Citizens for Balanced Growth

Category: Balanced growth report cards

Supervisor Report Cards 2011-14

Criteria Used to Rate Supervisors:  The table below is based on supervisors’ voting records, public statements, and other political activity related to balanced growth issues.  Numerous newspaper articles, e-mails from supervisors, and other information on this website document the supervisors’ positions.  (Click this link for more information on supervisors’ positions.)

The table below applies only to supervisors’ positions and votes on balanced growth issues and are in no way an attempt to evaluate their records in any other way.

Relative to the last column to the right, we indeed believe that residential developer campaign contributions influence politicians’ behavior in the long run and are thus germane to a discussion of balanced growth issues.  If that were not true, why would donors contribute?  On the other hand, we consider it even more important to judge the politican’s actual political behavior.

Link to previous supervisor report cards:    Land Use Votes 2007-11  |  Land Use Votes 2001-07 (Nov07)  |  Proffers (Oct07)

Chairman Mike May Supervisor Peter Candland Supervisor  Maureen Caddigan Supervisor  Frank Principi Supervisor John Jenkins Chairman Corey Stewart Supervisor Marty Nohe Supervisor Wally Covington
Stone Haven housing development, latest incarnation of the unpopular 2005-06 Brentswood plan (2012-14): Voted against Stone Haven Voted against Stone Haven Voted against Stone Haven Voted for Stone Haven (allowing county to continue to  consider it) Voted for Stone Haven (allowing county to continue to  consider it) Voted for and has actively lobbied for Stone Haven Voted for and has actively lobbied for Stone Haven Voted for and has actively lobbied for Stone Haven
Preservation of Rural Crescent by keeping out development and sewer lines, which make high-density housing possible: Strongly supports; signed pledge to preserve Rural Crescent. Promises to support Rural Crescent, but did not sign pledge to preserve. Usually supports; signed pledge to preserve Rural Crescent. Apparently supports; signed pledge to preserve Rural Crescent. Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent. Has increasingly supported efforts to expand development into Rural Crescent, including supporting review of Rural Crescent policy, which is most likely to result in looser restrictions on residential development there. Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent, including proposing and actively campaigning for review of Rural Crescent policy, which is most likely to result in looser restrictions on residential development there. Has consistently supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent.
Building of north-south Bi-County Parkway/Tri-County Parkway (which is likely to open rural areas to residential development) despte the fact that traffic congestion is primarily east-west: Actively opposes Actively opposes Actively opposes Strongly Supports Supports Strongly supports Strongly supports Strongly supports
Actively supports increasing developer proffers, which partially offset cost to taxpayers of infrastructure costs of residential development  (road, schools, water, sewer, polic & fire protection, etc).  Prince William’s proffers are lowest of major northern VA counties: Supports higher developer proffers Recently began suggesting need for higher developer Claims to support higher developer proffers in principle, but has not voted for or actively supported increasing them. Position unknown Opposes higher developer proffers Passively supported higher developer proffers in 2007, but has made no serious effort since to increase them. Opposes higher developer proffers Opposes higher developer proffers
2011-14 minimizes  dependence on  developer  campaign funding (<30% or under $50K) to avoid conflicts of interest: Yes Yes Yes No Yes No; has strong conflicts of interest No; has strong conflicts of interest No; has extreme conflicts of interest

Land Use Votes 2007-2011

Criteria Used to Rate Supervisors: The table below is based on supervisors’ voting records, public statements, and other political activity related to balanced growth issues. Numerous newspaper articles, e-mails from supervisors, and other information on this website document the supervisors’ positions. (Click this link for more information on supervisors’ positions.)

The table below applies only to supervisors’ positions and votes on balanced growth issues and are in no way an attempt to evaluate their records in any other way.

Relative to the last column to the right, we indeed believe that residential developer campaign contributions influence politicians’ behavior in the long run and are thus germane to a discussion of balanced growth issues. If that were not true, why would donors contribute? On the other hand, we consider it even more important to judge the politican’s actual political behavior.

Link to previous supervisor report cards:  Land Use Votes 2001-07 (Nov07) | Proffers (Oct07);

Supervisor  John Stirrup Supervisor Mike Ma Supervisor  Frank Principi Supervisor  Maureen Caddigan Chairman Corey Stewart Supervisor John Jenkins Vice-Chrmn Marty Nohe Supervisor Wally Covington
Avendale Housing Development in Rural Crescent (2010): Actively opposed Opposed Opposed Opposed, then ultimately supported Actively supported Supported Supported Actively supported
County’s current land use plan, which allows development “anywhere, anytime” and fast-tracks approval of developer land use requests (2010): Supported Opposed Supported Supported Supported Supported Supported Strongly supported; appointed residential developer with alleged potential conflicts of interest to county’s Land Use Advisory Commission
Preservation of Rural Crescent by keeping  out development and sewer lines, which make high-density housing possible: Strongly supports Strongly supports Supports Mixed record; before 2007 usually supported, but since then has wavered, supporting both Avendale, Fireside Church Mixed record; before 2007 supported, but since then has wavered, including active campaigning for Avendale Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent. Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent. Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent
2007 precedent -setting sewering of  Fireside Church inside Rural Crescent: Actively opposed Opposed not in office  until 2008 Supported Opposed Supported Actively Supported Actively supported
Reasonable proffers from developers so County taxpayers won’t bear all infrastructure costs (police, fire, roads, schools, etc) of new residential developmt: Supports Supports position unknown In October 2007,voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. Supports In October 2007,voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. In October 2007,voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. In October 2007,voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment.
Necessary road improvements to county and particularly his/her district in a timely manner: Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Mixed record, including many years of failure to build Linton Hall Rd improvements, though taxpayers approved funding for it in bond issue
High-quality commercial development: Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports Supports
2008-11 minimizes  dependence on  developer  campaign funding (<30%), to avoid conflicts of interest: Yes Yes No No No Yes No No

Land Use Votes 2001-2007 (Nov07)

Board of County Supervisors:

Supervisors’ Balanced Growth Report Cards

Criteria Used to Rate Supervisors: The table below is based on supervisors’ voting records, public statements, and other political activity related to balanced growth issues. Numerous newspaper articles, e-mails from supervisors, and other information on this website document the supervisors’ positions. (Click this link for more information on supervisors’ positions.) The information is also based on county residents’ perceptions of the effects of supervisors’ tax and land use decisions on quality of life in the county, as reported in the 2005, 2006, and 2007 county surveys of residents. (Click this link for more information on the county surveys.)

The table below applies only to supervisors’ positions and votes on balanced growth issues and are in no way an attempt to evaluate their records in any other way. (PWCBG does not formally endorse any supervisors or supervisor candidates.)

The two formal development proposals referred to in the table headings below, and on which there were actual votes by the Board of County Supervisors (Brentswood 2005-2006 and Cherry Hill 2001 — columns 3 and 5, respectively) were, in oour judgement, foundational balanced growth votes that revealed a great deal about the attitudes of the supervisors. (Following Supervisor Hilda Barg’s retirement at the end of 2007, the only supervisors still on the Board who took part in the 2001 Cherry Hill vote are Supervisors Caddigan and Jenkins.)

Relative to the last column to the right, we indeed believe that residential developer campaign contributions influence politicians’ behavior in the long run and are thus germane to a discussion of balanced growth issues. If that were not true, why would donors contribute? On the other hand, we consider it even more important to judge the politican’s actual political behavior.

Link to previous supervisor report cards: | Proffers (Oct07)
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Supervisor John Stirrup Chairman Corey Stewart Supervisor  Mike May Supervisor  Maureen Caddigan Supervisor  Frank Principi Vice-Chrmn Marty Nohe Supervisor John Jenkins Supervisor Wally Covington
Opposed Brentswood Development (2005-2006). Actively opposed Actively opposed N/A Opposed N/A Supported Supported Actively Supported
Supports preservation of Rural Crescent by keeping  out development and sewer lines, which make high-density housing possible. Strongly supports Strongly supports Strongly supports Supports.  Opposed 2003 Greater South Market proposal to place a large housing development in the Rural Crescent.  Supports Mixed record. Mixed record.  Supported 2003 Greater South Market proposal to place a large housing development in the Rural Crescent. Has consistently  supported expansion of sewer lines and other development into Rural Crescent.
Opposed Cherry Hill Development
(2001).
N/A N/A N/A Opposed N/A N/A Supported N/A
Supports reasonable proffers from developers so County taxpayers won’t bear all infrastructure costs (police, fire, roads, schools, etc) of new residential development Supports Supports Supports In October 2007, voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. N/A In October 2007, voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. In October 2007, voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment. In October 2007, voted against increasing developer proffers to offset costs to taxpayers of  residential develpment.
Brings necessary road improvements to county and particularly his/her district in a timely manner. Yes Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes Yes Mixed record
Supports high-quality commercial development. Supports Supports Supports Supports N/A Supports Supports Supports
Minimizes dependence on developer campaign funding (<20%), to avoid conflict of interest. Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No

First Supervisors’ Balanced Growth Report Card

As promised, here is our first Board of County Supervisors report card on balanced growth.

Regrettably, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors [BOCS] voted in the early morning hours of 17 October against proffer reform. In other words, a majority of the BOCS voted against residential developers paying more of their fair share of what residential development actually costs the county government. So, as a county taxpayer you will continue to pay much of this cost, which in effect means that you will continue to indirectly subsidize the residential development industry. (See Ralph Stephenson’s speech below for our views on proffer reform.)

Voting for proffer reform: Chairman Stewart and Supervisors May and Stirrup

Voting against proffer reform: Supervisors Barg, Caddigan, Covington, Jenkins, and Nohe

We would like to thank Chairman Stewart, Supervisor May, Supervisor Stirrup, Chairman Candidate Pandak, Supervisor Candidate Royce, and Supervisor Candidate Keen for their support for proffer reform. In an 8 October e-mail to PWCBG, Ms. Pandak noted: “As County Attorney, in the late 1990’s I helped develop the first County proffer process by which proffers requested of developers were designed to reflect the cost of public infrastructure created by proposed developments… The proffer guidelines have been updated over the years and they need to be updated again, as recommended by County staff. They must better reflect current costs and impacts.”

Stay tuned for future supervisor balanced growth report cards.


Ralph Stephenson’s speech at Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth’s 9 October 2007 press conference at the McCoart building:

For an industry or company to try to force taxpayers to subsidize a product that is already in oversupply or glut may be good politics for some, but it is not good economic policy. Nor does it represent good government or the best interests of taxpayers.

As noted repeatedly in recent articles in the Wall Street Journal, including a page one article on Sep 26, the housing market is experiencing a serious downturn largely due to overproduction and oversupply. Quote: “[Lennar Homes] Chief Executive Stuart Miller said the problems are broad-based and stem from an oversupply of homes, turmoil in the mortgage market, and weak consumer confidence…

“…Sales of existing homes tumbled…in August to…the slowest [pace] in five years, the National Assoc. of Realtors said [Sep 25th]…Analysts cite excess supply in forecasting that an upturn in [housing] sales and prices may not come until 2009.” End quote.

In Prince William County, there is already an oversupply of housing; houses are selling more slowly and prices have fallen considerably; and reportedly an additional 40-50,000 homes have been approved but not yet built.

So why would the Board of County Supervisors want to increase the glut of residential housing in Prince William County by subsidizing residential development at taxpayers expense? This is, in effect, what the Board is doing when it keeps impact fees and proffers required of residential developers at levels well below the true infrastructure burdens created by residential development. When you think of the infrastructure burdens created by residential development, think of heavily congested roads, overcrowded schools, rising property taxes, damage to the environment, falling property values and rapid deterioration of older neighborhoods when there is an oversupply of housing, etc.

Subsidies to business by government sometimes make sense when vital goods or services are in short supply. But none of those conditions apply or will apply to our county’s housing market anytime in the foreseeable future. Indirect taxpayer-funded subsidies to the housing industry make no economic sense, are not good government, and are certainly not in the interests of taxpayers. They are, in essence, corporate welfare that benefits only the housing industry and its political clients…

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