Share This Issue on Your Social Media
LinkedIn Share This Email
Stay Connected With Chair Wheeler
Twitter  Facebook  Instagram  Youtube  

Issue 173

Friday, July 21, 2023

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

I am amazed at the varieties of ways a person can read the email subject line of today's issue, Stay Cool. Of course, it can refer to the weather and "staying cool" in the heat we have been having lately. In last year's issue 126 you can find a detailed article on staying safe in the heat. It also brings to mind other ways to "stay cool" like this article about ice cream in our excellent local magazine Prince William Living, or the by visiting the newly opened Bruster’s Ice Cream in Haymarket, showcased below. 


It can refer to aging baby boomers (of which I am one) who work hard to "stay cool" by keeping up with the current trends and remaining relevant. At the same time, those within this significant generation "stay cool" by remaining focused on critical social issues and, as they did in the 60’s, continue to create awareness today with raised voices. 


Lastly, it reminds me of “staying cool,” or remaining calm, under pressure or in confrontation situations. This is so important in today’s world when unfortunately incidents like road rage or political confrontation can go out of control.


Words matter. It’s important to realize that the same words have different meanings from different perspectives. Stay cool!

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Paying Respect

Wednesday, July 19, Chair Wheeler attended the funeral services for Dr. George Mervyn Hampton, Sr. The seventh of eight children, he was born in Englewood, New Jersey on June 7, 1928. He attended the public schools in Englewood, then at the age of 15, he moved to Greensboro, North Carolina to live with his now deceased brother and his wife, Dr. William, and Wilhelmina Hampton. In February 1960 he married Deloris Diane Carter, and they had two children George Mervyn Jr. and Sydni Theresa. You can read about Mr. Hampton's legacy of service in the County Kudos section of issue 172.

New Business

Friday, July 21, Chair Wheeler and her staff went to the newly opened Bruster's Ice Cream in Haymarket. Chair Wheeler joined a group from the Town of Haymarket for a photo, including Mayor Ken Luersen to her right.

Bruster’s Ice Cream is made the old-fashioned way, with slow kettle processing designed specifically to create the Bruster’s flavor. Every scoop is made in-house just a few steps from the counter where it’s served, so it always tastes thick, creamy and fresh. It also serves artisan desserts made to order, including crunchy handmade waffle cones and bowls, customized sundaes, candy-filled blasts, ice cold freezes and thick milkshakes. At least 24 ever-changing flavors are made daily, with over 150 handcrafted flavor recipes in rotation.

Celebrating an Accomplishment

Friday, July 21, Chair Wheeler spoke at the National Capital Area Council group of 12-16-year-old male and female scouts who are working on their Citizen in the Community Merit Badge. Topics Chair Wheeler discussed included duties of the BOCS, traffic congestion, AI detectors in schools, homelessness, healthcare costs, and mental health.

The requirement for the Citizen in the Community Merit Badge is to choose an issue that is important to the citizens of your community and then do the following:

  1. Find out which branch of local government is responsible for this issue.
  2. With your counselor's and a parent's approval, interview one person from the branch of government you identified in requirement.
  3. Ask what is being done about this issue and how young people can help.
  4. Share what you have learned with your counselor.

Next Meeting

Tuesday, July 25

2:00 pm and 7:20 pm

For Public Comment Time options visit SpeakUp! Prince WilliamRemote speakers must sign up by 5:00 pm on Monday, July 24. In-person speakers can sign up at the meeting.

View the Agenda
Register to Speak Remotely

Following the July 25 meeting, the BOCS will be in August recess. The first BOCS meeting after recess will be Tuesday, September 12, at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm.

County News

Critical Campaign Launched

This week, PWC launched Fentanyl Exposed, a fentanyl overdose prevention campaign targeting at-risk youth and young adults in Greater PWC. The campaign seeks to empower and educate young people about the risks and dangers of fentanyl-laced substances, such as illicit pills and powders, while providing critical knowledge on how to reduce the risk of a fatal overdose.

The campaign, the County's first fentanyl prevention messaging specifically for teens, features a Fentanyl Exposed website that includes key information about the risks of fentanyl, ways to prevent overdose, and overdose death. Additionally, there is a social media campaign with fentanyl and naloxone educational information.

The Dangers of Fentanyl

Fentanyl is everywhere and use of the deadly, synthetic opioid in the greater PWC area has been on the rise since 2018. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
  • Causes more deaths among people under 50 in the United States than cancer, heart disease, suicide, homicide and accidents.

Sustainability Acknowledgements

The PWC Government and PWC Service Authority have been named Virginia Environmental Excellence Program (VEEP) 2023 Sustainability Partners (Environmental Sustainability in PWC issue 60) by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. They are two of only nine entities given the title. The summaries below describe programs implemented that earned them the recognition.

PWC Government

Made installation of bottle filling stations standard with over 2 million bottles being saved over the course of the last 7 years. Also, at a County level,:

  • All plant-based garden spaces are 75% native species or higher.
  • Vegetable gardens and fruit trees have been planted at fire stations, where staff “live” and eat around the clock, to make sites more self-sufficient and reduce purchasing needs.
  • The Balls Ford Compost facility has been funded for major advances in food waste composting and educational installations.
  • A Sustainability Manager (County News issue 104) was hired in 2022 and has been engaging the public, environmental partners, and local businesses in a resiliency plan.

The PWC Service Authority

Educates nearly 10,000 students per year through the H2Go Kids Online Learning Hub. It uses pre-recorded and live virtual presentations as well as worksheets, comics, experiments, and more to teach students about the importance of water as a vital resource.

PWC Water Quality Reports

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all water utilities to produce annual water quality reports that convey important information and characteristics about the water they provide to their customers. To view the 2023 water quality report for your service area, please select the hyperlinked report below that corresponds to your account location.

National Recognition

PWC won first place in the 2023 Digital Counties Survey Awards in the 250,000 - 499,999 population category. The annual award recognizes a counties that have worked hard to improve their digital, citizen and government experience through technology and leadership, and is sponsored by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and the National Association of Counties (NACo). The county won second place in 2022 and third place in 2021. PWC’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) provides technology services that enable the County's seven strategic goals. learn more in the Department's Strategic plan, IT Done Right.  

Two PWC DoIT Initiatives Sited in the Award were:

  • Supporting the County's 2021-2024 Strategic Plan “Safe & Secure Community” goal (page 15) by providing communications, applications, facilities, data, and mobile technologies that improve response times for emergency responders.
  • Keeping the County's best technologies at its fingertips, such as resilient and redundant facilities, body worn cameras, in-vehicle rugged mobile technology, and location-based services.

Other PWC Technology Items Include:

  • Complete modernization of technology, infrastructure and communications tools to operate on a high-speed, 400 GB backbone.
  • Continuing to make progress on the Technology Inclusion Initiative, which aims to deliver affordable, high-speed broadband access countywide, while ensuring all residents have the technology skills needed to thrive in a digital economy.
  • Collaborating with regional jurisdictions on interoperability and cybersecurity. 

Commonwealth Board Appointment

This week, PWC Director of Finance/CFO Michelle Attreed was sworn-in as a member of the Board of the Virginia Public Building Authority (VPBA). Ms. Attreed was appointed to the Board by Governor Glenn Younkin.,VPBA a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It provides financing for State projects, facilities and obligations including the Commonwealth's share of the cost of jail and juvenile detention projects. It may only undertake projects approved by the General Assembly.

County Kudos

An Inspiring Story of Determination and Resilience

If you look around, you can find amazing stories of the human spirit everyday. This is one of those stories, and it happens to be right here in our County. Saturday, February 1, 2021, 15-year old Patriot High School freshman Jenna Sheehy did what she usually did, played in a soccer game. The next day, Super Bowl Sunday, was something entirely different. 

That day, Jenna suffered a sudden stroke due to a ruptured arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), a condition she was born with which, until that moment, had been dormant and undiagnosed. Her father administered CPR, she was taken to a local hospital, and medivacked to a regional pediatric ICU.

Her condition was grave. Her prognosis was extensive cognitive and neurological damage. Yet, Jenna defied the odds. She did the hard work and stayed focused on her goal of walking across the stage at graduation. The video below from PWC Public Schools is a testament to Jenna's determination, resilience, and success.

Congratulations Jenna! We can't wait to see what you do in the next chapter of your life!

About AVMs from the National Institute of Health

"AVMs are abnormal, snarled tangles of blood vessels that cause multiple irregular connections between your arteries and veins. These malformations most often occur in the spinal cord and in any part of your brain or on its surface but can develop elsewhere in the body."

"In most cases, people with neurological AVMs experience few, if any, significant symptoms. In some cases, a weakened blood vessel may burst, spilling blood into the brain (hemorrhage) that can cause stroke and brain damage. Most malformations tend to be discovered only incidentally, usually during treatment for an unrelated disorder or at autopsy."

"Symptoms caused by AVMs can appear at any age. Because the abnormalities tend to result from a slow buildup of neurological damage over time, they are most often noticed when people are in their twenties or older. If AVMs do not become symptomatic by the time people reach their late forties or early fifties, they tend to remain stable and are less likely to produce symptoms."

You can learn more about AVMs here

County Happenings

Keeping Communities Safe

Monday, July 24, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is hosting a free Neighborhood Watch Training event. The virtual session will cover situational awareness, crime reporting, home security and watch patrolling all training that will enable you to start a watch in your community. Registration here is required. Event password is safe.

Furry Cuddles

Wednesday, July 26, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, the Prince William Public Libraries is hosting Teen Bunny Cuddle at the Chinn Park Library Branch in Woodbridge. Teens grades 6 through 12 are Teens, are invited to come relax and join the Libraries' Bunny Cuddle Puddle with furry friends from My Pet Alpaca. Similar events will be held at the Nokesville Branch on Thursday, August 3, 10:30 am to 11:30 pm and the Potomac Branch on Wednesday, August 9, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Preschool Meet and Greet

Saturday, July 29, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, a Preschool Fair will be held at the Chinn Park Public Library Branch in Woodbridge. Parents can meet local preschool and early childhood education administrators. Explore school calendars and educational resources and learn about the options available to you and your little ones this year.

Free Performance

Sunday, July 30, 10:30 am to 12:00 pm, come out to the Jean C. Smith Amphitheater at Locust Shade Park in Triangle for Nā Pikake Lōhio Wai Kaulele free Hawaiian hula dance performance. This Hawaiian hula dance group has performed at the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival, local International Festivals, Workhouse Arts Center events, elder care facilities, weddings, and other specialty events around Northern Virginia.

Helpful PWC Links

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 482,000 residents. 
Subscribe to The Wheeler Report
Visit My Website