[30 November mass email to county citizens; note that the proposal below was defeated 1 December in a 5-3 straight party-line vote]

All:  Please read Coles Supervisor Vega’s note below concerning Gainesville Supervisor Candland’s resolution to prevent the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) from sneaking language to defund the Prince William County Police Department into the county’s four-year strategic plan.  This resolution has been placed on the agenda by Chair Wheeler to be voted on 1 Dec at 2 pm, a time when, of course, most people are at work and cannot attend or participate.

Here are recent news articles regarding the very high approval ratings the county police have consistently received from the public, as well as related info on this topic.  (See:  https://potomaclocal.com/2020/11/27/prince-william-police-overwhelmingly-favored-by-residents-years-of-studies-show/  and  https://potomaclocal.com/2020/11/19/its-time-to-speak-up-and-defend-our-police-who-defend-our-rights/   Here’s a link to this message as well:  https://pwcbg.org/2020/11/support-1-dec-bocs-resolution-to-prevent-wheeler-allies-from-using-county-stratplan-to-defund-police/  )

We can only imagine why the BOCS Democrats’ appointees to the County Strategic Plan Committee would be motivated to support such a position — a position that is unsupported by data and public opinion and obviously highly injurious to overall public well-being, starting with non-elite minority citizens in high-crime areas, but of course impacting everyone else in the county as well.  Nevertheless:

  • We note that the BOCS Dems, led by Chair Wheeler and Woodbridge Supervisor Margaret Franklin, have repeatedly tried, without provocation, to undermine county police.  Here’s one example of how their anti-police extremism was too much even for their state party boss, Governor Northam.  (See:  https://potomaclocal.com/2020/10/21/prince-william-democrats-deny-request-from-police-chief-to-urge-governor-to-amend-traffic-bill-gov-amends-anyway/ )
  • We also have previously shared with you many examples in which all five BOCS Dems, and sometimes just Wheeler, Franklin, and Potomac Supervisor Andrea Bailey, mindlessly voted to do economic and other harm to the county in general, but most of all to non-elite minority citizens, by: 
    • unnecessarily prolonging and then again trying to even further prolong the economic shutdown;
    • raising real property and business taxes during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression; and
    • voting to evict scores of non-elite minority citizens from the only homes they can afford in order to make way for a dubious proposition at best — the Rte 28/Godwin Bypass.  The Bypass is likely to waste $300M if its purpose is to improve traffic, but it will be a wild success if its purpose is to enrich fat cat residential developers, opening up countless new development opportunities for them.  

(See:  https://pwcbg.org/2020/11/pwc-bocs-latest-power-grabs-include-green-new-deal-style-mandate-on-all-financial-assault-on-dissenters/  and other hyperlinks contained within it.  Also see  https://pwcbg.org/2020/11/why-candlands-6-oct-bocs-proposal-requiring-clearly-defined-land-use-terms-36000-new-houses/  … yet another example of a necessary BOCS proposal that was defeated on a 5-3 party-line BOCS vote and in which the majority once again chose control — over all else including good governance and common sense.  And why didn’t the Dems offer their own proposal?)

So much for the hypocritical, “it-means-whatever-I-say-it-means-right-now” “Equity Lens” policy, which all 5 BOCS Dems flatly refuse to define and which, based on that refusal and other past behavior, will probably end up mostly or only benefiting elite, powerful, already well-off minority and other party constituencies. 

And perhaps now we’re getting closer to a possible motivation that would bring the 5 BOCS Dems to support tax, school, crime, and other policies, which in many a one-party urban city and county over the last 50 years have run the local economy, schools, physical and social infrastructure, and tax base into the ground in the midst of ever-growing financial and human capital flight.  So could the motivation be that such polices cynically give the party and its supporters control — and thus political power and money — over those too impoverished, dependent, and/or without alternatives and resources to resist?

We want to make you aware of all this and give you a chance, as soon as possible, to make your feelings known to the BOCS about defunding the police, if you so choose.  Here’s the BOCS’ collective email address:  BOCS@pwcgov.org

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.

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject:Support Supervisor Candland’s Resolution
Date:Sun, 29 Nov 2020 20:22:30 -0500 (EST)
From:Supervisor Yesli Vega <colesdistrict@pwcgov.org>
Dear Neighbor,

As I alluded to in my October 19th email, the results of Prince William County’s Strategic Plan Community Survey revealed that the option “Safe and Secure Communities” was the number one most important issue of County residents, determined to be a top focus area by 68% of respondents.

Again, the fact that this issue scored so highly in the midst of a summer when calls to defund and reallocate police budgets was so deafening from a small but extremely vocal fringe only underscored how important our residents believe safe and secure neighborhoods really are to their qualify of life.

Unfortunately, this message was apparently not clear enough as just last month the Strategic Plan Team briefed the Board of Supervisors with an update that inexplicably contained a recommendation to consider reallocating police funding as one of only three “focus areas” under “Safe and Secure Communities.”

Reallocate (as we all know is simply another term for defund) police funding as a means to achieve Safe and Secure Communities?

When asked, the person running the County Strategic Plan erroneously claimed that support of police and support for defunding the police according to the survey were “equal.”

You can click here to see all of the comments regarding law enforcement from your survey and decide for yourself the truthfulness of this claim.

Under no measure could anyone without a preset agenda determine that the reallocation or defunding of police budgets is a priority for any but a very small, but vocal minority. As you can see, comments provided to the Strategic Plan Team are about 20:1 pro law enforcement vs. anti law enforcement/defunding.
Additionally, other community surveys have routinely found that over 90% of County residents are satisfied with our local police department.

That’s why I’m supporting Supervisor Candland’s resolution to instruct the Strategic Plan Team to strike any reference to reallocating or defunding police funding from the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan.

You can view Supervisor Candland’s resolution, which will be coming up for a vote on Tuesday at 2pm, here.

The Strategic Plan is a very critical document as it provides goals and guides the Board on our governing actions for the next four years.

While many of you made your views clear in response to the survey this summer, the Strategic Plan Team unfortunately did not get the message. That’s why it’s critically important that your elected leaders reaffirm that message before this dangerous idea gets any further out of the gate.

You can email the entire Board at BOCS@pwcgov.org to make your thoughts known ahead of Tuesday’s vote.

You can also sign up to speak virtually by 5pm tomorrow by clicking this link https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6055990/Dec-1-2020-BOCS– Or you’re always welcome to address the Board in person as well.

Our new police chief roundly rejected these radical efforts from the DC City Council earlier this year when they took $15 million from his department at the expense of their citizens safety. It’s important that as he starts his new position leading our department that he has the resources necessary to ensure we have safe and secure communities in Prince William County.

Thank you for your commitment to making Prince William County the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

For Prince William,
Supervisor Yesli Vega yvega@pwcgov.org (703) 792-4620

P.S. The Board was recently briefed that at our current population, Prince William County is 235 officers shy of our own level of service standards outlined in our Comprehensive Plan.

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