News

Fifth Annual Walk for Prince William

September 13, 2017

Rise Up Prince William is holding their Fifth Annual Walk for Prince William. I will be walking across the county and visiting donation sites, where goods provided by your generosity will be used to benefit local charities. See the flyer below and share it with friends and neighbors. I look forward to seeing you at the after party to celebrate.

Bi-County Parkway Update

July 31, 2017

There are powerful special interest groups on Virginia’s Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) who are trying their best to revive the Bi-County Parkway to follow exactly the same route that we fought together to defeat just a little over a year ago. Astoundingly, when the funding priority list was snuck into the TransAction Plan of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) a couple of weeks ago, not a single Public Information meeting was scheduled in Prince William County.

The Chairman of the NVTA is also a member of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Marty Nohe of the Coles District, and he explained away a decision he personally made not to hold any Public Information meetings in Prince William County, despite such meetings being held in Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Arlington County.

To be clear, I am not opposed to the construction of a North-South Corridor that will provide relief for commuters between Prince William County and points north. I am opposed to a Cargo Truck Autobahn that will be a cut-through from I-95 to Dulles Airport that is actually just the pretense for opening up a new transportation corridor for significant new high-density housing developments in Loudoun County.

I am strongly opposed to the routing plan that was previously considered and defeated, notwithstanding the broad support among the special interests who wanted to cash in on the backs of Prince William County citizens.

I have made my position clear from the outset that local residents should have a right to have input on the decisions that are made by the CTB on how roadways impact their communities. The citizens of the Gainesville District were ignored in the development of the routing plan for the Bi-County Parkway that would have eviscerated the Rural Crescent, would have disrespected the significant historical battlefields that the routing plan would have dissected; and would have led to the shutdown of the Sudley Church on Route 234 because of a deal that was struck with the National Park Service administrators of the Manassas National Battlefield.

The proposed routing plan for the Bi-County Parkway would also increase traffic congestion in Prince William County, and would create a catastrophic commuter nightmare on I-66, a roadway that is already designated as one of the worst commuter highways in America.

I sponsored a resolution on the Board of County Supervisors to remove the Bi-County Parkway from the County’s Comprehensive Plan.  I fought for that significant policy change because I wanted to protect the right of local citizens to have input in any future discussions about the routing plan and its impact on our community.

Equally important, it is imperative for everyone to understand that the Bi-County Parkway has negative impacts across all of Prince William County, not just here in the Gainesville District.

VDOT and the CTB teamed up to try every political trick in the book to ram through this special interest road on the backs of every family in Prince William County. They failed because of the strong efforts of citizens in Prince William County who rose up and demanded that their voices be heard.

Let’s be clear on the facts – there is no credible study or evaluation criteria presently in existence that demonstrates that the Bi-County Parkway, as presently designed, would provide any significant economic benefit to Prince William County, reduce travel times to Dulles Airport, or relieve traffic on our overcrowded roads.  In fact, the opposite is true.

Data from VDOT clearly shows that their version of the Bi-County Parkway would dramatically increase traffic in Gainesville, as it will close down Rt. 234 through the Battlefield.

Before Supervisor Nohe attempted to sneak by the inclusion of the Bi-County Parkway into the list of priority funding of roads in Northern Virginia, I had made the commitment to form a Task Force on the Bi-County Parkway, and I had already held a meeting of citizens on this issue.  Mr. Nohe’s back door attempt to sneak the Bi-County Parkway into a list of roadway funding priorities has made it impossible to continue that effort.

I will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Delegate Hugo, Delegate Marshall, Senator Black, and my colleagues on the Board of County Supervisors to continue to fight a roadway that offers no economic benefits to Prince William County and is nothing more than a “special interest” roadway that is being promoted by some politicians who choose to support their big donors over the citizens they were elected to represent.

In the end, this is about not allowing VDOT and the CTB to prioritize the special interest groups in Loudoun County over our quality of life.  You have my commitment that I will continue to stand for the citizens of Prince William County and demand that your voices are heard.

I also fully understand that there are some landowners, particularly those who own large tracts of land in our area, who have found that it is no longer economically viable for agricultural activities. I believe that some accommodation must be made to allow for these landowners to reasonably value their land for non-agricultural purposes. That is a discussion that must take place outside of the context of the Bi-County Parkway, and we must find solutions that are reasonable and sensitive to the needs of these large landowners.

I am grateful for the trust that you have placed in me to represent your interests on the Board of County Supervisors, but my voice is only effective if it represents the beliefs of the majority of the people whom I represent. I welcome input from you, and I will be working to hold meetings to gather additional input from all stakeholders on the future of the Rural Crescent, and whether some accommodations need to be made to this policy that responsibly address the priorities of the landowners who have a right to expect equity. But these are local decisions that we have the right to make, and not have policies formulated by special interests rammed down our throats.

You have my commitment that I will continue to stand up for protecting our communities, your property values, and our quality of life.

Sincerely,

Pete Candland, Supervisor
Gainesville Magisterial District

Haymarket-Gainesville Library Summer Book Sale

July 11, 2017

The Friends of the Gainesville Library is pleased to announce their Summer Bag Book Sale. The event will last three days and it is only $5 for as many books as you can fit in the provided bag

 

National Police Week May 14-20

May 15, 2017

Friends and neighbors, this week is National Police Week. Some of you may have noticed the increase of police groups from around the country as they travel to events in D.C. I encourage you to thank the officers you interact with for their selfless dedication to enforcing laws and protecting families. I would also hope that you join me in honoring the five officers who have fallen in the line of duty and many others from our county who have sacrificed everything on our behalf.

Community Cleanup and Shred Event – 9am-1pm on Saturday April 22 at Sudley Elementary School

April 17, 2017

 

Please come out this Saturday to Sudley Elementary School where we will be providing dumpsters and a shred truck for free so you can get rid of unwanted items. See the flyer below for details. I look forward to seeing you there.

SCC Decision – Construction of Haymarket Transmission Line Project

April 17, 2017

Over the past two years, we have been working hard to fight Dominion Power’s plan to build 230kV transmission lines that cut through neighborhoods and historic areas – all to service one customer.  We have been unified in our message – if you are going to build the transmission lines, select the I-66 Hybrid Route that partially buries the lines along I-66.  Well, this week the decision arrived from the State Corporation Commission (SCC) and despite an overwhelming majority of residents and elected officials pleading with the SCC to select the the I-66 Hybrid Route, the State Corporation Commission (SCC) has recommended that Dominion Power use the “Railroad Route”.

SCC Decision

In their “considerations” the SCC determined that the Railroad and Carver Road routes both met the statutory criteria, but that the Railroad Route is preferable.  Their justification is that these options will, in their own words, “minimize adverse impacts on the scenic assets, historic districts and the environment of the area concerned.”  

No matter how your look at the Railroad or Carver Road options, there will be no minimization of their negative impact on the community. These routes are simply unacceptable.
I have asked my fellow members on the Board of County Supervisors to stand with me and the community to demand that the SCC reconsider its recommendation and select the I-66 Hybrid Route.  While the SCC has stated they believe this option is too costly, I believe that the additional costs should be shouldered, not by the taxpayer, but by the single customer that this transmission line will serve.

The SCC has given Dominion Power 60 days to seek permission from the Prince William Board of County Supervisor (BOCS) to build the line along the Railroad Route, after which Dominion Power must inform the SCC on whether or not the route is still blocked. If permission is not given by the BOCS, then the SCC has directed that the transmission lines be built along the Carver Road Route.

Let me be clear – I will not be bullied by the SCC as they try to off-load their responsibility in making a decision.  I am more committed than ever to continue to fight and urge the SCC to reconsider its recommendation and to select the I-66 Hybrid Route.

Below you will find the SCC’s notice of their decision. We must continue to stand together and protect our property and our quality of life.

 

SCC AUTHORIZES CONSTRUCTION OF HAYMARKET TRANSMISSION LINE PROJECT
Directs Dominion Virginia Power to Seek Prince William County Permission to Build Along Railroad Route
RICHMOND — The State Corporation Commission (SCC) has authorized Dominion Virginia Power (DVP) to construct a new 230-kilovolt electric transmission line and a new substation in Prince William County and the town of Haymarket. The SCC also directed DVP to request Prince William County to remove any legal constraints blocking construction of a portion of the transmission line along the Norfolk Southern Railroad, known as the Railroad Route.

In determining the route for the project, the SCC found that both the Railroad Route and the Carver Road Route meet the statutory criteria. The SCC concluded that both of these routes will reasonably minimize adverse impacts on the scenic assets, historic districts and the environment of the area concerned.

The Commission concluded that of these two routes, the Railroad Route is preferable because it has lesser impact on local residences. The Railroad Route is the only route that impacts zero residences within 200 feet of the centerline. Moreover, the heavily wooded area along this route will provide screening, aiding to minimize remaining visual impacts of the line.

The SCC gave DVP 60 days to seek permission from the county authorizing construction of the Railroad Route or provide notice to the Commission that construction of the Railroad Route remains blocked. If DVP remains legally blocked from construction of the Railroad Route, the SCC stated, “… the proposed project would need to be constructed along the Carver Road Route, which we also have found meets the statutory requirements.”

The SCC also found the Railroad and Carver Road Routes preferable to the two routes proposed along the I-66 corridor. The Commission stated the I-66 Overhead Route would impact a significantly greater number of residences within 100, 200 and 500 feet of the line. The SCC noted that the I-66 Hybrid Route, which placed approximately 3.2 miles of the line underground, would have a significantly greater cost of construction and would be more difficult to construct than any of the alternative routes considered. The SCC found that the costs and adverse impacts of the I-66 Hybrid Route were neither reasonable nor in the public interest.

The SCC said, “… the Commission reiterates that it has fully considered all of the evidence presented in this record and, thus, is not unmindful of the impacts that will result from the proposed Project. Thus, in performing our statutory responsibilities, the Commission has endeavored to weigh reasonably and carefully the competing evidence and arguments presented in this record.”

In its interim order, the SCC found that the project is necessary for DVP to comply with mandatory reliability standards. In addition, while a single customer is driving the current need for the line, the Commission further stated that the project will permit DVP to maintain reliable electric service to its other customers and support overall growth in the area.

The SCC continued the matter pending further order on the final routing of the project.

Gainesville District Budget Committee Recommendations for FY18

April 4, 2017

FRAMEWORK OF FY 18 BUDGET PROPOSAL

Prepared by the Gainesville and Brentsville Districts Budget Committees

  • Adopt a tax rate of $1.085, that will reduce the average tax bill by $67.
    • General County revenues in FY18 will still increase by $20,862,120.[1]
    • School share of revenue will still increase by $8,963,362[2]
  • Cap County General Fund Expenditures for FY 18 at 95% of the FY 17 level ($518,362,697), for an estimated savings to taxpayers of $27,282,247.[3]
  • Freeze FTEs at FY 17 levels, exempting public safety positions. This will eliminate 48 new FTEs in the FY18 proposed budget, for an estimated savings to taxpayers of $3,390,965.[4]
  • Eliminate 53.9 non-public safety FTEs on the current March 2017 Vacancy List, for an estimated savings to taxpayers of $3,807,634 (That allows for 35.39 non-public safety FTEs to be retained on the Vacancy List for hiring by the County Executive).
  • AN AVERAGE TAX BILL CUT OF $67 — AND TOTAL SAVINGS TO TAXPAYERS: $34,480,846

 

REINVEST SAVINGS FOR THE FUTURE OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY

 

  • Fund Grants to the Schools for Teacher Bonuses to attract quality teachers to low-performing schools.
  • Fund Grants for Classroom Materials Purchases.
  • Fund a Public Safety Employee Pay Increase.
  • Fund a sports field revolving loan fund to stimulate private league investment in sports fields.
  • Fund a Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology with George Mason University and NOVA to stimulate new job creation.

[1] Budget Summary, General Fund Revenue and Resource Summary, Total Budgeted Revenue & Resources, page 28.

[2] Budget Summary, General Fund Revenue and Resource Summary, Total Budgeted Revenue & Resources, page 29: “$ Change FY17/FY 18 Proposed” is $21,914964 minus the $12,951,602 generated from the $1.085 tax rate.

[3] Budget Summary, General Fund Revenue and Resource Summary, Total Budgeted Revenue & Resources, page 25; FY 17 General Fund Expenditures were $545,644, 944 minus 5%.

[4] Based on data from the March 2017 Vacancy Report provided by the County Executive.  On page 6, the subset of 53 vacancies had a total cost of $3,744,190.78 – yielding an average position value of $70,645.11.

Budget Town Halls April 5th at 6 p.m. and April 6th at 7 p.m.

April 4, 2017

As part of my continual effort to reach out to constituents and listen to citizens’ concerns, I am holding two town hall meetings the first week of April. I hope your schedule will allow you to attend and participate in one of them.

  • Wednesday April 5th, 6:00 p.m. in the Heritage Hunt Community Ball Room
  • Thursday April 6th, 7:00 p.m. in the Haymarket Gainesville Community Library

For the next two weeks your Board of County Supervisors will be discussing and voting on the County’s real estate tax rate, and the County budget that spends over $1 billion of taxpayer money. Please join me and share your concerns as we come up to the final vote.

On April 4th there will be a Budget Recap and then a public hearing. On April 11th and 18th there will be a budget markup and final budget adoption. If you want to learn more about the process and review questions on spending you can go to the website for the Office of Management and Budget.

I would also invite you to urge the rest of the Board of County Supervisors to keep the real estate tax rate low and protect taxpayer’s hard earned money. You can send them a message at bocs@pwcgov.org or find the BOCS Contact Information to call their office staff directly with your comments.

Dominion Doubles Down on the I-66 Above Ground Option

December 12, 2016

In a move that will significantly hurt thousands of families who live in the western end of Prince William County, Dominion re-affirmed their position that they believe the I-66 Overhead option is the routing plan the State Corporation Commission (SCC) should select. In their response to the recommendations of the SCC Hearing Examiner, Dominion stated that the 679 homes within 500 ft. of the 120 ft. power lines are not significant enough to warrant the cost to pay for under-grounding.

This is a slap in the face to the very rate-payers they claim to be trying to protect.  It is clear that with Dominion, this has very little to do with the rate-payer, but more with protecting big businesses who want the taxpayers to pay for their profits.

Dominion is not the only bad actor in this story. The owners of the proposed data center are also accountable. Since the County struck a deal with the owners of the data center, I cannot by law call them by name (even though we all know who they are). With this being the holiday season, I will simply refer to them as “The Grinch”.

The SCC Hearing Examiner reviewed thousands of comments from residents in Western Prince William County who nearly unanimously agreed that if the powerlines had to be built, Dominion should use the proposed I-66 Hybrid Route (which would bury the powerlines along I-66) and that The Grinch should pay for it.

Yet last month, the Hearing Examiner recommended the SCC Commissioners adopt a different proposed route. One that would have such a dramatically negative impact on many homeowners that Dominion Power had previously rejected it as being unacceptable.

This route, known as the Carver Road route, did not receive any attention during the three public hearings held by the Hearing Examiner because no one believed it was a viable route option. Yet inexplicably, the Hearing Examiner recommended this route because it is “cheaper” than the I-66 Hybrid route.

The Hearing Examiner also said that he just did not think it would be fair to force The Grinch to pay for the power line extension.

Now Dominion Power in their response to the Hearing Examiner’s report, is swooping in and demanding that the SCC accept the I-66 Overhead route as the only acceptable alternative, even though it will ruin our historical view scape, significantly erode the property values of thousands of homes, and do irreparable harm to our quality of life; all to serve the economic interests of The Grinch.

The Grinch could have located their data center just a few miles away at a site that already has power and that is zoned for data centers. However in this instance, The Grinch is being a bully and has already started construction on the new data center near Haymarket, even though their personal power line has not even been approved.

The only acceptable option for me, for the thousands of citizens who joined in petitioning the SCC, and for every local political official who represents the impacted area, is to continue to support the I-66 Hybrid route that buries the power line and requires The Grinch to pay for it.

It is incredibly disappointing that Dominion Power, the Hearing Examiner, and The Grinch are doing everything they can to place the burden of cost of this new power line onto homeowners who will only see a significant reduction in their property values as a result.

I encourage everyone to read the latest response from the Coalition to Protect Prince William County to the Hearing Examiner and Dominion Power. The Coalition is working hard to protect the interests of citizens who will be unfairly penalized. That document can be found at the following link:

http://www.protectpwc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Coalition-Response-to-Hearing-Examiner-Recommendation-120616.pdf

I will continue to update you on this issue as it unfolds, and ask that you continue to stand in solidarity against this egregious and greedy action.

Holiday Party- 6-8pm Friday December 16 @ Parks at Piedmont Clubhouse

December 9, 2016

gainesville-supervisor-pete-candands-annual-holiday-party