Prince William County community members, I commend you on exercising your civic duty to vote in the local elections, but it does not end there. You still must continue to engage your public officials, whom you have entrusted to govern judiciously and with integrity. Let your concerns be heard by either attending Planning Commission hearings and Board of County Supervisors meetings or contacting your officials by phone or email.

But when local officials have acted without integrity and have demonstrated clear conflicts of interests that enrich themselves against their constituents – thus betraying the trust we have given them, our system of governance in Virginia gives constituents a legitimate recourse to redress this – a recall. No need to wait for the next election cycle. Don’t be reluctant to use this tool to hold your elected officials accountable. Petitioning for a recall is also exercising your civic duty.

Those of us in the Gainesville District do not have any representation regarding data center issues impacting our lives because our supervisor has a direct conflict of interests and has recused himself but refuses to resign. How is it fair to Gainesville District residents who now have no representation whatsoever on these matters? We entrusted Pete Candland to work on behalf of all Gainesville residents with integrity, not just for a targeted few or just for his family. We deserve representation, period.

And how is it that our county Board Chair, Ann Wheeler, continues to vote on matters in which she also has financial conflicts of interest regarding data centers? We also entrusted her to work on behalf of the interests of all Prince William residents, not just for the data centers or their beneficiaries. Integrity matters.

Under the guise of better schools, affordable housing and jobs, our county is being corrupted by data center dollars at the expense of its residents.

Let’s do our civic duty. Recall supervisors Pete Candland, a Republican, and Ann Wheeler, a Democrat.

Truly, Prince William deserves better. County over party. We are one Prince William.

– Rhonda Reese, Gainesville

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