | 44 Comments

We’ve seen our local government spend upwards of $900,000 ”freshening up” the office spaces for senior county employees during a difficult recession.  We’ve seen local elected officials buying campaign advertisements with taxpayer dollars.  What we hadn’t seen, until now, was local government censoring opposing viewpoints in the local mainstream media.  Really, is there any low Prince William County government would not sink to?  It’s rather hard to tell.

David Montgomery is the director of the Prince William Symphony, an entity that is on the “outs” with the government boards that dispense taxpayer dollars to favored non-profits involved in the arts.  Other entities, primarily the Manassas Ballet has managed to secure the lion’s share of public funding and given that the leadership of the Manassas Ballet is also an elected official it’s not all that hard to imagine how that happened.  The Prince William Symphony ended up with nothing and is having a bit of a challenge surviving solely on private contributions, but they’re still around and do a few concerts from time to time.

Montgomery has gotten fed up with this state of affairs, and with all the public relations skills of a wounded badger has bombarded anyone who will listen with occasional bursts of disgust at how corrupt this system is.  Recently he shot the News & Messenger an editorial and quite surprisingly they ran it.  I had gotten a copy of this with a request to run it as a guest post, but I decided against it figuring it would probably do the cause of the Prince William Symphony more harm than good.  I like what Montgomery is trying to do, but cringe at how he sometimes decides to do it.

So the News & Messenger ran it for some reason.  It’s somewhat disturbing to think that my editorial filter could possibly be more selective than theirs, but maybe it was a slow day for them.  Montgomery’s diatribe lands on insidenova.com.  And then it disappears.

Apparently, Jason Grant at the Communications Department of the county had a chat with the editors of the News & Messenger about this opinion piece.  As unfathomable as it might be to consider that a news organization supposedly committing “journalism” would comply with such a request, it’s stunning to think that a representative of a local government would actually make it.  Prince William County government has gotten so far out of control under its current leadership it is becoming extremely difficult to make any qualitative distinctions between it and the Chinese Communist Party.



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44 Comments

  1. Doug Brown said on 15 Nov 2012 at 11:52 am:
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    Greg,

    Don’t cringe. Just stand with Montgomery as you have done above. It’s time that PWC and Manassas get out of the business of funneling taxpayer money to their fellow board members. And if they can’t find it within their common sense to get out of the grant a wish charity to friends and fellow board members, at the minimum, they should at least have the integrity to run a fair award process which passes the laugh test. The fact that Mr. Wolfe’s Ballet got close to 60% of all the grant money for cultural enrichment in Manassas last year is a joke.

  2. Bob Pugh said on 15 Nov 2012 at 12:43 pm:
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    Dr. David Montgomery made the point in his letter to the editor that the County’s Arts Grants Panel was allocating taxpayer money to organizations that did not meet its own eligibility criteria for funding. Those factors included such requirements as being incorporated in Virginia and having IRS non-profit status. Some of the organizations were not even based in Prince William County or Manassas. Jason Grant, the County Government’s Communications Director, told the N&M’s then Editorial Page Editor that such was not true, and requested censorship of Dr. Montgomery’s opinion piece. The N&M complied with the County Government’s censorship request.

    Dr. Montgomery’s assertions were correct. He has compiled voluminous documentation of what he wrote in that letter, and other actions on the part of the County Government, the County’s arts funding process, and the Manassas Ballet. Neither Mr. Grant nor the N&M Editorial Page Editor accepted Dr. Montgomery’s offer to review those facts and documentation, despite Dr. Montgomery’s offer to make his materials available to them. In my opinion, the goal was censorship to protect the County’s position and inappropriate administration of the arts funding process. Dr. Montgomery’s letter to the editor was pulled from the InsideNova website at Mr. Grant’s request and never published in the hardcopy newspaper.

    As President of the Prince William Symphony Orchestra’s Board from 2006 to 2010, I got to know Dr. Montgomery very well. Greg is correct that public relations is not his strong suit. However, he is the most accomplished music professional active in Prince William County today. His resume is incredible and that experience is the reason the Board hired him. He has an unstoppable passion for bringing professional classical music to everyone in the County, and for addressing the inequities and conflicts of interest inherent in how Prince William County administers its arts funding.

    Neither I, nor Dr. Montgomery, nor the Prince William Symphony Orchestra Board envisioned ourselves as becoming part of political squabbles and internecine fights to grab all of the funds that should be dispersed equitably among legitimate Prince William County arts organizations. Nonetheless, that is where we found ourselves.

    Turning the arts, and public funding for the arts, in Prince William County into a system of favoritism and cronyism, and depriving our residents of the musical offerings Dr. Montgomery could be providing us is a travesty and disservice to our residents and taxpayers.

  3. The Derecho said on 15 Nov 2012 at 1:37 pm:
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    It was not an isolated instance by any means, the N&M has done exactly the same thing on several occasions, not only with letters but also with articles posted online. Real Watchdog Journalists that bunch.

  4. Pocketchange said on 15 Nov 2012 at 2:04 pm:
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    According to the 2010 Census, there were 130,785 households in Prince William County as of April 1. That’s 900K/130,875=$6.88 per household. I’m sure every family in Prince William County doesn’t mind giving up a modest lunch (without drink) to help our Senior staff live in the style each believes he or she should deserve.

  5. Harry Wiggins said on 15 Nov 2012 at 5:35 pm:
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    Wonder why the N&M even cared what Jason Grant said or threatened, since the N&M is out of business on 30 Dec 2012.

  6. Jon Wong said on 15 Nov 2012 at 7:12 pm:
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    Greg,
    SEE….This is much more interesting and important than how much Peecorps’ toilet cost.

  7. Bill Quinn said on 15 Nov 2012 at 9:00 pm:
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    Mr. Wong:

    This never was about how much Peacor’s toilet cost. It is about excessive spending by insulated bureaucrats when the taxpayers are getting hit with the economic firestorm of a recession and higher taxes to fund the excessive spending by the bureaucrats.

    And, then there is that nagging little issue of the lying and deceit by Nohe, Peacor and Gordon. Oh, that little issue.

    $900,000 plus would buy a whole lot of toilets. They use them to flush our money away. Sink basins, counters, desks, credenzas, bookcases, new demo for new offices, sinks for coffee water, and water lines for an ice maker in a new refrigerator, and the list goes on and on and on and on.

  8. Benton said on 15 Nov 2012 at 9:26 pm:
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    I really hate it when our capitalistic society makes most of its money from deep pocket governments. Business in this country makes most of its money off governments. I think.

  9. Dr. David Montgomery said on 15 Nov 2012 at 9:36 pm:
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    Harry Wiggins - Your comment makes sense, but I think there is some slight confusion here. The JM’s “letter to the editor” repression incident happened a while back, before anyone knew that the JM was to be sold. It has taken time for anyone with clout to inform the public about it (as BVBL now has done), just as it’s taken a while to expose Wolfe and the Ballet for consciously hiring an illegal alien to appear along with the “tutu-men” Hal and Marty (as the Sheriff of Nottingham is now exposing).

    I plead guilty to a lack of patience with both the city and the county. The Symphony and I are truly grateful to the folks who have supported us during this unnecessary grind. Bob Pugh is correct: PWSO never wanted to be a part such an ugly fight, and during the initial attacks from the Ballet I acceded to my Board’s desire that the Symphony should not return ugliness for ugliness. Thus, at the time, we did everything we could not to respond to libelous allegations in the JM, as well as to its slanted and poorly researched partisan support of the Ballet. At one point,even the JM’s General Editor, Ms. Svilhik (whose main job should have been to remain impartial, or at least factual) allowed herself to publish an editorial so marked by ignorance of the truth that we could only marvel.

    After several years, it became clear that our refusal to participate in slanging and journalistic hooliganism was being interpreted as resigned fatalism (i.e. weakness). But, as both Greg and Bob Pugh have made clear, I am not the “resigning” type. At a great risk to my own financial well-being, I have required the PWSO to remain faithful to whatever commitments we have been able to fulfill - such as our County Library series, “Sounds of the Symphony”. Our policy of giving free tickets at all times for all people under 21 continues, even in new our Washington DC concerts. We would rather serve Prince William County than Washington, but we can do this only with a ground swell of moral and financial support - and a clear message to the Ballet, the City Council, and the BOCS to end the corrupt arts granting system, the cronyism, the irresponsible use of taxpayer funds, the Federal violations of law, the greed - and particularly the political protection that has allowed this illness to spread.

    And yes, if I have become a badger - I just want you to remember that it was a badger who helped rid Toad Hall of all the weasels.

    Dr. David Montgomery

  10. Greg L said on 15 Nov 2012 at 11:05 pm:
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    *like* the Montgomery comment above, but then I always had a soft spot for the underdog fighting government corruption.

  11. Padre said on 16 Nov 2012 at 4:34 am:
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    Did PW Symphany even apply for funding? If yes, why were they told no? How many members of the symphony are there?

    The news on the street doesn’t matchvwhat Montgomery says and never has.

  12. Bob Pugh said on 16 Nov 2012 at 7:53 am:
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    The Prince William Symphony Orchestra (PWSO) did apply for County arts grants until it became apparent that the system had been rigged to favor the Manassas Ballet, and that further applications were a waste of our time.

    Several things were occurring concomitantly about five or six years ago. Both Dr. Montgomery and I have abundant documentation and could assist anyone in researching and reporting on this matter to create a detailed timeline.

    Under the leadership of Kathy Bentz as Prince William County’s Arts Liaison, and Mark Wolfe, President of the Arts Council, arts organizations funding decisions were taken away from the PWC Board of Supervisors and placed under an “Arts Grants Panel” that included at least one former member of the Manassas Ballet’s Board. Also, a funding formula was implemented to base allocations largely on revenues the organizations brought in rather than their contributions to our community. This system is much akin to one that would fund each public school based upon how many chocolate bars or how much wrapping paper the kids were able to sell at fundraisers rather than an objective assessment of how much the school needs to serve its students properly.

    The PWSO Board had just changed its policy to reduce ticket prices and allow free admission to concerts for students and teachers. This change was based on two considerations. First, as an organization receiving taxpayer money we felt that the performances should be affordable to all members of the community. We did not see ourselves as dedicated to maximizing revenues, but to providing something of cultural value to our community and our children. Second, increasing turnout at concerts increased the value of sponsorships to private organizations that were generously helping to fund the PWSO. Interesting to note, however, is that private sponsorship revenue did not figure into the County’s new funding formula.

    At the same time, the Manassas Ballet was raising its ticket prices. In addition, the very year after the new funding formula was put into place, Manassas Ballet started reporting combined revenues from the ballet performances with revenue from their dance school, which claims non-profit status and competes with other dance schools in the area that do not claim non-profit status and pay their taxes. This move is clearly documented in Manassas Ballet’s Form 990 filings with the IRS.

    The net effects were to increase dramatically the share of County arts funding going to the Manassas Ballet, and to reduce the amount going to the PWSO from about $40,000 to $10,000 in about two years. That funding would have continued on a downward trajectory given the funding process the County had put in place. Disgusted with the cronyism and favoritism inherent in this new system, the PWSO’s Board voted unanimously to disassociate the organization from that process altogether, and to fund whatever activities it was able to offer solely through private funds and grants.

  13. Bob Pugh said on 16 Nov 2012 at 9:06 am:
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    I should add also because Dr. Montgomery will not, that he has continued to work with the PWSO without salary or other financial compensation for at least three years. He has strived to pay his musicians and other providers first, and placed his own compensation last. The PWSO is a professional orchestra, which means that professional performers are paid for their services. That makes the organization much more costly to run than the many fine non-professional performing arts groups in our community.

    Prince William County has enjoyed the services of one of the most outstanding music professionals in the Washington, DC area for free because of his professionalism and commitment to our community. David is working with various organizations in Washington, DC, including the German Embassy, the World Bank and Concordia. He is offering many of his performances under the name of the Prince William Symphony Orchestra to maintain its prestige and keep it alive.

    The arts in Prince William County itself are based on essentially cronyism among elected officials and other influential people, and on figuring ways to game the funding systems rather than elevate the quality of what we offer and the number of our residents able to enjoy those offerings.

    Is it any wonder that many people still consider Prince William County the “Hazzard County” of the Washington, DC region? It doesn’t have to be that way. I hope that soon our own residents can once again enjoy regular performances by the PWSO under Dr. Montgomery’s leadership at prices that allow all families to attend.

  14. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 9:19 am:
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    I hope the Manassas City Council is also paying attention to this thread.

    Mr. Mayor? Mr. Vice-Mayor?

  15. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 9:43 am:
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    Padre - the “news on the street” is nothing more than Wolfe’s friends around town in Manassas and Bentz’ friends, including Peacor, at the McCoart Building.

  16. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:09 am:
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    I just looked at Wolfe’s website. He lists InsideNova/News & Messenger as a “Benefactor Partner” providing over $5,000. With them closing down I guess Wolfe will be knocking at the door in Prince William and Manassas for replacement money from the taxpayers.

  17. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:29 am:
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    Circus,

    This use to be a fun town now its filled with evil clowns.

  18. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:48 am:
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    Doug,

    I know. All of these clowns, the Prince William Board, Peacor, Wolfe, the Manassas City Council have made us a laughing stock. I don’t understand why Montgomery bothers with “Hazzard County” at all. If I were him, I’d wash my hands of this place and focus on the adults he’s working with in DC.

  19. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:48 am:
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    Circus,

    My evil clown emoticon took out the rest of my comment. Yikes.

    We brought up the N&M partnership with Wolfe’s outfit the last time around on this not so merry-go-round. With the exception of BVBL, Virtucon and Marc Aveni, none of the media outlets or local politicians seemd to care or want to pursue the obvious ethical issues raised by taxpayer money being lavishly thrown at the dancing pink elephant of the local art scene, the Manassas Ballet.

  20. Robert L. Duecaster said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:48 am:
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    @ Dr. Montgomery:

    I and my guest thoroughly enjoyed the Symphony’s last concert at the Hylton and look forward to many more. The short explanations by the Conductor prior to the pieces being played was a great personal touch. Keep up the good work and persevere while we strive to get our government out of the business of underwriting with our tax money private ventures like the symphony, the ballet, museums, and equestrian therapy .

  21. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:58 am:
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    Doug,

    Question for you. From what I can find out about Wolfe he has no arts background. He runs some sort of heating and air conditioning business. True? So we’ve got a hack politican whose expertise is HVAC running a second-rate ballet company that knowingly hires illegal alien dancers getting taxpayer money showered on him by both Manassas and the county. Then, we’ve got a guy like Montgomery running the professional symphony on a shoestring and paying himself nothing and getting nada from the city or the county. Do you or anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

  22. Padre said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:11 pm:
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    Wrong. The people I know think both are arrogant. No favoritism there.

    What was PWSO told by the county when they applied for funds?

    Most people I know are just tired of the whining and sratching and clawing that has gone on for several years.

  23. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:16 pm:
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    Circus,

    You almost won the cupee doll. Wolfe had no expertise in the HVAC field either.

  24. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:23 pm:
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    Padre,

    “What was PWSO told by the county when they applied for funds?”

    Seems to me Montgomery and Pugh answered that question thoroughly. I don’t have anything to add.

    We’re all tired of the whining, etc. Maybe some transparency in the process would help. Maybe Wolfe ceasing to trash anyone who gets in his way would help.

  25. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:25 pm:
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    Padre,

    Both are arrogant? But only one, the politician, not the artist is getting public funding.

  26. Circus Maximus said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:25 pm:
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    Doug,

    Does he have an HVAC business, or was I incorrect about that? What does he do for a living? Does he have any real experience in the arts? I don’t know the guy. I just want to figure out what’s been going on.

  27. Jeremy Borden said on 16 Nov 2012 at 12:49 pm:
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    By way of background…http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/manassas-charged-with-favoritism-rethinking-arts-funding-process/2012/01/19/gIQA713RJQ_story.html

  28. Doug Brown said on 16 Nov 2012 at 1:23 pm:
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    And for purposes of piling on:

    http://manassasopenforum.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/corey-stewarts-riveting-portrayal-of-henry-ii-plays-to-an-empty-orchestra-pit/

  29. Dr. David Montgomery said on 16 Nov 2012 at 1:32 pm:
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    As to the question of government funding: If that system is to remain in place, then all I want is that it remain fair and not force organizations into profiteering behavior. The public money is not supposed to fund an organization’s entire season. Because most non-profit bank accounts reach an almost zero balance by the end of each fiscal year (usually June 30), the purpose of public funding is to provide crucial start money each season so that the organization can send its mass mailings, rent halls, rent sheet music, buy costume and set materials, pay insurance premiums, purchase advertising, and set the subscription process in motion. Thereafter, it is up to the organization to generate the bulk of its seasonal funding through gifts, board support, private grants, ticket sales, etc.

    In exchange for public start money grants, any arts organization with a conscience will offer a significant gift back to the public - in the Symphony’s case it has been free tickets to all public school personnel and all people under the age of 21. (By the way, the PWSO should not be confused with the Manassas Symphony, which is a community group for amateur players, and which does a wonderful job in that sphere of enjoyment. It is admirably led by my friend, Jim Villani. The PWSO is a professional symphony, just as the Manassas Ballet is a professional Ballet. The costs involved - just in paying personnel - are significantly higher.)

    PWSO also sponsors a Young Artists Competition with prizes that encourage and inspire our children to significant achievements in the arts. We offer a free public library series for PWC and Manassas families. In short, the majority of our events are free. But all our events - ticketed or free - are aimed at serving and uplifting the public.

    On the other hand, if no public funds are available for start money each season, the entire focus of an organization must be shifted towards private enterprise, business, and slick marketing, with music or dance as the “product” to be sold. Zero sum games and aggressive competition are the watchwords in that system. With any luck, people and corporations with significant private wealth step in and replace what the organization normally might be granted for startup funding by the government. This is a great theory, but with the tax structure and the current economic situation (when millions of Americans live below the poverty line, and when wealthy Americans also fail to give generously). The great days of Rockefeller and Vanderbilt private funding have faded away.

    An organization who must live without government seeding also has no obligation to serve the public, to give free tickets to children, to inspire or educate anyone. That’s the flip side of removing government seeding. And given the current state of our entire country, that flip side pretty much means turning the arts into an even worse dog-eat-dog competition.

    If we support government funding for the arts, it then must be equitable and free from corruption. At the moment have the worst of both sides of the coin - a corrupted public granting system that serves private interests, no Symphony or free Symphony services to our children and families, and no reason for pride in a County culture that has garnered a reputation for ugliness.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we removed government support from art entirely. If so, we take the risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water, but maybe we just don’t need culture for a while. I don’t know. I’m just tired of a corrupt culture.

    Dr. David Montgomery

  30. Dr. David Montgomery said on 16 Nov 2012 at 1:39 pm:
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    Guess I didn’t finish one of the sentences above:

    “This is a great theory, but with the tax structure and the current economic situation (when millions of Americans live below the poverty line, and when wealthy Americans also fail to give generously), it can’t be realized unless we turn in profit corporations. Believe me, that wreaks havoc with artistic quality and ideals.”

    thanks, David Montgomery

  31. Jon Wong said on 16 Nov 2012 at 3:04 pm:
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    Bill Quinn,
    Seems that blog.. the one that has been yapping about the toilets …is a one trick pony..that’s all. I’m just getting sick of all the “potty mouth”. And the Sharif likes to censor comments (coward)…So I’ll stick with Greg (not a coward). BVBL number one..GI.

  32. Bob Pugh said on 16 Nov 2012 at 6:50 pm:
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    I was just informed that Corey is proposing eliminating County arts grants funding altogether, among other cuts. Given what that program has become, I support his proposal fully. Al Alborn has a post on his blog about this development.

    David Montgomery has already set the Prince William Symphony Orchestra on a path of operating within the resources provided by private funding. I look forward to offering him my assistance in making the PWSO a success.

  33. Reed Ryder said on 16 Nov 2012 at 10:33 pm:
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    Oh great! Nothing like turning PWC into more of a cultural desert than it already is. What does Corey plan to do about prior commitments like Hylton Center?

    He is but one of eight.

  34. pw citizen said on 16 Nov 2012 at 11:51 pm:
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    - to Bob Pugh: Do you think that “eliminating funding altogether” includes cutting those substantial alimonies to the Manassas Center for the Arts (Candy Factory), and that big beached whale, the Hylton Center? If so, then it seems fair (maybe not enlightened, but fair). Will there be loopholes, whereby private commitments still can be honored, private palms still greased? Is there a written plan, or is this just a rumor started by the Coreyman to take some of the heat for the arts corruption scandal off of him while he runs for LG? After all, he can say that he “cleaned up PWC’s arts quagmire”. I don’t trust Corey Stewart and further than I could throw him. He’ll say it today, and deny it tomorrow.

    Anyway, wait till Mark Wolfe gets off the phone with Corey - then maybe we’ll find out what they’re really going to do.

  35. Doug Brown said on 17 Nov 2012 at 12:29 am:
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    Jon Wong,

    Maybe sharif kicks u out as spam, spam, spam maybe u funny chinese intel guy looking for sharif secret sauces.

  36. Ray Beverage said on 17 Nov 2012 at 5:43 am:
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    The BOCS Agenda for this Tuesday, November 20th, has down in Item 9E discussion of the 2014 Budget Choices. Mr. Stewart prepared written comments in a memorandum dated November 15th with those items he feels could be cut. Under the Non-Profit Donations/Organizations: “Eliminate Arts Grants Donation - $241,000″.

  37. freedom said on 17 Nov 2012 at 6:46 am:
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    It’s much better to present recommended budgetary cuts for consideration and discussion than it is to insist upon budget cuts without proposals as to where those cuts should come from …as happened last year.

  38. Doug Brown said on 17 Nov 2012 at 12:31 pm:
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    Bravo Sheriff and BVBL daring to go where local media fear to tread - honest journalism.

    Ray, maybe the musically conservative Mendelssohn inspired Corey to return to his conservtaive fiscal roots?

    As others have noted, time will tell if Corey can stay in key.

  39. Dr. David Montgomery said on 17 Nov 2012 at 1:56 pm:
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    Too bad it had to come to this. But nothing concrete has happened, yet. I’m not holding my breath, and it’s not clear what the $241,000 represents. Less than half of that represents the last distribution to the various arts organizations. Do you suppose that the other more-than-half represents the “arts liason” position plus the arts council allotments and the Hylton? If so, then I think the sheer impact of the decision (if BOCS sticks by it) will send a message to everyone that something has gone dreadfully wrong.

    And the message needs to go well beyond the government, for, to be truthful, it is not merely the PWC and Manassas governments who have indulged in cronyism and covered for the arts funding corruption. The arts groups themselves have been quite pleased to go along with Mr. Wolfe. When I came to the Arts Council as a voting member, the first order of business was to hold an election. Amazingly, the slate had been “pre-picked” (we we’re told by whom, but … wouldn’t you know, it was the same bunch who were currently in power), and we were asked merely to ratify these pre-picked candidates on the basis of their “experience” (naturally with Wolfe for chair) without room for any further procedure. To my way of thinking, it was a continuation of precisely that “experience” which needed a change! - at least it needed airing.

    I protested and forced the Council to accept my nomination of a different person for one of the spots (Wolfe’s). My protest was met with derision (how could I contest the reigning wisdom!?), and a quick vote was taken. Unanimous in favor of Wolfe, and so all the old blood was back in power. At that moment, I knew that I did not belong on that Council, and the word “Council” had become a joke. I resigned from the that august body, as did the other PWSO reps shortly thereafter.

    After some years of attempting to expose such corruption directly to the arts loving public (a website, direct emails, conversations, letters to editors rejected by a censorious press, I realized that I was never going to get through to them. Thus, I cannot say that the arts-concerned public has been apathetic - just the opposite, I think they would have been outraged, had I been able to reach them. Now, of course, if all arts funding is withdrawn, perhaps they, too, may register their feelings. Maybe it’s the only way to cure this ugly boil - just dig down and remove it. That makes me sad, but it’s not like we didn’t have any warning bells.

    Of course, there’s still the question of Mark Wolfe and his illegal alien hire. Should he be prosecuted (particularly since he has been vocal on the subject of illegal aliens!). Should he remain on the City Council, and should Mayor Hal still serve on his Board? I think not. I call for his resignation, and call on the good Mayor to remove himself from the conflict of interest.

  40. Miss Lucy said on 17 Nov 2012 at 2:04 pm:
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    Its not only the Wolfe Ballet and the Hylton Arts Center.

    Take a look at the amount of money given freely and with little oversight to groups like the Center for the Arts in Manassas, Historic Manassas Inc. and the Manassas “museum”

    Google who is on their boards and who gets large salaries as their directors and asst. directors and what not and the usual suspects all appear.

    One could fund a lot of cops and teachers with this money Manassas.

  41. Chimera said on 17 Nov 2012 at 2:15 pm:
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    Wolfe got most votes last May so shut up all youse cuz we like our art welfare in this town so goes get youre own

  42. Dr. David Montgomery said on 17 Nov 2012 at 2:44 pm:
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    Miss Lucy - the Park Authority delineated those costs, and I should go into my files and dig out that paperwork. In any case - you are right - the whole thing needs public clarification (”transparency”). And if the moratorium is to be effective, it needs to include slush funding and other individual donations from the BOCS.

  43. Dr. David Montgomery said on 17 Nov 2012 at 7:15 pm:
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    I’ve decided to ask this question every several posts, until I get an answer:

    Will Mark Wolfe be prosecuted?
    Will Hal Parrish resign from his Board?

  44. Dr. David Montgomery said on 17 Nov 2012 at 8:08 pm:
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    I think that the following thread, from A Bridge Too Far, relates to this thread. It contains a regurgitation of some old news, but also a potential threat. In any case, it fills out the picture of a continuing nasty campaign.

    http://manassasopenforum.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/corey-stewarts-riveting-portrayal-of-henry-ii-plays-to-an-empty-orchestra-pit/#comment-1597

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