IM JUST GOING TO TAKE THIS FROM THE INSIDE NOVA ARTICLE TODAY!!!
By: Aileen Streng
Published: August 25, 2011
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DUMFRIES, Va. –
Dumfries Town Council member Kristin Forrester is not pleased with the services Prince William is providing the town – which pays county taxes – nor with their supervisor, Maureen Caddigan, referring to her as “momma” or “mother.”
Forrester said Wednesday that she used the mother analogy to describe the relationship between the town officials and Caddigan, R-Potomac.
“It’s definitely an inferior and superior position,” she said. “The point I was making was that we are in a very child-like role where we ask permission and she either grants or denies and that’s a backwards, messed up understanding,” she said.
Three other council members – including the mayor and vice mayor – have issued public apologies to Caddigan.
Caddigan could not be reached Tuesday or Wednesday for comment.
“I meant everything I said,” Forrester said Wednesday. “I have nothing to apologize for.”
During last week’s council meeting, Forrester said, for example, that the Prince William Board of County Supervisors takes credit for the widening of U.S. 1 in Triangle when the project is being paid for by tax dollars.
“They play into the façade that they are funding everything and we should play nicey-nice and ask our momma what we can have and hope she tells us yes,” Forrester said during last week’s televised meeting.
At one point during Forrester’s lengthy speech, Mayor Fred Yohey interrupted her and asked, “Our what?”
“Our mother, Maureen Caddigan,” Forrester said.
“Our tax dollars fund everything the county does and everything we do at the town level. So, this suggestion that if we offend our momma or her brothers and sisters on the board of county supervisors and we don’t get the response that we want it is some how deserved because we didn’t address them in the right way – I think that’s foolish.”
Forrester gave several examples of situations in which she thought the county could have and should have helped the town, such as providing building inspection services while the town works to replace its building inspector.
“We as an elected body have to understand, just like our citizens do, that they vote on Election Day for public servants, not public queens,” Forrester said. “Our mayor has it in his mind that we ask for favors. They are not writing checks out of their pocketbooks. It’s our money.”
Council member Gerry Foreman suggested that some of the issues raised by Forrester could be addressed during the council’s next quarterly meeting with Caddigan.
“Let me give you a quick recap of quarterly meetings,” Forrester said. “The mayor asks for some service for the town. Maureen Caddigan says no. The mayor asks for a service for the town. [County Executive] Melissa Peacor says no. That’s about how the whole four hours go.”
Addressing her fellow council members, she said, “My questions to you was, ‘What are we going to do to help the county understand its obligations to us?’ Not the favors they want to consider doing for us if we impress them with our good behavior.”
“Something has to happen and it’s not going to happen in the next quarterly meeting.” Forrester said.
Before the council moved on to other business, Council member Dorothea Barr apologized for Forrester’s mother/momma comments.
“I think it was a rude and unkind thing to say and inappropriate in this forum,” Barr said.
Yohey and Vice Mayor Nancy West sent a letter to the News and Messenger about Forrester’s comments, which was published this week.
“This letter is to apologize to Mrs. Caddigan and to other county staff who were included in the outburst of this council member,” they wrote. “The actions of one council member do not reflect the feelings of the entire town council.
“We am deeply sorry that this action has taken place at a time when the Dumfries Town Council did have a good working relationship with Prince William County,” the letter stated. “We hope that in time this good relationship can be re-established.”
Forrester said the letter summed up and reinforced the points she made in the meeting to include the attitude of some of her fellow council members.
“This is exactly what I was saying. Either you make Maureen Caddigan happy or the town will pay,” she said.
Staff writer Aileen M. Streng can be reached at 703-530-3907.