[Mass email to Prince William County citizens]

Fellow Prince William county citizens, taxpayers, homeowners, and consumers:

Here are some recent developments regarding Prince William County’s short- and long-term political and economic situation that we think you should be aware of.

First the Republicans — In the previous decade-and-a-half of usually 6-2 Republican-majority Boards of County Supervisors (BOCS), a majority of Republican supervisors and two Democrats, John Jenkins and Hilda Barg, typically favored out-of-control residential growth that overcrowded our roads and schools, damaged the environment, reduced property values, and then forced taxpayers to indirectly subsidize the very thing that was tormenting them.  For 14 years we, Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG), joined with allies to relentlessly fight against this misgovernance and corruption — unmasking and working against the BOCS supervisors who endlessly supported it.

Then the Democrats — Since Jan 2020, the county has had a Democratic majority BOCS that has consistently shown its clear intent to imitate the previous Republicans’ abuse of taxpayers and citizens.  This includes continued and possibly even intensified overcrowding of schools and roads and environmental damage, as the Dem majority one-by-one approves small-area residential development plans to increase the county’s population by a total of ~100,000 as soon as possible.  But in addition to happily imitating their predecessors’ abusive land use policies, the new Dem BOCS majority has now virtually unanimously shown that it also intends to systematically violate citizens’ First Amendment rights, ignore the rule of law when convenient, increase taxes and spending even during severe economic downturns, abuse minority homeowners and workers, and financially attack dissenters.  (See, for example:  https://www.princewilliamtimes.com/news/supervisors-seek-reimbursement-for-95-000-in-legal-fees-for-failed-foia-lawsuit/article_2a68280c-24eb-11eb-b9a2-2ff2ae0e207c.html  and   https://pwcbg.org/2020/10/judges-ruling-on-prince-william-supervisors-actions-sets-dangerous-precedent-what-you-can-do/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/10/wheeler-violated-laws-jurisdictions-in-godwin-bypass-gambit-foia-case-denied-on-technicality-rule-of-law-how-to-create-real-unity/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/09/wheeler-shills-big-for-developers-in-west-county-continues-assault-on-rights-rule-of-law-low-cost-housing-residents-leading-local-news-org-muzzled/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/07/summary-updates-bocs-chair-wheeler-undermining-our-freedoms-prosperity-11-examples/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/06/letter-to-bocs-on-19-may-bipartisan-vote-ending-lockdown/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/04/urgent-plea-to-bocs-dem-majority-regarding-31-march-chance-to-fix-defects-in-devlin-rezoning/  and  https://pwcbg.org/2020/03/chair-wheeler-holding-semi-public-31-mar-bocs-meeting-to-implement-greatly-increased-emergency-powers-suspension-of-public-comment/

Furthermore, as if all of the above were not enough, the BOCS Dem majority is also proudly indulging itself in increasingly expensive, yet unexamined social policies — policies pursued with great zealotry and incantantion, but no supporting data or evidence, definitions of terms, standards to determine success, or impact statements, including economic impact.   Political zealotry is no substitute for professionalism and policies built on cool analysis of facts, data, evidence, and impacts on citizens, especially economic impacts. 

Boy, have I got a Green New Deal for you — A case in point is the following “Green New Deal”-style proposal to be voted on by the BOCS on November 17, Tuesday .  Mandates to be enforced include the following (see attached BOCS agenda for 17 Nov, item 13D, for full text):   

“…BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors directs staff to incorporate into the Comprehensive Plan goals of 100% of Prince William County’s electricity to be from renewable sources by 2035, for Prince William County Government operations to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and for Prince William County Government to be 100% carbon neutral by 2050;

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors directs staff to begin to work on recommendations for the creation of a public advisory body charged with advising on potential enhancements to the Community Energy Master Plan (CEMP) to achieve the goals of the above-stated Comprehensive Plan changes; …”

So here we have yet more uninformed, recklessly undefined and unsubstantiated, yet mandated county policy that sounds fine at first, until one scratches even a millimeter below the surface.  (See the following, including the first three bullets, for a vision of where the county seems to actually be headed if it continues to adopt politically trendy, but poorly-conceived policies:  https://pwcbg.org/2020/11/wsj-is-californias-current-trajectory-also-pw-county-and-virginias-just-a-few-years-behind/   See also Q6 in the 12 November email below.)

Note that Kenny Boddye-D, the Occoquan Supervisor who is sponsoring this measure, has not responded to any of our seven questions in the 12 November email below.  Such unwillingness to be held answerable or accountable to anyone — least of all ordinary taxpayers, citizens, homeowners, and voters — seems, increasingly, to be part of the ruling Democrats’ playbook in Prince William County.  (For example, Potomac Local  noted in a 2 Nov 2020 email to subscribers that with regard to the Manassas mayoral and city council candidates, “none of the Democrats agreed to be interviewed about their campaign(s).”  Potomac Local also reported on 27 Oct that attempts by the Prince William Chamber of Commerce to invite the Manassas Democratic candidates to attend candidate forums were also unsuccessful.)

You get what you pay for — Remember that the kind of local government we get depends on us:  whether it is doctrinaire, oppressive, extremist, and unresponsive … or whether it instead is truly working for all citizens, the greatest good for the greatest number while protecting the rights of all minority groups.  Bad government depends on our apathy and willingness to look the other way, while good government depends on our willingness to speak up and protest when our rights and well-being are threatened.  The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

We end with a quote from an 1858 speech by Abraham Lincoln:  “What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence?”  He then answered, “It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy. … Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in us.”

You may want to contact the  BOCS@pwcgov.org  to protest against this Green New Deal-style proposal and county-government-financed attacks on political dissent as described in the first hyperlink above.  Also please feel free to share via email, social media, etc. the following link to this item:   https://pwcbg.org/2020/11/pwc-bocs-latest-power-grabs-include-green-new-deal-style-mandate-on-all-financial-assault-on-dissenters/


Ralph & Kathy Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

Only in the bright light of public scrutiny can the common good be secured,
while in darkness and obscurity the interests of the powerful and affluent prevail.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Stephenson, Ralph & Kathy <stephenrkg@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 2:20 PM
Subject: Kenny: Questionsd on Cost/Mitigations of BOCS Proposal for All Electricity To Be 100% Green by 2035
To: Boddye, Kenny <kboddye@pwcgov.org>
Cc: Stephenson, Ralph & Kathy <stephenrkg@gmail.com>

Hi, Kenny.  Hope you’re doing well and will be able to take a well-deserved break or two with loved ones over the holidays.

At the bottom of this thread, we’ve excerpted key passages from the attachment, the green electricity proposal that you’ll be sponsoring for the 17 Nov BOCS meeting.  Here are some questions about that proposal:

Q1:  What will this proposal, if implemented, cost electricity users per year each year, including estimated inflation, from 2020 thru 2035?

Q2:  Ditto for Prince William County Government operations thru 2030 to achieve 100% renewable electricity and thru 2050 for PWC Government to be 100% carbon neutral?

Q3:  What will be the cost to and economic impact on businesses, consumers, homeowners, renters, and taxpayers?

Q4:  If the financial, economic, and possible environmental costs of these proposals are not known, why is this proposal being presented before they are known and advertised, and thus without county business, consumer, and taxpayer knowledge of what the BOCS is signing us up for?

Q5:  Wouldn’t a slower pace of residential development, allowing schools and roads to catch up to demand, and preserving the Rural Crescent help the county meet reasonable green goals?  Yet, current county planning intends to increase the population by at least 100,000 over the next few years.  Won’t that make meeting green goals even more difficult, perhaps even requiring relatively last-minute, poorly-conceived, draconian financial, economic, and environmental measures that will severely damage the county’s economy, taxpayers, and consumers?  (Economic and financial weakness, on the one hand, and successful environmental preservation, on the other hand, rarely, if ever, go hand-in-hand.)

Q6:  Has any serious thought been given to possible, even likely, unintended negative consequences of the attached proposal?  For example, see second question of Q5 paragraph above.  Please note that the massive, ever-worsening yearly fires in California (and other West Coast states) have been largely caused by irrational, extremely expensive, politically- (not economically- and environmentally-) driven environmental regulations such as banning controlled forest burns and enforcing on public utilities mandates they cannot meet, resulting in underfunded, overburdened, poorly-maintained electricity networks, leading to fires and other environmental damage that has actually greatly worsened air pollution, and thus probably climate change as well, throughout many parts of the Western US.  These are examples of the unintended negative environmental consequences that can result when naive environmental purism is aggressively pursued. (Note: We actually follow such issues because one of us grew up in California and both of us still have strong ties to the region.)

Q7:  Is nuclear power, such as from the nearby Lake Anna facility, being considered by PW County as part of its proposed green solution? [Q7 not in original email to Supervisor Boddye.]

Please always question orthodoxy, especially political orthodoxy.

Yours truly,

Ralph & Kathy Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth

Only in the bright light of public scrutiny can the common good be secured,
while in darkness and obscurity the interests of the powerful and affluent prevail.