I really appreciate independent local media, otherwise when local elected officials display utter stupidity it probably wouldn’t get reported. Here’s a case in point: Potomac Local is reporting that Supervisor Maureen Caddigan wants to establish a new locality recognized by the Postal Service called “Potomac, Virginia.”
Notwithstanding that there already was a locality by this name incorporated into the City of Alexandria in 1930, confusion between the name of a magisterial district and a locality was the precise reason why the Dumfries Magisterial District was renamed as the Potomac Magisterial District in the county’s last redistricting in 2011. Confusion reigned as people living outside of the Town of Dumfries thought they were also not within the Dumfries District when they actually were, especially when they had a Woodbridge postal address but weren’t within the Woodbridge District but instead in the Dumfries District. It was a complete mess for many voters and the lack of foresight in this naming convention was a major, longstanding screw-up.
Perhaps I could be more forgiving here if this perfect example was located far away from Maureen Caddigan and she was entirely unaware of the problem, but this is the district she currently represents on the Board of County Supervisors. In fact, Caddigan tried to take credit for fixing this district naming problem when it was in fact Southbridge HOA President Jim Riley that suggested the change and pushed to make it happen. Not only was she aware of the issue of having confusing district names but she tried to politically profit from having it solved by others while she did absolutely nothing to address the issue other than vote on the final redistricting plan.
And it gets even dumber than that.
Caddigan this month said she’s working with Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Fairfax, Prince William, for congressional approval for the name change.
It’s hardly any surprise that Connolly wouldn’t have any clue that recreating the mess we only recently extracted ourselves from would be a phenomenally bad idea, but Caddigan should darned well know better. Of course the ignorance doesn’t stop there, as Connolly would be of no help whatsoever in getting a locality named. That’s not what Congress does. For some actual knowledge, let’s turn to Jim Riley who actually knows the district and the challenges it faces as well as the actual mechanics involved here.
This isn’t something that the local or federal governments have control over. Our HOA got “Southbridge, VA” adopted by the Postal Service as the mailing address for our part of the 22026 zip code by going through the Postmaster for this area. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to get such a designation, including a minimum number of homes, listing of all street addresses (numbers, not just street names), etc. It took us quite a while to provide them with everything that they needed. Potomac Shores won’t have the requisite number of homes to qualify for a couple years. After we got official recognition from the Postal Service, we then proceeded to get recognition from DMV, the Prince William County Public School System (which now lists Swans Creek Elementary as Southbridge, VA), and various private entities including UPS and FedEx.
At least we can find some comfort in that fools with bad ideas aren’t typically very effective in implementing them. Still, with all the challenges that the Potomac District faces you’d wish that the Supervisor representing that district forgot about silly, counterproductive geographical naming issues for developments that haven’t even been built yet and instead tried to help clean up the Route 1 Corridor and get some business development going on there. That’s a far more pressing issue.
That’s if she had a prayer of actually getting anything done, which with her legendary effectiveness at implementing non-solutions is darned unlikely.
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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