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PRESS RELEASE for May 2, 2004

ENDORSEMENTS FOR HAYMARKET TOWN COUNCIL

Voters to Stop Sprawl Prince William County has endorsed two candidates for the Haymarket Town Council election on May 4. Development Sprawl in and around Haymarket is one of the greatest challenges facing the town, and VSS endorses Jay Tobias and Robert Weir as well-qualified to help the council cope with the wave of growth and redevelopment sweeping Haymarket.

Jay Tobias is committed to serving the public interest and representing both older and newer residents. He will work to develop parks for active and passive recreation, protect natural resources and preserve the small town historical character of Haymarket. He will also energetically work to bring integrity and effectiveness to town government processes and operations.

Although Robert Weir has been a vocal critic of the town government, his unwavering commitment to rigorous scrutiny of long-term impacts is a quality that will serve Haymarket residents well. He has a solid knowledge of many aspects of development and infrastructure issues and can be counted on to keep a watchful guard against the excessive influence of special interests and developers.

About our Endorsement:

There are nine candidates for the six council seats in this non-partisan election. VSSPWC invited all nine candidates to complete our questionnaire and be interviewed. Three candidates completed our evaluation process, and VSSPWC has endorsed two of them. Our endorsed candidates should not be viewed as a "slate". This evaluation is based on each candidates' positions and knowledge on growth-related issues, and they may differ on other issues. VSSPWC has no relationship with any candidate for public office beyond our evaluation and endorsement process.

VSSPWC is a non-partisan, non-profit organization of Prince William County citizen volunteers who are well-informed and have been actively involved in the county's growth-related issues. We are dedicated to informing the public and helping elect the very best, most dedicated and trustworthy anti-sprawl candidates for our Town Councils and Board of Supervisors.

Visit our website at www.vsspwc.org for information on our evaluation process and to learn more about us.

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Participate in the Haymarket Charrette!
May 6-8, 2004

VSSPWC has looked hard at the planned charrette. We conclude:

With good public participation it will positively impact Haymarket's future. Your input can make a difference on the use of Haymarket's undeveloped land. Your opinion can help determine the future of common areas and infrastructure. You can help shape the structure and operations of the Town Government.

To get the most out of the process and insure its integrity, VSS makes the following recommendations to Haymarket citizens and residents:

Ø Tell the council to provide the public with a complete description of development proposals that have been approved within the last 12 months and an explanation of the reasons for such approvals.

Ø Tell the council to fully disclose the process whereby your input will be compiled and evaluated and demonstrate that the resulting recommendations will be a fair representation of the public input.

Ø Tell the council to demonstrate that the businesses and utilities that have made financial donations in support of the charrette will have no undue influence over the process and results of the charrette.

Experience has shown that an active and astute public is the only way to ensure integrity in government. Remember: if you don’t show up and participate, others who have a financial interest will, and the resulting “vision” will be theirs and not yours!

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VSSPWC is a non-partisan, non-profit organization of Prince William County citizen volunteers who are well-informed and have been actively involved in the county's growth-related issues. We are dedicated to informing the public and helping elect the very best, most dedicated and trustworthy anti-sprawl candidates for our Town Councils and Board of Supervisors.

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THE GANG OF FIVE IS HISTORY!!!.
November 5, 2003

The voters of Prince William County have decisively reversed the pro-developer majority on the Board of Supervisors. Beginning in January 2004, Chairman Sean Connaughton will have a solid voting majority to support his quality-of-life policies, which are mostly in line with the smarter growth principles of Voters to Stop Sprawl.

Three of the four incumbent supervisors who will not be returning were members of the pro-developer Gang of Five. They will be replaced by Marty Nohe as Coles District Supervisor, John Stirrup for Gainesville, and Wally Covington for Brentsville. The only smart-growth incumbent who will not be back is Ruth Griggs, the supervisor from the Occoquan District, who is leaving the Board so she can attend law school. The anti-sprawl movement will miss her deeply, but the voters of Occoquan elected as her replacement Corey Stewart, a well-informed and staunchly committed advocate of smarter growth.

Chairman Connaughton won the at-large race with nearly 70 percent of the vote, in spite of an effective opponent. Voters to Stop Sprawl PWC endorsed Connaughton and is pleased that the voters have given him the mandate to continue the policies he advocated during his first term. The voters also re-elected (by a huge margin) Maureen Caddigan from the Dumfries District, who was Connaughton's closest ally during the past term. Mrs. Caddigan, who had one of the best anti-sprawl voting records during the past term, was endorsed by VSS-PWC.

The most dramatic election results were in the Gainesville District, where the incumbent received only 20 percent of the vote, despite an expensive campaign bankrolled by the land development industry. Edgar Wilbourn, who has consistently and unapologetically supported the runaway growth of Prince William County, is "looking forward to being able to schedule a vacation any month I want". According to the Washington Post, he said "The majority of constituents in my district don't want any more houses; the majority of them are no-growth.... Sometimes the voters deserve to get what they want." The winner of the three-way race was John Stirrup with 42 percent of the vote. VSSPWC had endorsed Gary Friedman, who received 38 percent, and we worked hard for his election. Although we are disappointed that our preferred choice did not win, John Stirrup is also in favor of slower growth, in diametric opposition to the defeated incumbent.

In the Coles District, Marty Nohe, who defeated a Gang-of-Five incumbent during the primary elections, won the general election. During the primary elections VSS-PWC awarded him a "grade" of B+. In the Brentsville District race to replace a retiring Gang-of-Five member, Wally Covington defeated an extreme pro-developer candidate.

Voters to Stop Sprawl PWC actively campaigned for smart-growth candidates in both the primary and general elections. Not all of the candidates recommended by VSSPWC were able to win, but we expect the incoming Board of Supervisors to be vastly better than the outgoing unlamented Gang of Five.

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PRESS RELEASE October 19, 2003

VOTERS TO STOP SPRAWL PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY ENDORSES THREE CANDIDATES FOR COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS (continued)

After a lengthy interview and evaluation process, VSS-PWC has voted to endorse the following candidates for Prince William County Board of Supervisors. The committee will actively campaign on their behalf, and urges all concerned voters to support them on November 4.

For the county-wide Chairman of the Board of Supervisors the committee endorses the incumbent Sean Connaughton. He has a four-year record of usually voting for smarter growth, despite being in the minority all too often. VSS-PWC is working to elect an anti-sprawl majority to the Board, to help control the runaway growth that is undermining our quality of life..

For the Dumfries District VSS-PWC endorses Maureen Caddigan for reelection. She has one of the best anti-sprawl voting records on the Board, and is actively promoting revitalization projects in her district, which is a smart-growth alternative to bulldozing new developments into the country-side.

For the Gainesville District VSS-PWC endorses Gary Friedman, a challenger. He is a knowledgeable and committed smarter-growth candidate who has been active in a variety of causes in Prince William County. He is running an effective campaign in a complicated three-way race.

VSS-PWC has made no endorsements in the Coles District race because both candidates -- Victor Bras and Martin Nohe -- have good anti-sprawl positions. Similarly, in the Occoquan District race Corey Stewart and Robert McBride are good anti-sprawl candidates.

Voters to Stop Sprawl - Prince William County is a non-partisan PAC loosely affiliated with the original VSS in Loudon County, which in 1999 helped elect a clean sweep of smart growth candidates to the Loudon County Board, and is hoping for a repeat this year.

The committee wishes to thank the 13 (out of 19) candidates who found time in their hectic schedules to particpate in the VSS-PWC evaluation process, which was intended to provide a consistent evaluation by a diverse committee of anti-sprawl citizens. They were: Vic Bras, Maureen Caddigan, Sean Connaughton, Rick Coplen, Gary Friedman, Davon Gray, Keith Kessler, Robert McBride, Marty Nohe, Keith Scarborough, Corey Stewart, John Stirrup, and Ed Wilbourn.

Authorized by Voters to Stop Sprawl Prince William County VA-01-025.

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July 2, 2003 -- Victory
On July 1st, the PWC BOS met to vote on the Greater South Market Project, which if passed, would have allowed a 663 acre development in Haymarket, near the junction of Rt 15 and Rt 55. The project included a golf course, 1245 units of residential housing, retail and office space. This would have taken approximately 180 acres of the Rural Crescent. VSSPWC, along with the Advocates for the Rural Crescent (ARC) rallied the voters to attend the hearing and to speak out against this proposal.
Groups of activists posted road signs, and distributed thousands of flyers prior to the meeting to get the word out. Buttons and signs were printed and handed out at the door. The meeting room and atrium were filled with people wearing the No to South Market buttons and holding small signs. At least 50 citizens spoke out with the ratio of pros to cons on the project at about 5-1. The discussion went lasted till 1 AM when the vote was finally cast. In a dramatic move, the board lit up with 3 red lights and 3 green lights. After a delay of a few seconds, Hilda Barg cast the last vote and everyone looked at the results. Another red light! The vote was 4-3 against the Greater South Market Project. KSI is back to square two, and Greater South Market in its present offering will not be built.

This vote was a major victory in the struggle to control sprawl in PWC, because the supervisors refused to increase density beyond the Comprehensive plan limits, even though the project was advocated by an expert zoning attorney for a major developer. This victory provides major support for the Comprehensive Plan which was approved by the Board on June 24. During the past four years the Board has frequently voted to amend the Plan to allow rezoning at greater densities than allowed.

The vote by the Board was 4 to 3 to reject the application. In the majority were Hilda Barg, Maureen Caddigan, Sean Connaughton, and Ruth Griggs. In favor of the project were John Jenkins, Ben Thompson, and Ed Wilbourn. Mary Hill was not present.
photo by Art Hillmer (more photos)

Undoubtedly a key factor in the defeat of this Greater South Market development was the enormous public outcry against it. Altough several organizations and hundreds of individuals were involved in this action, the spearhead of this effort was Elena Schlossberg-Kunkel, who is treasurer of VSSPWC and leader of Advocates for the Rural Crescent. (www.ruralcrescent.org) Ironically, Elena was hospitalized just before the hearing and learned of the victory the next morning. The news greatly boosted her spirits and hopefully will speed her recovery. We expect that she will soon be back in the front ranks of the struggle against sprawl.

A remarkable aspect of the hearing was the large number of anti-sprawl politicians who attended. Many of them spoke against the project. Current candidates for BOS who attended were Rick Coplen (Chairman), Ron Robinson (Woodbridge), Gary Friedman (Gainesville), Marty Nohe (Coles), and Keith Scarborough (Occoquan), Robert McBride (Occoquan), and Keith Kessler (Woodbridge). Past BOS candidates who spoke against the project were Martha Hendley (Gainesville), John Gray (Occoquan), Rich Jankowski (Brentsville), and John Thompson (Woodbridge). The only BOS candidate to speak in favor of the project was Patricia Lightfoot (Brentsville).

This victory to preserve the Rural Crescent was a strong showing for VSSPWC and ARC that helps to prove that we are making a difference. Three cheers to everyone's efforts to help make this victory possible.

Patrick MacAuley

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PRESS RELEASE MAY 22, 2003

VOTERS TO STOP SPRAWL PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY Grades the Candidates for Board of Supervisors in the June 10 Primary Elections.

Voters to Stop Sprawl PWC interviewed most of the candidates who will be competing in the June 10 primary for 4 seats on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. The "smarter growth" group has issued a "Report Card" with grades ranging from "A-" to "NR" for candidates who wouldn't respond. (The other 4 seats will not be contested until November.) Click HERE for the PRIMARY REPORT CARD.

VSSPWC has good news for voters in the Occoquan district who are disappointed that Ruth Griggs is not running for reelection: There were A- candidates in each party running for the Occoquan slot. John Gray, Democrat, and Corey Stewart, Republican, were both graded A-, which was the highest mark awarded to any candidate. (The independent candidate has not been graded yet since he will not be running in the primary.)

In the county-wide race for Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, incumbent Sean Connaughton was graded B+. This reflected not only his solid questionnaire and interview responses, but also his track record of usually voting for smarter growth. His challenger, Larry Williams, declined to be interviewed. (The Democratic race is uncontested.)

In the Coles District, challenger Martin Nohe was awarded a B+ for his smart growth views and solid understanding of numerous issues regarding development and planning for the future. His opponent, incumbent Mary Hill, declined to be evaluated. (The Democrat is unchallenged and will not be interviewed until after the primaries.)

In the Woodbridge Democratic race, challenger John Thompson was graded B, but incumbent Hilda Barg declined to participate in the process. (The Republican race is uncontested.)


Voters to Stop Sprawl Prince William County is a non-partisan PAC loosely affiliated with the original VSS in Loudon County, which in 1999 helped elect a clean sweep of smart growth candidates to the Loudon County Board, and is hoping for a repeat in November.

The evaluation process was intended to be thorough and objective. See the website www.vsspwc.org for details of the methodology. All candidates received an identical questionnaire, and committed themselves to a follow-up interview. The follow-up interviews, conducted by teams of two or three interviewers, probed the candidates knowledge and commitment to issues raised in the questionaires, and asked a few questions specific to each candidate. Determination of grades was made by a committee.


VSSPWC is pleased that eight of the twelve candidates who were eligible to participate in this report-card evaluation chose to become involved. VSSPWC thanks all the candidates who found time in their hectic schedules to help provide the voters with a straightforward and consistent comparison.

During the primary election phase of the election VSSPWC is grading candidates, but is not endorsing anyone. After the primaries are over, VSSPWC will endorse specific candidates for each race and will actively campaign for their election.

Issued by Patrick MacAuley, Chairman
Email StopSprawlPWC@aol.com

Authorized by Voters to Stop Sprawl Prince William County VA-01-025


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MAY 21, 2003

VSSPWC ANNOUNCES THE PRIMARY REPORT CARD

After evaluating as many of the candidates as possible who are running in the June 10th Primary election for Supervisor, VSSPWC presents the grades awarded to each candidate. Click HERE for the PRIMARY REPORT CARD.

APRIL 27, 2003

VSSPWC ANNOUNCES THE BRENTSVILLE REPORT CARD

The Brentsville District will see the first contested action of what promises to be a busy year for local elections. There are two candidates seeking the nomination of the Republican Party for Brentsville District Supervisor. The nominee will be selected at a convention on May 10.

VSSPWC has completed its evaluation process for the supervisor candidates who are competing for this nomination. Please see our BRENTSVILLE REPORT CARD to see the results.

READ MORE:
 

NEWS RELEASES

COVER LETTER

NEWS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

QUESTIONNAIRE

PRIMARY REPORT CARD

BRENTSVILLE REPORT CARD

 

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