Party Line Tower Vote Causes Bad Behavior by Supervisors

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During a Board of County Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, things got heated and personal among Prince William County, VA officials over a cell tower vote. Inside Nova reported that a 5-3 vote along party lines was cast to approve a request by Community Wireless Services for a cell tower.

After the vote, a public hearing was held where opponents spoke out against the project. Subsequently, discussions among board members devolved into heated and personal attacks, reported Inside Nova. 

Supervisors could not agree on whether residents in the area where the tower was proposed had reliable service. Republican Supervisor Jeanine Lawson accused the Democrats of voting in favor of the tower to give a donor better service and called the questioning of the applicant a “game of charades” due to the way the vote was ultimately cast.  

Democratic Supervisor Margaret Franklin called her fellow board members out regarding policy disagreements versus personal attacks. “It’s OK to have differences of opinion on policy, but where we always end up on this dais is we start campaigning on the dais. We become vindictive on the dais,” she said. “It does not need to become personal because we have a policy difference. There’s no need to get to the level we seem to always get to when people don’t get their way.”

Inside Nova reported the discussion came down to a Republican versus Democrat debate, with the former accusing the latter of not “working with them.” Republican Supervisor Yesli Vega said if Democratic supervisors want decorum and respect, it must go both ways. 

Supervisors engaged in an outburst of speaking over one another and were chastised by members of the public present at the meeting. “This is disgusting,” said one attendee. “It’s disgraceful,” said another regarding the behavior of the elected officials. 

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