As Brentsville’s Planning Commissioner, Tom has been on the frontlines of ensuring data centers are placed in the right locations in Prince William County (PWC). His position is data centers are industrial activities better suited to industrial locations. As Supervisor, Tom will not support data centers proposed next to homes, schools, nor in the rural area, and he will advocate for a balanced approach to further data center development within the county.
Smart Growth Development
Brentsville has been targeted in PWC’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan for significant development along Vint Hill Road, Nokesville Road, and in the Gainesville/Haymarket areas. However, there are no plans for new schools in the district over the next decade except for the new Innovation Elementary School (2023) and the addition of 11 classrooms at Gainesville Middle School. Further, additional development will present challenges to road infrastructure and sewer sheds and sewer lines. Our police, fire and emergency medical services are already stretched thin due to personnel shortages. Tom’s view is we cannot repeat the same mistakes that were made in the 2000’s when Western Prince William was overdeveloped without the infrastructure and services to support the growth. Tom believes a more strategic approach is necessary and doable. Tom will apply smart growth principles to any new development to ensure there are appropriate schools, roads, and first-responder services to support it and will oppose the projects if the infrastructure to support it isn’t available or provided.
Parts of the Brentsville district have some of the highest real estate taxes in Prince William County. As inflation continues to impact families, we must ensure that the county is doing everything in its power to protect the pocketbooks of all our constituents. Tom will fight to keep your taxes low through ensuring the county doesn’t spend all new taxes generated by data centers, but rather uses new tax revenues to offset real estate tax dependency while controlling spending and focusing the budget on priorities. Tom also believes we need to diversify our economic portfolio beyond data centers. Dependency on one industry for tax revenue is too risky. As Planning Commissioner, Tom has sought to protect parts of the county from data center development to make space for light industrial small businesses that are having difficulty finding an affordable place from which to operate in PWC. Providing space for small business will help diversify the economy and the commercial tax base, while creating greater opportunities for job growth in the county.
As a Veteran and the son of a firefighter, Tom supports Prince William’s first responders and appreciates the service and sacrifice they make everyday to keep our communities safe. Due to personnel shortages and the exponential increase in violent crime, our police officers, and fire and EMT personnel are overworked and burnout is taking its toll on their physical and mental well-being and their families. As Supervisor, Tom will prioritize resources to hire, train and retain more police, fire and EMT personnel and provide salaries that keep them in Prince William County rather than pursuing higher salaries in surrounding localities.
Since 2019, violent crime in Prince William County has increased by 70% and, in 2022, homicides doubled. As Supervisor, Tom will work with Prince William County Police and Sheriff’s Office to identify strategies and required resources to prevent and combat violent crime and reduce criminal recidivism. Tom is committed to providing resources to recruit, train and equip a fully-staffed police department and sheriff’s office.
The backbone of Prince William County’s economy is small business. Prince William’s small businesses provide local, good paying jobs and support our quality of life by providing essential services close to our homes and communities. Our small businesses are challenged by taxes, crime, development and regulations. As Supervisor, Tom will keep taxes low, vote to repeal the meals tax, continue to advocate for planning policies that reserve space for small businesses to start, grow and thrive, address the surge in violent crime in the county, and advocate for small businesses against proposed burdensome regulations.
The need for housing that our police, teachers, first-responders, and military families can afford will be a priority for Tom. The challenge of affordable housing rests in the law of supply and demand. There must be a balanced approach to development that provides enough housing to those at the higher ends of the economic spectrum in order to keep them from bidding up house prices, which makes it more difficult for those at lower economic levels to find and afford a home. Nonetheless, a focused approach using affordable housing grants and incentives must be applied. First, though, PWC needs to develop an Affordable Housing Ordinance and Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help us direct and support development to meet this critical need. As Supervisor, Tom will apply best-practices and a long-term strategic approach to ensure our housing policies and development not only provide an affordable place to live, but also a safe, affordable lifestyle. Tom will continue to work with developers to include workforce housing units within mainstream development.
Virginia has seen fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths spike over the last few years. Fentanyl is the leading cause of unnatural death in the Commonwealth – more than gun violence and auto fatalities combined. The synthetic opioid is killing, on average, five Virginians every day. The numbers are staggering and Prince William County is not immune. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to deal with this crisis. Tom will lead the charge as Supervisor and advocate for an all-of-government, community-based approach to address both the supply and demand sides of the issue, while providing resources for training in identifying the symptoms and tools for an effective community response. He will seek partnerships with state and federal agencies to gain the tools, data, and resources to help us turn the tide against this deadly drug.
As the parent of two school-aged children, a former chair of a parent advisory council and founder of a WatchDOGS program that recruited fathers and father figures to spend a day at their child’s school, Tom has been and remains keenly aware of the issues parents are facing as it relates to their child’s education. He believes parental involvement is the greatest asset for academic success of their children. As Supervisor, Tom will work with our Brentsville School Board Member to address the impact of proposed development on schools and apply a team-based approach to identifying and prioritizing budget resources to help us ensure our kids’ schools are safe, effective and focused on academic excellence.
Tom Needs Your Help Right Away!
PAID FOR BY GORDY FOR BRENTSVILLE
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