Issue 10
Sunday, April 26, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

After months of community input and revisions, the Board of County Supervisors will adopt a county budget for fiscal year 2021 during Tuesday's Board Meeting. Assembling a budget for a county of our size is always a large task, but this year brought unexpected challenges. I want to thank our county staff for their dedication and hard work.

I also want to thank all our County departments and employees working daily to keep our County running. I know life is more difficult right now, yet you are there for the people.

This Wheeler Report highlights a New Initiative, this week's Board Meeting, more Hometown Heroes, my next Conversation with the Chair, an April Awareness and several other topics including one I hope will bring a smile to your face.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
A Important Initiative
Some Of Our Must Vulnerable
Taking the appropriate COVID-19 safety measures for ourselves and those around us can be challenging, but it is particularly hard for our homeless. In response, the Department of Social Services initiated the Homeless Crisis Response Plan.

This plan works to provide shelter in motels for homeless who:
  • Test positive for COVID-19 and need to be isolated, but not hospitalized
  • Been exposed to COVID-19 and need to be quarantined
  • Have underlying health conditions that place them at high risk for the virus, or are 60 years or older

In response to the plan, the Board took steps earlier this month to help secure funding for the Homeless Crisis Response Plan from state and federal grants and Affordable Housing Proffer Funds.
Board of County Supervisors
Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30 pm

Residents are encouraged to participate in Remote Public Comment Time and Public Hearings. Advance sign up is required to participate remotely. This is done via SpeakUp! Prince William by 5:00 pm on Monday, April 27.
All BOCS Meetings Are Broadcast Live Via
Channel 23
Channel 37
The County Budget
  • The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30 of the following year
  • While the budget is finalized in April, it is not static and the Office of Management and Budget manages it year-round
  • Every two years, an independent Community Survey of randomly selected citizens is conducted to help guide strategic decisions
This 3-minute video provides a great overview of the PWC Budget
ACTION in Community Through Service (ACTS) has been mentioned in several prior issues for their great work. It's been a month since the county declared a state of emergency, so The Wheeler Report  spoke to Steve G. Liga on the impact of COVID-19 and ACTS' response.
Steve G. Liga, Chief Executive Officer for ACTS
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. Fortunately, ACTS has been able to help victims in several ways.
  • A safe haven is paramount and has been possible through partnerships with local hotels.
  • Meals are also critical and they are working with a local grocery store to supply ready made meals.
  • Connectivity is important and facilitated by supplying mobile phones and/or tablet.
  • Vital group sessions for adults and children are being conducted using a HIPA compliant Zoom platform.

The Community Feeding Task Force (Issue 7) , a partnership between the PWC and ACTS, just launched a Food Helpline for anyone in need of food within the Greater Prince William County. The number is 703-794-4668 and is staffed from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Another one of ACTS programs has been particularly important during this time. The Senior Link volunteer check-in calls to our home-bound seniors are vital during times of self-isolation to ensure they are okay and see it they have any needs.
PWC Students Take Action
In episode 1 of Conversations With The Chair (checkout the next section to learn more), there was a special shout-out. A few of our high-tech minded teens are using 3D-printers to create protective equipment for local medical personnel. They have been making deliveries about three times a week and as of April 20 had delivered just over 150 face shields and 81 mask extenders to our local hospital.
These Hometown Heroes can't do this without supplies and they cost money! Use their dedicated funding site to help them reach their $5,000 goal and receive updates on their efforts!
Conversations With The Chair
Save The Date
Our second episode in this series will be with Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton next week on Wednesday, May 6 at 7:00 pm . A former State Senator, Congresswoman Wexton is now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 10th District. Information on how to join will be shared in next week's Report.
If You Missed It Last Week
The conversation with School Board Chairman At-Large, Babur Lateef M.D,.is available on Facebook and YouTube. Some school topics discussed were:
  • Accomplishments and goals
  • Proposed budget and funding
  • Adjustments in response to COVID-19
Awareness Month
National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disability, typically appearing during childhood and affecting a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. The Autism Society launched the National Autistic Children’s week in April 1972, which evolved into NAAM. This year's campaign, Celebrate Differences , is designed to build a better awareness of the signs, symptoms, and realities of autism.
In response to COVID-19, the Autism Society of America created a toolkit to provide immediate, and ongoing, support resources for the autism community during the pandemic.
Autism Program in Prince William County Schools
Our school system has a dedicated Autism Program with the mission to provide a structured teaching environment for all students with Autism that will nurture a variety of educational strategies. Since Autism is a spectrum disorder, it is important the special education programs be child specific. The Office of Special Education offers a full continuum of services to include:
  • Regular class with special education support 
  • Special class with or without participation in regular classes
Every student engages in meaningful educational opportunities to promote independent skills for life at school, home and within their community. 
COVID-19 News
COVID-19 In Prince William County
Sadly, as of 5:00 pm April 25 we have lost 19 of our fellow county residents. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) provides COVID-19 data by county. Updated by 10:00 am daily, case counts are as of 5:00 pm the night before and reflect reports to VDH by healthcare providers and laboratories.
Forward Virginia
On April 24, Governor Northam shared his blueprint for when to safely begin easing public health restrictions. It calls for a phased approach and focused on what is needed to enter Phase One easing and when we do what it will look like.
Highlights From Forward Virginia Blueprint
As Of April 24
  • Daily cases are still rising
  • Growth rates are slowing
  • Hospitalization rates remain flat
We Can Move To Phase One When We See
  • Downward trend: Percentage of positive tests over 14 days
  • Downward trend: Hospitalizations over 14 days
  • Increased testing and tracing
  • Enough hospital beds & intensive care capacity
  • Increasing and sustainable supply of PPE
Phase One Looks Like
  • Some businesses will re-open with strict safety restrictions
  • Continued social distancing
  • Continued teleworking
  • Face coverings recommend in public
Town Elections Update
Haymarket, Occoquan and Quantico Town Elections
Postponed to May 19.
Ways To Vote
Deadline to request a
mail-in absentee ballot is
Tuesday, May 12
Curbside at 9250 Lee Ave
in Manassas
last day is currently
Saturday, May 2
Election Day Voting
Polls are open from
6:00 am to 7:00 pm on
Tuesday, May 19
2020 Census Update
It's Not Too Late!
We have work to do but we can still win the $500 pledge for a local charity from NVRC !

Come-on PWC, let's get our Census response rates higher than Fairfax and Loudoun!
Don't Lose Site of the Bigger Picture
Even more important is breaking past our 2010 response rate of 72%!
You can help by:
Completing the Census
& encouraging others
Exciting Offering At NOVA
You Had Me At Free
Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is offering a great tuition-free summer opportunity!

Their JumpStart program is:
  • Open to approximately 70,000 qualified Northern Virginia rising seniors through graduating seniors
  • Offered online running from June 1 to July 9
  • Gives college credits for up to two classes
Because We All Could Use A Smile
In Case You Hadn't Heard the Buzz
There's a new YouTube Channel hosted by John Krasinski called SomeGoodNews. In under 20 minutes, once a week, these videos will surely lift your spirits. They've gone viral and with the help of some friends have surprising special moments! There are 4 episodes so far, but don't feel the need to watch in order. (Hints: Hamilton fans you'll love episode 2 or if you're missing sports go straight to episode 3!)
A Creative Approach
There have been challenges at the Haymarket Regional Food Pantry during the pandemic. Volunteers were down during a time when the need was greater. Not willing to give up helping people, they have come up with a creative solution - grocery store gift cards! Use the links below to learn more and donate.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.