UPDATED: Live-Blog TODAY with PWC Supervisor Corey Stewart

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NOVA Town Hall is proud to announce that we will be hosting a live-blog Q&A with Occoquan District Supervisor Corey Stewart from 7-8PM TODAY( Monday July 23rd). Supervisor Stewart is the conservative candidate seeking to replace moderate Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton once Connaughton's presidential appointment is finalized. For some background information you can read Craig Vitter's excellent comments here and here.

Please leave your questions for Supervisor Stewart in the comment thread below. Or if you prefer, you can email us your questions here.

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25 Comments

Not TooConservative said:

Supervisor Stewart: If elected chair, would you

1.require the County Executive to provide a more transparent budget, ie provide a drill-down on specific program costs so that a line item review may be accomplished?

2.will you consider a cut in the School Board budget, a cut that should be achieved through a reduction of its bloated and expensive administrative and guidance staff levels?

3.to help ensure shorter BOCS meetings, will you discourage county staff and board members from making presentations during public hearings (they are already afforded the opportunity for comment during the land use application review process and should not be afforded this forum to publicly promote their department's needs)?

4.will you adhere to the BOCS rules of order, change them or continue to apply them when convenient as is the practice of the current chair?

5.will you lean on your arm, bridge your fingers and make snide comments and asides while conducting BOCS hearings?

charles said:

Since this is a blog, I'll ask a blog question -- what is your position about elected officials posting anonymously to internet blogs, either to express points of view they don't want associated with them, or to attack their opponents without having to take responsibility?

10th District Delegate said:

I have seen you attacked as pro-growth, anti-growth, and about everything in between on a certain other blog; and for a non-Prince William observer, I have no idea what to believe.

What is your real position on growth in Prince William?

Greg Letiecq said:

Supervisor Stewart:

The budget fo Prince William County has been growing far more than the rate of inflation and the rate of population growth over the past few years. If you are elected Chairman, what actions do you plan to undertake to control spending? At some point don't efficiencies of scale come into play and reduce the burden individual taxpayers must bear? Or are we simply in the position where important priorities have been traditionally underfunded and we need to temporarily "bite the bullet" and pay proportionally higher taxes for some time?

By the way, if you're looking for someplace to trim spending, the Community Services Board's Early Childhood Intervention Program might be a place to look. In our experience, that program could take a 50% cut in management and office personnel and we would in no way notice any difference in results.

Sophrosyne said:

Supervisor Stewart,

First, thank you so much for coming to live-blog on NOVA TownHall.

My question is what are your thoughts on the Virginia Marriage Amendment and what, if anything, will you be doing to support its passage this November?

Thank you for your time!

Mr. Stewart:

Please explain, in detail, why you chose to approve the Dominion Valley rezoning request but were the lone dissenting vote on the Rippon Center rezoning.

NoVa Scout said:

Why did you support Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling over Chairman Sean Connaughton in last year's LG primary?

Anon said:

Supervisor Stewart,

Do you read blogs frequently? And if so, what are your favorites?

Aislinn said:

Thank you for taking the time to join NOVA Townhall Blog!

Could you speak a little bit about the development issues in PWC and what your approach to handling them would be? Also, since transportation always seems to be a big issue in Northern Virginia, what can be done in PWC to help ease congestion on the major roads?

Finally, where would you like to see PWC in 5 years, and what would you do as Chairman to get there?

Thanks again, and I wish you the best of luck with your campaign!

Sophrosyne said:

Supervisor Stewart,

It has been reported on James Young’s blog, Skeptical Observer, that plans are in the works to hold a PWC convention on August 19th in order to nominate Sean Connaughton’s hopeful successor. Details here:

http://skepticalobservor.blogspot.com/2006/07/pwc-convention-set.html

Can you confirm this? Do you prefer a convention in August or September?

Thank you!

Supervisor-

Thank you for coming on the blogs.

What positive qualities do you believe outgoing Chairman Sean Connaughton and current Supervisor Nohe possess.

anon said:

to keep it fair and balanced; what do you think are the weaknesses of outgoing chairman connaughton and supervisor nohe???

Joe said:

Despite those "positive qualities" has Supervisor Nohe worked hand in hand with Chairman Connaughton to promote run-away development in PWC, contributing to the worsening traffic situation?

Good evening, everyone. Thank you all for coming. I would like to thank Novatownhall for setting this up and giving me an opportunity to address you.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Q. Supervisor Stewart: If elected chair, would you

1.require the County Executive to provide a more transparent budget, ie provide a drill-down on specific program costs so that a line item review may be accomplished?

2.will you consider a cut in the School Board budget, a cut that should be achieved through a reduction of its bloated and expensive administrative and guidance staff levels?

3.to help ensure shorter BOCS meetings, will you discourage county staff and board members from making presentations during public hearings (they are already afforded the opportunity for comment during the land use application review process and should not be afforded this forum to publicly promote their department's needs)?

4.will you adhere to the BOCS rules of order, change them or continue to apply them when convenient as is the practice of the current chair?

5.will you lean on your arm, bridge your fingers and make snide comments and asides while conducting BOCS hearings?

A. Your premise is correct. While the population has grown approximately 35 % since 2000, spending has increased over 125% over the same period. Clearly, these massive increases in spending are unsustainable over the long term.

To restrain spending to reasonable levels, we need a more transparent budget that makes sense to the average citizen. this will allow our citizen budget committees to more easily scrutize line items and recommend a reduction or elimation. Currently, our committees are having a very difficult time doing this.

Second, we need to set the policy capping the average tax bill increase to the inflation rate for the DC area. Currently, that cap is set at 5.9% This will force County staff to scrutinize their own budgets and come up savings. They know their own budgets best, and they should know best where achieve savings.

Sophrosyne said:

[Our apologies to Supervisor Stewart and our readers for the slightly delayed start; we had some technical difficulties here at NOVA TownHall. As you can see everything should be working now.]

Corey A. Stewart said:

I would not consider a cut in school spending. Education, transportation and public saftey are core governmental functions. My concern is the growth in spending on non-core functions. As the real estate market softens, revenue will begin to subside in FY'08. Once created, new programs are difficult to reign in. The bloat in overall spending over the past several years must be restrained for us to allow increases in spending for core functions. We need to grow the ranks of our police, fire and resuce personnel more quickly than we have been doing, and that is diffucult to do when resources have been diluted out to non-core functions.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Yes, I believe we should review the rules of order and consider some changes. Board meetings get bogged down, particularly the afternoon sessions, with overly lengthy staff reports, etc. The meetins are loaded with so much extraneous material that citizens tune out.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Q. "I have seen you attacked as pro-growth, anti-growth, and about everything in between on a certain other blog; and for a non-Prince William observer, I have no idea what to believe.

What is your real position on growth in Prince William?"

I am a strong supporter of commercial development, particularly office and high-end retail and restaurant development. With regard to residential growth, I have consistently opposed high-density development and development not supported by adequate transportation, park and recreation, and school facilties. Currently, 66% of County residents who work commute outside the county every day. As such, new residential development is, under normal circumstances, likely to place two-thirds of those new residents onto overly congested commuter routes of I-66, 123, I-95 or Rt. 1. With the exceptionof 123, the capacities of those commuter routes are not likely to have any significant expansion in the short or mid-term. In absence of such improvements, the County has few options. Fortunately, the County has a burgeoning commercial base, which will allow more people to work here and avoid those commuter routes. Unfortunately, residential development has been outpacing commercial development and is nullifying those gains. My vision is to limit residential growth to low-density wooded developments and continue to strongly encourage commercial development with stream-lined regulations and low taxation. We also need to make sure that we are not absorbing valuable commercial property with residential development.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Q. "My question is what are your thoughts on the Virginia Marriage Amendment and what, if anything, will you be doing to support its passage this November?"

A. I am a strong supporter of the marriage amendment and plan to promote it strongly during my election in November.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Q. "Please explain, in detail, why you chose to approve the Dominion Valley rezoning request but were the lone dissenting vote on the Rippon Center rezoning."

These two proposals could not be more different. Rippon Center placed another 550 apartment units along Route 1. It provided for no school sites, no park or recreational space, No senior-restricted units, No ball fields, a meagher contribution to the improvement of Rippon Boulevard and no improvements to Route 1.

Dominion Valley, on the other hand, was for 100 fewer units and was converting 580 already-approved units from regular homes to senior-restricted housing. Seniors pay taxes but bring few if any students and generally avoid commuter routes during the rush hour. Despite this, however, this rezoning provided the County with 2 school sites, 230 acreas of recreational/park space, several baseball and soccer ball fields, and millions toward improvements to Route 15.

Supervisor John Stirrup spent 2 years negotiating what are considered the strongest and most advantageous proffers the County has ever seen. His efforts paid off.

Corey Stewart said:

Q. "Why did you support Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling over Chairman Sean Connaughton in last year's LG primary?

Bill Bolling is a strong conservative, both on fiscal and social issues. He has a strong conservative record. That is how I view I myself.

While it is true that the budgetary disputes between Sean and me unfortunately become personal, my support for Bill over Sean was due to a shared ideology with Bill.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Q. "What positive qualities do you believe outgoing Chairman Sean Connaughton and current Supervisor Nohe possess."

We have had more than a few disputes, but I believe both men are intelligent and personable. I genuinely like them both on personal level.

Corey A. Stewart said:

Thank you all.

Sophrosyne said:

Thank you Supervisor Stewart for your time and thoughtful answers. We hope to have you back soon and best of luck with your campaign!

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