Eric Young Shares Vision for More Financially Sound Brentsville

| October 17, 2014 | 0 Comments | News

Candidate Eric Young at Peet's Coffee in Bristow.

Thursday Eric Young of Bristow officially registered as a candidate for Brentsville District Supervisor. He is running as a Democrat in the Special Election scheduled for Dec. 23 against Republican Jeanine Lawson and Independent Scott Jacobs.

On Not Accepting Developers’ Contributions

Young began his campaign with the announcement that he would not be accepting any monetary contributions from developers. Young said his decision to run was based upon his desire to restore the public’s faith in public servants.

“I feel like faith in public service has been lost especially at the local level. I feel like most of the public servants are bias towards developers, because they receive so much money from them,” Young said.

While he qualified that accepting campaign donations from developers is no way illegal and does not necessarily compromise a candidate, at the very least, he believes it leads some constituents to question where their elected-officials loyalties lie.

“I think it’s about the message that I’m sending that we need more responsible public servants that have purely the interests of the taxpayers at heart,” he said.

Deciding to Run

Young said he did not decide to enter the campaign believing the Republican vote would become split between Lawson and Jacobs. Rather, he said he felt he should step up since Don Shaw decided not to run for supervisor, but to pursue a campaign for delegate instead.

Young had considered running for Brentsville Delegate last year, but instead of competing with Shaw in a caucus race, he decided to yield the election to him. However, without Shaw or another Democrat in the race, Young thought now would be a good time to run.

Stone Haven and Traffic Congestion

Young wants to go on the record saying he opposes the Stone Haven development, and as it stands now, he would vote against it. He believes he is the only candidate who has publicly taken such a definitive stance on the matter.

Young is opposed to Stone Haven because he believes it does not address Western Prince William’s real transportation concerns; rather it would add to them.

“I will say I’m completely against the Stone Haven project just because it doesn’t make any sense. It’s a well-planned community. It looks beautiful on paper, and we would get a school out of it, but it didn’t address the biggest issue, which is Balls Ford Road. It’s backed up today. It is backed up every day. It’s not on the CTB’s (Commonwealth Transportation Board) six-year plan. It’s not on the comp plan with Prince William County.”

Young said there is a plan to realign Balls Ford Road, but not to widen it. In the meantime, his concern is a new community would bring increased morning congestion on that commuter road without any relief.

Young explained that while the developer has proffered the extension of University Boulevard and Rollins Ford Road, those will not help residents get on I-66 any quicker in the morning. University leads to the already backed up Lee Highway, and Rollins Ford would lead onto Prince William Parkway.

“If they had come up with a plan that directly eased congestion off Balls Ford, then it [Stone Haven] starts to make a little bit of sense,” Young said.

Plan for Balls Ford Road

He wants to see plans for the widening of Balls Ford Road, and he has a specific plan in mind.

“I’d like to see it fly over the railroad tracks and over the [Prince William] Parkway. Nobody has really come up with this specific plan, and I’m not about being vague,” said Young. “I have an idea of what the solution should be.”

Route to Dulles

Democratic Candidate for Brentsville Supervisor entered the race on Oct. 16, 2014.

Young believes we need to bring commercial interests to Prince William County to spur economic development and diversify the tax base to help out the residential taxpayers.

He believes that the primary way to attract new businesses is to build out the grid. He also believes that having a direct route to Dulles is one way to attract those sought-after corporations.

Young wants to find a solution, but said he cannot yet definitively say if the Bi-County Parkway is it.

“Bi-County Parkway is under review right now. What it is going to look like, we don’t know,” said Young. He added. “I believe philosophically that a route to Dulles would help economic development.”

He disagrees with his opponent Jeanine Lawson, who has said she is against the Parkway, without waiting to see what the Parkways will be. He doubts commercial growth can be accomplished in Western Prince William without a better route to Dulles and Loudoun.

Importance of Commercial Development

Young does not want to say he is “pro-business,” because he said, when it comes down to it, he is for the taxpayers and whatever he believes is right for them. He also said he is not going to use buzzwords that don’t accurately reflect what is important. However, he believes in many ways that expanding business interests is what is best for the taxpayers, as well as small business owners.

Young thinks that we need to get the county to a point in which the school division can afford to build new schools without having to be dependent upon developers to proffer land for school sites.

Young believes Prince William needs to start by building roads because businesses will follow the roads. When the businesses locate in Brentsville and Prince William, he believes the county will have the money it needs to build new schools and reduce class sizes.

Unfortunately, Young knows that Prince William would also be more attractive to corporations if we had smaller class sizes, but it he also knows the county has to start somewhere.

He believes Prince William it primed to be the next business hub of Northern Virginia, but only if supervisors act now.

“Eventually, there won’t be any room left in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and if we miss that opportunity, to capture that commercial investment, we might miss it for the next 25 years,” Young said.

However, if we do bring commercial interests into the county, then he believes Prince William will receive other amenities the residents want, such as the metro.

Keeping the Rural Crescent Rural

Young grew up in Nokesville. He is happy with the Rural Crescent and does not see a need for it to change.

“I’d like to see it unchanged. That is where I grew up. I’d like to see it preserved as much as possible,” he said.

He does not want to add sewer because he believes that would just pave the way for new developments.

Improving the School System

Last spring Superintendent, Dr. Steven L. Walts asked the Board of County Supervisors for money to be used for teacher coaching along with funds to reduce class sizes. Some of the supervisors, including Brentsville’s Wally Covington, did not want to provide that money. Covington doubted funds for professional development would make a difference for the overcrowded school system.

Young disagrees

“Everyone talks about lowering classroom sizes, but let’s think outside the box a little bit. I certainly recognize classroom size as a serious problem. [What if] we can spend less money, but have a greater impact? I’m not saying I’m against reducing classroom sizes.”

Young explained that he would suggest offering professional development and teacher coaching while the school division is still trying to afford to reduce class sizes. Young believes that with so much emphasis on testing, the teachers may be able to use coaching on classroom management or dealing with difficult students.

He is also a big advocate for early childhood development.

“We get a match from the state. We need to pony up money for that,” Young said.

He thinks of it as an investment that will pay off in the long run as it will improve student achievement for many years to come. This investment should boost test scores, but most importantly, student learning.

Experience

Young is the Direct of Business Development for Lindsey Business Group in Centreville. He said he job has taught him to cooperate and engage in creative problem solving. He believes that his experience can be directly applied to being a county supervisor.

“I think finding solutions to the county’s problems, it’s not going to be easy. We’ve dug ourselves into a hole. We’re going to have to think creatively, think outside the box to dig ourselves out,” Young said.

He is also a graduate of Leadership Prince William, which he said gave him “a nice broad overview of the county agencies and how they work together to make the county great.”

On Being a Democrat

Young hopes that people will pay more attention to the individuals running and their experience and ideas rather than party affiliation in this race.

“Party shouldn’t matter to most people. If we’re talking about finding solutions that make sense to the taxpayer, it doesn’t matter which party you affiliate yourself,” Young said.

There is a stereotype of the “tax and spend liberal” that Young hopes to break.

“Raising taxes is the last resort to a revenue shortfall,” he said.

He described himself as a moderate Democrat and said he would vote his conscience and ethics rather than simply aligning his vote with party views.

He also has no plan of becoming a career politician. Should he be elected to this first short term, he said would seek no more than two full terms after that. He likes the model that the Founding Fathers established with a two-term presidency, and believe that changing the elected officials allows the citizens more of a voice in politics.

“Responsible public servant serves at the pleasure of the people, and when he’s done he goes back and contributes to the community,” he said.

Family Life & Background

Eric Young has spent just about his entire life as a citizen of the Brentsville District. He grew up in Nokesville, lived shortly in Manassas and now lives in Bristow. He also spent two years of his life on mission in Brazil.

Young now lives in Braemar with his wife and two children. He has a 10-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy who both attend T. Clay Wood Elementary School.

Young reminds residents to vote for Brentsville Supervisor on Dec. 23.

To keep up with Young’s campaign, readers can visit his website or his Facebook page, Eric Young for Brentsville Supervisor.

© 2014, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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