Coles District Newsletter
SUPERVISOR YESLI VEGA
September 2021 - 18th Edition
Dear Neighbor,

Last month was a hard one for many people. Prince William County has one of the largest veteran populations in the country, many of whom served in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost loved ones and our veteran community. Your sacrifice is appreciated and was not in vain. For veterans and their loved ones who need assistance in dealing and processing the last few weeks please consider visiting www.veteranscrisisline.net or call (800) 273-8265.
 
Ten days from now will of course be another difficult day for many Prince William County families who lost their loved ones on 9/11. While it may be hard to believe it’s been twenty years, it still feels like yesterday to many. On Friday, September 10th, the county will be having their annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the McCoart Building at 9:30am to remember the 3,000 lives lost, including the twenty-two who called Prince William County home.
 
One of the reason we were attacked that day was because of our commitment to freedom - including the freedom of speech and ability to petition your government without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened here in Prince William County last month when a private citizen was targeted by a member of the county’s elected body for criticizing the Board. This cannot happen here in Prince William County or anywhere in the United States. Freedom of speech and the freedom to petition your government without the fear of reprisal is a bedrock principle of our country and must be vigorously defended, especially when infringed upon. In case you haven't heard about it, we cover the story below.
 
Those aforementioned rights are enshrined in our Constitution, which we celebrate this September 17th. Please feel free to swing by the Cole District Office any time to pick up a courtesy "pocket" U.S. Constitution in honor of Constitution Day.
 
Along the lines of the freedom of speech and petition, the Prince William School Board will be taking up a measure on whether or not to limit your ability to speak and address them via public comment time this evening. I know the weather is nasty, but if you’re able, please consider making your way to the Kelly Leadership Center at 7pm to make your voice heard on this important matter.
 
Prince William Board meetings will resume the day after Labor Day. I’m sure it will be an action packed month after having the last month off. Please feel free to join us at our 2pm and 7:30pm meeting on September 7th.
 
Have a great Labor Day holiday and month ahead.

For Coles,

Yesli Vega
Body Camera Footage of Police Encounter with Potomac District Citizen Reveals He “Did Nothing Wrong”

Visit to Resident’s Home Spurred on by County Supervisor, Husband 
As we noted in last month’s edition of the Coles District Newsletter, an August 3rd email sent to the Board criticizing specific members for targeting a private county citizen during a hot mic moment, led to the author of the email receiving a visit at their home from the Prince William Police Department within twenty-four hours of the e-mail being sent.

FOIA requests revealed that the email was forwarded within minutes of receipt by Potomac Supervisor, Andrea Bailey, to her husband, Cozy Bailey, who then forwarded along to County Police Chief, Peter Newsham, alleging that the Potomac District citizen had issued a “communicated threat.”
- Coles District Staff
Prince William School Board to Consider Limiting Public Comment  

Make Your Voice Heard While Still Possible Tonight at 7pm, Kelly Leadership Center Building
The Prince William County School Board will consider a slew of changes to its public comment policy at its next meeting Sept. 1, including requiring advance sign-up for speakers, requiring that their comments be “directly” related to school policy or operations, and banning signs unless they’re part of a division-approved student presentation.
- Jared Foretek, InsideNova
Quantico Marine Corps Base to house Afghan refugees

Quantico Marine Corps base will soon house Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban. The Department of Defense on Wednesday authorized the use of Quantico and Fort Pickett in central Virginia to house about 15,000 refugees, the Associated Press reported. Quantico will take in about 5,000 and Fort Pickett about 10,000.
- InsideNova
Remembering those lost in Afghanistan
As a military family, Rene and I offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the thirteen US Armed Forces members who lost their lives last week in Afghanistan.

  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, Texas
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, California
  • Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, Wyoming
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, California
  • Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, Indiana
  • Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, Missouri
  • Navy Hospital Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio
  • Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, Nebraska

- Rene & Yesli Vega
2020 Census: Prince William County Remains Second Largest, Most Diverse County in Virginia
Population and demographic numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Prince William County remains the second largest and most diverse county in Virginia – titles unchanged since the 2020 census.
- Coles District Staff
County Survey: Residents Overwhelmingly Oppose Proposed “Equity and Inclusion” Policy Document

Questioned Need for Policy, Racist Language Most Commonly Cited Reasons for Opposition
Prince William County’s proposed “Equity and Inclusion” policy document received mainly negative feedback from County residents this summer. Between June 23rd and July 30th, 772 residents offered their thoughts on the document.
- Coles District Staff
Racial Commission Gets Mixed Reviews
Prince William County’s Racial Commission received the most public feedback thus far during its August 19th meeting at the Kelly Leadership Center.

Around twenty residents spoke during public comment time, with roughly half in support of the commission and half opposed.
- Coles District Staff
Racial Commission Hears on School Resource Officers  

At-Large Appointee and Freedom High School Teacher, Akbar, Wants Them Gone

Comments Made Just Days Before Shooting at Freedom High School
Parking Lot Left Two Colgan Students Wounded
Board Majority Wants Increased Density for Kline Farm Project

Community Previously Opposed to 250 New Units; New Project Likely to Contain Upwards of 400 at Request of Members of Board Majority

When the hearing on the Kline Farm property (corner of the Prince William Parkway and Liberia) was pulled in November, neighborhood up and down the Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue breathed a sigh of relief. The last thing they wanted was a development which would add another 11,500 weekday car trips at the already congested corner.

As WTOP reported then, Chair Wheeler and the Board majority had other plans.
- Coles District Staff
Welcome Back!
To All Prince William County Students – Welcome Back and all the Best for a Great, Healthy, and Successful Year!

- Supervisor Vega
Va. teachers told to focus on racism, not terrorists when covering 9/11 anniversary
- Uriah Kiser, Potomac Local
SOL Test Scores Plummet in Prince William County, Northern Virginia, State

Virtual Learning the Reason
- Coles District Staff
Police Blotter
Teen victims of Freedom H.S. shooting are students at Colgan High; Police offer $5,000 reward

UPDATED: The two teens injured Friday in a shooting at Freedom High School were students at nearby Colgan High School, the Prince William County school division confirmed Saturday morning

Police have yet to make an arrest in the incident and announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
- InsideNova
UPDATED: Teen wanted for shooting 15-year-old in the face arrested
- InsideNova
Police investigate shots fired in Dale City school parking lot
- InsideNova
UPDATED: Three injured in two eastern Prince William County shootings
- InsideNova
Gunman robs Tacketts Mill Burger King
- InsideNova
Two men rob Woodbridge ABC store at gunpoint
- InsideNova
Suspects identified in Manassas armed burglary
- Prince William Times
Woman carjacked in Lake Ridge at gunpoint, driven nearly 200 miles
- Coles District Staff
Stranger exposes himself to shopper at Manassas Walmart
- InsideNova
Former customs officer from Manassas pleads guilty to possession of child pornography 
- InsideNova
Man shot in the leg outside Woodbridge nightclub
- InsideNova
Police investigate shooting, bullet damage in Manassas area
- InsideNova
Arrest made in Dumfries Stabbing
- Prince William Times
Police investigate carjacking outside Woodbridge Ikea
- InsideNova
UPDATED: Police identify one suspect in rash of burglaries in Dale City, Montclair  
- InsideNova
Dale City man charged with unlawfully filming girls in bathroom 
- InsideNova
Triangle woman charged with pouring alcohol into family member's face, eyes
- InsideNova
Woodbridge man faces 47 counts of animal cruelty in Maryland dogfighting ring
- InsideNova
Other Police Incidents in August

Abductions, robberies, malicious woundings, and more
Crime Mapping
Police Department provides residents and business owners the ability to look into crime that occurs in their community and neighborhoods through City Protect
Supervisors Vega and Lawson Visit Prince William PD’s Forensic Services Department
Ruben Castilla Promoted to Captain of Prince William PD Central District

Congratulations to Lieutenant, and now Captain Ruben Castilla on his promotion to Captain of the Prince William Police Department’s Central District.
Captain Castilla has done a tremendous job being responsive to requests for help from residents in the Coles District and Mid-County area. A promotion well earned, Captain, and thank you for your service!

- Coles District Staff
Homeruns and Heroes

A Family Friendly Softball Game Supporting
Local Law Enforcement on September 18th

We Back Blue is excited to gather local heroes and their communities and go head to head in a softball game. Getting these brave men and women out for some much needed comraderie is much needed!

Let's show up for them and cheer them on!
- We Back Blue
We Will Never Forget
- Coles District Staff
Prince William County August COVID-19 Statistics
- Coles District Staff
New report reveals opioid-related deaths up 55% in Prince William County during pandemic
- Ashlie Rodriguez, ABC 7 / WJLA
VRE Still Down Nearly 90% From 2019
- Coles District Staff
Prince William Recent Economic Indicators August 2021
- Prince William County Department of Economic Development
New Yard Waste Collection Program
No plastic bags beginning October 1
- Prince William County Solid Waste Division
Solid Waste Division Receives Virginia Environmental Excellence Program Certification
- Prince William County Office of Communications
Supervisor Vega Seeking Citizen to Represent Coles District on the Commission of Aging

Apply today by sending an email to ColesDistrict@pwcgov.org
- Coles District Staff
Vehicle Assessments Increase, Creating Higher Tax Bills

Supervisor Vega Inquires About Relief for Taxpayers

Many Prince William County taxpayers have received higher than expected personal property tax bills this year due to an increase in the market value of cars and trucks.
- Coles District Staff
Cooper and other animals are waiting for their forever home! Don't keep them waiting!
- Prince William County Animal Shelter
Parks, Recreation, and Tourism rank 18th in best mountain biking trails in America. 
- Rave Reviews
Jiffy Lube Live To Require Vaccination Or Negative COVID Test
- Liam Griffin, Manassas Patch
Live and in person: Indoor events return to the Hylton next month
- InsideNova
Supervisor Vega Receives Tour of Renovated Freedom Museum
- Coles District Staff
Mid County Civic Association Meeting Recap

The August 19th Mid-County Civic Association Meeting was packed with many items within or directly impacting the Coles District.
September Things to Do in Prince William County
- Visit Prince William County
Share Your Thoughts on Transportation
The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) is looking for feedback from the public on their long-range multimodal transportation plan - TransAction. This plan is updated every five years and serves as a guide for determining which projects are selected for funding.
New Checklist for Solar Panel Permitting Launched
- Coles District Staff
Prince William schools trying to fill hundreds of openings  
- Jared Foretek, InsideNova
Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule
Sept 7 (2:00 PM / 7:30 PM) Regular Meeting
Sept 14 (2:00 PM) Work Session
Sept 21 (2:00 PM / 7:30 PM) Regular Meeting
Planning Commission Meeting Schedule
Sept 1 (7:00 PM) Public Hearing (at Ferlazzo)
Sept 8 (7:00 PM) Public Hearing
Sept 15 (6:00 PM) Work Session (7:00 PM) Public Hearing
Includes upcoming Board, Commission, and Committee meetings
Other Resources
Access to online services and contact information for elected officials