On Sept. 22, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair Ann Wheeler announced her intent to delay the vote on the Prince William Digital Gateway, stating: “There seems to be a great deal of questions and confusion about the process, and I think we need to take a step back and clarify that before we move forward.”

I rarely agree with Chair Wheeler, but I’ll endorse that assessment. Much of the confusion stems from the Planning Office’s contorted explanation that the county is really the applicant. Huh?

The whole point of the ongoing review process was that the county was supposedly scrutinizing a business proposal by private landowners to ensure it met our citizens’ best interests. If the county now calls itself the applicant, was it really in league with the landowners all along and devoting county resources over the past year to shoring up their case? If so, who was advocating for the citizens, other than the poor souls who were left to wage an uphill fight against city hall in their spare time?

Why was this first raised at the public hearing? The Planning Office continues to conjure up and reverse engineer explanations to rationalize the stacked deck they are dealing from.

One thing nobody should be confused about is the railroading being engineered by your county government. Retroactively declaring themselves the applicant only further confirms they were in the tank for this project all along. The true intent of the delay was to take our minds off their unrelenting chicanery.

Anybody still confused?

– Bill Wright, Gainesville

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