Press Release- Opinion* from Coalition to Protect Prince William County
Gainesville citizens are gathering votes to recall Gainesville Supervisor Pete Candland, but the recall petition has NOT yet been sent to the circuit court.
Haymarket, Virginia (June 28, 2022) – Gainesville district citizens have launched an effort to recall Supervisor Pete Candland for his neglect of duty and misuse of office while personally enriching himself with the passage of the PW Digital Gateway Data Center Application.
Citizens and recall leaders will hold a press conference today at 6:30 p.m. at the One County Complex in Woodbridge immediately prior to the Board of Supervisors Meeting.
“Pete Candland must resign – today – or be recalled,” Coalition to Protect Prince William County executive director Elena Schlossberg said. “The citizens of his district are here to make that happen. Candland’s corrupt behavior and misuse of his office makes him unfit for public service at any level.”
"Candland compromised himself last fall when he included his personal residence in the Comprehensive Plan changes supporting data centers in the Rural Crescent and disqualified himself from discussing the related amendment. A serious, ethical person would have realized an elected official who cannot discuss his constituents’ most important issue would have the decency to resign. "
"Candland went from compromised to outright complicit, participating in both open and closed meetings directly related to a matter which could make him millions of dollars. Far from removing himself from discussions, Candland continues to push the interests of a small group of landowners looking to pockets tens of millions in return for injecting industrial development into the Rural Crescent. He has misused his office and neglected his duty. It’s over. He must go."
“Where’s the evidence?” Schlossberg asked.
"Most is a matter of public record. After executing his disclosure and disqualification on November 2, 2021, Candland participated in both closed and open meetings of the Board of County Supervisors with business touching on his interest in the PW Digital Gateway, starting in December of 2021, including voting on related rezonings, special use permits, tax assessments, and meeting postponements."
"Candland’s continued participation in business advancing his personal interests came after both County and Commonwealth attorneys recommended he recuse himself from specific matters, notably at the January 18 and May 24 Supervisors meetings … the latter of which came only four days after Commonwealth’s Attorney Amy Ashworth opinion that Candland should neither discuss or vote on anything related to the PW Digital Gateway or the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District."
"Meanwhile, Candland has been advising nearby property owners on how to pursue their own rezoning. Candland’s problem isn’t that he’s unable to talk about his constituents’ interests. Candland is worse than compromised. He’s complicit in enriching himself while working against his constituents’ interests. The citizens of this county – and this district – have fought and won against richer men. Today is the beginning of the end for Candland."
The petition is attached on the left underneath the pull quote.
May 24, H&H Capitol Acquisitions filed a rezoning for a portion of the PW Digital Gateway project. According to Schlossberg, the purchase price offered for landowners in the Pageland Lane area is between $900,000 and $1 million per acre.
In an attached document, (see "related articles" on the left sidebar) the Coalition lists multiple examples of times Candland voted upon and/or discussed matters relating to data centers in the Gainesville area.
Dec. 7- Candland participated in a closed session meeting regarding legal matters on tax assessments on data centers.
Dec. 7- Candland voted “nay,” in response to proposals of Rezoning, Proffers and Special Use Permits for I-66, Rt 29 Technology Park after participating in a closed session meeting.
8- Jan. 18- voted “aye” to postpone a public meeting on the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District.
Mar. 1- Candland voted “aye” to appropriate proffer funding for Pageland Lane Right Turn Lane Project.
Mar. 1- Candland voted “no opposition” to remove the Bi-County Parkway from the mobility plan, and instead replace it with “local improvements and solutions,” rather than a “regional facility.”
Mar. 1- Candland voted “nay” on tax matters, including the Computer Peripherals Tax, applied to data centers.
Mar. 10, Candland participated in a work session regarding the Comprehensive Plan Update, which included the PW Digital Gateway.
After Ashworth rendered an opinion that Candland should not vote nor discuss issues of Gainesville data centers on May 20, and related issues, Candland voted “aye” on the Devlin Technology Park proposal on May 24.
Readers are encouraged to read the Petition, which is found to the left of the article below the pull quote under "related."
This was an embargoed press release. Following the rally, Bristow Beat will be reaching out to Candland's office for a response.
The tone and the opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author, not Bristow Beat, LLC.
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