At a candidate forum Wednesday night, four candidates for at-large chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, including two major party candidates and two independents, weighed in on two of the other big questions on the ballot Nov. 5.
The county is asking voters to approve a $355 million roads bond question and $41 million for park improvements.
Ann Wheeler, the Democratic nominee and a former energy consultant, and Muneer Baig, founder and CEO of Manassas-based cyber security firm SYSUSA and an independent candidate, said they support both of the bond questions.
Independent candidate Don Scoggins, a former real estate broker and government employee, said he supports the roads bond question, but he is undecided about the parks bond referendum. The largest project on the roads bond is $200 million for Va. 28. The money would be used to either build a bypass or widen the busy commuter route between Manassas and Centreville.
John Gray, the Republican nominee and a Lake Ridge certified public accountant, said he doesn't support the bond questions. In regards to the roads bond referendum, he said the process wasn't planned properly and it would increase local taxes.
More than 100 people attended the forum held on Wednesday that was organized by the Prince William County Committee of 100 and the League of Women Voters of the Prince William Area.
Scoggins said he doesn't support the revenue sharing agreement between county supervisors and the county's school board. The agreement provides 57.23% of the county's general revenues to the school division while the other 42.77% is allocated to other county services.
Scoggins said he'd recommend reducing local school funding and increasing accountability. He said the school board could vie for the amount of local funding they request from the county.
Baig said education is key for him. He said he recommends judging the school division on key performance metrics to see what the return on the investment of local funds.
"We should have a better ROI [return on investment]," he said, adding, the school division needs to prepare students for cyber and cyber security.
Gray said he is no longer in favor of the revenue sharing agreement. He said he would rescind the agreement so county supervisors can get a better understanding of how local funding is being spent. He said supervisors have "abdicated" their oversight of the school board.
Wheeler said she thought the revenue sharing agreement was about not fighting about money, but realized it doesn't sufficiently fund the school division. She said she would increase local schools funding and would advocate for increased state funding for the division.