From Your Prince William Chamber 

May 2016

Chamber Advocate,
   
If you have any questions about legislation or are just generally interested in what we are working on at the Chamber, please get in touch with me by sending an email to BShaw@pwchamber.org. I am always happy to discuss!   

Prince William County Passes Budget 
Supervisors vote for flat tax rate 
By Jill Palermo, InsideNova 

The real-estate tax rate will remain flat in Prince William County next year, saving the average homeowner about $6 a month while also cutting $7.1 million in expected revenue from the county's 95 public schools.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5 to 3 in a special meeting Friday to maintain the current rate, $1.122 per $100 in assessed valuation. The rate will result in an average real-estate tax bill increase of 1.8 percent, or about $77 dollars a year.

The vote was cast mostly along party lines, with the exception of Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, R-Potomac, who voted against the flat-tax rate along with the board's two Democrats, Supervisors John Jenkins, Neabsco, and Frank Principi, Woodbridge.

Caddigan, a longtime board member who began her career on the school board, said she could not vote for a tax rate that stripped $7 million in expected revenue from schools.
"In 24 years, I have always, always supported the school budget," Caddigan said.

After losing the tax-rate vote, Principi attempted to mitigate the reduction in school division funding by suggesting county departments restrict spending by an additional half percent, a move that could have directed about $2.6 million back to school-division coffers. But that effort failed in the same 5-to-3 split.

Five Republican board members approved the spending plan and associated cuts in expected school-division revenue. They included Chairman Corey Stewart, At Large; Ruth Anderson, Occoquan; Pete Candland, Gainesville; Marty Nohe, Coles, and Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville.

The vote came after about two hours of sometimes emotional testimony from residents on both sides of the ideological divide.

May 3 Town Election Results 



On Tuesday, May 3, the Towns of Dumfries, Haymarket, Occoquan, and Quantico held elections for Mayor and Town Council.   Click here to view complete results. 


Town of Dumfries

Council 
Charles C. Brewer
Brian K. Fields
Melva P. Willis 

Town of Haymarket

Mayor 
David M. Leake 

Council
Steven C. Aitken
John C. Cole
Susan E. Edwards 
Connor W. Leake
Chris S. Morris
Joe R. Passanello 

Town of Occoquan

Mayor
Elizabeth A. C. Quist

Council
J. Matthew Dawson
Jim A. Drakes
Cindy J. Fithian
Joseph E. McGuire, Jr. 
Patrick A. Sivigny 

Town of Quantico

Mayor 
Kevin P. Brown 

Council
Earline J. Clinton
Tom E. Davis
Russel V. "Rusty" Kuhns
Robin R. Langham
Jerre S. Thomas II 
 
City of Manassas celebrates its business community in May
By Potomac Local



Recognizing that businesses are the backbone of Manassas, the Manassas City Council recently issued a proclamation night declaring May "Business Appreciation Month."

"The strength of the City of Manassas relies on the strength of its business community," says Mayor Harry J. Parrish II. "Our businesses create jobs and make the City a great place to live, work, and do business."

Through Business Appreciation Month, the City of Manassas honors and celebrates its thriving businesses and the engaged business owners who are very involved in the community. They enthusiastically support local service groups, youth activities, and participate in events like this week's upcoming First Friday Gallery Walk where downtown merchants will showcase local artists' works.

According to the Virginia Employment Commission, the City has 1,446 business establishments within its boundaries. Its businesses range from new start-ups to corporations with more than 1,000 employees and feature unique shops, restaurants offering a spectrum of cuisines, and even breweries and a distillery.

Congressman Wittman tours Old Town Manassas

On Tuesday, May 3, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) came to Historic Downtown Manassas for a walking tour highlighting several small businesses. Congressman Wittman discussed a variety of issues with business owners including rising labor costs, impediments to starting a business, veteran owned business issues, and challenges facing government contractors.  

Participating businesses included: 







Join the Economic Development Committee! 

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that, due to interests expressed by the Chamber membership, the Economic Development Committee has been reestablished. The mission of the committee will be to provide informative information regarding commercial development projects in our region early in the development process. In addition there will be educational component which will allow the committee members to better understand different aspects of commercial development. When appropriate, the committee will do a "field trip" in lieu of the regular monthly meeting. Gary Jones, II, Vice President, M&T Bank Commercial Division, will serve as Chair of this committee and Brendon Shaw will be the staff liaison.

Meetings will be held on the 2nd Monday of every Monday, 1:30-2:30 p.m. at the Chamber's headquarters office located at 9720 Capital Court, Ste 203, Manassas, 20110. 


Dr. Terry Clower, Northern Virginia Chair in Local Government; Professor of Public Policy; Director, Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University is our featured guest speaker (Learn more about him below). Dr. Clower will present a targeted analysis of how the Prince William area's efforts in economic development stack up against the rest of the region along with projections on where we should be concentrating our efforts for maximum effectiveness. He is an engaging speaker who supplies hard numbers alongside graphs, visuals and interesting predictions. 

Dr. Clower will be followed by reports from each our local economic development departments (Prince William County; City of Manassas; City of Manassas Park) on where they are focusing their efforts, what challenges they face and how the business community can help them to be successful. 

Prepare to walk away with a greater understanding of the importance of economic development as you catch the vision of each municipality and see how they work side by side to give our region a unique position in the economy of Northern Virginia.

Get Involved
May Policy Committee Meeting Canceled
 

The next policy committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 21 at 9:30am at the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.  The committee typically meets for an hour. 
 
As a reminder, we are continuing to ask that members help to identify areas where we can work together and initiate change on various levels of government. If you are interested in participating please come prepared to address your issue and we will do our best to assist!

I hope you can join us for what is sure to be a productive meeting. 

 

   Director, Government Relations 

 



Special thanks to Advocacy Vision Partner