Issue 8
Monday, April 13, 2020
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This is an important time for the county. In addition to being in the midst of a global pandemic creating new economic realities and uncertainties, we must comply with a state mandated deadline to adopt our fiscal year 2021 budget. I have devoted the first segment in this issue to ensuring you are well informed.

During our last Board meeting on March 31, our Chief Executive Officer, Chris Martino, shared stark news of the multi-million dollar shortfall the county will now face. Our county staff has worked tirelessly to make adjustments to get through this year and next. I am incredibly thankful for their efforts.

I want to provide what sense of stability I can for the people of Prince William County during this difficult time. Therefore, I cannot support the real property tax increase that the current proposed budget, even with adjustments, is constructed on. I directed Mr. Martino to prepare a budget keeping the real property tax at its current rate of $1.125 per $100 and present it on Tuesday afternoon for the Board to review. This will mean reductions in many areas and will also impact the funding of our school system.

However, we cannot ignore the extreme financial impact of the pandemic on the county finances and the increased need we will see for Human Services. This is why I am recommending increasing the programmable computer equipment and peripherals tax rate from $1.25 per $100 to $1.35 (applies to trades, businesses and data centers). I am also recommending increasing personal property license fees from $24 to $33 for vehicles and from $12 to $20 for motorcycles.

While my featured article contains quite a bit of detailed information about this week's meetings, there is other news to share with you. I encourage you to please read the rest of this issue to be up to date on additional important items.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Board of County Supervisors
As I shared in Issue 7, the Board must take the required steps toward adopting the fiscal year 2021 budget in April. As part of that process, this week we are holding public meetings on Tuesday, April 14 and Thursday, April 16.

Please review the details below so you are fully informed about these meetings and your participation options.
Tuesday, April 14 Meeting

2:00 pm
  • Primary Purpose: County Executive Chris Martino will provide a recap of his recommendations for the budget.
  • How to Participate in Public Comment Time: Remote comment only, available via online or telephone. Required advance sign up must be by 5:00 pm Monday, April 13.
7:30 pm
  • Primary Purpose: Legally required public hearing for the proposed budget, including hearings for a variety of taxes and fees (does not include real property tax).
  • How to Participant in Public Hearing on Proposed Budget & Fees: In-person as well as remotely via online or telephone. Required advance sign up must be by 5:00 pm Monday, April 13.
8:00 pm
  • Primary Purpose: Legally required public hearing for the proposed budget personal real property tax rate.
  • How to Participate in Public Hearing on Real (Residential and Commercial) Property Tax Rate: In-person as well as remotely via online or telephone. Required advance sign up must be by 5:00 pm Monday April 13.
Thursday, April 16 Meeting

7:30 pm
  • Primary Purpose: Second public hearing for the proposed budget and to hear the School Board's fiscal year 2012 budget presentation.
  • How to Participate in Public Comment Time: Remote comment only, available via online or telephone. Required advance sign up will be available starting 6:00 pm Monday, April 13 through 5:00 pm Wednesday, April 15.
  • How to Participate in Second Public Hearing on Proposed Budget & Fees: May be done in-person as well as remotely via online or telephone. Required advance sign up will be available starting 6:00 pm Monday, April 13 through 5:00 pm Wednesday, April 15.
In addition to the options provided above, you are always encouraged to reach out directly to
your District Supervisor's office via email or telephone
Meetings Are Broadcast Live Via
Channel 23
Channel 37
Census Challenge News
I'm happy to report since the Census Day issue, we've made nice progress!

Our Response Rate
has grown from 39% to 57%

However, as this graphic shows, we are behind our neighboring counties. We can still beat them!
Increasing our response rates can
help local food banks!

is giving $500 to the charity of choice of the NOVA jurisdiction with the highest response rate at the end of April!!
It only takes a few minutes!
Each person counted impacts our federal funding
for vital services for the next 10 years!
Already completed the Census? Great!
You can still help!

We are staying connected through things like calls, virtual visits, text conversations and social media exchanges. Set a goal to ask 5 people a day to complete the Census and ask them to tell 5 people! Together we can get this done!
Awareness Month
Child Abuse Prevention

Child abuse and neglect can ripple across a lifespan, negatively impacting chances to succeed in school, work, and relationships. We are currently faced with closed schools and orders to shelter-in-place. This can be stressful, which is a common risk factor for child abuse. As a community, especially now, let's work together to bring awareness and protect our children.
P rotective factors can reduce or eliminate risk and promote the healthy development and well-being of children and families.
Learn more and find additional resources from
If You Suspect Child Abuse Or Neglect
703-792-4200 weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm.

After hours and weekends call
Prince William County Police non-emergency number at 703-792-6500 or the Virginia State Hotline at 1-800-552-7096.
Pinwheels were introduced as the national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention in 2008 because of their connection to childlike whimsy. If you see 'pinwheel gardens' around town, know every one 'planted' represents hope.
Prince William School Nurses

Twenty-two of our nurses have signed up to volunteer through the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)! These Hometown Heros are helping staff the Prince William Health District Call Center and provide other services during the pandemic.
“It is hard to watch other nurses in the trenches and not be able to do something. It is a great way to give back to the community.”
Diana Fening, Occoquan Elementary School Nurse
Learn More
The Prince William Health District Call Center
For COVID-19 information contact
703-872-7759 seven days a week from 9 am to 5 pm
Want To Help?
Protecting Our First Responders
ILovemyPWCfirefighter is soliciting fabric donations to make CDC approved cloth masks for our front line Fire and EMS responders. They are asking for solid color heavyweight "quilters cotton" of at least 180 thread counts. If you are able to help, please email Samantha Jones to coordinate. You can also donate money through this PayPal account.
Don't Flush!
Now that I have your attention,
our Service Authority is asking everyone to pr otect plumbing and sanitary sewer systems by NOT flushing any type of wipe down toilets or drains. This is even if it says 'flushable' on the label! Unlike toilet tissue, surface wipes do not disintegrate and can create clogs!
School To-Go Meals Update
Meals will now be made available to parents/guardians without students present. Staff will be asking the parent/guardian to provide specific documentation.
Three additional schools have been added to the list of pick-up locations:
  • Potomac View Elementary
  • River Oaks Elementary
  • Saunders Middle.
Meals are for children under the age of 18 weekdays from 9:00-11:00 am
Visit PWCS To-Go Meals to learn more details
Please Join Me!
COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall

Monday, April 13 at 5:00 pm
I will be joined by Prince William County's
Executive, Chris Martino, and
Health District Director, Dr. Alison Ansher
Remember To Be Kind to Yourself
Some people are using this time at home to clean out the garage, organize pantries, learn something new or even finally start writing that book. Yet, I believe there are many of us who are just trying to make it through a day at a time - and that's OK!

If the pressure to be productive is feeling burdensome, I suggest you read a quick article about a trauma psychologist's point of view on the risks of motivational pressure during quarantine.
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with emotional challenges, please seek help! C all Prince William County Community Services for Mental Health at 703-792-4900 or use one of the many other resources found in my Helping You Cope issue
May and June Elections
On Wednesday, April 8, Governor Northam shared the following:
June 9 Primary Elections for US Senate and Congress
These are now moved to June 23
May 5 Haymarket, Occoquan and Quantico Town Elections
The Governor has RECOMMENDED these be moved to November 3 .
The General Assembly must vote on this at a meeting later this month.
PLEASE NOTE: The final decision on this is pending.
I will advise once we have know if this is approved or not.
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 469,000 residents.