LEESBURG RESIDENTS MARCH TO SAVE MOBILE HOME SITE
A group from Leesburg Mobile Home Park residents marched down Market Street in Leesburg last month to ask for help as the land under their homes is being sold for millions. Residents of the mobile home park have been notified that the property, the site of 86 lots walking distance from downtown Leesburg, is to be sold for $11 million. The owner and likely purchaser have not responded to inquiries, but the sale price makes people worry that they’ll be kicked off the land many have called home their entire lives—and the only place for miles around they can afford.
Supervisors could offer the protestors little consolation, responding that the matter was more of a Town of Leesburg concern than a county government one. “Leesburg is not under the jurisdiction of the county government, and from all that we have been told, there is not going to be any displacement of residents for, at the very least, 18 months, and possibly up to three years,” the Chair of the Board said.
According to the County Commissioner of the Revenue, mobile home parks “have been prohibited for some time, with permits being issued only for tenant homes and temporary housing while you’re building a house, but [otherwise] it’s prohibited.”
To where may they move remains a question.
FAIRFAX’S DIVERSION FIRST PROGRAM SUCCEEDING
Fairfax County has provided drug or mental health treatment services to more than 2,100 people who would have otherwise wound up in jail since launching a diversion initiative five years ago, according to a recent report on the program. Released in August, the 2020 annual Diversion First report suggests the county’s emphasis on support services over incarceration for people with mental health and/or substance use challenges are paying off. The county’s jail population saw a 28% decrease from 2015 to 2020 in the number of people with behavioral health issues and misdemeanor charges.
“Over the past several years, there has been increased attention on people with mental illness, co-occurring substance use disorders and/or developmental disabilities who come into contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses,” the program’s director stated..
The initiative was created after the February 2015 death in custody of a resident of the Fairfax Adult Detention Center, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. One of the prime movers behind Diversion First has been the Fairfax County.
The program has expanded from its initial focus on transferring individuals from police custody to the Merrifield Center, which provides behavioral health and substance abuse services, to also encompassing housing and judicial components, which assist with money for rent, as well as a partnership with a nonprofit group to provide permanent housing. The county has also added specialty dockets to its court system for veterans, mental health, and a drug court.
Diversion makes sense, reduces jail populations, and recidivism. Everyone benefits.
PWC DENTIST/CANDIDATE FACING $225K IN FEDERAL TAX LIENS
This won’t hurt a bit. . . . Prince William dentist Dr. Steve Pleickhardt, the Republican nominee for Virginia’s 50th District House of Delegates’ seat, failed to pay about $295,000 in federal taxes between 2014 and 2016, and a year later filed for bankruptcy for his Bristow dental practice, according to court records.
When asked about his tax situation, Pleickhardt responded, “Like thousands of small business owners, my business has gone through its ups and downs. In 2014, we went through a rough patch, but we pulled ourselves up, stayed in business and kept serving our patients … In Richmond, I will work to create more resources for businesses and individuals going through financial hardships so they can get back on the right track.” So, one who has traveled this road is the best candidate to fix things for others, right? It’s doubtful that his Democratic opponent, an attorney and head of a consulting firm, agrees. The Democrat declined to comment on her opponent’s tax problems.
According to a “debtor’s disclosure statement,” the dental practice’s accounting reports “ranged from inaccurate to incomprehensible” and there was “not any general strategy for the corporation to meet its financial obligations… [or] adequate tracking of expenses or financial controls.” Pleickhardt is a self-described fiscal conservative who wants to cut taxes in Virginia.
The 50th District encompasses the City of Manassas and parts of western Prince William County. The seat is currently held by Del. Lee Carter (D), who lost to Maldonado in the 2021 Democratic primary.
Open wide, say Ahhh!. . . .
DONATIONS POUR IN TO PRINCE WILLIAM MOSQUE FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES
A steady stream of people has been flocking to Dar Al Noor Mosque in Manassas to donate clothes, food, and supplies to help Afghan refugees arriving in Northern Virginia.
More than a thousand people fleeing Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover flew into Dulles Airport. Some have been temporarily sheltering at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus and at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. Most will be moved out to be resettled elsewhere, including some Virginia military bases..
Dar Al Noor Mosque issued a bulletin on social media requesting contributions. Within hours, volunteers were sorting through truckloads of supplies brought in by area residents to distribute to about 1,200 refugees sheltering at the community college, according to the Board chair of the Muslim Association of Virginia. “They came with nothing. And the community came together to help,” he said. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 out of a total of 100,000 Afghan refugees are expected to settle in Virginia.
People helping people. Simple. And it works.