A Reorganized Government for Manassas?
With a new city manager, mayoral race and three council member seats up for reelection, the city could soon see a reorganized city government with new priorities.
Vice Mayor Andrew Harrover announced last week he is running for mayor.
Since then, with the help of his supporters, he has been knocking on the doors of registered voters in an effort to talk to them about the change he wants to see happen in local government.
"I like talking to people," Harrover said.
That's part of why he wants to be mayor. The mayor is very accessible, if someone has a problem, they generally go to the mayor, he said.
The other part? Harrover said he wants to see a more proactive and less reactive city council. Harrover says the council takes action on a lot of things but described the agenda a lot like "banging the same problems down over and over and over."
"Were struggling with a lot of the same problems that we've been struggling with for the last three or four year," Harrover said. "I think we need to take a step back and take a clear-eyed assessment of what are problems really are, not what we want them to be or what they were in the past, but what they are right now."
Harrover has lived in Manassas for most of his life and says it is a different place now. He would like to see the city come up with community-based practical solutions to some of the current events facing the city, such as an increased crime and a changing demographic.
"I think we are stuck in a relatively narrow status quo and I want to change that and get things done, get the city moving again," Harrover said.
He also believes the city can do a tremendous amount of good for city schools through neighborhood stabilization and revitalization projects that focus on citizen involvement. Harrover said the council needs to look at doing something similar to what is currently being done in Georgetown South in other areas of the city, including point of woods and Bristoe Station off of Ashton Avenue.
Economic development is also a big issue for the vice mayor, who owns Matrix Computer Consulting in Manassas.
"When you compare Manassas to Prince William County, those guys are moving, Harrover said. "They're approving subdivisions, they're adding five miles of biking and walking trails next year."
About eight months ago, Harrover made a presentation to the council about relocating the Greater Manassas Baseball League fields to city-owned, vacant land behind Jennie Dean Elementary School off of Wellington Road, so the prime property at the intersection at Godwin and Nokesville roads could be sold and developed.
"That process should be concamated in the next couple weeks," Harrover said. "We've asked developers for proposals; we may or may not pick one, but it's that kind of thinking that we need."
Harrover is currently serving his second term on the city council and has been elected as vice mayor by his peers for both terms. Current mayor, Harry J. (Hal) Parrish ll is running for reelection. But don't expect any mudslinging.
"This is just business, I am not running a negative campaign," Harrover said.
But with a new manager on the horizon for the city, the mayoral race and three council members' seats up for reelection (Wolfe, Way and Bass), it is possible there soon could be a newly reorganized city government with new priorities.
Unlike previous election years when there has been little opposition, the Voter Registration office for the City of Manassas confirms there have been a few candidates that have expressed interest in running for office.
The candidates will be revealed at the Republican Convention on Jan. 28 at Metz Middle School. You must pre-register by January 20 to attend the convention, where the republican nominee will be chosen for the mayor's seat and three council seats for the upcoming general election on May 1.
You must be registered to vote in the city to participate in the general election. For voting information, please contact the Registrar's office at 703-257-8230 or stop by the office at 9025 Center Street in Old Town Manassas.